S = Silver Sun Republic Staff M = MilitaryGamers.com Staff J = Joint (MG and SSR) - Joint Task Force Viper C = Combined (Groups beyond SSR and MG operating together)
1 = Personnel/Manpower 2 = Intelligence 3 = Operations 4 = Logistics 5 = Plans 6 = Signals, Comms 7 = Training
The nomenclature for staff positions is a combination of the tier at which the staff operates combined with the position, for example, the Staff Officer for SSR dealing in Operations would be the S3, but could also be the Operations Officer for the Joint Task Force Viper effort as the J3. This person would be the J3/S3 and would be overseeing operations for both tiers. Due to personnel limitations, some staff positions may be combined and only the top tier in SSR will have a Staff Officer. If we need to expand then we may have more Staff Officers at lower tiers, but that would take hundreds of members to require additional tiers.
Each Staff Officer may require additional staff and this is where our specific NCO rank (Sergeant) comes in. Those promoted to Sergeant and serving as part of one of the Staff sections would be known as a Staff Sergeant (yes, it does have a basis, historically, in the real world rank of Staff Sergeant among all the services).
Military Staff Integration
Each Ministry also falls logically into a Staff section with Ministry of State being the S1 (Personnel/Manpower) Staff, Ministry of Commerce being the S4 (Logsitics), Prime Minister being the S6 (Signals, Comms) leaving the Ministry of War to fill S2 (Intelligence), S3 (Operations), S5 (Plans) and S7 (Training). Normally Plans and Operations are happening concurrently in the real world with Ops running today's war and Plans planning for tomorrow's fight, but this doesn't really happen in video games very much. Operations are generally a matter of hours instead of days and are not constantly sustained to the point of needing a separate staff, therefore, I suggest we combined S3 and S5 into S3/5 and make them in charge of Operations and Planning. That means all current and future operations live under one section (which there's a push for that in the real world anyways).
Sections are responsible for carrying out the guidance of the Minister of War, which means the MoW is a position of administration and we should be looking for those willing to step up into these positions. Knights are the best candidates for Ops/Training and Ministry Officers should also be stepping up to help out as Military Staff. Each Staff Officer (S-series) is considered to be in the rank of Captain which is equivalent to Company Commander rank of Captain. Staff generally don't lead combat operations, but can if necessary. I would recommend a Staff Captain defer to a Ministry of War Lieutenant if they are available. Also keep in mind that when we're not in full Staff Officer operations, which would be during a formal Offensive Campaign, Staff Officers fall in with the Minister of War and Doge's retinue. Picture, if you will, all those dudes around the campaign maps and in the planning tent with the commander of whatever random movie you want to picture. That is the Battle Staff and what I'm describing here.
Each Lord will form up with their levy and turn their levy over to their respective battlefield leadership to join me and the Minister of War to form the Battle Staff and my personal retinue. If we don't form the Battle Staff, then you would stay in command of your levy, but larger operations will require the formation of the Battle Staff. Smaller skirmishes and movements will not require the Battle Staff to form up. The Battle Staff is necessary when we incorporate multiple considerations beyond what can be easily overseen by me and the Minister of War on our own. This includes situations like what we saw with Kingdom of Hyperion. It would have made life a whole lot easier if we could have had a Battle Staff. The Battle Staff will also defend me and the Minister of War when shit hits the fan and we continue to focus on Command and Control elements. It allows us to have individuals focused on being experts in regards to their specific section/field.
Staff Section Definitions
- S1 - Manpower/Personnel - Responsible for tracking troop totals in terms of friendly forces and providing force protection of friendly assets (Battlefield Prefects).
- S2 - Intelligence - Collects mission reports and tracks enemy movements; provides threat warning and assesses enemy action (Can task Rangers via the S3/5 for recon/scouting).
- S3/5 - Operations and Plans - Carries out daily taskings to include patrols, recon missions, capture/kill, offensive/defensive campaigns and plans for future operations.
- S4 - Logistics - Provides Quartermaster duties and tracks ongoing requirements for logistics (Battlefield Commerciantes).
- S6 - Signals and Communications - Provides controllers to enable comms between individual units and the centralized Battle Manager (Battlefield Heralds).
- S7 - Training - Offers training on the military from basic drill to Staff Officer College
Having these staff positions will allow the Ministry of War to cover down all of its requirements and ensure those who want to participate in the military will have the opportunity to do so while filling other Ministry positions. Each position has an Administrative as well as an Operational function. Not all Ministry Officers will want to participate in military duties, but the opportunity is available if that is something that interests them. This is perhaps the best way we can combine efforts and make this a military focused Republic.
For those who want to fight in combat as grunts, they will have that opportunity as well, but the traditional leading troops positions will be for dedicated military ministry officers.
S1 is the Minister of State, S2, S3/5 and S7 are Ministry of War positions that have yet to be appointed, S4 is the Minister of Commerce, S6 is the Prime Minister. Each S-series is the equivalent of being a Captain with Hawks being the equivalent of a Colonel. The same goes for the MilitaryGamers.com guys. Their M-series Staff Officers are considered Captains with Gunt or whomever he appoints as the Military Leadership as a Lt Colonel since they are a Barony of the Republic. Now you all can see the evolution of the military rank structure in a historical basis, sorta. Sorry, no Generals or Admirals here ... yet ... If we were to bring in other guilds/kingdoms, then the whole system gets pushed up a level and then you start getting Generals spilling out of the system. That's also when we require J-series and possibly even C-series Staff in which the system becomes even more important because deconfliction becomes a serious, day-to-day effort.
The S3/5 drives a lot of this system and generally pushes requirement out to each of the other S-series Staff sections to fulfill, so whoever ends up as the S3/5 needs to be on top of their game, highly motivated and really focused. It has to be a dedicated position. The others can get away with not being dedicated positions because you're not always needed all the time. This is the same truth in today's military. The S3 is generally the top guy who drives the whole thing. The MoW lives just above the Staff Officer level in the Ministry of War and pushes down requirements to the whole staff. He should be driving the entire effort from a policy and guidance point of view and the S3/5 should be making it go.
Day to day the S3/5 will post patrol assignments and requirements based on a whole myriad of inputs including S2's intelligence, Ministry of State's Prefect reports on crime and strategic threats. The S1 will track enlistment numbers and what people are trained in, maybe advertising that we need more archers; they'll also track levy numbers from each of the Lords/Vassals according to County and Fiefdom. The S2 will receive patrol and after actions reports as well as task Rangers to go on recon for future potential enemies or tracking down bandit threats. The S4 will collect equipment requirements and post contracts as identified by the S1 according to our numbers and projected future gains/losses of equipment. The S6 will provide heralds as controllers to work with the patrols and ensure comms between the Officer of the Day for the S3/5. The S3/5 may also have a meeting that day with his Staff Sergeants to begin planning a future operation. The S7 may have basic drill scheduled that evening that needs to be conducted or hosting a class that night on what makes a good staff officer. Without a Campaign that day everything is centered around daily operations, mostly patrols and taking care of current/future equipment inventories.
Let's say there's an offensive campaign coming up and the Minister of War has announced (within staff circles) that we're going to target Kingdom X. From there, the S1 would begin offering up our total numbers of available troops between the different Counties, Fiefdoms and Baronies as well as potential allies we could count on. He should be tracking how many max we have and how many based on activity we expect to show up including a breakdown of basic totals like Infantry, Archers, Rangers and Siege Engineers (in the future that will include siege weapon pieces and someday ships!). The S2 would begin developing missions to gather intelligence on that target which would consist of Rangers on covert missions or working with the S3/5 to send in overt raids to test the enemy reaction. The S3/5 would begin the actual planning based on inputs from everyone else. He may direct the S7 to increase specific kinda of training or even ask how often the training has been conducted. The S4 would begin taking stock of the current inventory and may have to issue contracts for new gear based on requirements for the upcoming campaign. The S6 would schedule controllers and start figuring out how the Command and Control picture would look focusing specifically on the TS3 layout for channels. It might also be required to figure out guest access on other voice comms if the operation will involve other guilds/groups. The Minister of War would of course be kept up to date on each part of the process and involved in any planning meetings to suggest tweaks or changes being the one ultimately responsible for the campaign.
The day of the campaign each S-Section would execute their part of the plan. The S1 would provide Battlefield Prefects to defend important positions and patrol the rear lines to protect forces moving to their specific rallying points. The Prefects would also be available to direct units to their staging areas. The S2 would conduct ongoing scouting and provide threat warning of potential adversary or neutral interference. The S3/5 would oversee execution of the plan directing specific units via the S6's controllers. The S7 is kinda out of the loop here, but not really because he's responsible for tracking what went wrong and how we need to get better for next time. The S4 issues gear before stepping off to each of the units via quartermasters and follows up as units need gear resupplies.
Other considerations like combat medics/field hospitals would be arranged by the S3/5's staff. Siege Engineers are also under the S3/5 and those artillery pieces would be in a combined/joint unit. Each of the actual fighting units would be commanded by their respective battlefield commanders reporting through their controllers and reaching the Battle Manager which could be the S3/5, Minister of War, Doge or someone else appointed for that day. The rest of the Battle Staff if assembled for that campaign would be in the main Battle Staff channel with the Battle Manager communicating directly to their staff in another channel to run supplies out to a location, shift Prefects around, call up additional Controllers or do whatever else is needed to make the campaign run smoothly.
That hopefully sums up the entire Battle Staff system from A to Z. There are of course some subtleties that aren't included, but that is the gist of the system. The purpose is to provide a robust configuration of personnel and positions that shore up the Minister of War and push the Ministry forward into the battlefield.