|Standard-Issue Battle Gear of a Typical Van Saar Guardsman|
soldier, but with significant technical training
various, Human, CAST, Neuman, Beast, Wood Elf, Centaurian, Eradenian
any, the Federation IG has no gender discrimination
Morrigan-pattern Gauss Rifle, Cadian-pattern combat blade, Necromunda-pattern laser pistol, Ares Predator 10mm caseless pistol, various other Imperium-designed special weapons.
Van Saar Federation, Humankind Empire Abh
>CIA Field Report Local Dateline January 2015, Rassilonian Era Submitting Agent: 002.461517neminixblipsonara<
The Imperial Guard is the primary military force of the Van Saar Federation, comprised of a decently funded, moderately well equipped and well trained force of soldiers whose primary motivations are the completion of Federal Service and the defense of their nation. The VS-Fed's version of the Imperial Guard is similar in a lot of ways to the Imperium of Man (which quite a few of its veteran soldiers are formerly members of), but there are just as many differences between it and the Astra Militarum of the Imperium.
First is recruitment. The Van Saar Federation is best described as a "militant democratic republic" that believes that only those people who prove they're willing to directly risk their own lives in the defense of their nation have the right to have a say in its leadership. The right to vote is NOT an entitlement received at age 18; it's earned only through the successful completion of military service lasting a minimum of three years (or twenty years of public service as a doctor). Conscription is never used. The Imperium, by comparison, makes widespread use of conscription.
The second is xenophobia...or noteworthly LACK of. Where the Astra Militarum is extremely xenophobic and humanocentric, the Imperial Guard is made up of a mix of races with very little discrimination of any kind. What little DOES exist is based more along the lines of specializations based on racial aptitudes: Beastkin are physically very strong and excel in jobs that utilize that strength, CAST are highly intelligent cyborgs and have a natural affinity for engineering and machines, and Neumen tend to be the best at magic. Humans tend to be "jacks of all trades", and a great many of the rehabilitated Ghouls (or Ghiliam/mutants/scavvies as the Imperium calls them) have possess remarkable resistance to all kinds of hazardous environments.
The third is organization. Just like the Imperium, the VS Fed organizes Imperial Guard regiments into twenty companies. The difference is how their specializations are assigned. The Astra Militarum always organizes its regiments into a single type of unit: mechanized infantry, tanks, light infantry, and so on. All of the companies that make up an Artillery Regiment would be made up of nothing but artillery vehicles with no infantry or armored fighting vehicles for support (unless a different regiment assigns a few companies to specifically provide support). Federation Imperial Guard regiments are designed for greater independence: a Federation artillery regiment will have several companies made up of mechanized infantry to provide extra protection. In a great many ways the Federation's Imperial Guard is a throwback to the Imperial Army of the 31st Millennium, before the Imperium imposed major limitations on its own military in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy.
Technologically, the Imperial Guard of the VS Fed is substantially more advanced than the Astra Militarum, both in logistics, equipment, but especially in its attitudes about technology. Gone is the strangling influence of the Adeptus Mechanicus: the Imperial Guard's overall attitude is again more of a throwback to Pre-Heresy times. Federation Guardsmen universally possess a significant degree of technical and mechanical aptitude and utilize a fair amount of computerized aids. Advanced weapons such as plasma guns, fusion blasters, and other devices rarely seen outside of the Space Marines and the Tech-Priests are frequently used in the Federation's military.
Screw you, Sororitas-chan! We know the truth!
The reality is that technological capacity within the Imperium isn't declining nearly as much as the Adeptus Mechanicus claims. Where the AdMech chooses to be ultra-conservative and pseudo-religious, the VS Fed chooses to be much more progressive and eliminated all of the junk-religion. As such, the Imperial Guard of the Federation universally makes use of upgrades and improvements that the Adeptus Mechanicus simply refuses to take advantage of.
The Federation's Imperial Guard is trained to a degree that's slightly better than the Astra Militarum overall, putting it at a level of quality on par with fortress-worlds such as Cadia (which makes sense in a large part of the original Necromundan 8112th was actually a Cadian regiment was that combined with the Necromundans to replace battle losses). The Federation also differs from the Imperium in that it doesn't view its soldiers are expendable ammunition to be used freely. Thus, the Imperial Guard is trained to a degree better than "merely adequate".
All soldiers receive 16 weeks of basic training. After that advanced training relying on field exercises will take up another 4 weeks. Instructors avoid the personalized abuse that the Imperium uses to harden recruit's psyches and definitely eliminated the xenophobia. Federation Guardsmen are trained to have a strong habit of obedience as well as a strong sense of the duty to the Van Saar Nation and a high sense of personal initiative, not an ironclad case of obedience (as is so common in the Imperium). Some instructors even socialize with recruits a little, motivating them as much through a sort of familial bond, honor, and comradeship as through fear. Using some of the training methods of the Cadians, recruits are trained to function at the squad, platoon, and company-sized levels, with some tasks only able to be accomplished by working collectively as a coordinated group.
Training standards are stark and effective, but also practical. Recruits are sometimes deliberately sleep-deprived in order to acclimatize them to real battlefield situations. During basic training they wear actual body armor, both to build up strength and to get them used to wearing it for days at a time if need be. Live-fire exercises don't involve someone shooting over their heads - someone is actually shooting at them with real guns loaded with real ammunition: just like how REAL combat would be. Because the recruits wear body armor all the time death are rare, but injuries are frequent and used as a training tool for battlefield medicine.
Despite the hardships, everyone who enters the Imperial Guard is a volunteer doing their part to defend the Federation and earn Citizenship. Once Federal Service is complete some Guardsmen choose to be discharged and begin their new lives as full citizens of the Federation with all of the benefits they've earned. Every Guardsman who leaves military service typically has received enough training and practical experience that they have the equivalent of an Associates' Degree in mechanical and electrical engineering (so they already have useful skills). An astonishingly high percentage however (at lest 70%) have remained in the military since the Zealot Wars. Many of them have chosen to stay because they seem to enjoy the regimented culture, but a large number stay because they view themselves as the defenders of the Federation (a sentiment widely supported by the general population).
Cadian Kasrkin-pattern Carapace Armor - Composed of impact-absorbent carbonweave fabric with articulated, segmented plates of molded ceramite. The plates are attached directly to the carbonweave outer layer of the hostile environment suit and are designed for easy removal and replacement. The armor used by the Imperial Guard is different from the type used by the Kasrkin of Cadia in that lower-quality ceramite was used to significantly reduce costs. The overall level of full body protection is STILL higher than standard-issue Astra Militarum flak armor.
Just like actual Kasrkin body armor, the Federation-pattern incorporates a number of built-in sub-systems. It has a dataslate containing the soldier's individual biometric unit mounted in an armored casing on one of the forearms. The helmet (a standard pattern Cadian Tri-dome model) is equipped with a rebreather, polarized anti-glare goggles, an encrypted short range radio (range: 4 miles), and an attachment on the side for either a lamp pack or a vid-recorder (which is what the girl in the picture is wearing).
The number "4" on the girl's left shoulder pad indicates that she's a member of the 4th Regiment (based out of the starship Rebellious Command)
D'laku-pattern Hellgun - A powerful, rapid-fire high energy laser rifle manufactured in the Lathe forge-world system of the Calixus Sector of the Imperium. The D'laku-pattern is an older type of hellgun that favors range over extreme armor-piercing ability. These weapons are still extremely dangerous, punching through light and medium armor with each and inflicting distinctive "through and through" burn wounds in the process.
While the rest of the Imperial Guard uses gauss rifles, the 4th Regiment uses the D'laku hellgun exclusively (one of their distinctive trademarks). The cables on the girl's rifle are connected to one of two heavy power packs she's carrying on the back harness of her armor. These power packs are the exact same type used to power man-portable anti-vehicle laser cannons (and can be pulled out of her harness and plugged into a lascannon as needed). Each fully-charged heavy power cell will power a D'laku hellgun for 160 shots.
Van Saar Hostile Environment Suit (SECRETS REVEALED!!!) - The standard uniform of so many people within the Van Saar Federation. The type used by the Imperial Guard is exactly the same as the pattern worn by the original Necromundan 8112th Regiment: a close-fitting padded one-piece bodysuit designed to help protect its wearer in the dangerous environments of the Underhives of Hive Primus. The Van Saar suit consists of three layers - a liquid-resistant, tear proof outer layer of carbonweave, a semi-open middle layer of spaced nomex, and a rubberized waterproof neoprine inner layer. The basic suit is designed to protect the wearer from hazardous contact-based chemicals, freezing temperatures, and brief exposure to fire and radiation.
The suits can be further enhanced by attaching an appropriate life support pack - heated air can be pumped through the middle layer to protect against sub-arctic cold, cooled air for extremely hot environments, and various chemical compounds can be soaked into the outermost layers to enhance its protective qualities against other hazards. When protective gloves and a fully-sealed combat helmet are worn, the wearer would be fully protected against airborne toxins and poison.
The overall protective qualities of the basic hostile environment suit are equal to level 2A kevlar and reduces the effects of radiation exposure by 25%. The Van Saar suit is NOT pressurized for use in space or deep-sea diving.
Ares Predator Pistol (not pictured) - The Ares Predator is a 10mm caseless pistol that incorporates design elements from both the Imperium's Armsman-10 and the Terran H&K USP. The Predator isn't generally standard issue within the Imperial Guard, but many Guardsmen like it for its good damage and high capacity (20 shots fully loaded) so it is common among vehicle crews, close-combat units, and low-ranking officers.
Biometric Cognoman - Everyone in the Federation is issued a blank, iron-grey thick polymer card containing a simple, hardened optical computer designed to be read by dataslates and computer systems. One face contains both a magnetic strip and an embossed barcode for scanning with optical scanners. The biometric is the most important thing everyone in the Federation owns as it acts as proof of identity, medical details, access card, and credit transactor. Federation biometrics are all coded to their owner's physical data (DNA, fingerprints, etc) and all transactions have to be verified. Stealing a dead soldier's biometric is NOT a valid tactic - military biometrics are coded to their owner's heartbeat. If the soldier dies, their biometric goes into null mode, locking down and activating a trap feature. During the Zealot War Alliance soldiers attempted to infiltrate Federation facilities using the biometrics of slain Van Saar only to discover that they'd been deliberately drawn into ambushes.
Close-combat blade (not pictured) - Just like their counterparts in the Imperium, Federation soldiers carry large-bladed knives for use as bayonets. The type used by the Federation is very similar to the Cadian-pattern: a single-edged, broad knife with a 12-inch blade. Since the girl in the picture is from the 4th Regiment, however, the knife she carries is most likely the "Huntreblade", a type of heavy combat blade unique to them that's of a much higher quality, serrated and honed to a near-monomolecular edge for brutal slashing attacks.
The Imperial Guard of the Federation is a force that should not be take lightly. Assuming they're dullards and fools is a grave mistake: each one, regardless of race or gender, views themselves as a defender and protector of their home and nation, surrounded by others who believe the exact same thing. The Zealot Wars amplified that - they were the bastion against the darkness and the defenders of a nation threatened with annihilation. No matter how bleak things may have seemed, they endured, held, and overcame all odds no matter the cost.
The average Van Saar has an innovative streak with an eye on efficiency. If one method doesn't work they'll try another. If an overwhelming demonstration of force fails as an initial deterrent then the resulting battle will take on multiple forms utilizing multiple tactics. Anyone assuming that they won't incorporate magic into those tactics will be in for an unpleasant surprise. The Imperial Guard has already demonstrated that they are familiar with not only working WITH super-powered individuals to act as a supporting force, but also how to fight AGAINST super-powered individuals, using overwhelming numbers and force-multiplication to outflank, surround, outmaneuver, and grind down an enemy.
Overall, it's a very good thing that the Van Saar are honorable militarists and NOT xenophobic expansionists. They've been very cooperative with the Shadow Proclamation so far. We should endeavor to maintain that.