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“Principles of Organization for War and Organizing for War in the Carreraverse”
Part Four: Military Organization of Carrera’s Legions by Tom Kratman

Carrera, of course, being a construct with all those abilities and understandings I deemed him to have, understood most of this. Most of it, too, shows up in the central instrument of his story, the Legiones del Cid.

Those, however, come into existence, and morph and modify, in several forms. Initially, there is no one and nothing except Carrera, his rage and hate, and a set of instincts. From that, a core organization is formed, led to war, expanded, expanded, takes over a country, is expanded some more . . .

In fact, there are at least five forms the Legions take.

  1. The recruiting, organizing, purchasing, and training organization.
  2. The initial legion, of ten cohorts, that goes to war in Sumer.
  3. The expanded counter-insurgency corps, of four legions, that fights the war in Sumer and Pashtia, via unit rotation.
  4. The interim conventional corps, formed by stripping units and shifting them around, that intervenes in Pashtia to pull the Federated States’ chestnuts out of the fire.
  5. The massively expandable, citizen-soldier militia army that engages both the Tauran Union and the Zhong Empire.

How Carrera commands the legions:

Command and control, though often confused, are different things. Control should be obvious; it’s when what the commander wants to happen happens because he’s managing it and supervising it directly and personally. Command, on the other hand, is when what the commander wants to happen happens, but he doesn’t have to do a thing—at least nearly nothing—to make it happen. That is an ideal, though; there will always be some control required even in a unit that is largely under command. Sometimes, too, one has to exercise a lot of control initially to create command; you don’t get there by “wishing and hoping.”

Control is both limited and exhausting. If you want an example, look at the progressive breakdown of both Hitler and his ability to control German society and the German armed forces, during World War II. As people and events displeased and disappointed, his routine solution was to take over personal control, as if he was omniscient and his energy infinite. He simply broke his span of control even as he had to leave so many things uncontrolled (the more he took, the less he had) that Germany largely devolved into a state of anarchy—feudalism at best—as the war progressed.

With that sterling bad example in mind, Carrera doesn’t do that. Instead, his approach is, in the first place, to be highly selective in who is commissioned and to be selective in particular ways for particular things. His method of selection is to have the cadre evaluate new soldiers in initial entry training for leadership ability. The roughly ten percent or so who are found worthy then go to Cazador School, a cognate of U.S. Army Ranger School but with more emphasis on selection and greater real and perceived danger. After that, many even among those who graduate are found wanting and are shunted to jobs—sub crew, plus aerial scout and fighter pilots, for example—that require a good deal of intelligence and guts, but not much in the way of leadership ability. The other ones, those who make the cut, are divided—certainly imperfectly—by raw intelligence into two categories, Centurion and Officer. Officers are trained from the beginning to lead and command larger units. Centurions get a good deal of the same things, but also, by contrast, are developed into thoroughly determined senior non-coms, who are also, incidentally, meaner than weasel shit, and perfectly willing to impose discipline physically, at need. Because they’re willing and allowed, there is rarely a need.

By doing this he at least arranges a set of leadership corps that can be relied on to create and lead soldiers, as well as well-trained raw material as soldiers exit the initial entry training base.

The entire recruiting, school, and initial entry training system is Carrera’s first leg of command. It produces people who can and generally will do what he wants, to the quality he wants, and with a degree of success he finds acceptable.

The second leg of Carrera’s command is his staff. He uses it pretty much as any other commander might. He is, however, notable for keeping his staff on a fairly short leash and being thoroughly unpleasant when the staff imposes administrative requirements he sees as needless or distracting. He can be equally nasty to subordinate commanders who put up with it, too.

He also—taking a leaf from German methods prior to 1945—has a staff structure that is not a committee, but instead heavily weights matters toward operations. This is fine for him, because he doesn’t need a staff for strategy; he does that on his own. The big exceptions to this on the staff are intelligence, which is actually an arm in itself, being Legate Fernandez’s entire intelligence and direct action apparatus, and diplomacy, which is certainly important to strategy, but isn’t generally entitled to a voice in military affairs.

The third leg to Carrera’s method of command is the Office of the Inspector General, which has four functions. It ensures compliance. It investigates systems. It ensures soldiers are not abused and are otherwise taken care of. It also serves as a directed telescope, looking deeply into matters Carrera either lacks the time and energy to, or thinks need a more subtle or objective approach than he is capable of.

The fourth leg is the Centro de Entrenamiento Nacional, the National Training Center, which ensures that units are being trained by their commanders, that those subordinate commanders have not lost sight of job one.

Fifth is Obras Zorilleras, or OZ, or, if I may be forgiven my little joke, the “Skunk Works,” which translates Carrera’s technological needs into programs and weapons.

The sixth leg is Professor Ruiz’s information ministry which, having control of legionary publications, also serves to focus legionary ethos and education on matters Carrera wants focus placed on, with the kind of focus he wants.

Given those six legs plus a certain willingness to accept imperfection, coupled to a strong preference for initiative and innovativeness in subordinates, Carrera achieves command rather than merely exercising control.

Phase I: The recruiting, organizing, purchasing, and training organization:

Carrera starts with nothing but a lot of hate, a decent—though not lavish—bankroll, and an idea of where he wants to end up. There are seven ways we can know that the army with which he fights the Zhong Empire and Tauran Union is approximately what he intended to build all along. A) He tells Kuralski and his initial staff to plan for that kind of army. B) The PERT diagram Fernandez sees in the basement of the Casa Linda, which shows that kind of army. C) The very easy way Carrera decides he can take on the Taurans, during the Invasion of Pashtia, which indicates he doesn’t need to worry about how to build that kind of army, because he’s already building it. D) The fact that he’s building infrastructure—roads, rails, barracks, training facilities, fortification, and industry—all along to support that kind of army. E) The fact that he destroys the civil government of Balboa so that he can build that kind of army. F) Then there is his plain admission that the organizational scheme originally chosen reeks, but has one main virtue; it is very suitable as a cadre for massive expansion. And, finally, G), there’s the fact that he builds that kind of army.

But he hasn’t much to work with, early on. There’s a residue of the small, brigade-sized force largely crushed by the Federated States invasion. They’re demoralized and not that well trained, in the main, to begin with. Worse, many, if not most, of their officers are cowardly and corrupt. Higher staff work even the better among them are not trained for. They have no arms to speak of.

These weaknesses he, for the most part, contracted out, using the Balboans for what they certainly could do, individual recruiting and initial entry training, while hiring foreigners for most of the rest. Over purchasing he maintains a pretty tight control, since money is, in fact, not lavish to his intentions. He hires full time a number of non-Balboan officers and senior non-coms, more for staff than for command.

Phase Ia:

The first deployed iteration of the legions, the original Legion Ruy Diaz de Bivar, consisted of ten cohorts (battalion equivalents), one Ala (Wing), and one Classis (Fleet), plus a rear detachment that included both the foreign training and the native recruiting, training, and medical organizations.

The cohorts were:

  1. Principe Eugenio, Mechanized Infantry
  2. Roberto Guiscard, Infantry
  3. Ricardo, Corozon de Leon, Infantry
  4. Barbarossa, Infantry
  5. Carlos Martillo, Infantry
  6. Vlad Tepes, Cazador (Ranger)
  7. Tizona, Combat Support
  8. Terremoto (Earthquake), Artillery and heavy mortars
  9. Babieca, Service Support (Maintenance, Medical, Supply, Transport, etc.)
  10. Santiago Matamoros, Headquarters (Staff, Signal, Intelligence, etc.)
  11. Jan Sobieski, Aviation
  12. Don John, Naval

Note carefully that Carrera completely broke several principles:

Span of control: There are simply too many subordinate organizations and commanders.

Simplicity: Placing that many different kinds of arms and services under a single, brigade-sized headquarters, will tend to confuse and fragment the staff, even as it makes support problematic. For example, Carrera has equipment, uniforms, weapons, ammunition, and parts coming from all over the world. Note, too, the incompatible speeds of his footmobile grunts, his mechanized cohort, and his airplane and helicopter-borne Cazadors.

Logistics (in practice if not by intent): I think not many readers saw or understood this, but Carrera’s group very carefully calculated the legion’s logistic needs, in terms of both cube and weight, then designed and built a transportation organization to deliver those needs, presuming no more than twenty percent efficiency (a historical norm), at a given distance, which distance was not supposed to be ordered to be exceeded, a condition written into their contract with the Federated States.

He did it; Carrera broke his own logistic system, in Sumer, by exceeding the maximum distance the transportation unit could support. Maybe he had sufficient reason for it and maybe he didn’t, but the fact remains that he broke it.1 It was also totally unnecessary, insofar as he probably could have afforded another company of trucks if he’d wanted them.

On the other hand, he adhered as carefully as circumstances allowed to the principles:

Social cohesion: Rather than taking a mechanical, essentially soulless, approach to personnel management and expansion, note that those century commanders in this first deployed iteration will later become the maniple commanders for the next expansion, the cohort commanders for the next and the tercio commanders for the final version, while their subordinates will move up with them, occasionally being filled as losses may dictate but retaining as much of the social relationship as humanly possible.

Note that there are about a company’s worth of officers and a company’s worth of senior non-coms in the first legion. This is by design.

Flexibility and maneuver: Barring the incompatible speeds, he does have a force that can maneuver and fight over any kind of terrain he can reasonably expect to encounter.

Combined arms: Well, you can’t say he doesn’t have at least a little of everything.

Discipline: This is, of course, fierce. He shoots people for things other armies try to hide, or punish lightly, and has the assets—MPs, JAGs and Judges—to do that.

Attrition: With losses, by the time of the conquest of Ninewa, his previously fat centuries are down to about the strength of very handy platoons, and still quite combat capable.

Mass: All of his artillery is under a single command, which command has the ability to plan for, and direct, the fires of mortars of other cohorts.

Support: There is enough support—engineers, air defense, MPs, reconnaissance—to this initial legion, though a good deal of it has been pushed down and frittered away in little penny packets, half on the theory of social cohesion and half because of the needs of future expansion.

Specialization: This is probably a case of having done as well as one could expect. Every legionary is trained, via basic training, to be at least a minimally effective grunt. Every specialty is well trained enough for the job. It is perhaps fortunate that the force isn’t faced with terrain that required extensive specialized training.

State circumstances: Balboa is a reasonably prosperous, highly nepotistic and corrupt place, one which had the most fertile women on the planet and thus has a great deal of raw human material to use. There is little industry to begin with. Hence, initially he concentrates on exploiting native manpower while setting up a firm to manage overseas procurement.

Officers: As mentioned, they are kept few and, insofar as possible and can be known, of high quality.

Expansion (which, though not obvious to many of his follower—and most of my readers—at the time, was at or near the top of his priority list): The centuries of this iteration, large platoons or mini-companies, have integral to them most of the assets needed to form full maniples (companies) even after taking losses. The other assets needed are found at the next higher level, the cohort. The cohort also has most of what is required to expand to a tercio (battalion and, later, regiment) or legion (division) and what is not available is either found at the legion level in sufficient quantity to push some down to support expansion or can be produced by the recruiting and training base.

Frugality: See comments on not enough trucks, as well as a general observation that Volgan equipment, while “competent,” is less than brilliant. Note, too, the complete absence of offices that will tend to pull manpower away from preparation for war.

Compatibility: This is generally present, but shows up in glaring form in the organization of the helicopter assets of the aviation ala. It is designed, and this will hold true throughout the counterinsurgency phase of the legion’s existence, to lift the lightest infantry available, the cohort and later tercio of Cazadors, plus some of a regular, more heavily armed infantry cohort or tercio, in one lift, and the rest of the combat and minimally necessary combat and service support of the heavier tercio in the next lift, presuming an eighty-five percent operationally ready rate. It allows a fairly rapid insertion of serious combat power in a fairly short period of time.

Politics: One aspect unusual here is Carrera’s having dispensed with traditional rank structures and instituted—or, rather, reinstituted—parts of ancient rank structures, together with some linguistic and historical slight of hand, in order to prevent his employers and allies from playing politics with his force and leadership while allowing himself to play politics with them.

Principles he was somewhat lukewarm on, or couldn’t help, or was overtaken by events with include:

Purity: In the interests of future expansion and maintaining social cohesion while expanding, this was to some extent let go.

Rest: The legionary structure would actually allow rest with no problem, had Carrera intended to use it as just a large brigade. He doesn’t, he uses it as a division, taking on division level responsibilities, hence exhausts the troops. Rest does come, but it comes later, as men as sent back to form second, third, and fourth legions. Men are lost to this.

Leadership: To some extent he was stuck here, because he couldn’t, for reasons of morale and future expansion, use too many known officers and NCOs from first world armies, and couldn’t know the real quality of some of the locals.

Range: Again, largely in the interests of future expansion, he wastes a lot of his weapons’ ranges. A sixty-millimeter mortar, for example, in support of a largish platoon, is a waste of range. A battery of 122mm guns, range about twenty-two kilometers, is fine for the offense, since it is better if it needn’t displace so often, as the legion advances. In the defense, however, it is something of a waste. Conversely, though one may think of the Turbo-finch converted cropdusters, range about sixteen hundred kilometers, as being wasted range, it is not a waste, or not entirely, because the airfield on which they’re dependent on support is way the hell back there and they can, once again, lunge forward.

Environment: Though Carrera probably could have made his early legion more effective, with rather more emphasis on mountain warfare and city fighting, he neglected to do so, preferring to train them more for more general circumstances. On the other hand, his organizations were functional enough for the circumstances.

How, by the way, does Carrera get away with the weaknesses he’s allowed or cannot do much about? That goes to the environment, to include the human environment, of war. He knows his enemy and so he knows that, though they are frequently of admirable courage, it’s rare as hell for them to be able to create decent military organizations.

Phase II, the expansion into a rotational counter-insurgency corps:

The process by which Carrera expanded to a corps of four legions was initially, in fact, almost George Marshallesque, which is to say very nearly the bicellular fission I excoriated, above. Why? Because with the legion committed to combat in Sumer there was no other way to create a relief formation except by taking in replacements, then thinning the line and sending leaders and prospective leaders back for training and to organize the next legion. Needs must, and all.

But what’s more interesting here is that, eventually, after reaching full strength, Carrera manages to have a four-division corps with only about three divisions worth of troops, and a very austere division slice of around fourteen to fifteen thousand men. (Divide an army’s strength by the number of divisions and that is the division slice; in our case, and if we include civilians, it’s about sixty-five thousand men). How does he do this?

In discussing the below, keep in mind that each period lasts a year.

Start with the deployed legion, about eleven thousand men. It doesn’t need any outside support, except, per contract, that the Federated States must deliver its logistic needs to a point at no more than a certain distance away. This will be, by the way, a non-trivial savings, not least because the legion needn’t secure its own supply lines past that distance, needn’t provide trucks or drivers, needn’t provide maintenance personnel for those trucks, etc. By the time a deployment is halfway over with, the legion is probably at or slightly under one hundred percent in strength. Normally, by the time their tour is over, they will be somewhere between ninety and ninety-five percent strength. It will almost certainly get no replacements while deployed, barring only injured and wounded treated and returned to duty.

Behind that deployed legion is another legion. It is elevated in strength to one hundred and five percent to cover losses in training (including injured but perhaps returnable and disciplinary issues), and losses in combat. It is also training hard—most of the areas of the Isla Real, plus certain mainland areas, belong to it during this period—for deployment. It will get no replacements for the year it is training to go to war.

The next echelon starts their year at this level at about forty percent strength and gradually builds up to one hundred and five percent strength. They average seventy-two percent. Their job, for a year, is to receive and assimilate, and create cohesive maniples, from the output of the recruiting and training base. They get no school slots. They get few or, more likely no, personnel transfers in or out. (There is the potential, for exigent circumstances, for someone previously detached to the school and recruiting systems to be swapped back in exchange or in replacement for someone in the legion who needs not to deploy or who has died or been critically injured. Car wrecks happen and lightning does strike, to say nothing of the possibility of a short round while doing a maneuvering live fire exercise.)

The last legion is the one that has just come back from the war. Let’s say they come back at ninety percent strength, give or take, and thus have a deficiency of about ten percent in their leadership corps. This legion invites to re-enlist sufficient numbers of quality personnel to send to school to, accounting for attrition and the possibility of failure, make up their leadership losses. Others are either invited to re-enlist and, if they wish, re-enlisted, or they are conditionally discharged into the individual reserve. Very senior officers of the legion are sent to an eleven month long course in higher levels of warfare. The curriculum is updated regularly.

The rest split, with half going back to school for five to six months and half being turned into support details (Opposing Force and scut work) for the school system for five to six months. Then they switch. For those who need no qualifying schooling, there are some nineteen short—three to four week—courses ranging from Assault Demolitions to Camouflage and Deception to Xenoculture.

The aviation ala of this legion is stripped away and given to the aviation school for retraining for this year. The combat support and service support maniples and cohorts get a number of training events run for them by their respective base schools.

To recap, the cycle of events is: 1) Return from the war, 2) discharge of most men and re-enlistment followed by schooling for the rest, 3) individual and small unit training, assimilation, plus branch specific collective training, 4) major unit training for deployment, 5) off to war, rinse and repeat.

The percentages are such that those four “legions” only have the average personnel for about three and a fifth legions, or about thirty-five to thirty-six thousand men. Moreover, they generally don’t need the massive numbers of personnel managers, since the regiment takes care of professional development, nor personal transportation drones and such, most of whose duties revolve around moving people hither and yon, thus disrupting social cohesion. Instead, they leave a place and come back to the same place, while getting to school, which is not more than ten kilometers away is entirely on them (“Look into the new and improved Legionary Automobile Purchase Program, today!”) or their tercios and the public transportation system on the island.

The other fourteen to twenty-four thousand (depending on what stage we’re in), the largest single chunk of whom are running the school system, take care of the rest. Hence, yes, a division slice on average, of fourteen to fifteen thousand or so, with fifty to sixty thousand men capable of keeping one very full division-equivalent deployed at all times. By way of comparison, contemplate how many troops we could have deployed to Iraq if the entire U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have been built around the same kind of system? Eight? Ten? Might have gone some way to not losing the war and winning the peace, no?

This, by the way, is very much in accord with the principle of Frugality.

Phase III, the Interim Conventional Corps:

By the time the war in Sumer is winding down, Carrera has his full corps set up and running well. Therefore, he is, of course, fired. Sadly, he is vindictive, so when the Federated States needs him back he gouges them for the lost revenue, with interest and penalties.

For this mission he thinks he needs a pocket panzer division, three legions of infantry, a corps artillery, and corps tercios for engineers, air defense, and all the other arms and services. He doesn’t actually have them. Where he has the assets, already assigned to legions, he lacks the headquarters.

But Carrera does have the school system. And that is how he does it, basically shutting down most institutional training for a period of time to field a corps. He does not completely strip the legions of their assets, but divides them temporarily, forming an armored legion, for example, from three quarters of the legionary mechanized tercios, and using the armor and mechanized infantry schools to provide command for it, along with portions of the signal school military intelligence school, medical school, etc. Meanwhile, those schools, and others, also must provide cohorts for his corps headquarters.

There is precedence for this, by the way, notably in the way the German Luftwaffe continuously used and overused their training base as operational units. The difference was that the Luftwaffe kept doing it, screwing up the training base and training cycle more and more with each iteration, and losing skilled instructors, to boot, while for Carrera it is a one-time event, needful to gain treasure, and never to be repeated.

Phase IV: Return to Counter-insurgency:

There really is nothing much different that happens here; except that the corps grows by several, unspecified, thousand, the damage done by the temporary reorganization into a field corps is largely undone, while the foundation of the cadet academies is laid, then expanded, as well. The cadets are, of course, important and speak directly to principle, Expansion, as does the effort to acquire allies who can be used to fill in otherwise unfillable gaps in the nation in arms program. Additionally, naval, air, and special operations and partisan organizations are expanded or raised.

Phase V: The Nation in Arms and Defense of la Patria:

Remember, this was planned all along, though one assumes that the plans were modified as enemy and terrain—and especially logistic considerations—were studied and better understood.

Considerations of organizational principles Environment, Attrition, Expansion, Logistics, and State Circumstances dominate in this phase.

The Environment of Balboa is such that invasion is possible from the north, from the south, and from the east, but not in anything but a token way from the west. Accordingly, the force in organized around the defense of the port of Cristobal, in the south, which is Fourth Corps’ responsibility, the defeat of any attempt at taking the Isla Real (presumably as a prelude to landing near the capital), which is the job of Fifth Corps, a corps built around the previous Eighth Legion (training), via shifting of tercios, conversion of basic training tercios into lightly armed infantry, and the addition of a coastal artillery brigade.

To the east, the newly raised Sixth Corps, largely composed of discharged full citizens of the republic, reinforced by several mobilized tercios, and with a couple of tercios raised from Santa Josefinan citizens serving with the legions, is responsible for ensuring that Santa Josefina cannot be used as a base against Balboa and that any attempt to use the minor ports along the Mar Furioso coast fails to logistic problems. The Sixth Corps is less a formal headquarters, though there is a small HQ, than it is a commander’s intent issued to the armed citizenry and the uniformed reinforcements to make the enemy’s lives miserable.

Moreover, in terms of making lives miserable, a small set of small detachments and individuals, working for the most part for Fernandez’s intelligence organization, is dedicated to striking the Taurans at home, more to undermine morale and faith in the government, and the government’s ability to rule, than to physical damage. A single largish amphibious grouping is dedicated to striking a different enemy. There is also a tercio of Indian jungle runners, more adept out there than anyone else is likely to be, to screen and guard the west against the likely trivial efforts the Taurans and Zhong could logistically support from that direction.

Carrera maintains a main maneuver force, consisting of two infantry and one heavy corps, the latter containing two mechanized legions and an artillery legion, plus the usual support.

Finally, there are assets the control of which is retained at army level, naval, to fight the war at sea, air and air defense, to context the skies over the republic, signal, intelligence, and deception tercios, as well as additional engineer troops, and a hefty slice of service support. In all, it is about four hundred thousand uniformed and/or armed men and women.

However, Balboa doesn’t have four hundred thousand armed and trained men and women. It has perhaps three hundred thousand. The remainder come from four main sources. First are the rather young cadets and scouts (aged thirteen to seventeen, for the most part; yes, Carrera is absolutely ruthless and not a very nice person, either), the former enrolled in full time schools with a great deal of military training and the latter much similar to our Boy Scouts, absent the political correctness and plus a lot more firearms training. Perhaps thirty thousand of these are enrolled, serving under regular, adult leadership.

Second are the allies, some seven tercios’ worth of Latins, one of Sumeris, and various smaller additions from lesser Latin states. In addition, individual reinforcements/volunteers come from all over, while a group of the Castillian Legion defects en masse to Balboa after a Tauran attempt at arresting their commander.

Third are certain apparently civilian enterprises, among them a heavy construction corporation, an airline, and a helicopter company. That’s not exhaustive, either.

The last are the discharged veteran-citizens, tens of thousands of them, who kept their arms after discharge, had a short but thorough course in resistance warfare before discharge, and are tasked to make the countryside hostile almost to the point of impassible.

It’s also worth noting at this point that not only did the combat tercios increase in number, over the years; their size grew, too. Where, during the counter-insurgency campaigns, they had been at a strength of eleven to twelve hundred, usually in six maniples, by this time they have grown to about thirty-six hundred, with three maneuver cohorts, a light cannon cohort, a combat support cohort with reconnaissance, engineer, and air defense maniples, as well as a headquarters and support cohort.

The last peculiarity of the legions’ organization at this time is what is called “the tercio system.” It doesn’t just mean a regimental system, though it is that, too. Tercio, you see, is an odd word. It originally meant “third.” When organized in old Spain it began with that meaning. Gradually however, it acquired the meaning of “regiment.” But it never lost the meaning of “third.”

In the case of Balboa and the legions, the tercio system also means three echelons, each of which is about one third the size of the next level down. Thus, that thirty-six hundred strong tercio, mentioned above, consists of about twenty-seven hundred militia, men who train for a bit under one month a year, about six hundred and seventy-five reservists, generally having a better quality of man than the militia, carefully selected, and training a maximum of seventy-seven days a year, and two hundred and twenty-five regulars. Legion and corps organization mirrors this approach.

What that means is that every corps is a brigade or regiment, ready to fight on short notice, every legion is a cohort (battalion, same), and every tercio is a maniple (company, same). It also means that those echelons can increase in size and power to a legion, a tercio, and a cohort, on very short notice, and that full mobilization into a frightfully large force only takes a bit longer.

There are, of course, downsides to this, notably that a) the leadership of a unit is very vulnerable, b) the troops are, on average, less well trained, and c) they are overly dependent on leadership which is, again, vulnerable. On the plus side, this is a) affordable, b) produces a great deal of combat power, c) serves as a coup d’etat preventative, d) preserves carefully nurtured social cohesion and command realtionships.

How do they deal with principle Attrition in this scheme? I ought to say a word or two about the training establishment and the training tercios turned into combat tercios. The short version is that, with a few exceptions, a combat tercio has its own basic training company, commanded by one of its own officers, with an exec from its own officer corps, with platoons led by its own centurions. (It also provides basic training to newly enlisted men from other, less blood and guts-oriented branches.) Note the close correlation here with principle, Leadership; those couple of officers and dozen or so centurions are responsible to their own tercio leadership that the men produced be properly trained. Compare this to the U.S. system, where the connection between basic training, AIT, and OSUT and the units in the field is basically non-existent, and drill sergeants are not held as personally responsible for the job they do by someone in a position to actually see the end result of the job they do.

In any case, the training maniples, during full mobilization to fight the Taurans and the Zhong, are a pool of manpower for each tercio out on the line somewhere.


As I intend eventually to do with Training for War, I may turn this into a book. Anything contained herein, including but not limited to terms, structure, definitions, and historical examples, can be questioned, argued with, refuted, etc. In other words, I invite your comments, either on Baen’s Bar (look in the KratsKeller), on my Facebook page, or privately go to tomkratman.com and click the link.


1) Of course, the sandstorm didn't help any.

Copyright © 2019 Tom Kratman

This is the final entry in this series. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, are available. Tom Kratman’s latest entry in the Carerra series is November’s A Pillar of Fire by Night. Tom Kratman was a Regular Army infantryman much of his adult life. After the Gulf War, and with the bottom dropping completely out of the anti-communist market, Tom decided to become a lawyer. Every now and again, when the frustrations of legal life and having to deal with other lawyers got to be too much, Tom would rejoin the Army (or a somewhat similar group, say) for fun and frolic in other climes. He no longer practices law, but instead writes full time. His novels for Baen include A State of Disobedience, Caliphate, and the series consisting of A Desert Called Peace, Carnifex, The Lotus Eaters, The Amazon Legion, Come and Take Them, The Rods and the Axe, and A Pillar of Fire by Night, as well as three collaborations with John Ringo, Watch on the Rhine, Yellow Eyes, and The Tuloriad. Also for Baen, he has written the first three volumes of the modern-day military fiction Countdown series.