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Noclevername
2012-Oct-27, 02:41 PM
I have no military experience, so I'd like to know from those who do, just what that experience is like. What differs from civilian life? How do I capture the "feel" of being a soldier? (I realize certain details may be unsuitable for family-friendly viewing, PM me with anything that doens't fit on the front page.)

Solfe
2012-Oct-27, 09:12 PM
I am not a soldier nor have I ever been, but all of them seem to have a distinct dislike for standing in line. :)

starcanuck64
2012-Oct-27, 09:19 PM
I signed up for Officer Candidate School in the Canadian Forces when I was eighteen but was informed the class was full and I'd have to re-apply in a few months...I never did and don't really regret it, I don't handle the kind of regimentation that goes with military life very well.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-27, 09:52 PM
Sounds like the time I almost joined the Navy; I had bad eyesight which would have kept me out, the recruiter said he could wedge me in but after seeing what bozos most of the guys in the recruitment office were, and realizing I'd have to take orders from them, I declined the offer.

Given that at the time I had never heard of Asperger's, let alone knew that I had it, I probably would have been booted for insubordination and questioning orders-- I had a thing about demanding rational explanations for stuff I was told to do. Still do, but now I know when to keep my mouth shut about it.

starcanuck64
2012-Oct-27, 10:12 PM
My first choice was pilot, but my eyesight by that time was pretty bad, so I decided I'd try for Air Weapons Controller and be the guy on the ground directing the pilots, but the three months they gave me in between classes gave me the time to see that I probably wasn't a good fit with the military either.

Ara Pacis
2012-Oct-28, 12:07 AM
Errors happen, but no one is allowed to remember that. It's a lot of hurry up and wait. It's mostly boring except for occasional moments of sheer terror. Watch your diet, bowel movements want to happen when it's most inconvenient.

Trebuchet
2012-Oct-28, 12:18 AM
Clev, you need to look up a couple of BigDon's old threads!

My military experience was fairly limited, and a long time ago. A few impressions:
1. Life is easier if you just go with the flow instead of swimming upstream all the time. That's true in general, but moreso in the military. They're bigger than you and you'll likely lose the fight.
2. There were lots of idiots in the ranks above me. Lots. And quite a few sensible folks as well.
3. The idiots seemed to be concentrated in certain ranks. My theory for that was that those were the levels you could generally get to just by staying in, while moving higher required better qualifications. For the US Army, 40 years ago, those ranks were Staff Sgt (E6) and Major.
4. I had some of the worst food of my life in the Army. Almost as bad as the college dorm.
5. I still don't like green clothing.

darkhunter
2012-Oct-28, 05:32 AM
Of course, there are always exceptions, but from my experience (your results may vary):

1. You work to the mission/job/task, and not to the clock in the military.

2. There is more of an attitude of "that's not in my job description" in civilian life than in the military--GIs tend to accept that your job is whatever their chain of command says it is at the moment.

3. You tend to be able to get to know the people you work with better in the military...there's more of a sense of teamwork, especially in overseas locations.

4. In civilian life you get hung out to dry for mistakes--its everyone for themselves. In the military if you are earnestly trying to do the right thing, you know that your leadership or co-workers will have your back.

5. In the military, you are taught the standards, and have easy access to the regulations and instructions you need. Not so much in civilian life.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 06:40 AM
In the Nukes In Space thread I gave some details (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138893-Nukes-in-space-and-EMP?p=2073927#post2073927) about the nature of my Space Force-- however, I'm probably going to change some of those to reflect (or rather conceal) my lack of knowledge of specific details about the various branches of service. If I get something wrong, I'll just say "well, that's not how they do it currently, but it's Space Force SOP/regulation/tradition." (Not that it's old enough --25-30 years from now-- to have developed strong traditions, but its own ceremonies, etc.) The older senior officers will have to have started in some other branch of service and transferred to SF.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 07:35 AM
Watch your diet, bowel movements want to happen when it's most inconvenient.

With my guys mostly fighting in space suits, this particular factor needs attention. I've heard that exposure to vacuum while in an SA suit would lead to flatulence and possible loss of bowel control as a result of internal pressure. And in pressurized suits, there ain't no graceful way (http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/CoEvolutionBook/SPACE.HTML). I suspect it will be common before suiting up for a mission to have some medical assistance to clear the digestive system.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Oct-28, 12:24 PM
Grunt One: "Ouch!"
Grunt Two: "What?"
Grunt One: "The catheter's pinching again."
Grunt Two: "That's the third time in a row. You still don't regret running off with the supply sergeant's girlfriend?"
Sergeant: "Shaddap men, radio silence from now on!"

Problem solved.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 12:40 PM
:surprised: And you thought the old uniform was uncomfortable!

Solfe
2012-Oct-28, 02:45 PM
I would say cheat a lot. Decide what your average person is like and start from there. All armed forces change based on what the average person is like, because they have the same pool of people.

Star Trek had a good game plan - expert civilians overtook the military in all aspect of projecting force. I believe that the whole thing fell apart because they were not allowed to "explore Earthly things." We never saw Joe Average. We did see criminals and the hypersmart people plus the crew. The crew tended to be more "human" than anything else. They tried to fix it with MACO's in Enterprise, and those guys were awesome at showing humanity plus a military mind set. Awesome relative to other Star Trek works, anyway.

If you pick educational levels, wealth and lifestyles of Joe Average, you will see the military reflect or reject those ideals. Reflection would be Astronaut Soldiers doing the best they can with what they have, spending most of the time in service. Rejection would be the Military has all of the tech and wealth and the general population suffers for it and needs to be subjugated. Or something in between.

In various things I have come up with (games, stories, etc.), sometimes I have Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and Merchant Marines. Other times, I have none of it. That is an important choice.

I was writing a story called "Commitment to Unity" where the crew is all military on a generational ship. They have all of branches of military we do, but they pigeon hole people. They cannot have people in relationships involving wildly different ranks, even in different branches. Characters find that they are limited by their choice in spouses. They have to pick relationships or promotion, who you date or marry determines your rank. It's cruel.

Getting Joe Average right is going to count for something in your armed forces.

blueshift
2012-Oct-28, 02:49 PM
Military life will make you appreciate your civil rights you likely took for granted. All those right will be stripped from you while you are in it. The film "Full Metal Jacket" resembled basic training more than any other film I saw and "Looking for Private Ryan" resembled battle the most but, keep in mind, you know you will come out alive from watching a film. You don't know if you will come out alive from each day in the military.

I hated every minute I was in and counted the days, hours and minutes I had left in my duty from the moment I did get in.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 03:02 PM
I just got off the phone with my dad, who was a Nuke on board a Boomer* during the cold war. He painted a vivid picture of spending months deep undersea with no day or night, getting coded messages at irregular intervals and having to rush to battle stations, not knowing if this one was just another missile drill, or a response to a Soviet first strike against military bases in the same towns where the crew's families lived.

*reactor engineer on a nuclear missile sub

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 03:36 PM
I would say cheat a lot. Decide what your average person is like and start from there. All armed forces change based on what the average person is like, because they have the same pool of people.

Star Trek had a good game plan - expert civilians overtook the military in all aspect of projecting force. I believe that the whole thing fell apart because they were not allowed to "explore Earthly things." We never saw Joe Average. We did see criminals and the hypersmart people plus the crew. The crew tended to be more "human" than anything else. They tried to fix it with MACO's in Enterprise, and those guys were awesome at showing humanity plus a military mind set. Awesome relative to other Star Trek works, anyway.

If you pick educational levels, wealth and lifestyles of Joe Average, you will see the military reflect or reject those ideals. Reflection would be Astronaut Soldiers doing the best they can with what they have, spending most of the time in service. Rejection would be the Military has all of the tech and wealth and the general population suffers for it and needs to be subjugated. Or something in between.

Getting Joe Average right is going to count for something in your armed forces.

But in my story (have to come up with a title one of these days) you never see Joe Average. You see an elite fighting force or two, a bunch of spacers (who are unlikely to be average citizens), a bunch of scientists, deep-space explorers, a self-selected colony of radicals, and other atypical people. The bulk population is offscreen on Earth, cut off from the action.

Solfe
2012-Oct-28, 07:21 PM
It sounds like your military forces are largely drawn from spacers and not Earthers.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 09:10 PM
It sounds like your military forces are largely drawn from spacers and not Earthers.

They are drawn from Earth, but the selection process is stringent. The Space Force is only a decade or so old, so the majority were drawn from the best of Earthside branches of military, so they've already been double-filtered and then had extensive additional training for space. And of course once direct enlistment was allowed every space geek on Earth rushed to apply to SF or its equivalent, and the admission standards were raised, not lowered, to make sure they get the brightest. Half the Fleet personnel have Phd.s

At the moment there is only one generation of space-born and they're mostly young kids on the oldest settlements. An "old hand" in space might have maybe a dozen years' experience, but there are only a relative handful who have been out that long. We're just beginning our expansion phase, mostly it's all new.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 09:40 PM
That's the case with the U.S. Space Force, anyway. Other countries have their own methods-- some use their Navy or Air Force to operate their space military concerns, or militarize their space program.

The ones who flunk out of USSF usually study up and try again (and again), or join a civilian space corporation -- though that's even longer odds of actually getting offplanet than through the military. Those who fail for physical reasons, especially the all-important spacesickness tolerance test, mostly brood bitterly at home.

Some Earthers save up for passage to a colony. There are also planets still being studied for settlement suitability, who just have scientists in residence. There are also scientific bases on non-human-rated planets or space stations. There are repair and refueling stations, though most of those are military-run.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-28, 10:21 PM
In my desultory Google research I came across "Qual cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_Warfare_insignia#Basic_enlisted_submarin e_qualifications)", which are required for submariners to learn about the guts of the boat for purposes of damage control. This is surely something that would be used on a military deep-space craft, and that's the kind of gritty details I want to know about.

I know, for example, that there's a lot of paperwork to fill out in any military, but I don't know what kinds of things need to be reported and to whom (or officially ignored unless it becomes a problem). I would, ideally, like as much verisimilitude as possible for science fiction.

Solfe
2012-Oct-28, 11:39 PM
I had no idea that Qual Cards existed. That seems like a ready made template for space marines.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 12:33 AM
I'm going to have to try to convey the tension that every FTL Jump is essentially blind, and you never know what might be waiting for you on the other side. When preparing for a jump all ships in the convoy have to align themselves on random vectors and be ready to boost at emergency power immediately after the jump. Before the war, this is just an SOP precaution that some feel is a little paranoid-- after it starts, it's a rock-hard reality with everyone's lives on the line. Even civillian ships that fall in with the warships have to learn to follow this procedure, often with jury-rigged emergency boosters hastily bolted on to the ship's frame.

I'll also try to show the constant fear and worry about those back on Earth, with whom all contact has been cut.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 12:49 AM
The Jump points, I should mention, have a few properties relevant to storytelling and space combat; for one thing, after each use they are "disturbed" and take a day or several to settle down, depending on the stability of each point. While this makes for a quick "getaway" that can't be immediately followed, it also means you cant just pop a probe to the other side and back and see the "current"* situation, or go back if you jump into an enemy armada. Other factors are that jump points sometimes occur in arcs or clusters, allowing for a hostile force to pop out of hiding relatively close-- a few light-seconds apart on average. Another is that some points come and go depending on the orbital mechanics of a system. And finally, some are in orbit around the local planet while others have a stellar orbit and a few are practically motionless relative to local bodies (they move, but over millenia or more).

Calculating potential jump points is an almost exact science, thaks to equations given to us by our allies, and they also gave us navigational charts to many star systems. It still takes time to map out an uncharted system, though, and taking an uncharted jump point means having to calculate every new jump until you reach one that leads back to familiar territory.


*ETA: I handwaved away the temporal differentials way back when in my first thread about this story (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138448-Antigravity-FTL-and-realism).

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 04:30 AM
So since this story focusses mainly on the Space Marines (technically the United States Space Force Planetary and Extra-Vehicular Operations Division, colloquially Droptroopers or Fleet Marines) let's have a look at their activities. Extensive training in combat in varied environments is provided at Earth, LEO and the Moon. While on troop transports they focus on exercise and what training they can do on-ship to maintain fighting fitness. They also study what is known of the target site and mission. Prior to a mission they will first prepare medically with a colon cleansing. They then prepare to transfer to the dropship carrier.

The carrier is a modular vehicle in three sections-- nuclear "pusher" for longrange travel, central cargo section with large-tank chemical fuel rocket engine and a "troop tank" with minimal life support surrounded by a scaffold holding dropships, and the pilots' pod (more on that later.) The troops then suit up, run full suit checklist, open helmets, and transfer via umbilicals to the dropships.

The dropships vary by landing site-- some are aerodynamic reentry gliders for dense atmospheres, others are aeroshells with rocket-powered EDL systems inside for thin atmospheres, still others are just the EDL for airless worlds. All carry either the standard light Armored Personnel Carrier, with modular attachments appropriate for each mission, including numerous decoy vehicles, or other vehicles as appropriate for the target environment. The APC or other vehicle is equipped with a heat sink to minimize thermal signature and a low radar return profile. After entering the APC each trooper is issued weapons and ammo-- weapons are NOT loaded or armed at this time. All troops connect suit packs to onboard life support, and helmets are closed. Second suit checks are run, weapons are inspected, then all troops strap into acceleration couches.

During this time the pusher engine and crew have disengaged and moved away. The pilots recheck distance to drop orbit and enemy orbital movement. Then the main chemical engine is ignited. The carrier central section races towards the target planet at high G, dodging incoming and pausing thrust as needed. It is a rough ride. At appropriate altitude and inclination, the dropships drop. Then another rough ride occurs.

The dropship decoys deploy both before and after the actual manned vehicles. They land across a defined area out of enemy line-of-sight. False signals are sent, flares and chaff are released during drop, jamming devices are employed, and enemy ground facilities are fired upon from orbit as distraction. At this point the carrier central section-- tankage and scaffolds, and a burned-out single use rocket-- is considered expendable. The pilot section now functions as an escape vehicle, fleeing under high acceleration using staged chemical rockets while dodging "randomly" (actually a pre-calculated course meant to appear random).

The grounded APCs are mostly decoy units as well, some driving in varied patterns, or releasing man-shaped inflatable balloons with internal heaters, pulled on lanyards by simple wind-up vehicles. The main assault teams drive as close as feasible, arm/load weapons, disembark the APCs, and attempt to infiltrate enemy territory and join up, while other units set up missiles, mortars and recoilless rifles on timers aimed at enemy territory (usually grounded Triped ships) and who then retreat towards the designated pickup point.

If the mission is successful, a high-value objective is now in USSF possession, and ideally the area is secured, allowing free access to landing vehicles. If the mission objective cannot be achieved, or if enemy antiaircraft/antispacecraft fire is not disabled, the assault teams attempt to exfiltrate and return to their APCs or to any other active vehicles in the area and reach the pickup point. Pickup is then achieved-- we hope. The pickup is not considered complete until the troops are back aboard the troop transport, a wait which may take several days depending on orbital mechanics and tactical situation.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 05:22 AM
Note that if the objective is simply to destroy an enemy base or ship, we do not send down troops, we sit up high and blast away from orbit.

Solfe
2012-Oct-29, 10:08 AM
The Jump points, I should mention, have a few properties relevant to storytelling and space combat; for one thing, after each use they are "disturbed" and take a day or several to settle down, depending on the stability of each point. While this makes for a quick "getaway" that can't be immediately followed, it also means you cant just pop a probe to the other side and back and see the "current"* situation, or go back if you jump into an enemy armada.

"Disturbed jump point", that is a great visual. I can picture a ship running for a Jump point only to have another ship appear in an ominous glow at the Jump point, cutting off escape... or riding to the rescue.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 10:35 AM
"Disturbed jump point", that is a great visual. I can picture a ship running for a Jump point only to have another ship appear in an ominous glow at the Jump point, cutting off escape... or riding to the rescue.

Heh heh heh. :evil:

The other factor I should mention is that when a jump occurs, everything that's inside the jump point is transferred. Timing can be crucial, or you might take your problems with you...

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 10:53 AM
I think it might be even more interesting if it's an exchange rather than a one-way transference. Whatever's in the "departure" jump point ends up in the "arrival" point, and vice versa. That's one way to find out if they've mined the point. Also, it's more of a distortion of ambient starlight than an ominous glow.

But I started this thread to get information, not give it! Come on, someone make with the fascinating true stories of life in uniform... Please?

Solfe
2012-Oct-29, 12:06 PM
I just thought of something for your Jump Points. You should make them like one way mirrors: Sometimes, when the light is just right, you can see shadowy forms behind the surface. Creep factor plus paranoia.

Now back to the OP. A friend of my was in the Army and he told me a series of stories that have interesting overtones.

First, he and his battle buddy were learning to use an M-16. His buddy picks up the rifle and tries to shoot it "side style" like people do with pistols in the movies. It flew back and smashed up his lip and teeth. There was no end to the yelling about that, but the order was interesting. First, safety. He could have killed someone. Second, he hurt himself; he could have been forced to retake basic if it had been serious. Third, dumb thing to do. It actually took awhile to get to "Don't do stupid stuff." As in days.

Second, my friend was allowed to lead the formation to the mess hall. He got lost, but never asked for help and ran the formation all over the base. My friend was sweating bullets, but the only thing that was said was they were now short on time to eat. They did not shout... but they reminded him repeatedly. It sounds like a stern warning to ask for help when needed.

Third. My friend was in his late 20's when he signed up; he was consistently older than most recruits. On a field exercise, he hefted a "BAR" (a machine gun, I think.) and was of the opinion that he didn't want to carry it all day. Not he couldn't carry it, but simply he didn't feel like it. A younger guy asked for the BAR and spent the day lugging this gun around with my friend tagging along as a loader. The younger guy was moving at warp speed every place he went, which was not a good plan in the heat. My friend found he had a completely different duty: Slow this guy down and make sure he was hydrated and rested which meant he was on the move more than the BAR operator and carrying extra water. Apparently someone saw him consider, then turn over the BAR to the younger guy and decided to send the "Don't stick it to your friends with junk you want, but don't want to carry" message.

swampyankee
2012-Oct-29, 12:09 PM
Well, my father had some humorous stories about his service in WW2 (pushing his boat's XO overboard, having the fermenting raisin jack explode, filtering the purgatives out of the alcohol fuel for torpedoes) and some less than humorous ones (an Australian soldier shooting a single Japanese soldier who seemed to be surrendering but wore an explosive vest -- he was a suicide bomber -- , some deeply scary US Army and Philippine Scout jungle fighters). Depending on how rapidly your military had to expand (the USN

I suspect that peacetime military service is radically different from wartime service, and wartime service against a more powerful enemy is different from that against a weaker one. The humans don't seem to be winning in your story, so you may get a better feel of the fighters' psychology by reading memoirs of service in places like Chosin (Korean War), and France (1940) than the First Gulf War or Grenada. I'm also sure that there are also memoirs of partisans that would be a good source.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 12:12 PM
BAR: Browning Automatic Rifle

Solfe
2012-Oct-29, 12:30 PM
BAR: Browning Automatic Rifle

Yeah, that is the other thing. I am familiar with the Browning Automatic Rifle, but from his description of the gun and the time period (Late 90's), it was not a Browning Automatic Rifle. It did the job of a BAR, so that is what he called it. I am not sure what it really was. This happened a lot, he would name older equipment, but it always seemed to me that he had something slightly different, better or newer. I found it strange.

Another odd story. A mutual friend of ours was extremely sick right around the time my friend would be graduating from basic. This mutual friend almost died in surgery. Thankfully, he pulled through. But the Army told my friend to be ready for a quick trip home. That struck me as an extremely nice thing to do for someone in basic training and pretty much the opposite of what you see in movies.

And another. My friend didn't bother to bring much to basic, he knew that anything extra he wanted would be taken away. He heard another guy had tried to forward his subscriptions for a newspaper and magazines to the base. That didn't work out as he planned it.

darkhunter
2012-Oct-29, 12:43 PM
Yeah, that is the other thing. I am familiar with the Browning Automatic Rifle, but from his description of the gun and the time period (Late 90's), it was not a Browning Automatic Rifle. It did the job of a BAR, so that is what he called it. I am not sure what it really was. This happened a lot, he would name older equipment, but it always seemed to me that he had something slightly different, better or newer. I found it strange.

...

This is relatively common in the military...we "grew up" calling a computer system, weapon system, or tool one thing, then when the new one comes out with a new name, most of us older guys would just keep running with the old name out of force of habit. Haven't been in the civilian world long enough to know if its the same here.

I know this ones out of left field, but try some of Rudyard Kipling's poetry, such as Tommy (http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2722/) for inspiration on the military mindset.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 01:41 PM
I know this ones out of left field, but try some of Rudyard Kipling's poetry, such as Tommy (http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2722/) for inspiration on the military mindset.

I recall a paraphrase of Tommy from some military sci-fi I've read; apparently Kipling is popular in certain circles, but I'm not so crazy about his Imperial-era mindset. I think it's a century or so outdated, and I'm not trying to be like Ringo or Pournelle who like to recreate the past and then set it on another planet into it to make it "the future". I'm trying to extrapolate from a modern military outlook.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 02:02 PM
Just to clarify, I know I said at one point that the fleet was being sent against a "rebel colony", but that is misleading; Colony is meant in the sense of an outgrowth, not a political possession, and the only reason the "rebels" were even acknowledged as a problem in the first place was that they attacked a United Nations spaceport and were thus classed as terrorists. Otherwise no one on Earth would have cared what they did among themselves. If they had "declared independence" peacefully no military intervention would be necessary. The USSF fleet was to be part of a U.N. joint peacekeeping task force (actually a follow-up to reinforce the original task force, already on-planet). So the parallels to an Empire are really superficial.

blueshift
2012-Oct-29, 03:48 PM
There was a lot of truth to what George Carlin described about suppressed laughter and how hilarious things can seem. A friend of mine was with his platoon and was bent over a man-made latrine when the Viet Cong put one bullet on the edge of one cheek of his ***. Both the Viet Cong and his platoon broke into laughter.

Trebuchet
2012-Oct-29, 04:11 PM
Yeah, that is the other thing. I am familiar with the Browning Automatic Rifle, but from his description of the gun and the time period (Late 90's), it was not a Browning Automatic Rifle. It did the job of a BAR, so that is what he called it. I am not sure what it really was. This happened a lot, he would name older equipment, but it always seemed to me that he had something slightly different, better or newer. I found it strange.

Probably one of these (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M249_light_machine_gun). Nowadays also known as a SAW, for Squad Automatic Weapon.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-29, 04:13 PM
There was a lot of truth to what George Carlin described about suppressed laughter and how hilarious things can seem. A friend of mine was with his platoon and was bent over a man-made latrine when the Viet Cong put one bullet on the edge of one cheek of his ***. Both the Viet Cong and his platoon broke into laughter.

He was the butt of the joke? (Sorry, I couldn't resist making a crack.)

starcanuck64
2012-Oct-29, 06:20 PM
In my desultory Google research I came across "Qual cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_Warfare_insignia#Basic_enlisted_submarin e_qualifications)", which are required for submariners to learn about the guts of the boat for purposes of damage control. This is surely something that would be used on a military deep-space craft, and that's the kind of gritty details I want to know about.

I know, for example, that there's a lot of paperwork to fill out in any military, but I don't know what kinds of things need to be reported and to whom (or officially ignored unless it becomes a problem). I would, ideally, like as much verisimilitude as possible for science fiction.

From my limited knowledge of the US Navy, being on a submarine means almost constant study to upgrade your qualification, I think Heinlein touched on this a bit in Starship Troopers so that might be something to include. Also in the US military in general, especially for officers, the rule is(or used to be) up or out meaning constant advancement or eventual discharge.

Your dad could tell you a lot more, but as he was in one of the most security critical parts of the military, there's probably a lot more he can't tell you than he can.

W.E.B. Griffin has written a lot of series on the military, IMO the best being "Brotherhood of War". You might try it out to get a better idea of the culture of the recent US military.

Ara Pacis
2012-Oct-29, 11:02 PM
They are drawn from Earth, but the selection process is stringent. The Space Force is only a decade or so old, so the majority were drawn from the best of Earthside branches of military, so they've already been double-filtered and then had extensive additional training for space. And of course once direct enlistment was allowed every space geek on Earth rushed to apply to SF or its equivalent, and the admission standards were raised, not lowered, to make sure they get the brightest. Half the Fleet personnel have Phd.s

At the moment there is only one generation of space-born and they're mostly young kids on the oldest settlements. An "old hand" in space might have maybe a dozen years' experience, but there are only a relative handful who have been out that long. We're just beginning our expansion phase, mostly it's all new.

Do you know how long it takes to get a PhD.? There's a reason that grunts are young.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 02:51 AM
Do you know how long it takes to get a PhD.? There's a reason that grunts are young.


The grunts are not among that half.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 03:04 AM
I should have been more specific: they don't all enter service with PhD's; though many do, they often earn them during the long voyages (shorter now thanks to propulsion advances than when the SF was formed). But many earn them more quickly than average-- as I said, they recruit the brightest. They can afford to, the demand to get into SF is massive, and the Space Force is not huge compared to other services.

The Droptroopers are only a small specialized part of SF. For situations that call for large numbers on the ground or a garrison, specially trained units of Marines and Army personnel are transported from Earth.

Ara Pacis
2012-Oct-30, 04:35 AM
I should have been more specific: they don't all enter service with PhD's; though many do, they often earn them during the long voyages (shorter now thanks to propulsion advances than when the SF was formed). But many earn them more quickly than average-- as I said, they recruit the brightest. They can afford to, the demand to get into SF is massive, and the Space Force is not huge compared to other services.

The Droptroopers are only a small specialized part of SF. For situations that call for large numbers on the ground or a garrison, specially trained units of Marines and Army personnel are transported from Earth.

Still, aren't most people in their 30s when they get a doctorate in an applicable field (e.g. not a JD)? Are you referring to correspondence courses or civilian levels of input or are you making up some sort of military degree program?

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 05:16 AM
Still, aren't most people in their 30s when they get a doctorate in an applicable field (e.g. not a JD)? Are you referring to correspondence courses or civilian levels of input or are you making up some sort of military degree program?

It varies. Some schools have made special arrangements for SF personnel or even have programs take place aboard ships (Professors want to get into space too!) with students typically delivering their masters thesis on Earth. And yes, the average SF recruit candidate is older than in other branches, but a wide range of ages are considered as long as they can pass the physical requirements though SF tends to give preference to early achievers. The Space Force Academy is also the only U.S. military academy to offer PhD level education, but this is an accelerated program and somewhat disdained by "real" PhD's from traditional academia.

And I did exaggerate slightly, it's only 43%* of the Fleet that has PhDs. Most of the rest have doctorates of some type, especially D.Eng.

Fleet Marines are typically younger, but mostly lateral transfers from other branches and with prior combat experience. Training for direct recruits to this branch of SF requires several years of training.

There is usually a certain amount of smugness associated with being in the Space Force, an attitude that lasts right up until the war starts.


*on further consideration, you're right, I may tweak that number down, maybe cut it in half. The rest of the information I'll leave as it stands. Most SF ships are "flying Universities" until things go south.

Solfe
2012-Oct-30, 04:54 PM
In the US 87% of the US population graduates from high school, 3% have PhD's. Associates and bachelor's are around 40%.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 05:02 PM
In the US 87% of the US population graduates from high school, 3% have PhD's. Associates and bachelor's are around 40%.

Right, so the Space Force is not Joe Average by any means. They're very selective.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 05:33 PM
SF had an unusual origin as a rapidly kluged-together ad hoc force. Those researchers who had unravelled the Eddie tech first basically got together and blackmailed the U.S. government into setting up the Space Force to their own design; to avoid becoming a bloated beaurocracy composed of anyone vaguely government-related who had any leverage at all, SF is unique in that almost all of its active personnel are actually in space. Only a small fraction of SF serve on Earth, and they only take on new recruits as they have positions on ships or stations available for them. The vast majority of Earthside activities to support them, from accounting to supply, are carried out by carefully-vetted civilian contractors.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 10:11 PM
So the majority of Space Force is made up of space-obsessed science geeks. Gee, where can I find a bunch of people like that to model my characters after? ;)

Solfe
2012-Oct-30, 10:27 PM
So the majority of Space Force is made up of space-obsessed science geeks. Gee, where can I find a bunch of people like that to model my characters after? ;)

I had two teachers who were double Ph.D's. One of them stated numerous times she wanted to back again, before she retires. One was chemistry/English, the other was Spanish/education. Another friend of mine has 4 four year degrees and is currently back in school for another. So far she has Theology, English Lit, Library Science, and Bio-informatics(?). I ask her why she doesn't just bite the bullet and get the Ph.D and she chuckles at the question.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-30, 10:41 PM
I had two teachers who were double Ph.D's. One of them stated numerous times she wanted to back again, before she retires. One was chemistry/English, the other was Spanish/education. Another friend of mine has 4 four year degrees and is currently back in school for another. So far she has Theology, English Lit, Library Science, and Bio-informatics(?). I ask her why she doesn't just bite the bullet and get the Ph.D and she chuckles at the question.

It would make things interesting to have a military force of people like that. Me, I had to Google bioinformatics just to know what it meant!

I may be biting off more than I can write with overly specific descriptions, it's hard to make believable super-genius characters when the author is not a super-genius, you end up with an informed ability (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InformedAbility). Perhaps I'll just vague it up a bit. "SF has lots of smart people"... Yep, that's about my level.

Noclevername
2012-Oct-31, 06:19 PM
I may be biting off more than I can write with overly specific descriptions, it's hard to make believable super-genius characters when the author is not a super-genius, you end up with an informed ability (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/InformedAbility). Perhaps I'll just vague it up a bit. "SF has lots of smart people"... Yep, that's about my level.

I was tired when I wrote this, I've had some time to mull it over. Since the story is told from the POV of a smart but non-genius grunt, I now think that his lack of understanding can be made part of the narrative.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 01:44 AM
SEX

Now that I have your attention...

I want some of my main characters to have some realistic level of romantic interaction, but I'm unsure just how much of this is tolerated. Obviously on mixed-gender craft that are away from home for long periods, something will (and does, IRL) happen. But although I'm aware that the military is traditionally somewhat puritanical about this, I don't know what the specific regs are and how often TPTB turn a blind eye towards hanky-panky. I'm creating my own armed force, so I can create new rules, but those will be based on existing traditions.

Any suggestions?

Solfe
2012-Nov-01, 02:13 AM
How bad do you want people hanging out in your bedroom? Unless there is some serious plot point to be addressed, let it happen behind closed doors. Nothing wrong with leaving something to the imagination.

Edit - I say this not as a prude, but as the teenager who got his hands on every Harlan Ellison book in existence. He handled the topic by pushing into the average persons discomfort zone and inserting 500 gigaton bomb. This was not the intended effect, but the set up for a step by step autopsy of the situation.

Edit 2 - If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Ellison, and choose to look into it and it breaks your brain, its all on you. You have been warned.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 02:23 AM
Oh, I wasn't planning on getting graphic. But I was planning on saying that yes, these people are in a sexual relationship. And I'm uncertain as to what the in-story consequences would be-- would the relationship have to be kept secret on a spaceship, where secrets are very difficult to keep secret? Would it be allowed or "not noticed", and if the latter to what degree? Who could get in trouble for it and why?

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 02:30 AM
Unless there is some serious plot point to be addressed,

There is. A character has suffered combat injuries, and his ability to have sex is part of his recovery.

Solfe
2012-Nov-01, 03:49 AM
Oh, I wasn't planning on getting graphic. But I was planning on saying that yes, these people are in a sexual relationship. And I'm uncertain as to what the in-story consequences would be-- would the relationship have to be kept secret on a spaceship, where secrets are very difficult to keep secret? Would it be allowed or "not noticed", and if the latter to what degree? Who could get in trouble for it and why?

In general, commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted troops should all be grouped together and not mixed by relationships. Civilians who don't report to your military command should be safe dates. You may have an issue where your soldiers are on multi-year missions and confined to just the unit itself. Something has to give in those cases. Also, being on duty changes what you can and can't do. Since this is the future, you can break some rules that current code of conduct.

Just keep in mind, no one like nepotism. Military types no longer like to have whole families in the same unit. There is a code of conduct that actual covers everything in a lot of detail; it ranges from family members, to spouses, behavior between officers and non-officers, etc.

Miles O'Brien in Star Trek had all kinds of issues with regulations. They converted him from a one line character to a full cast member and messed up his rank along the way. At some point he was an officer and then he wasn't. There were hints that this was either a choice or a behavior issue. It did give him a chance to interact closely with officers AND enlisted people off duty. What actually happened is likely a mistake in lines or dressing, but it made him an interesting character.

Speaking of dress - back to one of my friends who was in the Reserves. He abused the uniform rules to the letter, to good effect. He operated a crane and due to the cab restrictions, had a pistol, no head gear and sun glasses as his standard uniform. Due to this uniform, an officer clapped him on the back and said some encouraging words. When my friend turned, the officer noticed he was a private, he backed off... as in tried to disappear. They really dislike contact that could be misconstrued.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 04:00 AM
At one point I had planned on making the relationship between an officer and enlisted man, just to add more conflict, but it complicated things too much. So I equalized their ranks.

On a completely unrelated note, I forgot to say welcome to the Order of Kilopi, Solfe!

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 05:15 AM
Noclevername... you might like to listen to this guys' stories...
http://www.youtube.com/user/V00D00SIXXX/videos?view=0

Go through his video selection and look for "army stories" he has also has a few that aren't marked like that that have to do with his name and "the lucky chicken bone"

It's not a direct "this is how this operates" but you get a little of that as you listen to them. It's more funny or interesting stories that have happened to him while in the military.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 05:29 AM
Thanks, I'll give a look!

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 06:13 AM
i didn't read before... now i read to a point where i think i got a broad understanding of what you'e trying to do...

#1) Putting the bar higher isn't exactly what is or will or would happen. The fact is that we are becoming more and more specialized and the more that happens the more other areas suffer so someone who is really good at something generally isn't going to be good at everything or even something else. Considering you want the best of the best then you are going to look at specialization and thus lower general IQ in a number of areas. Further more Higher IQ generally leads to not being able to deal with authority the way that is most effective... ie actually listening to what the bozo in charge is saying and following through immediately without question.

Another thing to note... PhDs aren't usually "workers" they're teachers or theoriticians or whatever you want to call them. While it is nice to have a few of them on board the numbers you are suggesting would never happen nor would any military force ever allow it to happen because it would make for an ineffective force.

2) Extra long lengths of time away from civililian life would make it almost requirement that family and/or fraternization would be allowable. And considering that a chunk of your crew would be civilians no matter how you cut it you'd definitely have fraternization. More likely there would be a chain of commage CO fraternization rule where there can be relationships between soldiers and civilians, similar rank,s and even higher ranks, as long as there is no conflict of interest. For example if you have 2 squads and the CO of squad 2 was in a relationship with someone in squad 1 that would be acceptable but not if the Squad 2 CO was with a Squad 2 soldier under their authority.

3) It may be the case that in the future we might require or disallow people from doing jobs or getting ranks based on body modifications, such as a brain chip might make it so that person couldn't get higher than x officer rank because of the danger of their brain being hacked or someone without eye modifications can't be a pilot due to how a space fighter needs to be crafted.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 06:40 AM
i didn't read before... now i read to a point where i think i got a broad understanding of what you'e trying to do...

#1) Putting the bar higher isn't exactly what is or will or would happen. The fact is that we are becoming more and more specialized and the more that happens the more other areas suffer so someone who is really good at something generally isn't going to be good at everything or even something else. Considering you want the best of the best then you are going to look at specialization and thus lower general IQ in a number of areas. Further more Higher IQ generally leads to not being able to deal with authority the way that is most effective... ie actually listening to what the bozo in charge is saying and following through immediately without question.

Another thing to note... PhDs aren't usually "workers" they're teachers or theoriticians or whatever you want to call them. While it is nice to have a few of them on board the numbers you are suggesting would never happen nor would any military force ever allow it to happen because it would make for an ineffective force.


Yes, that's the challenge. Up until now, they've been militarized scientists, enjoying a tour of the Galaxy. They have to learn how to be soldiers.



2) Extra long lengths of time away from civililian life would make it almost requirement that family and/or fraternization would be allowable.
Really? Tell that to the armed forces, they have a totally different opinion.



And considering that a chunk of your crew would be civilians no matter how you cut it you'd definitely have fraternization. More likely there would be a chain of commage CO fraternization rule where there can be relationships between soldiers and civilians, similar rank,s and even higher ranks, as long as there is no conflict of interest. For example if you have 2 squads and the CO of squad 2 was in a relationship with someone in squad 1 that would be acceptable but not if the Squad 2 CO was with a Squad 2 soldier under their authority.

The current rules, as I understand it, are that soldiers can't have sex with soldiers unless married; usually broken more often than they are obeyed.


3) It may be the case that in the future we might require or disallow people from doing jobs or getting ranks based on body modifications, such as a brain chip might make it so that person couldn't get higher than x officer rank because of the danger of their brain being hacked or someone without eye modifications can't be a pilot due to how a space fighter needs to be crafted.
It's not that far in the future.

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 07:27 AM
1) It wouldn't ever be a challenge for a military. If you have a PhD you likely don't have high military rank and the inverse is true. It's actually somewhat insulting that you're thinking this way as it is devaluing military training and such. To get into the positions you'd have to get into to be in a number of these military positions and to have a PhD it you'd likely be pretty old. considering it takes 10+ years for PhDs and add another 4 yearsish for basic training and officer training and all that... then you have to raise in the ranks several times each of which generally have 2-5 years of service you must serve before you attain such a rank.

The lowest grade Officer in your military organization, provided they were perfect would have to be something like 32 years old.

What you would be looking at is different "bars" for different areas at this point in development and or a merged training program such as it is now where you can skip a bit of training and such if you have a college degree and you can get a degree in a field while working through a military school, but you should note that things would be in flux at this early in setting up such a program unlike what we have with standard military which is well established. I would look at how colleges for the game industry are developing and how Nasa has searched for recruits.

Generally speaking though It is not only not needed for military stuff to have PhDs and such but as pointed out it can be highly problematic, and the military is based around the structure it is because the duties a person has aren't all that difficult, but they need to be good at it. Think of it like this... The interface for military weapons might become a lot of like FPSs (first person shooter games) very rapidly in the next few years. Does my knowledge of the stats of each weapon and how the game is programmed and such give me an edge? Maybe of someone equally skilled, but how much so? Not much. A child who knows nothing of any of the things about the game might easily be able to defeat me simply because they have a talent/skill that allows them to out perform me. It doesn't matter how smart or how intelligent I am. The military no doubt recognizes and as such they would never in a million years puts some sort of insane PhD requirement on it that wouldn't make any sense what so ever... But that's just skill/talent... let's assume that I do have a PhD and I am superior to that kid at those skills should I be put in the position. No. Having a PhD or what not indicates a level of thinking that those who have it are more likely to pause, think, question, etc. That's not their job. Their job in general is to be good at firing a gun and to accept the orders of a superior officer.

Yes, the gunner should have some level of basic moral thinking, but overall a gunner isn't someone you want ot be highly educated, just like a lot of positions in the military. And that's not even considering costs. If the Military was suddenly flooded with highly intelligent people with post graduate degrees they would not likely be having them do grunt work and such and since most work everywhere is grunt work they'd not be sending them as the main compliment of a military ship. Maybe a science vessel, but not a military vessel.

I would suggest you look up on the star trek wiki Alpha something... about how they handle their military/civilian training also.

2) Military of today isn't the same thing as it would be in your story. I'm assuming space travel with relatively long travel period. This means that there isn't a "break" which there is supposed to be. You are only supposed to be deployed or what not for like 2 or 3 years and military contracts last only 5 years or so and if you are a career Military man you are allowed to have your family with you on bases and such.

So if your space flight takes more than say 3 years and there is no way to change over crew more than likely they'd have families on board if requested

Also again, this is brought up in Star Trek ^.^

3) 20-30 years is more than enough time for these types of things to become prevalent. 5 years ago cell phones were still relatively rare, 10 years ago they were still relatively big, 15 super expensive 20 super expensive and gigantic... today we are working on several technologies that are in the Super expensive gigantic stage and really just requires some break through or manufacturing in mass quantities and they'd become pretty common place. I'd say within 30 years it wouldn't be unreasonable that the military is discriminating based on various genetic markers and implanted modifications or willingness to get them or remove them. Especially the military which is generally 5 to 10 years ahead at minimum.

Also with the stress of space if tech can be displaced somehow, for example an implanted chip in place of a communicator or pixel lens implants in place of monitors I'd imagine that they'd go that route pretty quickly rather than having to bring tons of little gadgets with them to make sure they have them and in case the lose them... and also so they are kept out of foreign hands.

On that note i thinking about 3D printers are another technology you might want to look at as one of those would be very valuable to have around in space and likely by that time we'll have them as pretty common.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 07:47 AM
If I wanted to make Star Trek, I'd make Star Trek. As I said, SF was formed differently than other military organizations and one of those differences is how it is populated. I already said that the ones who shoot guns are not the ones with doctorates.

Regarding long voyages, the Navy has those now, and yet it still operates under the same standards as all other branches.

As for predicting future tech, the things you expect are usually not the things you get, or I'd have a jet-pack by now.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 08:27 AM
The lowest grade Officer in your military organization, provided they were perfect would have to be something like 32 years old.

I never said what rank any of them were. I never said all the SF were Ph.Ds or doctors, only that many of them are. The youngest officer in the Space Force is 19. The youngest person with a Dotorate is 17 (the youngest you can legally join the military)

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 08:37 AM
If I wanted to make Star Trek, I'd make Star Trek. As I said, SF was formed differently than other military organizations and one of those differences is how it is populated. I already said that the ones who shoot guns are not the ones with doctorates.


You seem to think I'm saying just go off star trek. What I'm saying is you should do is go look at the way they are set up and see the possible reasoning behind them.

You're also mistaking that I'm just saying "the ones who shoot guns" I'm not. I'm saying just about everyone is at that level because the majority of people are not officers and don't need to be. Officers also aren't those because they don't need to be. They may have a bachelors or a masters, but they aren't going to come anywhere near PhD, because if they did they'd be doing something more useful in general. Officers are more or less paper pushers and commanders. And for every Officer of decent rank there is almost always 5-10 non-officers, one of which is responsible for working with the officer specifically.

I think there might also be a disconnect with the fact that we're used to, in media, seeing only officers...and Officers taking the roles that enlisted soldiers would be in. Enlisted soldiers get basic training and then they work their way up and are more or less, exactly what they say they are, soldiers...where on the other hand Officers are those who take an academic path and generally end up in command positions or desk positions.

Again if you look at Star Trek: ToS, if most of those positions that are presented were more accurately shown, most of the cast would be enlisted, but on the show they are officers. It's slightly different in the later series because many of the main cast is heads of positions and in that situation thy may be officers, but there is still a big chance they'd be enlisted more than likely.



Regarding long voyages, the Navy has those now, and yet it still operates under the same standards as all other branches.


No.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100206125336AAgAXGk
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_are_you_deployed_in_the_Navy

both links state much shorter times than I stated.




As for predicting future tech, the things you expect are usually not the things you get, or I'd have a jet-pack by now.

First off, that's wrong. There is a difference between extrapolating technology from what we currently have, are working on, and/or have working but isn't mass produced, and fantastically believing that some piece of impractical technology will somehow be invented, revolutionized, or made better to make it practical and common place. Everything that I talked about is not only in stages of currently working right this moment, but there is no reason to suspect that they won't be continued to be worked on and become standard within the next 10 years, let alone 20 or 30...much less so that suddenly having fleets of spaceships

Secondly,
...
... ...
Really? I'm talking about tech that is more less able to be done now and implementing into a military in the near future in a Sci-fi universe where space ships have become a reality and you're bring up that? You're asking people about things that could be used in sci-fi and then denying modern technology being in used in a particular way that they are being developed for because? Because? I don't know. It makes no sense that'd you'd say something like that when we're talking about fiction and fantasy and especially in a world where we've clearly somehow advanced our tech beyond what we could possibly do in the given rate if you look at the development of tech.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-01, 08:38 AM
It varies. Some schools have made special arrangements for SF personnel or even have programs take place aboard ships (Professors want to get into space too!) with students typically delivering their masters thesis on Earth. And yes, the average SF recruit candidate is older than in other branches, but a wide range of ages are considered as long as they can pass the physical requirements though SF tends to give preference to early achievers. The Space Force Academy is also the only U.S. military academy to offer PhD level education, but this is an accelerated program and somewhat disdained by "real" PhD's from traditional academia.

And I did exaggerate slightly, it's only 43%* of the Fleet that has PhDs. Most of the rest have doctorates of some type, especially D.Eng.

Fleet Marines are typically younger, but mostly lateral transfers from other branches and with prior combat experience. Training for direct recruits to this branch of SF requires several years of training.

There is usually a certain amount of smugness associated with being in the Space Force, an attitude that lasts right up until the war starts.


*on further consideration, you're right, I may tweak that number down, maybe cut it in half. The rest of the information I'll leave as it stands. Most SF ships are "flying Universities" until things go south.

So, what did Space Force do before the war started. Was it already militarized? Why? Are your Phd's going into battle because they're stuck in a bad situation and it's fight or die, or is it some sort of requirement that most of us think is odd? I can see specialties for certain officers that run ships, but not for gropos. You may want to look into the idea of Warrant Officers, who seem to fit your description of highly specialized civilians turned military.

Another note: Combat Arms shouldn't be an afterthought tacked onto a PhD or some other intellectual requirement. Just like academics, sciences and engineering all have specialties, so is a combat fighter a specialist, and they have specialties amongst themselves as well. A lot of people in the military get jobs that are not considered a Combat Arm, like MP or motor pool or mechanic. The Combat Arms are the specialties that take the fight to the enemy and are on the front lines, such as infantry, armor, artillery, combat aircraft pilot. Depending on who you talk to, the non Combat Arms specialties may not be expected to fight, except possibly on defense, with the exception of the US Marines where everyone is supposedly a rifleman first. That claim is backed up with an advanced combat training for everyone, which the other US services don't require.

A proper military, even in space, would recognize that warfighting can be as complicated a specialty as that pursued by other, more intellectual disciplines. After all, warriors need to be in peak physical condition which takes dedication that others might spend on reading books and attending lectures. If you need smarties, let some of them be career officers and the rest can be Warrants. Or you can write fiction.

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 08:41 AM
I never said what rank any of them were. I never said all the SF were Ph.Ds or doctors, only that many of them are. The youngest officer in the Space Force is 19. The youngest person with a Dotorate is 17 (the youngest you can legally join the military)

Not if you want to be somewhat realistic.

perhaps we can't communicate further on this because I have the misunderstanding that you're trying to be realistic in your sci-fi universe where as with your last 2 post you seem to not be interested in how things would realistically develop and are pretty much just asking this question about a space military to feel that you did research even though anyone who has done research wouldn't believe so.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 08:42 AM
No.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100206125336AAgAXGk
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_are_you_deployed_in_the_Navy

both links state much shorter times than I stated.


But not as long as I said, because I didn't say how long the usual SF deployment was-- you made up your own numbers.

I'm not addressing the rest of your comments as they did not change my mind in any fashion. Again, I never addressed the issue of rank vs. title, so why you are assuming I said that everyone is an officer is an open question.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 08:47 AM
Not if you want to be somewhat realistic.

perhaps we can't communicate further on this because I have the misunderstanding that you're trying to be realistic in your sci-fi universe where as with your last 2 post you seem to not be interested in how things would realistically develop and are pretty much just asking this question about a space military to feel that you did research even though anyone who has done research wouldn't believe so.

There's no call to be insulting. I disagree with your conclusions, that's all. The 17 year old got a waiver to join as enlisted-- a special case.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 08:54 AM
I can see specialties for certain officers that run ships, but not for gropos. You may want to look into the idea of Warrant Officers, who seem to fit your description of highly specialized civilians turned military.


As I've repeated several times, the ground fighters ARE a specialized segment of the Space Force. They are, as I have already pointed out, NOT generally Ph.D's or doctors.

As I have yet to address the issue of rank, why do you assume I was not planning to make use of Warrant Officers?

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 08:54 AM
But not as long as I said, because I didn't say how long the usual SF deployment was-- you made up your own numbers.

I'm not addressing the rest of your comments as they did not change my mind in any fashion. Again, I never addressed the issue of rank vs. title, so why you are assuming I said that everyone is an officer is an open question.

What are you talking about title vs rank. Do you mean position? Simply you wrong on that front. An officer does x and an enlisted soldier does z. There is some overlap but not really. They are 2 different things. And we're extrapolating from how the system currently runs which wouldn't be significantly different for a new branch of the military. So could a 18 year old captain or major exist? No it is virtually impossible in any system that we'd come up with. There is really only one way that it could conceivably happen and it's not very likely because if it did well you got a lot more to worry about. Would a Lieutenant ever be a pilot or a navigator? No. It just doesn't work that way in the real military.


As to deployment. No you didn't say. You said longer. My point is that with longer deployments families would be allowable. Especially in terms of some space ships. Some space ships would not be considered "deployment" but "stationed" and when "stationed" you can have family on base at higher ranks.

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 09:01 AM
There's no call to be insulting. I disagree with your conclusions, that's all. The 17 year old got a waiver to join as enlisted-- a special case.

I'm not insulting you. I'm telling you that what you are saying wouldn't happen and I am telling you the impression that I am getting from you which is that you're not actually interested in any of this being accurate because you keep on saying things that just wouldn't happen.

More over, it's more insulting to me and everyone who has bothered to reply because it becomes a waste of their time when you do what I get angry about people telling me to do when I ask these types of questions which is "make it up" instead of trying to make it realistic. If you are just going to make it up, just do that and don't ask. If you really want it to be more realistic, don't waive people away when they tell you something you are thinking would ever work that way.

Btw, I should mention that I am telling you what I found while doing research and asking about this subject. I've also never been in the military, but I can sure tell you that you are a long way off from being any where near realistic.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 09:09 AM
So could a 18 year old captain or major exist? No it is virtually impossible in any system that we'd come up with.

Would a Lieutenant ever be a pilot or a navigator? No. It just doesn't work that way in the real military.

What are you talking about? Now you're just making up your own story, and it has nothing to do with mine.


As to deployment. No you didn't say. You said longer. My point is that with longer deployments families would be allowable. Especially in terms of some space ships. Some space ships would not be considered "deployment" but "stationed" and when "stationed" you can have family on base at higher ranks.

There are no families on SF ships. Fleet members visit their families whenever the ships return to Earth.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 09:12 AM
I'm not insulting you. I'm telling you that what you are saying wouldn't happen and I am telling you the impression that I am getting from you which is that you're not actually interested in any of this being accurate because you keep on saying things that just wouldn't happen.

More over, it's more insulting to me and everyone who has bothered to reply because it becomes a waste of their time when you do what I get angry about people telling me to do when I ask these types of questions which is "make it up" instead of trying to make it realistic. If you are just going to make it up, just do that and don't ask. If you really want it to be more realistic, don't waive people away when they tell you something you are thinking would ever work that way.

Btw, I should mention that I am telling you what I found while doing research and asking about this subject. I've also never been in the military, but I can sure tell you that you are a long way off from being any where near realistic.

My research and yours have differences, then. I am going to bed, I'll try again in the morning to get answers.

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 09:26 AM
What are you talking about? Now you're just making up your own story, and it has nothing to do with mine.


I'm pointing out that if you give me a rank I can tell you that person would never be in x position. That is the only thing I can assume you are talking about with the rank vs title thing. If you mean something else tell me so I can clarify.




There are no families on SF ships. Fleet members visit their families whenever the ships return to Earth.

That is unrealistic on sufficiently longer deployments/stations, depending on speed of travel. If you are saying that then i have to assume that ships move pretty fast and the length of deployment has more to do with exploration and such than it has to do with war. If that isn't the case then it is simply unrealistic.


My research and yours have differences, then. I am going to bed, I'll try again in the morning to get experienced answers.

Obviously my research differs from yours, but I can't see how you think you've done much or credible research because while at higher points information would be divergent, at base levels they would be the same, like how it would be the same or similar.

Further more, it should be pointed out that you're being flippant here because I'm pointing out what it is it seems you are doing from my point of view and Ara Pacis came to the same conclusion nearly simultaneously.
If you want to write fantasy fiction that isn't realistic do that, but don't pretend you aren't and waste peoples' time.

Oh and it is even more seemingly like you are doing that because someone who is interested in being more realistic will generally ask questions and explain... not be like "well not in my universe" which is what you seem to be doing.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 09:55 AM
I'm pointing out that if you give me a rank I can tell you that person would never be in x position. That is the only thing I can assume you are talking about with the rank vs title thing. If you mean something else tell me so I can clarify.

I haven't given you a rank. I haven't given anyone a rank. The subject of rank didn't come up in this context until you brought it up.


That is unrealistic on sufficiently longer deployments/stations, depending on speed of travel. If you are saying that then i have to assume that ships move pretty fast and the length of deployment has more to do with exploration and such than it has to do with war. If that isn't the case then it is simply unrealistic.

I never said how long the deployments were. Again, you are simply jumping to your own conclusions. And yes, before the war started there was no war in space.


Obviously my research differs from yours, but I can't see how you think you've done much or credible research because while at higher points information would be divergent, at base levels they would be the same, like how it would be the same or similar.

Apparently not, as our information is divergent.



Further more, it should be pointed out that you're being flippant here because I'm pointing out what it is it seems you are doing from my point of view and Ara Pacis came to the same conclusion nearly simultaneously.
If you want to write fantasy fiction that isn't realistic do that, but don't pretend you aren't and waste peoples' time.

Oh and it is even more seemingly like you are doing that because someone who is interested in being more realistic will generally ask questions and explain... not be like "well not in my universe" which is what you seem to be doing.

I have explained, you just dismissed the explanations. If you want me to take your suggestions seriously, make them suggestions and not insults.

tusenfem
2012-Nov-01, 10:38 AM
Okay, cool it down, guyz!
No more snide remarks, be nice or begone.

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 10:54 AM
I haven't given you a rank. I haven't given anyone a rank. The subject of rank didn't come up in this context until you brought it up.


Yes I brought up that certain ranks cannot be gotten within x amount of time and those ranks wouldn't be in certain positions.
That your cast, if you're being realistic and looking at Officers, as you are, which i pointed is wrong in general, would have to be fairly old and not young like most fiction likes to focus on.



I never said how long the deployments were. Again, you are simply jumping to your own conclusions. And yes, before the war started there was no war in space.


You were asking, or someone brought up family on a ship. I brought up that it is likely that if the length of deployment is long they would have family. You actually said it was longer than what I stated and thus it is likely your fleet would have families on board.



Apparently not, as our information is divergent.


That is not a response.




I have explained, you just dismissed the explanations. If you want me to take your suggestions seriously, make them suggestions and not insults.

This is how our conversation has gone:
Me "this is how something would work out realistically given what you have said"
You "This is how it is"
Me "That is not realistic and here's why"
You "That's not what I said/Extropolating technology is silly/that's not how it is in my universe"
Me "I am telling you what is realistic which is what you wanted. If you want to write straight fiction you're wasting peoples times"
You "You're insulting me!"

You have not explained a single thing. What you have said is "that's not how it is in my universe" and fine that's ok. I don't care, but if you want realism that is not it. I haven't dismissed anything you said. In fact I have written nearly 2000 words probably in response to you while you have written less than maybe a few hundred in response to me. If I had any intention on dismissing what you had said I wouldn't bother writing so much. On the other hand "Thats not how it is in my universe" is dismissive when you are asking for realism, especially without going into further detail.

This is why whenever I ask for information and someone brings up something that conflicts, for example, a teenager getting a special commission of some sort I explain the situation that happens and ask is there any way for this character to effectively be what I want them to be within realistic levels. <-- that is what you have failed to do. It's a pretty bad thing to do pre-writing stage in my opinion and it really does waste your resources in terms of people willing to help you because going through those other possibilities could lead to more and better ideas.

That being said. I understand being locked into a stance when you have an idea. Sometimes you have to say "that's just how it is" but I don't see how that is the case in any of the points you're holding on, such as PhDs as military and no families on ships. Do you really think that you're going to want to write every character to have an advanced degree? or that you are going to run into many characters where you'd actually want that? If your cast is say 6 people and you want to make it mainly a science-y type story... you don't really need more than those 6 people being PhDs. For family, I again don't see the sticking point. You want drama. Drama comes from family and fraternization a lot of times. Why wouldn't you have families on board? It's more realistic to have it as there are, so why not have them? Granted I'm not talking deep war vessels mind you, that would be silly, but you're describing this as more of a science fleet and when you consider that it doesn't make any sense to not have it with families.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 11:06 AM
Why are you still arguing this? We disagree, and that's it. If you don't like my writing style or what I consider realistic, don't read what I write.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 12:18 PM
I am dropping the subject of Ph.D's, and I invite all others to do the same. In fact I'd prefer not to see those letters together in that order anytime soon.

Now, since I have been accused of not explaining enough, I'll go into some detail (See here (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138448-Antigravity-FTL-and-realism) and here (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138467-The-logistics-of-Space-Marines) for more background on the setting)--

I was in fact planning to utilize Warrant Officers as specialists, based on the Air Force model.

The majority of the Fleet is cut off from contact with the Earth just after a major Triped invasion of the Solar System. The drama and conflict comes from them not only being separated from their families, but having no idea as to the status of their families and of Earth in general.

Prior to the war, the only combat seen in the Space Force was delivering ground troops to put down the aborted rebellion on a colony world (let's call it Freedonia). Since Freedonia had no dedicated combat spacecraft and few spacecraft of any kind, no ground-to-orbit defenses, and a poorly-organized and armed army, the fight was over almost before it began. There is still a garrison of assorted U.N. peacekeeping troops there, and still some occasional violence, but only one small group of military vessels in orbit at any given time. Indications of a new and more effective rebellion building was the reason a new multinational strike force was being assembled to go to Freedonia.

The deployment for battle groups is up to 6 months. For deep space explorers it is usually 1 year, but they are special people.

I'm willing to listen to suggestions regarding military structure. Please avoid making speculations about what you think my ideas or comments reflect about me personally.

For the record, I do not think that extrapolating technology is "silly", I merely don't think that tech-prophecy is an exact science. I won't go into more detail on that subject at the moment as it involves some spoilers.

If at any point you feel that I am "wasting your time", well, it's your choice to participate or not.

If anyone wants me to add more detail on a particular subject, just ask.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 12:43 PM
Re: Families on starships in Star Trek:
Regarding the presence of families on starships, Ronald D. Moore commented "Perhaps [still] on some Galaxy-class ships, but I think this was an experiment that failed." (AOL chat, 1997) "I think that the "family friendly" starship notion was an interesting idea, but one that didn't pan out. There was always something awkward about Picard ordering the ship into battle situations with kiddies running through the corridors. And no matter how much lip service we paid to the "our families are part of our strength" concept, it never seemed very smart or very logical to bring the spouse and kids along when you're facing down the Borg, or guarding the Neutral Zone, or plunging the ship into uncharted spatial anomalies." (AOL chat, 1997) --Galaxy Class Starship (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Galaxy_class) article, from Memory Alpha (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Portal:Main) Star Trek Wiki.

Durakken
2012-Nov-01, 02:23 PM
I'm really not seeing the no-family thing. Take a look at what you are describing.
Mainly civilian / colonial ships be sent to populate and explore
The only military action was a troop transport

What I'm see is basically something like an old style cruise vessel like the Titanic, but where some of those cruise vessels have science teams. You likely wouldn't have many military vessels with your set up if any at all.

The non aggression and colonizing would mean more family as when you are colonizing some place you go as a family unit for the most part as that is more efficient in establishing order and propagating in that new area. Granted that troops would be worried about their families on earth, but I would say given that it is uncertain what is happening on Earth the people on the colony would be trying to speed up development.

Another thing that would happen actually one of those special cases that would require early promotion. If you were to create a military from what you are talking about you'd be working with mainly enlisted low ranked people. You'd look at your fleet and retrofit all the ships you can to combat ready. Field Promote a number of soldiers and communicate with the civilian population to attempt to find officers and new recruits. you would also go into immediate training to diversify specializations because like i said a lot of the troops would be infantry or mechanics... I'm not sure about all the divisions, but they'd be new to almost all the systems they'd have to be dealing with.

Now, would there be families on these ships... no and yes. The stringency of trying to keep couples apart and such would be lowered so as to get an effective fighting force, but at the same time you wouldn't be bring non-combatants with you in this situation.


And now back to the PhD thing a little... in this scenario, it could be that these colonizers might have a good bit of education what with establishing civilian governance and science and all that. This plus the need for people to join the fight would then cause them to perhaps get a field promotion to higher ranks, but it likely wouldn't work as we think of it. The newly recruited intelligencia might take on captain, or 1st officer, or paper work positions with promising or high ranking of the pool of actual military left over. For example you might have a Sergeant as captain and a doctor as 1st, or inverted. This would hopefully make up for the short comings in either person.

As to the quote... Star Trek is odd, and in that particular case, with the Galaxy class that is the flagship of the fleet it, because there is no delineation between military and civilian. You would allow certain officers to have family on board a military vessel like the Enterprise, but you wouldn't have everyone having a family, on the other hand on a ship like Voyager families would be all over, save for the fact that Voyager was sent on a military mission specifically. So the answer is a bit more complex than yes or no... it's more akin to Military or Science and duration of duty. Most of the head positions never left the ship and as such they'd be afforded family living where as lower ranked officers and crewmen who are changed every x amount of months/years wouldn't on a military craft. On a science craft however it is generally considered that you're going to be out a long time and not in battle so family is ok.

Solfe
2012-Nov-01, 02:30 PM
Re: Families on starships in Star Trek: --Galaxy Class Starship (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Galaxy_class) article, from Memory Alpha (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Portal:Main) Star Trek Wiki.

I write this choice off to the TOS having a lot of visitors and non-specific red shirts of no known rank. Some of the TOS red shirts acted as civilian advisers, but then also had a uniform and some sort of assumed rank. I am sure the writers didn't intend to have it go that way, but used these characters as story vehicles. The Enterprise series had the most sense-able reason for families. They showed up when the ship was in port and it was often to show character background or better yet, to prove that Enterprise was a one of a kind ship that the public enjoyed.

When Pixar was formed, they sat down and brainstormed Wall-e, Toy Story, Cars, and a few other movies in 1988. I wonder if the producers for TNG did the same thing. Not being sure that the other shows would ever see the light of day, they incorporated ideas from planned shows. DS9 and Voyager make the most sense for huge civilian presences, but DS9 ended up in a war zone while Voyager was a ship too small.

Tom Paris was an interesting example of a family man. All of his family interactions were memories, records or dreams until he actually got married. They may have softballed certain aspects of having children and marriages on a small ship, but they play the family interactions straight.


On a completely unrelated note, I forgot to say welcome to the Order of Kilopi, Solfe!

Thanks!

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 07:55 PM
Colonizing vessels are civilian charter vessels, SF has no connection to them.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 08:24 PM
Another thing that would happen actually one of those special cases that would require early promotion. If you were to create a military from what you are talking about you'd be working with mainly enlisted low ranked people. You'd look at your fleet and retrofit all the ships you can to combat ready. Field Promote a number of soldiers and communicate with the civilian population to attempt to find officers and new recruits. you would also go into immediate training to diversify specializations because like i said a lot of the troops would be infantry or mechanics... I'm not sure about all the divisions, but they'd be new to almost all the systems they'd have to be dealing with.


Not a lot of infantry, that's a specialized group we already have and won't be using in large numbers (no trying to land mass armies, just sneak in commandos), but as I said earlier a lot of the crew are highly educated in engineering and have qual-cards to assist in Damage Control operations. The SF is already militarized in structure. It's just psychological adjustments that will have to be made.

Since they are already specialists at their rank (or rate, if I decide to go by Navy terminology) there would be no need for "sudden" promotion among existing SF crew, but for civilian vessels/crews that get conscripted or annexed, yes, there will definitely be training necessary, though not as much as you might think since space is inherently a hazardous environment and DC and other emergancy drills would have to be a part of any functioning spacecraft's regular operations. Ships are also used to operating in Earth orbit and thus have to have some experience dodging debris. There will still have to be a major emotional and mental adjustment, though.

If we come across colony ships with children on board, the best thing to do with them is to guard them and get them ASAP to the nearest colony planet.

We already knew of the existence of the Tripeds since day one, they're the reason we made first contact with the Crazy Eddie to begin with, but they were (up until now) thought to be a small group of raiders limited to a single stretch of territory.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-01, 08:53 PM
Tom Paris was an interesting example of a family man. All of his family interactions were memories, records or dreams until he actually got married. They may have softballed certain aspects of having children and marriages on a small ship, but they play the family interactions straight.


There may be a few cases of military married to military. Definitely no kids aboard. It's still deep space, and it's known to have alien spacefaring species who engage in violence. To prevent pregnancy, SF personel have reversible surgery-- a somewhat drastic and controversial step, but that's the sacrifice you make for a career in space. I'm considering whether to make it a birth control implant rather than tubes tied.

This leads to the question of what happens when we begin to run out of medical supplies...

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 05:56 AM
I'll amend the above to say that SF offers free BCIs, but it's not mandatory. In the real military a pregnancy on duty is a career ender, I think those dedicated enough to go into SF will take the option.

As for the larger question of medicine, some of our sources of materials can systhesize certain basics or have small amounts of medicinal plants growing, but for everything else there's going to be drama and desperate improvising.

Ara Pacis
2012-Nov-02, 05:57 AM
As I've repeated several times, the ground fighters ARE a specialized segment of the Space Force. They are, as I have already pointed out, NOT generally Ph.D's or doctors.

As I have yet to address the issue of rank, why do you assume I was not planning to make use of Warrant Officers?

Happy writing. I'm done here.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 06:00 AM
Happy writing. I'm done here.

Sorry, I was cranky and frustrated when I wrote that.

Durakken
2012-Nov-02, 08:27 AM
where are these trained people coming from?
You have a colony, i'm assuming 1
You have peace time
With raiders you are going to have an escort, but most of your military is likely going to be on Earth
Colony ships are likely going to be built in such a way to use for the colony
You also are going to have cargo ships that transport materials back and forth

So you have a few escorts, maybe 2 or 3. and you are going to have maybe 2 or 3 ships around the planet to fend off raiders
So you're fleet of trained people is going to be 6 crews.
Assumedly they just saw Earth forces taken out. This would mean that they are going to be left with just a few cargo vessels, 3-6 military craft, and partially dismantled colony ships. And you are going to be seeking ways to figure out how to expand your troops and ships. Also you might have some science vessels out there that you'd call in.

Assuming you have these 6 military crafts you are only going to have maybe 20-50 Officers depending on the divisions and such you have on board. Further, since these are likely pretty at ease ships they going to have minimal crew so even if they can and should in times of war carry something like 100 crew, they'd likely only carry something like 40-60 and these guys would all be specialized for their their duties.

When you are cut off from earth you are going to recall all troops on the ground which would all be infantry and engineers to help colonists and these infantry are likely going to fill those extra spots so if you have 6 ships and 60 slots open per you're looking at 360 untrained or infantry/engineers in those spots, 240 trained for what their doing and of those 20-50 officers. But you are also going to want to retrofit any ships you can which means those cargo ships ad science vessels... which can be whatever you want, but you have to crew them and because you have to crew them...

Let's say you get 20 vessels retrofitted to military use.. that's 240 trained trained crew across 26 vessels... that's roughly 10 experienced and trained military people on each one which means you are going to be dealing with largely untrained crews.

You could say there is a much larger military contingent around your colony and there are more cargo runs thus more escorts, but you are still going to run into this problem. You're still not the main fleet. You still will recognize the need for more ships. You're still not going to have fully crewed on most ships. You are still going to use mainly untrained for the position military personnel or civilians recruited to make up those numbers given your situation you are talking about.


Also, you said this is happening 20-30 years in the future... has earth turned all it's power into making these ships? And how much colonization are you thinking is happening here? 20-30 years we're not talking several cities forming i'd say maybe 2. And how much knowledge of aliens do they have? Certainly that would play a role in all this.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 09:35 AM
where are these trained people coming from?

There is a fleet assembling under U.N. authority to reinforce the peacekeepers already on Freedonia, a fleet of which SF was to play a part. The Jumpship Group which is the focus of my story is on its way to join that fleet.



You have a colony, i'm assuming 1

Five, but most are quite newly-established and have only very small settlements. Freedonia is the most populated one. There are many mining sites and research facilities as well as fuel production centers.



You have peace time
With raiders you are going to have an escort, but most of your military is likely going to be on Earth

About half of the SF is in extrasolar space, mostly doing escort or exploration. Other nations' space militaries are also active off-Earth to various degrees. The fleet gathering for Freedonia was about 1/3 of the combined space militaries of Earth's spacefaring nations.



Colony ships are likely going to be built in such a way to use for the colony

The colony ships are mostly chartered private vessels who ferry loads of people anywhere they can pay for, their landers are reuseable repulsor (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138448-Antigravity-FTL-and-realism) craft usually owned by the ships' owners. Freedonia is the only colony rich enough to have its own dedicated landers. It had its own colony ship but that was confiscated after the rebellion.


You also are going to have cargo ships that transport materials back and forth Many, mostly unmanned robot ships. But they need a Jumpship to go anywhere.


So you have a few escorts, maybe 2 or 3. and you are going to have maybe 2 or 3 ships around the planet to fend off raiders
So you're fleet of trained people is going to be 6 crews. Assumedly they just saw Earth forces taken out. This would mean that they are going to be left with just a few cargo vessels, 3-6 military craft, and partially dismantled colony ships. And you are going to be seeking ways to figure out how to expand your troops and ships. Also you might have some science vessels out there that you'd call in.

We have more than a dozen escorts and about the same number of armed explorer ships, as do other nations. There is no FTL radio, so they won't find out about the fall of Earth until someone tells them, usually our fleet. We are the bearers of bad news.



Assuming you have these 6 military crafts you are only going to have maybe 20-50 Officers depending on the divisions and such you have on board. Further, since these are likely pretty at ease ships they going to have minimal crew so even if they can and should in times of war carry something like 100 crew, they'd likely only carry something like 40-60 and these guys would all be specialized for their their duties.

When you are cut off from earth you are going to recall all troops on the ground which would all be infantry and engineers to help colonists and these infantry are likely going to fill those extra spots so if you have 6 ships and 60 slots open per you're looking at 360 untrained or infantry/engineers in those spots, 240 trained for what their doing and of those 20-50 officers.
See above, our ships were preparing for a war, just not the one they got.

Conventional infantry will generally be of more use holding Freedonia as it's one of our only remaining sources of materiel (Because the repulsor makes it fairly easy to lift large masses of materials from Earth, few manufacturing centers exist off-Earth), they are not trained for spacecraft operations. In fact we will be dropping off most of the infantry we carry as for ship-to-ship warfare they are less useful than a load of missiles. The SF droptroopers or "Space Marines" are trained for the types of unconventional planetary missions which will be undertaken and will see much action.

SF has no ground engineering units, but the Army Corps of Engineers and the Seabees are engaged on several planets and stations, and will be placed wherever they can be of the most use.



But you are also going to want to retrofit any ships you can which means those cargo ships ad science vessels... which can be whatever you want, but you have to crew them and because you have to crew them...

...
You could say there is a much larger military contingent around your colony and there are more cargo runs thus more escorts, but you are still going to run into this problem. You're still not the main fleet. You still will recognize the need for more ships. You're still not going to have fully crewed on most ships. You are still going to use mainly untrained for the position military personnel or civilians recruited to make up those numbers given your situation you are talking about.

Yes.

EDIT: Just to clarify, the majority of ships we use will not be meant to fight directly, they will transport fuel, supplies and munitions for the fighting ships.

Also, you said this is happening 20-30 years in the future... has earth turned all it's power into making these ships? And how much colonization are you thinking is happening here? 20-30 years we're not talking several cities forming i'd say maybe 2. And how much knowledge of aliens do they have? Certainly that would play a role in all this.

Earth has enthusiastically embraced the new technology, and access to space and to other worlds has it has become a rapidly growing sector of the economy. Several extrasolar planets have various valuable commodities, and many corporations are setting up mining and harvesting bases. Since most of these planets are not habitable by humans, they are not considered colonies. Freedionia has only one industrial/mining town almost large enough to be considered a city, which is surrounded by farmland. The rest of the population are scattered among its wilderness regions.

We knew that the Tripeds existed, and we had examined their weapons' damage to the Crazy Eddie, but had not run into them ourselves prior to their invasion of the Solar System, we certainly had no idea they had such numbers of ships. The Eddies had given us navigational data on over a hundred star systems they had examined including jump points and locations of fuel and other resources, allowing us to conduct our own exploration-- there are large gaps in the charts where we assume they either kept resources for themselves or kept us from dangerous locations. We have learned of many life-bearing planets but most are not suited for humans, and we know of only the other two sapient spacefaring species.

There have been three explorer ships currently listed as "missing", causes unknown.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 10:34 AM
The Jumpships are all government-owned, with the European Union, United States, Russia, China, India and Japan all having jumpdrive technology. All have signed the Revised Outer Space Treaty which allows for military activity in space, so long as military force is not used against other signatories of the Treaty.

The explorer ships are jumpships which are usually accompanied by one escort gunship and one unmanned cargo/fuel ship.

Durakken
2012-Nov-02, 11:38 AM
Are you saying that...
Humans developed star ships and devoted quite a bit of resources into their construction
Humans were contacted by an alien civilization that gave them star charts, obviously edited.
Humans somehow managed to get enough people to set up colonies at 5 different planets

Further despite facing pretty much peace for the last several years and assistance from an alien civ they started preparing for war?

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 12:08 PM
Are you saying that...
Humans developed star ships and devoted quite a bit of resources into their construction.

With alien technology from the Crazy Eddie as the driver, yes. We developed the propulsion and life support. As I describe here (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138467-The-logistics-of-Space-Marines?p=2072157#post2072157), they didn't give us anything else techwise-- and they didn't exactly "give" us the Negative Energy tech that is the basis of repulsors and jumpdrive, they just didn't fight us when we copied theirs.


Humans were contacted by an alien civilization that gave them star charts, obviously edited.
Yes, in return for helping their ship. It took us a while to learn how to interpret them.


Humans somehow managed to get enough people to set up colonies at 5 different planets

Are you saying you think that if we suddenly found ourselves with access to new worlds that could support us, there wouldn't be a land rush? The only reason there aren't more colony worlds is that they're the only human-compatible planets we have found. And at that, most only have a few thousand settlers each, mostly in the last few years. The early colony ships were small, slow and expensive, so settlement has lagged, and most settlements are rudimentary-- not a lot of space onboard for much more than hand tools and seeds, so the lifestyle is pretty basic. Even on Freedonia which was specifically founded by an industrialist, half the population are subsistence farmers.


Further despite facing pretty much peace for the last several years and assistance from an alien civ they started preparing for war?
It's the job of a military organization to be prepared for war. We knew the Crazy Eddie, advanced as it was, had still barely survived contact with the raiders, so we knew there was danger out there. And the technology and maps are the extent of the Eddies' help to us.

Solfe
2012-Nov-02, 12:13 PM
Have you considered doing this story for nanowrimo?

Solfe
2012-Nov-02, 12:24 PM
I figured I would upload a small image of a soldier in my story since you shared so much art.

17680

A slightly larger image (http://www.pretendertothepower.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/web-armor.jpg) on my website.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 12:28 PM
Have you considered doing this story for nanowrimo?

I have, but I write so slowly I have dust on my keyboard! ;) Besides, my first drafts are always sloppy and disorganized. If I'm going to put something up for public approval (or not), it's going to need a lot of polishing and tweaking, more than one month can provide.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 12:30 PM
I figured I would upload a small image of a soldier in my story since you shared so much art.


Cool! And much more detailed than my crude cave-drawings.

Durakken
2012-Nov-02, 12:47 PM
Are you saying you think that if we suddenly found ourselves with access to new worlds that could support us, there wouldn't be a land rush? The only reason there aren't more colony worlds is that they're the only human-compatible planets we have found. And at that, most only have a few thousand settlers each, mostly in the last few years. The early colony ships were small, slow and expensive, so settlement has lagged, and most settlements are rudimentary-- not a lot of space onboard for much more than hand tools and seeds, so the lifestyle is pretty basic. Even on Freedonia which was specifically founded by an industrialist, half the population are subsistence farmers.

Let's say that this happened today, 11/2/2012, the first thing you are going to experience is several years, let's say 5 of working out how to communicate and trying peacefully look at their ships. You have to build up a language and all that. There will be foreign terms and various other aspects and while we as a species might be able to crack the language fairly quickly there would be a limited number of people who would have access to these beings... further limited number of countries... and how to deal with what exactly happening.

Once you get through all that and you are "given" the technology you then have to build up the manufacturing abilities, which would largely be proprietary and several steps ahead of us which would take 5-10 years to get anywhere NEAR ready to start building. And this would happen while the various nations squabble and make different break throughs and attack each other.

Once we have it figured out we can then start the design phase and the testing phase of those designs with small crafts and this testing phase would take another 5-10 years.

Even with complete cooperation from all nations and no set backs and what not nothing more than small ships would be built within 20-30 years and they'd all be government ships.

Once you hit that point though you would see a civilian fleet start to come about. Again they'd be small for several years, more likely used to transport from the surface of Earth to some space station for tourism and then some rich people might get to explore out further.

At this point 3 or 4 things happen.
1. scientists and adventures start to explore more, their initial exploration would largely be in the solar system maybe 20-30 years of that, but after that point they'll start exploring to other places, some of them setting up small colonies so as to provide for them at a far away outpost.

2. Corporations and colonists will largely start taking and developing the solar system, probably for quite a long time, no less than say 100 or 200 years.

3. Military will start setting up weapons platforms, building ships, and sending out minor exploratory and diplomatic missions, few at first, but then over the course of years and depending on how successful they are or are not they''d expand or increase the speed of building new military craft.

4) Some, a very small population will want to immediately get off the planet and form new governments and such away from Earth.

So while there would be a "land grab" it would be largely for separation from Earth or necessity of providing for research sites. Most, is not all land grabs would be in the solar system... The few that aren't one of those would likely be in "uncharted" space and secret to most people. This would be people like me who would realize how dangerous it would be to build up the infrastructure to manufacture tech from an unknown source and keep only to places where the people who started the ball rolling said I should be... you're pretty much setting yourself up for invasion and there would really only be two courses of action in my brain... build up a huge military and get the heck off the planet to some place they don't think we'd go.

But yeah... 20-30 years is not anywhere near what I would think would be enough time to break the language barrier, get them to give us the tech, deal with all the nations, deal with back engineering the tech, developing the infrastructure to build the tech, test it all, design it for our purposes, and then build any significant amount, especially not in the civilian sphere. Not by 2042.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 01:15 PM
Let's say that this happened today, 11/2/2012, the first thing you are going to experience is several years, let's say 5 of working out how to communicate and trying peacefully look at their ships. You have to build up a language and all that. There will be foreign terms and various other aspects and while we as a species might be able to crack the language fairly quickly there would be a limited number of people who would have access to these beings... further limited number of countries... and how to deal with what exactly happening.

Once you get through all that and you are "given" the technology you then have to build up the manufacturing abilities, which would largely be proprietary and several steps ahead of us which would take 5-10 years to get anywhere NEAR ready to start building. And this would happen while the various nations squabble and make different break throughs and attack each other.

Once we have it figured out we can then start the design phase and the testing phase of those designs with small crafts and this testing phase would take another 5-10 years.

Even with complete cooperation from all nations and no set backs and what not nothing more than small ships would be built within 20-30 years and they'd all be government ships.

Once you hit that point though you would see a civilian fleet start to come about. Again they'd be small for several years, more likely used to transport from the surface of Earth to some space station for tourism and then some rich people might get to explore out further.

At this point 3 or 4 things happen.
1. scientists and adventures start to explore more, their initial exploration would largely be in the solar system maybe 20-30 years of that, but after that point they'll start exploring to other places, some of them setting up small colonies so as to provide for them at a far away outpost.

2. Corporations and colonists will largely start taking and developing the solar system, probably for quite a long time, no less than say 100 or 200 years.

3. Military will start setting up weapons platforms, building ships, and sending out minor exploratory and diplomatic missions, few at first, but then over the course of years and depending on how successful they are or are not they''d expand or increase the speed of building new military craft.

4) Some, a very small population will want to immediately get off the planet and form new governments and such away from Earth.

So while there would be a "land grab" it would be largely for separation from Earth or necessity of providing for research sites. Most, is not all land grabs would be in the solar system... The few that aren't one of those would likely be in "uncharted" space and secret to most people. This would be people like me who would realize how dangerous it would be to build up the infrastructure to manufacture tech from an unknown source and keep only to places where the people who started the ball rolling said I should be... you're pretty much setting yourself up for invasion and there would really only be two courses of action in my brain... build up a huge military and get the heck off the planet to some place they don't think we'd go.

But yeah... 20-30 years is not anywhere near what I would think would be enough time to break the language barrier, get them to give us the tech, deal with all the nations, deal with back engineering the tech, developing the infrastructure to build the tech, test it all, design it for our purposes, and then build any significant amount, especially not in the civilian sphere. Not by 2042.

Communication about technical matters is based on mathematics and physics-- and the Eddies are very good at those things. They did most of the translating using more advanced computer systems than ours. It is because of that communication that we were able to translate much of the data that we "acquired" regarding the FTL and repulsor tech. It helps that we were halfway there (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138448-Antigravity-FTL-and-realism?p=2067716#post2067716) ourselves without knowing it. And copying the tech was relatively simple compared to inventing it, just because it required advanced knowledge to develop does not mean it's mechanically complicated in structure.

I've pointed out (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/138448-Antigravity-FTL-and-realism?p=2069031#post2069031) elsewhere that the tech was rushed into production because of the massive potential benefits. It was essentially a new multi-nation Sapce Race, still ongoing as of the story's time.

After that it wasn't a matter of slowly growing our space capacity, it was a matter of our manufacturing trying to keep up with the demand for new ships.

Why would there be a land rush in the Solar system when we already knew there were Earthlike worlds in other systems? Why would exploration of the Solar system delay exploration of the stars? There's no reason not to have exploration in many places at one time, given that the expence of launch is our current real-world limiting factor, and one I've done an end-run around with repulsors. That's their main purpose in the story.

Solfe
2012-Nov-02, 01:37 PM
Cool! And much more detailed than my crude cave-drawings.

I call it "The Circular Logic Suit". How does one have a space suit that can be worn for weeks, provides lots of power without killing the user with radiation, is small enough to move, and can stop lasers and bullets from turning the user into salsa? Kill the user. The "suit" freezes the wearer, inserts a low temperature chemicals into the brain so they can still think, reinforces muscles and bone with parts of itself so wearer is still mobile, and has little to no protective qualities, instead relying on the fact that the user isn't technically alive so damage doesn't matter much. Additionally, the power source is anti-matter which is reacted with processed body fat. That fat is also processed to heal the user and to provide stuff to metabolize slowly at the very low temperature. Cold and radiation isn't an issue for the wearer, but it is for his opponent. And if the anti-matter tank is hit... no more bad guys, but the wearer wouldn't exactly be aware of that since they died first.

Why would someone make such a device? To save lives. Lowering the body to such low temperatures allows a doctor to repair things at the cellular level without any worry that the patient will expire in the process. Of course, the doctor has to wear the same type of suit otherwise they would be injured or killed touching the patient. The other downside is if you loose the cryogenics, or don't have medical help getting out of the suit, you die for real.

Needless to say, this is pretty much a fantasy over sci-fi story.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-02, 01:39 PM
I call it "The Circular Logic Suit". How does one have a space suit that can be worn for weeks, provides lots of power without killing the user with radiation, is small enough to move, and can stop lasers and bullets from turning the user into salsa? Kill the user.

Zombie Super-Soldiers IN SPACE!

Solfe
2012-Nov-02, 04:49 PM
If Tony Stark can have alcohol belch fueled armor, I can have ice zombies. :)

Noclevername
2012-Nov-03, 03:39 PM
A Brief History Of The Near Future

First contact: The Crazy Eddie appears in our system. Radio communication is initiated, mathematical in nature, interpretation begins. An international effort is assembled to provide assistance.

FC+2 years: Rescue effort launches, radio communication has advanced to abstract physics.

FC+3 years: Rescue effort arrives at CE, physical contact made. Jumpdrive core begins to be repaired. Jump points in solar system located.

FC+4 years: Humans begin copying jumpdrive core as they help repair it, under Eddie instruction. Eddies give navigational data, first to get them into familiar territory, then as they note that we are copying jumpdrive, to other accessible star systems. Work begins on copying antigravity repulsors.

FC+7 years: CE with human assistance sent back to Eddie territory. Later that year first human built copy of jumpdrive begins testing.

FC+8 years: First human built jumpdrive successful. The door to the stars is open, first starship jumps to Procyon to great public acclaim. Several other ships begin construction using rocket-launched modules.

FC+9 years: First Earthlike world, New Canaan, scouted.

FC+10 years: First antigravity repulsor completed. Large-scale access to space is now possible. Numerous starships constructed, public and private missions are launched to explore Solar and extrasolar space. Several governments offer sale of jumpship service to general public. Two other Earthlike worlds located, including what will come to be called Freedonia. Scientists placed on New Canaan to determine habitability. Billionaire Richard Clavin, a dedicated Objectivist, starts first private starship company.

FC+11 years: Scientists on New Canaan pronounce it fit for human habitation and terrestrial crop growth, announcement decried as "premature" by much of scientific community. First settlers arrive. Number of human starships in existence, 9.

FC+12 years: Richard Clavin begins first settlement of Freedonia despite limited scientific examination of the planet, imports large amounts of heavy industrial equipment, offers low-cost transportation to like-minded settlers. Settlements on Freedonia consist mostly of inexperienced farmers, ecosystem is only partly compatible with Earthlife, food production is poor; yet population booms as Clavin continues to offer low-fare transport. Number of human starships in existence, 15.


FC+13 years: New settlements open on three more planets. Unrest begins to grow on Freedonia as starvation ensues. U.N. offers assistance, international spaceport established on Freedonia, food imports begin. Number of human starships in existence, 23.


FC+15 years: Clavin assassinated, spaceport attacked, Freedonian rebellion has begun. Peacekeeping forces arrive from Earth and quickly put down rebellion, with accusations of atrocities. Clavin Starships Inc. is seized. Freedonian immigration is allowed to continue, now at normal costs. U.S. Space Force is established, all existing U.S. military spaceships are transferred to USSF control. Number of human starships in existence, 47.

FC+25 years: Freedonia's spaceport is under constant guard, rumors of rebel training camps circulate. Tensions continue to rebuild. Richard Clavin Jr. is owner of Freedonia Industries. Free City, the only industrial center on the planet, is a company town, essentially run as an industrial feudalism. Number of human starships in existence, 104.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-03, 03:48 PM
Forgot to include: cases of jumpdrive failure. In the first five years of FTL travel, jumpdrive failure rate was 15%. By the time of the war it has dropped to less than .5 percent.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-04, 01:40 AM
The USSF Jumpships Intrepid is scheduled to rendezvous with Task Force Bravo at Crossroad Station, located by Point Seven of the Inner System jump point cluster. Task Force Bravo will then jump to Procyon to join U.N. Peacekeepers preparing for Operation Damocles. Intrepid is accompanied by its usual escort, one RPDC (remote-piloted drone carrier) and 1 gunship. Also present at the station are elements of Task Force Bravo (1 troop transport, 2 propellant tankers, 1 supply ship, 1 repair tender, and 1 hospital ship) and other military and civilian vessels, mostly tankers and cargo transports. Not yet arrived at station are a planned 3 additional troop transports, 2 more tankers, 2 supply and munition ships and 2 further gunships, en route from Earth. They will never arrive.

Jump Point Six is where the invasion will begin.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-04, 06:47 AM
The insrtuctions the Eddies gave us for repairing their jumpdrive included detailed plans for manufacturing certain key parts. They didn't seem surprised when we copied it, but in essence once they gave us their jump charts they said "that's it, we've given you enough". That didn't stop us from asking, especially once the war starts; to the Eddies, we're sort of the equivalent to the dog they fed once that followed them home, or an annoying child who keeps asking "Can you get me that? Huh? Please? The other kids have that, can you get me that?" while they're trying to do important work. It's speculated that when they got back the crew of the CE might have gotten in trouble for handing out their tech to primitives; they were in a hurry to get home and acted desperately (as more time went by they gave us increasingly more detail on the drive). As much as we can ascribe human emotion to a nonhuman, the rest of them seem to be ashamed or humiliated or at least disgruntled that some of them needed human help, and would like to forget the whole thing. Of course, they might not all "feel" that way (unless they're a hive mind, we still aren't sure).

Solfe
2012-Nov-04, 02:14 PM
Forgot to include: cases of jumpdrive failure. In the first five years of FTL travel, jumpdrive failure rate was 15%. By the time of the war it has dropped to less than .5 percent.

When I handwave FTL, my hands move just below c. :)

In my universe FTL=Time Travel. To get around the messiness of time travel, humans will not willingly do anything that would amount to personal time travel due to convention and mythology. Besides the ships that can go FTL are so big, no one has personal use of one to try such stunts.

The myth is similar to the "curse of the mummy". There are lots of examples of people meeting copies of themselves and dying shortly there after. All of these are not taken as a scientific truth, but the stories are so popular everyone believes it.

The Captain's of the FTL ship would rather flee and fight another day than cause a closed loop in time.

For commerce, Captain's don't have any choice about travelling back in time. But on a hypothetical 5 year trip, they will travel the first couple light years quickly then coast at speeds lower than c for the remainder of the trip, which takes years. They try to balance FTL speeds with possible/acceptable travel time durations. They also tell themselves A) I am not travelling in time, B) I am not cheating time or convention, C) I am not looking for clues that my own own ship is at the destination already. The reality is somewhat different.

I lean heavily on the fantasy side of sci-fi.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-04, 04:05 PM
When I handwave FTL, my hands move just below c. :)

In my universe FTL=Time Travel. To get around the messiness of time travel, humans will not willingly do anything that would amount to personal time travel due to convention and mythology. Besides the ships that can go FTL are so big, no one has personal use of one to try such stunts.

The myth is similar to the "curse of the mummy". There are lots of examples of people meeting copies of themselves and dying shortly there after. All of these are not taken as a scientific truth, but the stories are so popular everyone believes it.

The Captain's of the FTL ship would rather flee and fight another day than cause a closed loop in time.

For commerce, Captain's don't have any choice about travelling back in time. But on a hypothetical 5 year trip, they will travel the first couple light years quickly then coast at speeds lower than c for the remainder of the trip, which takes years. They try to balance FTL speeds with possible/acceptable travel time durations. They also tell themselves A) I am not travelling in time, B) I am not cheating time or convention, C) I am not looking for clues that my own own ship is at the destination already. The reality is somewhat different.

I lean heavily on the fantasy side of sci-fi.

In order to avoid such complications, I made a few rules that my FTL's "time travel" is not useful in any practical sense, and is just a scientific curiousity. The amount of time you travel is equal to the amount of distance you cross (1 year per light year) minus the energy differential between frames of reference and gravitational fields. So you arrive not in a position to get any information to your "present" self. And when you jump back to your original space you return to your original time frame, minus the time you spent elsewhere (multiplied by the time dilation due to energy/motion differential). You can never loop to your past (the energy required would be infinite) or return before you left.

But all that is hard to calculate, so I'm thinking of just invoking Imaginary Time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_time) and be done with it. Or maybe Adventure Time.

Tea Time? Hammer time?

Noclevername
2012-Nov-04, 06:00 PM
The Triped ships' main weapons are their long-range lasers, but they do sometimes use projectile weapons-- some form of long coilgun. The projectiles used in space are flat disks shot face-first which hit with over a kiloton of boom. In atmospheres, they shoot smaller spherical pellets (discs would tumble). The guns do not seem to be capable of rapid fire for more than a few seconds with a long cooldown period, and are aligned along the ships' long axis.

Noclevername
2012-Nov-05, 10:30 AM
FC+13 years: New settlements open on three more planets. Unrest begins to grow on Freedonia as starvation ensues. U.N. offers assistance, international spaceport established on Freedonia, food imports begin. Number of human starships in existence, 23.


FC+15 years: Clavin assassinated, spaceport attacked, Freedonian rebellion has begun. Peacekeeping forces arrive from Earth and quickly put down rebellion, with accusations of atrocities. Clavin Starships Inc. is seized. Freedonian immigration is allowed to continue, now at normal costs. U.S. Space Force is established, all existing U.S. military spaceships are transferred to USSF control. Number of human starships in existence, 47.


I'm bumping these events forward by 3 years. Didn't seem like enough time to build up the population to fightworthy levels. Changing the number of starships at FC+16 years to 33 instead of 23.


I think at this point I'll let this thread die a natural death, as its original purpose has kind of sputtered out.