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Chapter 95 - What Could Go Wrong[]

9 April 3042
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)

Cargo unloading continued for the 2nd straight day while Sergeant Nathan Davis and Sergeant Major Chester Pullman worked their way thru the personnel packets of all the new arrivals to identify next of kin and to just put names to those they lost. Chief Vincent Zuniga supervised the loading of cargo in orbit while Master Sergeant Harry Caldwell handled the unloading on the surface. Leftenant Colonel Mitchell too the opportunity to meet with the newest members of the units Command Group to get both feedback on future plans and ideas but also to get a better feel of who was joining the unit. One thing that had already raised a bit of a problem was the units rank structure. Several of the newest Senior Techs had come in from the Lyran part of the Commonwealth but having been part of the FedCom Corps. Warrant Officers were a Lyran Commonwealth hold over until the new AFFC rank structure was completely revamped. He had spent some time researching various rank structures from historical records until he found one, he thought might work.

"First, let me welcome you all to Search and Recovery Inc. SaRI for short and it is pronounced like "sorry". When we first formed, our primary mission was going to be to seek out and recover lost tech and such. This has since morphed into an additional combat role. Our primary operational is the area known as the Outworlds Wastes. Our first operation, we almost managed to get stranded when part of our escorts happened to have pirate tendencies. Our second operation, which we just finished we got jumped by one pirate group and then a second pirate group. These events have forced me to greatly boost our ground combat power while also beefing up our existing Aerospace combat power."

"Everyone has probably noted that we are seriously rank heavy, with everyone being ex-military while also drawing the same pay they did while active. As such, I am going to be implementing a new rank structure soon. I doubt anyone's pay will change much. If it does, you have to think outside the box. You have not gotten them yet, but every member of this unit gets a bonus for everything we bring back via found recovered items that we sell off. We first set that at 30% of the value divided equally among every member of the unit. This bonus check is not as much, only because my existing personnel on the mission, which made up 95% of our structure before your arrival voted to waive their bonus for equipment purchases. I could not bring myself to do it and have set aside 15% of the money for bonuses to be paid soon. It works out to roughly 90,000 C-Bills per person in our command, including those that joined while we were deployed. We do not play favorites here, everyone gets paid the same bonus, regardless of when they join the command. I expect all of you to relay this to your assigned personnel or even to those that arrived with you. The usual remaining funds stay with the unit."

"We take care of our own and always will. Those that die in this unit, a 1 Million C-Bill payment is made to your next of kin. We have grown larger than expected and much quicker, so we do not have a dedicated Personnel section, yet. But expect to be giving us all the information we need to make this payment happen. This money comes directly from the unit funds. If you doubt me, ask around to the older members, you will find that even the lowest rank, which is a Corporal made way more than even a Field Marshal in the AFFS last year with their bonuses."

"My own background, I was a Major in the AFFS, served 12 years and am a veteran of 2 wars. I am infantry by profession but recently, I have had to expand my knowledge base. I will be leaning on all of you to assist me in making decisions outside my immediate expertise. I eat the same food as my soldiers, sleep on the same ground as they do. I am a field soldier at heart, never liked garrison duty or the crap that goes with it. I prefer to be out in the field. During my service, I avoided staff duty like the plague. That lack has shown me some of the errors in my ways during our recent operations. I had us operating on too tight of a logistical tail, which hindered our operations and cost me some good soldiers. That will not happen again. I will be soon reforming the unit make up, adding in dedicated support functions. S1, S2, S3, S4, you all know the typical nomenclatures. These personnel will be drawn from those that have proven themselves skilled at those tasks, but also from those recently wounded that are unfit to return to the field if they choose to stay with us."

"Our next operations will be conducted for a longer period of deployment than previous operations. While we will keep this compound here on Inner End, it will mainly be manned by the rear detachment. It will serve as a logistics holding point until we can pick it up. I have not worked all the details out yet, but I do know that out in the Wastes, we are on our own. We have to be as self-sustaining as possible, hence the need to move to primarily Fusion based equipment, as many energy weapons as possible to cut down on ammunition needs. Cargo space is a precious commodity and everything I can do to save space I will do. All the hydroponics bays aboard our Jumpships will be undergoing a complete refit until they are fully functional, fresh food is a luxury I care not to do without. Though I doubt they will be able to keep up with demand, but we are going to try."

"Right now, our entire equipment TO&E is in a flux, so ship assignments, even equipment assignments are up in the air. I hope to have this worked out as quickly as possible. However, we are also at the mercy of the suppliers. We do not swing the same weight as more well-known units, though we do have some powerful benefactors as most of you probably noticed. But I am going to resist pulling on that particular card as much as possible, owing the wrong people can get you into trouble later on down the road. I prefer to keep us independent and debt free to chart our own course."

"We also do quite a bit of cross training here. Both Alpha and Bravo companies have been trained in Zero G combat. We are not full-on Marines, but we have been successful at it so far. Most of those soldiers also support the technicians when it is needed and quite a few have a medic secondary. We all pull our weight here; you will find Lieutenants digging or working right alongside the troops if it is needed. This will probably change with the influx of you new people, but I prefer it to remain as it is. It builds morale and comradely when you see an officer working just as hard as you are when your a simple soldier."

"While we never gave it a thought, of the 228 slaves that we liberated, 158 of them want to remain with us. But as civilians, so now we have camp followers. I have decided to let them stay with us. They will remain here as part of the rear detachment. Handling mostly the cooking, cleaning, and non-technical aspects of the tasks needing to be done. They are mostly uneducated, but that is not their fault. I have decided that the unit will also hire tutors to teach them some basics for three hours each day. I will not tolerate any mistreatment of these people. For all intents and purposes, they are part of this command. They will be paid for their services but probably will not be included in the bonus program."

"Now the biggie, the rank structure. I have consulted with Sergeant Major Pullman and he has agreed that it makes sense to make the changes now. So, if you will look at the monitor on the wall, you will see the new rank structure and how it might affect possibly your own current rank.", concluded Michelle

Search and Recovery Inc Rank Structure


-Brigadier General Colonel - David Mitchell
-Lieutenant Colonel - Battalion/Wing Command
-Major - Regiment and Battalion Staff
-Captain - Company/Squadron Command
-First Lieutenant - Platoon/Flight Command
-2nd Lieutenant - Platoon Command/Aero Pilot

Warrant Officer

-Chief Warrant Officer - Tech Branch Command
-Senior Warrant Officer - Senior Tech Company Command
-Warrant Officer First Class - Senior Tech Team Command
-Warrant Officer - Senior Tech


-Command Sergeant Major - Chester Pullman
-Sergeant Major
-First Sergeant
-Master Sergeant
-Staff Sergeant
-Private First Class

"The Warrant Officer class will be used by the Technical Personnel. Mech Techs, Aero Techs, Mechanics and so forth. Though the lower ranks will be classified as enlisted. For Example, Master Sergeant Caldwell is now going to be a Chief Warrant Officer. Senior Techs are going to be Warrant Officers. I do not plan on having a separate rank structure for the Aerospace or Naval side of the house. Ship Master Sarah Campbell is now a Lieutenant Colonel, Commodore Noble is now a Lieutenant Colonel. Chief Vincent Zuniga is now Chief Warrant Officer Zuniga."

"Each Battalion will have a Sergeant Major to assist the Battalion Commander and each Company will have a First Sergeant. Master Sergeants will be in every platoon to assist the Platoon leader. This going to take some getting used to for everyone and I expect growing pains. Though we are a Regiment in size, there will not be a Colonel in charge, I will hold that position. Colonel Dortman, you know what that means?", Mitchell the staff.

"Ja, I am now a Lieutenant Colonel I presume?" Colonel Alfred Dortman replied

"Yes, it does. Captain Gweneth Rolando is now a Major and your executive officer. She is quite ready to be a Battalion commander and if I had another Battalion, she would command it. I have served with her for years and trust her completely. Use her wisely." Colonel Mitchell said before continuing to speak to all the others "As you can see, the top rank is Brigadier General, I decided to go ahead and create it if some day it is needed. I highly doubt us reaching a multi-Regiment in size, but I never expected to exceed a Battalion in size either. Currently we field the following." He changed the screen on the wall monitor.

Search and Recovery Inc Unit Composition

Infantry Battalion - 3 Company of 4 Platoons Aerospace Wing - 5 Squadrons w/ Command Flight Battlemech Battalion - 3 Company Armor Battalion - 3 or 4 Company

"As you can see, there is some flux built into this current setup. Please note the Aerospace Wing, we are over strength here. We currently have bays for only 34 fighters yet have 60 pilots. I consulted with Commodore, excuse me Lieutenant Colonel Noble and he suggested that we rotate the pilots. In future operations, we will be flying a near constant Combat Air Patrol and this will help keep the pilots fresh as we cycle fresh pilots in for those coming off missions. For those that do not know or heard, we have a Titan Class Fighter Carrier Dropship, former Star League Defense Force vessel. We salvaged it on our first operation, and it is fully operational. It can carry 18 fighters and will be our primary strike platform. Our smaller Union CV carrier will primarily be used for defense of our Jumpships while the Titan is supporting ground operations. That is where most of the extra pilots will be based on."

I have not yet made up my mind if we will be going straight organization like currently laid out or some sort of combined arms setup like the Ceti Hussars use but on a smaller scale. While we are waiting on additional equipment, we will be conducting field exercises to determine which way we will move. I can see the advantage of each way, but which way will work for us needs to be determined. If there are no questions, we will conclude this meeting." Colonel Mitchell said.

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