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El Excellente

[CCG] 01: Surveyed reasons for joining the Military

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Character Creation Guides

Part 1: The motives of your character to join the Military!




This is a new series I planned on doing to help new players out with creating their own unique character. A lot of times, people just think we're the space-US-Army. The lore of Starship Troopers is complex though and this series will aim to guide you through the hoops to have your very own unique character! Of course, when you join and play SSTRP, you're making a character in the military. Let's have a look at why the men and women of the UCF join the military!


According to some cynics, people join the military simply to wear a pretty uniform and impress the girls (or boys). But is that the real reason?

Through a good sample sized, the following reasons were marked down as motives for most young adults to join the military:


1. Rebellion

Many young adults discover that their parents have planned their whole lives already: where to go to college, what to study, what job to take when they graduate. The wealthier the family, the more likely this is. These youths have just graduated high school. They are sick of being told what to do. The first real choice they have once they turn 18 is whether to enlist. Their parents cannot stop them. These young adults march eagerly into the enlistment centres and demand to sign up. They get angry when told to wait, and want to rush through the process, as much out of nerves as from a fear that their fathers will catch them and drag them home again.


2. Poverty

Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college. Some cannot afford higher education or do not pass the entrance exams, and without it their career options are limited. The military does not care how much money someone has. It provides food, lodging, clothing, and equipment for all its members, and trains them as well. For the poor youths, the military may be the only way they can guarantee eating every day, or having clothes that fit, or learning skills that could lead to a real job later. These young adults are often both hesitant and angry. Their poverty embarrasses them and the idea of enlisting is terrifying, yet strangely comforting. They resent anyone asking them to reconsider, or suggesting that they do not belong, and angrily agree to everything without really listening.


3. Patriotism

Some enlist not because they have to but because they want to. These idealistic youths believe that the Terran Federation is the greatest government in all history and are proud to be a part of it. They want to support the system in any way possible, including dying for it. These youths enlist because they feel the government needs them and because they want to do their part. Patriots are rare and think little of themselves – everything is about the government as a whole. While enlisting these young adults are quiet and serious but filled with an obvious enthusiasm. They are respectful but eager and accept any delays but clearly chafe under them.


4. Identity

Most young adults are interchangeable – the same age, roughly the same height, all in good health, all high school graduates. Each youth has lived less than two decades and so has not yet formed a distinct personality. They are still children and some of them realise this. These young adults wake up one morning understanding that they have no personality, no depth and no colour. They are blanks, faceless mannequins waiting to be moulded by their experiences. The military offers a clear path to provide an identity. During basic training, all of the baby fat is boiled away, revealing the man or woman beneath. Those who survive the training and become soldiers have undergone ordeals that shaped them, and they know who they are now. Each soldier has the same basic skills but a unique personality, forged in part during the training process. These young adults desire that more than anything else. They need to know that they are individuals, not faceless members of the crowd.


5. Fantasy

The Terran Federation makes no attempt to romanticise the military or its activities. But that does not stop civilians from doing so on their own. Soldiers are considered heroes even in peacetime, because they would lay down their lives to protect others. Many youths grow up with this notion and consider soldiers to be like medieval knights, men and women of chivalry and honour who battle evil and make the world safe for lovely admirers, wise rulers and handsome children. These youths want to be part of that tradition and enlist thinking that they will undergo a cleansing and relaxing ritual. They assume that training is more spiritual than physical and it quickly rids the body of fat and sluggishness, transforming each recruit overnight into a veritable killing machine. These youths stand in the line without even noticing and sign the forms without reading them. Their eyes see other worlds, worlds where they are already soldiers and heroes.


6. Escape

The military will not accept anyone who has a criminal record. But it does take people who have had minor brushes with the law and those in danger of becoming criminals. Though the military is not the ideal way to escape a life of crime, it is sometimes the only alternative. In some cities criminals are offered the chance to commute their prison sentence into military service, though only suitable candidates are given this opportunity. Youths can be reckless and headstrong, however, and some have done things they regret and cannot face. The military protects its own and when someone joins the military their slate is wiped clean. For some young adults – and some older ones – this is the only way to escape being labelled a criminal and punished for one or more crimes.


7. Citizenship

Finally, many young adults join the military to gain citizenship. Most of the people who live in the Terran Federation are not technically citizens – the Federation relaxed strictures against resident aliens long ago and made true citizenship an elite privilege. People can live their entire lives as resident aliens and never experience any difficulties from their status – many of them grow wealthy and respected. Yet they can never have the full respect of true citizens. Citizenship can be gained in several ways, but the easiest and best known is through military service. Anyone who completes a full term of service in the military becomes a citizen of the Terran Federation. That status does not bring any money, but it does carry respect and can lead to far better job opportunities. For some, being made a citizen is the only way they can hope to survive or prosper.



Behind the lore

As you can see, that's quite a list. This list is the result of many interviews conducted by Military Intelligence on a huge sample size. That means that the motives are very generalized. It will be entirely up to you to specify your character in one or even many of the motives to make them fit on the server!


Applying an example:

Let us say your character is a young female originating from Zegama Beach. When you're from Zegama Beach, you're either very poor or filthy rich. Being a hotspot for Dust [a dangerous drug in the SST universe], you could have had minor/major run-ins with drug abuse. Seeing that your glorious future on Zegama Beach has failed, your motives to join the Infantry could be stemming from Poverty and Escape.


Another complex example [as it requires some more deep knowledge of the lore] would be Citizenship. You don't sign up for Citizenship alone (unless you're a true patriot) - you do it for the benefits. You're a true believer of democracy? Need Citizenship to vote. You want more than 2 children? You need Citizenship for approval. You want to work in the government to make your home colony a better place? Citizenship. Want to be a cop? Citizenship.


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