Like the USSF, the USMC was formed during the First Bragulan War, and was initially composed solely of soldiers trained to repel Bragulan boarders aboard starships and space stations. Later in the war the marines took the war to the Bragulans, suffering days and sometimes weeks in cramped conditions aboard tramp freighters quickly converted into troop carriers in order to assault and liberate those colonies occupied by the Bragulans by force of arms. The battles fought by Sovereign Marines on Kimanjano and Eta Bootis immortalized the USMC in the national consciousness of the young U.S.S, granting the marines an aura of brash shrewdness and burly self-confidence that has lasted to this very day.
Since the First Bragulan War the Marine Corps has served in every armed conflict the Sovereignty has fought, and has become instrumental in keeping the peace on the fringes of Sovereignty space. The Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of interstellar ground warfare in its region of space. Its ability to respond rapidly to regional crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of Sovereignty foreign policy, and marines today are trained to carry out tasks as diverse as peace-keeping on the fringe worlds, patrolling Wild Space in small contingents aboard Assailant-class Strikestars, and fighting the Bragulan menace in large, continent-spanning conflicts.
The USMC accounts for about one-fifth of the military budget of the United Solarian Sovereignty. Despite this the entire force can be used for both hybrid and major combat operations, that is, the Marines cover the full spectrum of challenges likely to be faced on the modern battlefield. Most (96 percent) of all marines are Replicants, bio-engineered beings grown for the explicit purpose of serving in the marine corps. Replicants are virtually identical to an adult human, but have superior strength, agility, and variable intelligence; Replicants grown for the USMC are engineered specifically so that they will exhibit the core values the marine corps values most, those being honor, courage and commitment. The USMC motto is 'Semper Fidelis', ancient Latin for 'Always Faithful' and typically abbreviated to 'Semper Fi' or more colloquially amongst marines, "semper fi, motherfucker".
From The Balls of Damned Solaris
To The Shores of Misery
We Will Curse Our Country's Leaders
Cross The Stars, on Land and Seas
First to Fight the Distant Wars
Spill Our Blood for the Sheaf of Green
We Will Do or Die, We Ask Not Why
Coz We're Colonial Marines
All marine forces in the Sovereignty ultimately answer to the U.S.M.C. Overwatch, the high command of the Corps. The operational forces of the USMC is the Expeditionary Unit, which can be as small as a company of troops assigned to guard an embassy or other valuable point target, or something as large as a multi-division fully mechanized landing force come to whoop some alien ass on a distant planet. Every manned warship of the USSF carries a marine detachment whose exact size depends on the type of warship and its mission. Assailant-class Strikestars carry sufficient troops plus equipment to quell minor uprisings; larger warships carry enough to fight small wars by themselves. Like the USSF the USMC is a highly adaptable organization, and its Expeditionary Units tend to constantly grow or decrease in size depending on what the central command deems necessary.
Troop-wise, the marine corps can be divided into three distinct force tiers.
Colonial MarinesEditThe brunt of the USMC is made up of the regular Colonial Marine (typically referred to simply as 'marine') forces, millions upon millions of troops trained for a wide variety of missions. Colonial Marines guard embassies and other targets throughout the galaxy, patrol the fringes of space, perform boarding missions and defend USSF warships from boarders, assault space stations in zero-g, perform orbital drops, take and hold enemy worlds, and perform a myriad other essential duties for the Sovereignty. USMC forces are well-trained and receive top-of-the-line gear. Although its light infantry forces are the most famous (in no small part due to the attention such forces have received from the Sovereignty's entertainment industry) the USMC is in fact a full-spectrum force capable of transporting, landing and fielding mechanized and armored forces ranging from light reconnaissance vehicles and close aerospace support to the heavily armored HT-72K2 Terminator main battle tank.
- 6,500 points spent
- 195 million troops @ 75,000 per $1, kit modifier 2.5
Para-marines are special operations "capable" marine forces that provide pertinent military intelligence to the command element of an Expeditionary Unit. Primarily, deep reconnaissance and deep action are the main focus of the Para-Marine companies, whose force structure bridges both conventional and specialist roles. Para-Marines are on the cutting edge of Sovereignty force projection, blending superb training and bleeding edge technology, and fully capable of operating independently behind enemy lines performing unconventional special operations, in cohesion of conventional warfare. To be selected as a Para-Marine is a goal for many regular marines, as they are an elite within an organization that cherishes elites. Para-Marines are given training and kit superior to the regular marine forces, in order for them to be able to conduct direct action, special reconnaissance and surveillance, sniper control and support, counter-intelligence, extraction, foreign internal defense, and unconventional warfare missions.
- 4,000 points spent
- 62,5 million troops @ 50,000 per $1, kit modifier 3.2
The FORCE is the transhuman arm of the Marine Corps Overwatch. FORCE is a small, highly elite force of shock (some would say terror) troops which leverages high-technology for maximum effect against enemy troops. Highly individualized, FORCE has no recognizable hierarchy; instead, individual troopers are assigned by Overwatch to a specific situation based on individual capabilities and availability almost like the USSF moves its warcraft around. The ranks of FORCE are filled with a dazzling variety of high-end milspec cyborgs and ultra-lethal CI killforms that range from infiltrator/dissembler nanoswarm assassins to billion-dollar combat macroframes capable of wiping out entire formations of lesser troops with trivial ease. The job of FORCE operatives in the battlespace is to fatally disrupt enemy formations, annihilate high-value nodes, and erode enemy morale, but specific missions assigned (and the optimal way of achieving them) is highly dependent on the specific FORCE operator assigned to the job.
NOTE: Point cost varies between FORCE troopers to reflect their individual and highly specialized nature. A stealth ultra-assassin will cost less than a warfront killframe, but more than a dedicated infiltrator, and so on.
- 2,500 points spent
The basic infantry weapon of the Marine Corps is the iconic M116 assault rifle family manufactured by DeBarros General Products (Planetary Warfare Division), with a majority of Marines equipped with the 10mm M116A4 phased plasma pulse rifles. The standard infantry side-arm is the M11 Diamondback, also a plasma weapon. Suppressive fire is provided by the M78 phased plasma infantry gun; sniper support is handled by the Hotback 150 laser rifle. The Marine Corps utilizes a variety of infantry-fired rockets and missiles to provide offensive and defensive anti-armor or anti-fortification capability. The M83 SADAR and F30A3 Hellstorm are multipurpose guided missiles that can destroy armor and fixed defenses. They can be fired in direct or indirect fire modes, and the standard USMC battle network is used to feed target data to such support weapons from a variety of battlefield sensors.
The current standard for Colonial Marine armor is the BS-300 Variable Threat Response Battlesuit jointly manufactured by DeBarros and Maibatsu. The BS-300 is a fully enclosed suit of power-assisted armor and includes life support, radiation shielding, impact reduction and auto-repair functions as well as an integrated medical system and networking gear. Lighter (and heavier) battlesuits are available and issued depending on mission conditions.
- Main Article: USMC Fighting Vehicles
The venerable HK-72K2 Terminator is still the standard main battle tank of the USMC, eighty years after its first introduction. This mighty tank has seen endless upgrades to its weapons, armor, computers and propulsion system, and remains a robust heavy platform fully capable of dealing with a wide spectrum of threats, from teeming masses of Karlack infantry-forms to the lumbering Bragulan Dredka overtank. The M6S2 Blackbird and M12A1 Hellhound hovertanks are the primary infantry support and reconnaissance vehicles. The M8A6 Ranger is the primary IFV/AFV of the Marine Corps. Fire support is provided by the SH90 Sledgehammer multipurpose artillery platform. All IFVs are kept aloft on suspensor skirts, enabling them to reach extremely high speeds at altitudes ranging from grass-level to several kilometers up.
The USMC incorporates its own close aerospace support, primarily due to the USSF not wanting to bother with it. USMC interface craft and fighters fly from bays in the heavy transports and are, uniquely amongst Sovereignty craft, typically manned. Easily the most famous of these manned craft is the S/A-222 White Shark aerospace superiority fighter. Less glamorous but just as vital to the efforts of the Marine Corps are the LC58A8 Bullfly tactical and LC39A5 Hurricane strategic dropships, the SI-50 Snakefly family of automated carryalls, the C-3A Kodiak mobile aerospace command center, the SI-60H Goshawk interface gunship, the F-188C Peregrine multirole aerospace fighter, and the SB-101 Aurora II orbital support gunship.
The USMC operates its own fleet of interstellar troop transports, mainly due to the Star Force not wanting to bother with so mundane a task as ferrying ground pounders around. The primary transport for large marine contingents is the Hornet Peak class, capable of ferrying a full marine division including interface craft, orbital and aerospace support, heavy equipment and one month of supplies. Ships of the class are named after important battles in which the USMC has fought, with Hornet Peak itself being an engagement that took place during the First Bragulan War on Saint Vincennes. A second, smaller craft is the Thunderstroke class high speed transport, which ferries a brigade of marines plus their equipment and landers, and is used principally as a Wild Space 'fireman patrol' in order to rapidly quell minor disturbances along the fringe. All transport classes possess a modicum of self-defense capability as well as orbital artillery for direct fire support of marine ground elements. The onboard aerospace fighter complement provides further defensive and offensive capabilities.
NOTE: USMC space assets represent both the heavy artillery as well as the orbital defense component of a Marine contingent. Because their nodal warfare doctrine stresses high mobility the Marines can't usually afford to truck giant planetary cannons or enormous surface-to-space lasers with them, so the troop ships and fighters are presumed to take care both of the bombarding of enemy ground targets as well as the interdicting against enemy wannabe-orbital bombardiers.