The Amir (pronounced a-mear) Clan has ruled Berant since the sixth century AD / CE. For over a thousand years they’re the premier clan in the Amiri tribe (pronounced a-mear-e) and the largest in the country. In 1948 King Edward ascends the throne as an absolute monarch, and soon creates a constitution to make Berant a constitutional monarchy. Including a changed monarch selection method; now the senior Amir Clan members choose the King from the candidates, the husbands of the King’s daughters and nieces. The blood line goes through the women, but their husbands rule. No point of fighting within the clan now. No person born of the blood can rule the country and those born to the blood elect the ruler, so no guarantees for anyone.
All Military forces in the region use the same establishment and rank system. Twenty member platoons plus a commander, ten platoons to a company with a commander and radio operator; thus a company of two hundred and twelve troops. A regiment of six companies with a command unit of a regimental commander, a regimental sergeant major, a five person communications squad, and a medical support platoon with a doctor in command. Making a regiment of one thousand three hundred men and officers. A brigade consists of five regiments. The brigade commander is a general with the support of a five person communications squad, three officers as assisting staff, and a platoon of troops as headquarters security. New troops enlist as recruits who graduate basic training as a private, and some will act as a junior corporal in training. Corporals, Sergeants, and Warrant Officers wear their rank on the upper arm of their uniform shirt and jacket. Commissioned Officers wear shoulder epaulettes, or plastic shirt collar studs when in a non-combat unit. The rank symbols are corporal - junior or lance, one V shaped stripe; full, two stripes; senior, two stripes with a hat, a small upturned V stripe. Sergeant - junior, three stripes; full, three stripes with a hat; senior three stripes with two hat stripes. Warrant Officer - junior, one small crown; full, two small crowns; senior, one large crown; the Regimental Sergeant Major has a falcon above the crown. Lieutenant - junior, one thin bar; full, two thin bars; senior, two thick bars. Captain - junior, one diamond; full, two diamonds; senior; three diamonds. Major - junior, one small crown; full, two small crowns; senior one large crown. Lieutenant Colonel, one small falcon; Colonel, one large falcon. General ranks wear one to five stars. All personnel on training courses are called trainees, rank isn’t worn. Officers start as privates and serve as non-commissioned officers before becoming officers. Most go from sergeant to commissioned officer via tests and courses. Warrant Officers equate to a lieutenant or captain, depending upon assigned duties.
Army members swear an oath of allegiance to the parliament and are controlled by the Minister of Defence (a cabinet post). The military commander is the Chief of General Staff, a four star general. There are five brigades of ground troops, four brigades of armoured troops, and one brigade of logistics and transport. The Army has a different communications network and frequencies to the Royal Guards; there’s a third set of frequencies for combined operations. The Army insignia is a rectangular patch on the right shoulder consisting of the Berant flag with the words ‘Berant Army’ under it. Unit insignia is a rectangular coloured patch on the left shoulder with a unit number.
Army entry standards are below those for the Guards, many people who miss out on joining the Guards join the Army. On a per unit basis the Army is regarded as being about half as combat effective as the Guards due to lower performance standards and less training. The most common Army duty is to aid the community in an emergency. Army HQ would like to have higher standards and training levels, but are severely restricted by parliamentary budget limits.
The Royal Guards
The Royal Guards (Guards) are very effective combat troops and are very loyal to the King - as their oath of allegiance is to the King they’re his personal troops. Each year staff travel the world to study troop training methods in other countries and the best aspects are included in training the Royal Guards. All are trained as combat troops then their specialist skills - including medical and rescue troops. The Guards wear two insignia. The right shoulder has an oval patch with a horizontal main axis showing the Royal Falcon. The oval has a crown on its centre top and the words ‘Royal Guards’ along the bottom curve. The left shoulder has the unit insignia with the regimental and unit symbol on it, the unit name around the top edge and its short name along the bottom edge. There are five brigades. An individual is called a ‘Sword, ‘ as they’re the Kings Sword - smiting the enemy. Each regiment specialises in something. As a group they’re called ‘Swords.’ Civilian contractors do the equipment repairs and heavy maintenance for all Guards units while the Guards do the combat field repairs.
The Claymore are ground troops, the core of the Guards. Unit patch is a coloured horizontal sword with the regimental number below the blade’s centre and a symbol above it. Five regiments. The 1st, the Kings Own, a crown, they protect the royal family and embassies; thus, it has extra companies. The 2nd, the Foresters, a tree, jungle warfare. The 3rd, the Rocks, a rock, mountain climbers. The 4th, the Falling Angels, a parachute, helicopter and parachute assault. The 5th, the Urbans, a house, urban combat.
The Raptors, Royal Armoured Guards, a brigade of five armoured regiments. Each has a different level of armoured tank or armoured car, some have less tanks and their own trained support troops in similarly armoured transports. Each regiment uses a particular combat style or vehicle type. The unit insignia is an attacking Velociraptor, side on with claws and fangs showing and the regiment number on its side. The colour of the raptor matches that of the regiment’s colour code. The 1st, Royal Raptors, imperial purple. The 2nd, Black Raptors. The 3rd, Brown Raptors. The 4th, Green Raptors. The 5th, Red Raptors. The Raptors’ organisation varies in that each tank has a five person crew with two or more tanks per platoon, depending upon the regimental mix. All units use the same type of troop transport - engine power, amount of armour, and mounted weapons varies between the units to suit their job.
The Fishers, Royal Rescue Service, are Search and Rescue (SAR) specialists, three regiments of one thousand three hundred soldiers. Each unit has its own medical support and each regiment specialises in a type of SAR work. 1st, the Sky Hooks, air rescue - helicopters. The 2nd, the Gophers, land rescue - multi-terrain ground vehicles, climbers, and cave work. The 3rd, the Otters, water rescue close to shore and waterways with light patrol boats. All units are based on a five member team with a sergeant or officer commanding it. Four teams to a platoon. The regimental commander has an oversized equipment support platoon instead of a medical platoon, and no security unit. Their unit patch is a Falcon carrying a first-aid kit with the unit number on the falcon’s chest. No colour coding is used in the Fishers.
The Peregrines, Royal Air Guards, three wings of one thousand three hundred soldiers. Each unit is structured to match the operational and support needs of their aircraft. The unit insignia is a Peregrine Falcon with wings wide in braking and claws out in strike mode, with the wing number on the falcon’s chest. The 1st, Brown Bombers, jet fighter bombers with aircraft painted like giant brown Peregrine Falcons. The 2nd, Green Birds, helicopter gunships painted jungle green. The 3rd, Blackbirds, troop transports in jungle green (Blackhawk helicopters and short landing / take off aircraft), unit insignia has a sword grasped in the falcon’s claws because they deliver Swords.
The Orcas, Royal Sea Guards, four fleets of one thousand three hundred soldiers. One platoon per boat. The unit insignia is a side view of an Orca with the fleet number on its side. The 1st, Blue Orcas, light patrol boats that are better at inshore work. The 2nd, Green Orcas, heavy patrol boats better for open sea work. The 3rd, Black Orcas, troop transports, their insignia includes a sword clutched in its mouth, because they’re used for amphibious operations and deliver swords. The 4th, Red Orcas, ultra-fast patrol boats equipped as torpedo boats.
The intent is to expand all brigades to five regiments as resources permit. Sea going units are equipped with single hull patrol boats. The size, power, equipment, and armament varies according to the needs of the unit they’re in order to meet their designated mission roles.
Swords are still carried by officers for formal functions. However, they use a short sword that’s similar to the Roman Gladius with a 600 mm straight blade. It’s a very effective combat weapon that’s especially useful in the Berant jungles. The officers and some Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) carry a sword into battle as a close quarters weapon as well as the service issue 400 mm long combat knife.
When King Edward comes to power the highest Berant award for courage is the Valour Cross, equal to the US Medal of Honor and the British Commonwealth Victoria Cross. It’s only awarded to serving military personnel for actions in combat with the enemy. The King created two more awards. The Claymore, equivalent to the Valour Cross, but can be awarded to anyone for acts of great courage under any circumstances other than those of the Valour Cross. The new highest award being the Golden Claymore, awarded to anyone where the courage shown is so high it immediately ranks as legendary. The award process for all three is a panel of five officers and five civilians who examine the circumstances of the incident, with no personal details of the people involved. Their decision must be based on the person’s actions only and be unanimous for the award to be given.
The Army is funded by the Parliament out of taxes. The Guards are funded by the King out of the King’s revenue and the personal wealth of the Amir Clan because the Berant King’s family helps pay to run his areas of responsibility.
English is now the official language of Berant. For about one hundred and fifty years Berant was a French colony and the official language was French. The old tongue was still spoken in the tribes and used for the tribal councils, it still is today. The original language of Berant is much closer to French in its construction and syntax.