Holy cow! Don’t you people sleep?! Go for one mountain bike ride to beat the snowstorm coming in this afternoon and I come back to this! Awesome!
I’ve got to get through Sydney’s spreadsheet, so I’ll save comment on it, but wanted to get some thoughts out on what I’m thinking/envisioning.
Since Chris Moeller makes it quite clear the Iron Empires are a universe at war, military organization is going to have effects far beyond just the units into society via the Lords Hammer and Anvil. So, for internal consistency and some cool color, knowing what a unit has is important. It is also important in the canon. (I’m a historian, so I stick with the sources!) Trevor Faith is continually considering military units, what their organizations are, and so forth. Knowing CHOT’s line companies were “dirt” and only one was at the Temple with just two platoons of iron was crucial to his battle plan in Faith Conquers.
I envision in the Iron Empires that there is a Federation version of Vegetius’ De Re Militari (online here), which was read by almost every medieval warlord (although rarely followed). This manual, let’s call it Federal Field Manual 1 (FFM 1), has everything; how to organize an army, what you need to dig in a company, how to embark a force, etc. (Hammer would have an equivalent, say, Federation Space Doctrine 1 (FSD 1).) Due to the innate conservatism of the Iron Empires, FFM 1 is followed closely, whenever possible. Also, standardization is crucial for interstellar empires; if you need to move an anvil battalion off-planet, you need a top-end number for planning the number of berths and the cube necessary for vehicles and equipment, else you will have a disaster. (As my company’s embark officer during the Gulf War I helped embark not only my battalion, but the entire 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade–no sleep for three days!)
Two final thoughts on staffs and basic organization:
Staying with the idea of IE as A Distant Mirror (the book that made me decide to become a historian) in space, I don’t see Hammer or Anvil units (ie battalions and wings) as having an extensive staff or support organization since they are able to tap into civil society via their Lord to an extent much greater than today. Need more maintenance, use the lords’ mechanics; need intelligence, go to the lord’s psychologist; need money, see his financier. An Anvil Lord would only heed a few staffers to fill critical functions; with several close Lord Pilot companions, the Lord Anvil would assume direct command of his battalion only when necessary.
This means ranks would top out at “Captain,” meaning as it did in medieval times, any commander of an organized body of troops, with Lieutenants as assistants. Any rank above this (major, lt col, col) would be a Lord Pilot or Lord, who would rely on his (or her in the case of Lady Sheva) noble rank for command authority. Generals, Marshalls, Admirals, do exist, but are only awarded by the emperor.
Lastly, I think any organization in IE has to work bottom-up. I see the squad as the basic organization, with the ability to organize into teams for specific missions (with the necessary specialists) and having an “arms room” with the necessary weapons for a variety of tasks. The current-world’s TO&Es are based on draftees, so have many specialized platoons and even companies. With the long-serving Anvil soldiers, this would not be as necessary.
Okay, rambling, spandex is starting to cloy, need to eat, but this is fun!