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Old 11-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #121
Nancy Fulda
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By the way, if anyone's interested in reading the completed story and offering feedback, I would be most extremely grateful. Please let me know either in this thread or by PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #122
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For story purposes, I'm going to assume that brain-jacking, signal jamming and cyberwarfare makes drones unreliable at best. If I can pull it off, I may invent ways of nullifying most non-lethal projectiles so that combat strategy comes full circle and we end up with lots of hand-to-hand fighting. (Love the direct-contact shock sticks...)
In Lensmen, shipboard combat devolved to swords and axes. And muscle power, which favored the heavy-worlders. If you're going for drama, hand-to-hand melee is a lot more visceral than shoot-n-duck free-for-alls. Especially in enclosed spaces where you care about the bystanders or the facility.

As to your unit organization, this might offer up an idea of how the US Navy seals do it:
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Each SEAL Team is commanded by a Navy Commander (O-5), and has a number of operational SEAL platoons and a headquarters element.

A SEAL Team has a Staff Headquarters element and three 40-man Troops. Each Troop consist of a Headquarters element consisting of a Troop Commander, typically a Lieutenant Commander (O-4), a Troop Senior Enlisted (E-8), a Targeting/Operations Officer (O-2/3) and a Targeting/Operations Leading/Chief Petty Officer (E-6/7). Under the HQ element are two SEAL platoons of 16–20 men (two officers, 14–16 enlisted SEALs, and sometimes assigned non-NSW support personnel); a company-sized Combat Service Support (CSS) and/or Combat Support (CS) consisting of staff N-codes (the Army and Marine Corps use S-codes); N1 Administrative support, N2 Intelligence, N3 Operations, N4 Logistics, N5 Plans and Targeting, N6 Communications, N7 Training, and N8 Air/Medical.

Each Troop can be easily task organized into four squads of eight 4–5 man fire teams for operational purposes. The size of each SEAL “Team” with Troops and support staff is approximately 300 personnel. The typical SEAL platoon has an OIC (Officer in Charge, usually a Lieutenant (O-3), an AOIC (Assistant Officer in Charge, usually a Lieutenant (junior grade), O-2), a platoon chief (E-7), an Operations NCO/LPO (Leading Petty Officer, E-6) and other operators E-4 to E-6. The core leadership in the Troop and Platoon are the Commander/OIC and the Senior Enlisted NCO (Senior Chief/Chief).

Troop core skills consist of: Sniper, Breacher, Communicator, Maritime/Engineering, Close Air Support, Corpsman, Point-man/Navigator, Primary Driver/Navigator (Rural/Urban/Protective Security), Heavy Weapons Operator, Sensitive Site Exploitation, Air Operations Master, Lead Climber, Lead Diver/Navigator, Interrogator, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Technical Surveillance, and Advanced Special Operations.
The USMC Force Recon teams are organized like this:
http://forcerecon.americanspecialops.com/

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Force Recon Marines will typically deploy attached to a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as a Force Reconnaissance Platoon (FRP). The FRP provides the direct action element for the MEU's Maritime Raid Force. A Force Reconnaissance Platoon typically comprises:

Platoon Headquarters
Platoon Commander
Platoon Sergeant
Platoon Radio Operator
Navy Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC)
(SARCs are Navy medics that are trained to the same standard as the rest of the Recon Platoon.)
Platoon Equipment NCO (Rigger/ Armorer)
3 x 6-man Reconnaissance teams
A Reconnaissance team is made up of:

1 x Team Leader (staff sergeant)
1 x Assistant Team Leader (seargent / staff sergeant)
1 x Radio Operator
3 x Reconnaissance Scouts
Six is the minimum number of men required to carry out the deep reconnaissance role
The russian Spetnaz do it like this:
http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/airchr...-dec/boyd.html

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SPETSNAZ operate up to 1000 kilometers behind enemy lines, with emphasis on enemy nuclear delivery means, either locating them for attack by other forces or, if necessary, attacking by themselves. Typical SPETSNAZ targets include mobile missiles, command and control facilities, air defenses, airfields, port facilities, and lines of communication. In addition, specially trained SPETSNAZ elements have the missions of assassinating or kidnapping enemy military and civilian leaders.

The basic SPETSNAZ unit is a team of eight to ten men. The team is commanded by an officer, may have a warrant officer or senior sergeant as deputy, and includes a radio operator, demolitions experts, snipers, and reconnaissance specialists. Team members have some degree of cross-training so a mission can continue if a specialist is lost.
Have fun!

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Old 11-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #123
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The wiki on Army Rangers suggests you can enter and graduate as low as Private First Class (PFC), though that is not the most common rank.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:11 PM   #124
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Have I mentioned that you folks are seriously smart? This is awesome stuff.

For story purposes, I'm going to assume that brain-jacking, signal jamming and cyberwarfare makes drones unreliable at best. If I can pull it off, I may invent ways of nullifying most non-lethal projectiles so that combat strategy comes full circle and we end up with lots of hand-to-hand fighting. (Love the direct-contact shock sticks...)

Can y'all help me with a couple of boring questions, too?

(1) Protagonist has survived boot camp, been fast-tracked through zero-gee combat training, and is now being placed with an elite team of about twelve people. What's her rank likely to be? Private?

(2) What's the rank of her direct superior, i.e. the team leader?

(3) And the rank of the man or woman handing out her team's assignments?
Which branch of the services are you using as a model?
The different services have different names for the same pay grade.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:31 PM   #125
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Which branch of the services are you using as a model?
The different services have different names for the same pay grade.
Those of us from the Navy -- as well as fans of Star Trek -- would appreciate it if you use the Navy as your model. And, anyway, it would be right thing to do.

Though I must say, when SF takes a direct lift from naval enlisted ranks (seaman becomes spaceman, or even just sailor becoming spacer) , it's sound way too kitschy-quaint for my taste.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:25 AM   #126
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Which branch of the services are you using as a model?
The different services have different names for the same pay grade.
I'm thinking navy, but I'm not 100% committed to it yet.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:03 AM   #127
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Those of us from the Navy -- as well as fans of Star Trek -- would appreciate it if you use the Navy as your model. And, anyway, it would be right thing to do.

Though I must say, when SF takes a direct lift from naval enlisted ranks (seaman becomes spaceman, or even just sailor becoming spacer) , it's sound way too kitschy-quaint for my taste.
Spacer work for me and it is genderless.
Kitchy? the Navy is all about Tradition

(Looks at the overhead )
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:50 AM   #128
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One of the earlier weapon tropes, for good reason, was the rocket-assisted bullet or dart.
Back to the future: the Gyrojet!

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #129
Nancy Fulda
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Spacer work for me and it is genderless.
Spacer's a good option. I definitely like the genderless aspect.

I've been wondering whether I might be able to cobble a term together off of LEO (Low Earth Orbit, the official scientific descriptor for the region they're working in). Trouble is, everything I come up with sounds stupid.

Low Earth Orbit Patrollers (LEOPS)?
Sounds like a bunny.

Low Earth Orbit Rangers (LEORS)?
Heavens no. Unpronounceable, and sounds too much like Buzz Lightyear.

Argh.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #130
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Ooh, smart idea and so close to LRRP, a real-deal term!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #131
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I've been wondering whether I might be able to cobble a term together off of LEO (Low Earth Orbit, the official scientific descriptor for the region they're working in).
Maybe you could come up with a nickname for these guys in a roundabout way if your treat LEO as the Latin word for lion. (Leo refers both to the animal and the star constellation.)

For example, you could call them LEOS = Low Earth Orbit Specialists put a mission badge with a furious jumping lion on their uniforms and have the other guys refer to them as "lion tamers" or "lions."

(I"m sure, you'll come up with something much more creative.)
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:29 PM   #132
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Hmm...LEO also can stand for Law Enforcement Officer.

A space cop....? And if his name was Leonard....LEO LEO Leo.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:56 PM   #133
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Strike Force LEO9?
As in LEO Unit 9.
The military likes puns as much as anybody.
Or, a more generic: Strike Force LEO.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:25 AM   #134
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Maybe you could come up with a nickname for these guys in a roundabout way if your treat LEO as the Latin word for lion. (Leo refers both to the animal and the star constellation.)
Ooh, I like that.

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Strike Force LEO9?
As in LEO Unit 9.
The military likes puns as much as anybody.
Or, a more generic: Strike Force LEO.
And I like that. A lot. Doitsu and fjtorres, for the win!

I wonder whether I can co-opt the rest of the Zodiac signs as descriptors for other military units. The special ops teams are LEOs. Could the heavy artillery spacecraft be TAURUSes? And the cyberwarfare teams be SCORPIOs? Because using astrological constellations to describe orbital combatants would be just too cool.

Time to go acronym hunting.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:45 AM   #135
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Time to go acronym hunting.
You should talk to David Kitson....
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