Taurian Defense Force
The Taurian Defense Force (or TDF) is the military of the Taurian Concordat. The TDF has traditionally been known for being the largest, best trained, best motivated and best equipped military in the Periphery or Deep Periphery (excluding the Clans). However, the TDF still pales in comparison with Successor State militaries, especially with that of the neighboring Federated Suns. Indeed, a history of aggression (both real and imagined) by House Davion has put the Concord on a state of high alert (some would say a state of paranoia) for much of its existence, lest the forced annexation of the Concord begun in the Reunification War were to be completed.
The actions of the TDF are ultimately controlled by the Protector of the Realm, who serves as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and is given the rank of Senior Marshal. If the Protector lacks in military expertise however, the Protector may delegate another individual to serve as Senior Marshal. In times of conflict, the Protector can invoke emergency powers which grants them greater authority to prosecute the war effort. In the years leading up to and during the Reunification War, the Protector would appoint a Marshal to serve as the TDF Chief of Staff, who oversaw day-to-day operations and managed the TDF strategic planning committee. There were also three deputy Marshals who were in overall command of the Concordat Army, Concordat Navy and the planetary defense forces respectively.
The work of carrying out the Concordat's military policies falls to the Ministry of Defense, which serves as an advisory board to the Protector and provides civilian control over the Taurian Defense Force. Staffed with both civilian and military specialists, the department oversees everything from recruitment, to weapons research and development, to materiel acquisition. Up through the years of the Succession Wars, the Ministry of Defense's primary mission was to maintain a constant vigil in the event of an invasion by outside powers. After the Concordat's entry into the Trinity Alliance, however, its focus shifted towards using Capellan assistance to revamp the armed forces (in exchange for fighting Liao's wars) and prosecuting the defensive invasion of the Pleiades Cluster.
The Taurian Defense Force is divided into the following combat and support branches:
Concord Army - The Army consists of line BattleMech, armor and infantry regiments, as well as Mercenary units on long-term contract. When necessary the Army is supplemented by the Concordat Constabulary as well as other irregular forces.
Dropships and Jumpships (and when available, WarShips) when assigned to a Corps. These assets are divided into fleets, with each fleet divided into two demi-squadrons. Naval personnel are typically long-term volunteers, with officers generally serving four to seven years. In case of invasion, the Navy is the first line of defense for the Concordat.- The Navy consists of the TDF's
AeroSpace Arm - The AeroSpace Arm is composed of the TDF's Aerospace Fighter force and maintains a large number of long-time volunteers. Despite this low turn-over, the AeroSpace Arm has long been considered the weakest of the three combat branches, due to a lack of equipment and trained personnel. During the 31st century, the TDF sought out Outworlds Alliance advisers to help modernize the AeroSpace Arm, which resulted in a gradual increase in competence and equipment.
Medical Division - The Medical Division provides medical attention to soldiers wounded in the field, with an emphasis on swift recovery and rehabilitation and the deployment of emergency medical technicians and surgical units at a moment's notice. In 3025 the care the Medical Division provided was on par with their Inner Sphere counterparts. Thanks to the Magistracy of Canopus providing aid through the Trinity Alliance, by 3067 the average Taurian soldier was receiving significantly better care than was available in the Inner Sphere.
Transport and Service Division - The Transport and Services Division is responsible for transportation and recovery/repairs of men and material to battle areas. All military DropShips and JumpShips are under the control of the Transport and Service Division, unless otherwise deployed with another division or corps.
Administrative Corps - The arm of the Ministry of Defense, the Administrative Corps is responsible for all administrative matters, including pay, record-keeping, promotion, and mercenary contracts.
Propaganda Division - The Propaganda Division is tasked with disseminating information to maintain high morale within the TDF and counteracting negative rumors spread by instigators. Funding increases starting in 3062 have allowed the Propaganda Division to provide informative updates on Protector Shraplen's new government policies and spread the good news about the TDF's victories in the Pleiades Campaign.
One of the defining characteristics of the Taurian Defense Force is its fierce pride and fanatical devotion to defending the Concordat against outside aggression by any means the enemy makes necessary. Having never been signatory to the Ares Conventions, no quarter will be asked or expected by the TDF, and no "dirty trick" is above use in the defense of the homeland. This includes even the deliberate targeting of enemy JumpShips operating as part of an invasion force.
Strategically, during the Succession Wars era the Concordat could not afford to conduct a defensive campaign similar to that used during the Reunification War, where it concentrated around protecting important worlds and was able to trade space for time. With its shrunken size after the Reunification War, nearly all of the remaining border worlds of the Taurian Concordat are vital to the Concordat's survival, requiring the static deployment of its military forces as far forward as possible and leaving little strategic reserves. In the event of another Inner Sphere invasion, the TDF Navy would deploy to engage the enemy as far forward as possible (and sacrifice themselves if necessary) to blunt any advance on the Hyades Cluster. Ground forces not part of a permanent garrison would operate as Special Task Groups to conduct a variety of missions, launching local counter-attacks or raiding deep behind enemy lines to disrupt lines of communication. Eventually though the TDF would either be forced to withdraw again into the Hyades Cluster, surrendering many of its key industrial centers, or launch a desperate counterattack, with which its weakened military industrial complex may not be able to cope.
Tactically, the TDF was unable to practice true combined-arms warfare in the modern sense during the Succession Wars era, as the few 'Mech and Aerospace Fighter assets it possessed were thinly-spread and deployed on a rotating basis. Conventional forces were able to work seamlessly together, giving the TDF a significant advantage, but any cooperation between them and any 'Mech or ASF assets locally available was often of an ad hoc nature. At the same time, many 'Mech regiments did have conventional forces permanently attached, providing them with needed support.
The Taurian Defense Force operates on a variation of the standard Inner Sphere model (see below table). 'Mech regiments are slightly larger than typical and will include a command lance. Conventional units not attached to a corps were permanently assigned to garrison a world. Armor regiments do not use a separate command unit, instead the regimental commander operates among the line units so as to improve their own survivability. Since infantry regiments rarely rotate off-world, many of their individual battalions train in a specialization, though anti-'Mech training is a given for all battalion-level units and higher. Additionally, each infantry regiment will also include a dedicated platoon of commandos trained in demolition, infiltration and other special warfare techniques.
|Maniple||5 troopers||2 vehicles||*|
|Squad||2 Maniples (10)||*||*|
|Lance/Platoon||3 Squads (30)||3 Maniples (6)||4 'Mechs|
|Company||3 Platoons (90)||3 Lances (18)||3 Lances (12)|
|Battalion||3 Companies (270)||3 Companies (54)||4 Companies (48)|
|Regiment||3 Battalions (810+)||3 Battalions (162)||3 Battalions + |
Command Lance (148)
|Air Lance||2 Fighters|
|Flight||2 Air Lances (4)|
|Wing||2 Flights (8)|
|Air Division||2-3 Wings (16-24)|
The arrangement of the Taurian Defense Force is reminiscent to that of the Napoleonic armies with a thirty-first century twist. BattleMech regiments are organized into operational Corps, each under the command of a Marshal, with naval elements directly attached and answering to the corps commanders. Each corps also includes a command company with a mix of 'Mechs and armor, the latter used for scouting purposes. It is the corps which provide the TDF with offensive capability and they serve the last line of defense in the event of an invasion of the Concordat. Concordat Army units not part of a corps, typically conventional regiments, are permanently assigned to garrison specific worlds. Each world has at least a battalion of armor, with more important ones protected by one or more regiments, and many boast extensive fortifications.
Supporting the regular line units are a variety of support formations and special forces. During the Reunification War, the Taurian Volunteer Guards played an important role in defending the Concordat, although they were wiped out in the conflict. The Special Asteroid Support Force is an elite all-volunteer group dedicated to defending the Hyades Cluster from all invaders. The Concordat Constabulary, an internal security force during peacetime, can also be called on to fight off invasions. Lastly there are a variety of paramilitary groups - including planetary militias, corporate security forces and noble family regiments - which can be mobilized in an emergency.
In the five years between the formation of the Star League and the start of the Reunification War in 2575, the TDF doubled in size, making it the largest military in the Periphery and the equal to many of the Great Houses. The Concordat Navy was larger than any other bar the Terran Hegemony's, with 127 WarShips, thousands of JumpShips and DropShips, and many squadrons of Aerospace Fighters. The Concordat Army consisted of 33 BattleMech Regiments, organized into the six corps, with nearly three times as many frontline armored regiments, seven Aerospace fighter regiments and numerous infantry regiments. The Taurian Nobility themselves were able to personally finance the creation of over two dozen more regiments during the war as well. By the end of the conflict however the TDF was a shadow of its former shelf, with just 13 'Mech regiments and nine surviving WarShips.
By 2750 the TDF was in a similar state, its size limited and closely monitored by the Star League, with a strength of just 13 regiments and 15 WarShips. When the Concordat joined with Stefan Amaris and the other Periphery powers to throw off the League's oppression, they were able to massively expand their forces in secret, until by 2765 they where well equipped with 21 Divisions (consisting of 78 conventional regiments and 115 'Mech regiments) and 31 WarShips. However, while consisting of troops provided by and flagged as part of the TDF, many of these new units were essentially independent, operating as part of Amaris' "Secret Army." Most were destroyed in the New Vandenberg Uprising, and with the Succession Wars cutting off any further support from the Inner Sphere much of the survivors withered away.
By 3025 the TDF consisted of twelve 'Mech regiments (or 30 battalions), three of them mercenaries on long-term contract, organized into six Corps, while the Navy consisted of 117 JumpShips and DropShips divided into four fleets (secretly the Navy also consisted of a lone surviving WarShip, the Vandenberg, although it was non-operational). By 3050 it had increased slightly to 14 'Mech regiments, three of which were mercenary commands. In 3064 the TDF had a 'Mech strength of 17 regiments and two battalions, though it technically numbered 12 'Mech regiments due to the oversized nature of their units, however this was further reduced to 9 'Mech regiments in 3067 due to losses in the Pleiades Campaign and the formation of the breakaway Calderon Protectorate.
- Taurian Guards Corp
- I Corps
I Corps was a Taurian Defense Force Brigade sized Military Formation originally assigned to the defense of the Taurian Concordat's border with the Capellan Confederation and later assigned to New Vandenberg. The brigade consists of three regiments of various sizes.
The Taurian Defense Force expanded I Corps duties to cover the new settlements created by the formation of the New Colony Region and later to fulfill the Taurian responsibilities to the Trinity Alliance.
- III Corps
- V Corps
Originally a Corps to which the Taurian Defense Force assigned mercenary units, V Corps is primarily assigned to defender the Taurian Concordat's northern borders against activity from Pirate's Haven and the Calderon Protectorate.
These are former corps, no longer active in the Taurian Defense Force.
- II Corps
Due to the Taurian Concordat's long standing hatred of House Davion, the defenders of the Federated Suns/Concordat border, the II Corps is among the most steadfast and celebrated of units within the TDF.
- IV Corps
Formed in reaction to the creation of the Federated Commonwealth, the Taurian Defense Force's the IV Corps was intended to bolster the defense of the Taurian Concordat's borders with the Inner Sphere.
- VI Corps
Originally the newest Corps of the Taurian Defense Force, the VI Corps was initially designated a 'catch-all' formation, dividing its forces between colonial outposts and border duty. This changed after the ascension of Grover Shraplen to the Protectorship, with VI Corps staging a rebellion and becoming the defense force of the breakaway Calderon Protectorate.
- Taurian Volunteer Guard
All citizens of the Taurian Concordat are required to serve for four years in the TDF - two of those on active duty - but not all service must be of a military nature. Those who don't intend to pursue a military career are assigned to a provisional training battalion, with one battalion for each of a planet's geographical districts or cantons. These conscripts will receive some rudimentary combat training but will otherwise be asked to perform civilian-oriented tasks. Those who wish to join the military proper will instead receive an eighteen-week basic training course before moving on to a field unit.
Alone of the major Periphery states, the Concord has maintained large military academies for most of its history. Every Taurian world can boast at least one military academy, though most are dedicated to training conventional forces and their support units. For more advanced training, the Concord maintains three for each of its main branches, the Army, Navy and Aerospace Arm. Each can handle about 500 or more cadets at a time, mostly Taurian nationals but around ten percent will be foreign students. Education is free for citizens of the Concordat but admission still depends on passing the physical and mental standards; a suitable "endowment" can improve an applicant's chances, and such legal bribery is seen as necessary to maintain the schools' effectiveness.
The curriculum is similar at all three schools. Emphasis is placed on basic training, giving students a strong aptitude for military history and allowing some electives, after which students are allowed to specialize in any offered field based on test results. Exceptional students may be offered special training or Officer Candidate School (though MechWarriors are guaranteed a commission anyways). In general the Taurian schools are less stressful than their Capellan counterparts, of which some were opened to qualified Taurian candidates after the Trinity Alliance was formed. The primary reason was found to be that greater personal investment was required in order to succeed compared to Taurian schools, with the trade-off being that there was a far greater burn-out rate. Still, once the option became available, many jumped at the opportunity since such foreign education was seen providing an edge to getting a promotion.
- Taurian École Militaire
- Taurian Naval Institute
The Taurian Naval Institute, located on New Vandenburg, specializes in training for larger Aerospace vessels. With support from the Outworlds Alliance, the Taurian Naval Institute has appreciably improved in the thirty-first century.
- Concordat Aerospace Flight School
The Concordat Aerospace Flight School, located on Samantha, focuses on Aerospace flight instruction and is the poorest of the training academies. While often a result of insufficient funding in general provided to the Aerospace Arm, some of this lackluster performance is based on the Taurian cadets themselves - specifically, the Concord simply is not supplying enough talented candidates for whatever reason, with up to forty percent of the student body foreign-born. Instruction at the Concordat Aerospace Flight School has improved since the Outworlds Alliance has offered assistance.
The TDF authorizes three different types of uniforms. The Standard uniform of the Concord military prior to 3060 was a red tunic with silver (NCOs) or gold buttons (officers), black trousers, and black lapels. Soldiers wore an oversized beret or forage caps which was colored to match their branch: dark green for infantry, light green for armor, brown for BattleMech, sky blue for navy, and light grey for support. Afterwards, the tunic was changed to either red (ground forces) or navy blue (aerospace) with the field cap colored to match the tunic, though officers, MechWarriors and special forces were allowed to wear a black beret. Enlisted personnel wear industrial safety shoes, while officers wear calf-high boots with their trousers tucked in (female personnel may wear high-heels at social functions). Rank insignia are worn on the lapel, but awards are not allowed.
The TDF Dress uniform is a very practical modification of the standard uniform, properly cleaned and pressed. The dress uniform adds a sash for displaying awards, a gold for officers and a (slightly thinner) silver one for enlisted personnel. Prior to 3060 both were allowed to wear white gloves, though afterwards enlisted personnel could wear only white leggings. After 3060 all soldiers were allowed black berets as part of their dress uniform or wear their standard forage caps. Concordat Marshals further wear gold aigrettes to denote their rank.
The standard TDF Field uniform is a dull-red or burgundy camouflage battledress with the rank insignia on the lapels. The standard coloration is good for most environments, though when needed the coloration and design can be tailored for the local climate and terrain. Personal battle gear, whether neurohelmets, flight suits or cooling vests, varies depending on local available resources, but typically are either of Davion or Liao design, with coloration designed to match branch (red for ground, blue for aerospace). After the Trinity Alliance, many units began to standardize to updated Liao design.
A fourth category, the Utility uniform (also known as "Undress Blues" or "Military Undress"), are not regulated by the TDF. Anything presentable can be worn, from dungarees to overalls, so this attire is dependent upon local supply.
|Corporal||Infantry maniple commander|
|Section Leader||Infantry squad commander|
Tank maniple commander
|Force Sergeant||Platoon commander|
Tank lance commander
Aerospace Fighter pilot
|Lance Sergeant||Asst. company commander|
Air Lance Commander
|Battalion Chief-Sergeant||Senior battalion NCO|
|Air Chief||Flight Commander|
|Officers (XO indicates executive officer, CO commanding officer)|
'Mech Lance CO (post-3065)
Ship asst. department head
'Mech Company CO
|Air Master, Junior Grade||Air Division XO|
Ship department head
'Mech Battalion CO
|Air Master, Senior Grade||Air Division CO|
|Space Master||Ship Captain|
|Comptroller||Multi-world force commander|
'Mech combined-arms CO
|Marshal (rank)||Corps commander|
- The Periphery, p. 74
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 54
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 113
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 44
- The Periphery, p. 71
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 105
- The Periphery, p. 76
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 114
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 112
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 51
- The Periphery, ph 82-83
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 52
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 44, 146
- The Periphery, p. 80
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 65
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 67
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 50, "Territorial State Troop Strength"
- 20 Year Update, p. 77-78
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 143
- Field Report: Periphery, p 12
- The Periphery, p. 77, 81
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 53
- The Periphery, p. 82
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 55
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 116-117
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 53
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 115-116
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 112