The Imperial Guard is one of the armed forces of the Imperium of Man, and by far the largest. Also known as the Hammer of the Emperor the Imperial Guard's numbers are incomprehensibly large, and they prosecute the planetside campaigns of the Imperium across the entire galaxy. Though the elite Adeptus Astartes have prevented the Imperium's collapse at many key points throughout its 10,000 year history and saved innumerable planets from destruction, the Imperial Guard is what keeps humanity itself from extinction every day.
Sector Deus Imperial GuardEdit
- See also: Regiments of Sector Deus
The Imperial Guard of Sector Deus is raised from almost every Imperial-held world inside. Every world has its own Planetary Defence Force, its regular standing military, but as part of the Imperial Tithe they are required to provide soldiers for the Imperial Guard as well. To meet this requirement each planet will raise a certain number of regiments at certain time intervals (the number of regiments and interval between tithings is highly dependent on the world's population and type), before transport ships of the Imperial Navy arrive to pick up their cargo and take it where needed. Most of the time the standard tithe with also include reinforcements for already active regiments.
The vast majority of the time this tithe is met with volunteers from the world's PDF, and the planet will only let its best and most experienced into the regiment. Occasionally however some planets have met their regimental tithe with masses of convicts and conscripts in an attempt to retain their best soldiers for themselves though more often than not this ends in the execution of the planetary governor for daring to undermine the Imperium's strength, one of the worst kinds of treason.
There are two primary kinds of regiment in the Imperial Guard: Combat and Support.
Combat regiments are those which are intentionally deployed into combat as part of standard doctrine, such as Infantry regiments, Armoured regiments, Drop regiments and Artillery regiments. The vast majority of combat regiments in the Imperial Guard are tithed from Fortress Worlds such as Athena Prime, where the highly militarised cultures create soldiers who can be trusted to perform well in battle even without prior experience. Death Worlds like Rampage also tithe primarily combat regiments, but in much lower numbers due to their lower populations.
Making up the majority of the Imperial Guard, support regiments are those which have purposes outside of combat and under standard Imperial Guard doctrine will not be sent into offensive actions unless absolutely necessary. All support regiments are still expected to defend themselves should they come under attack though, but such actions are rare in most campaigns (with the exception of extremely mobile foes such as Dark Eldar, who relish in bypassing combat regiments to slaughter the relatively defenceless support regiments they are supposed to be protecting, crippling morale). Support regiments come under the direct control of the Departmento Munitorum and is divided into a number of functions. These include Supply regiments, Engineer regiments, Communications regiments, Medical regiments and Military Police regiments. Almost every Imperial World in Sector Deus tithes support regiments to the Imperial Guard.
For more information on each type of Regiment, see Regiment Types
Service in the Imperial Guard can end in a number of ways. Death is the most obvious, but more often than not a regiment will simply be dissolved once it's reached the end of its use and reinforcing it with fresh troops from its homeworld would take more resources than simply raising a new regiment. A regiment could be dissolved for a number of reasons, for example if a regiment has fallen to 50% battle-ready strength and is not engaged in a campaign it will be dissolved (if it IS engaged in an active campaign it will either be merged with another understrength regiment or reinforced by the tithe from its homeworld). A regiment can also be dissolved if its members have simply aged so much as to become combat ineffective, or if the Imperial Navy decides moving the regiment to their next posting would take more resources than moving a freshly made regiment. Regardless of how the regiment is dissolved, its experienced members will be offered positions of greater seniority in newer regiments so their experience can be passed on.
Once dissolved, the members of a regiment who did not re-enlist are simply left where they are and the Imperial Guard has no further part in their lives aside from a pension (many former guardsmen end up amassing and spending small fortunes to charter their way back to their home planet, but usually only high-ranking officers can afford this without years of effort). The only exception to this is if a regiment took a major part in the liberation or claiming of a planet not already in Imperial hands. In these cases the members of the dissolved regiment are essentially installed as a minor noble class on the planet with large land holdings and authority over any other human populace. This is to ensure the world does not slide back away from Imperial control as the former Guardsmen will not lose what they themselves fought for.
Storm Troopers are the elite of the Imperial Guard. Graduates of the Schola Progenium who show great aptitude for combat will be placed into one of the storm trooper academies around the Sector, and here they supplement the incredible loyalty and discipline they learn at the Schola with the best soldiering skills that can be provided. Those who show a particular fervour and an ability to inspire their comrades will be trained into Commissars instead.
Once trained, these men are provided with exceptional equipment like hellguns, plentiful special weapons and environmentally sealed carapace armour, allowing them to operate in any environment against any foe. Though proficient in all spheres of warfare storm troopers excel at lightning-fast mounted assaults, deploying directly from Valkyrie assault carriers. In many ways storm trooper battle doctrine is the same as that of the Adeptus Astartes, though in greater numbers at the expense of individual quality.
Storm trooper regiments differ to Imperial Guard regiments in that they are not dissolved & reformed. Each storm trooper academy operates a number of regiments named after the planet the academy is located upon (for example, the 6th Sarrissian Storm Trooper Regiment hails from an academy on Sarris V), and this regiment is kept up-to-strength by a constant influx of new recruits from the academy to replace losses. Furthermore, storm trooper regiments do not deploy as one self-contained unit. Rather, individual companies will be attached to Imperial Guard deployments where needed.
Furthermore, all enter the regiment as a baseline trooper and must ascend through NCO ranks before earning their place in the regimental command. This ensures even a junior lieutenant will be a grizzled veteran of many battles and command immediate respect from their soldiers. Because of the juvenat treatments that become increasingly available the higher in rank a storm trooper ascends, they remain combat capable virtually indefinitely and so a storm trooper's service ends only in death (any who suffer permanently crippling wounds tend to die where they fell as they decline medical treatment or simply continue fighting to the end).
Instead of the typical regimental tithe Penal Worlds will instead give regiments of convicts who have volunteered for one final opportunity to earn forgiveness in the eyes of the Emperor. Penal Legions are massive infantry formations much greater in size than typical regiments and generally used as fodder by their commanders to either soften an enemy strongpoint or stall an enemy assault, with officers leading from the back to discourage any deserters.
Obviously life expectancy in a penal legion is not good, but those few who survive long enough to impress their officers may be transferred into a nearby Imperial Guard regiment where they serve until the regiments dissolution.
Heirarchy & Notable PersonnelEdit
Note: Most Planetary Defence Forces follow the same heriarchical structure as the Imperial Guard, but technically all Imperial Guard officers outrank all PDF officers below General staff.
- Lord General Militant - The supreme commander of all Imperial Guard assets in a Sector. For obvious reasons Lord General Militants have overwhelming power at their fingertips, and often hold massive political sway in their Sector. The current Lord General Militant of Sector Deus is Drakkon Ursus.
- Lord General - The rank of Lord General is one of exceptionally high authority. Lord Generals transcend military concerns and enter the Imperial political sphere, and are often in command of vast swathes of Administratum, PDF and civilian resources alongside their own Imperial Guard regiments. Typically Lord Generals will be found commanding crusades, ruling entire subsectors, or controlling vital conflict regions. Hundreds of millions - if not billions - of soldiers stand at their command. Known Lord Generals of Sector Deus:
- Lucas Xerant - Patriarch of the Xerant Dynasty, governor of Subsector Adamantis and it's capital Adamant Prime.
- Baratheus Kal - Lord General of Malta. Kal controls all Imperial Guard assets on the planet and has centuries of experience fighting against the chaos raids that assault his planet (and the very occasional large-scale invasions). During his youth in Malta's military schools Kal's skill was quickly noted and he began his military career around 150.M41 as a young Lieutenant in Malta's PDF. From here he was quickly accepted into one of the Imperial Guard regiments that make up the world's first line of ground defence compared to the PDFs reserve duties. He led his men admirably against the occasional cultist uprisings that occur frequently on the planet, but it wasn't until a raid from the grave attacked his regiment's position that he truly distinguished himself. The death of his company commander put Kal in charge and the Lieutenant quickly rallied his disarrayed troops, personally leading the company to reclaim a vital AA position. With Kal at the front they cleared the area of cultist forces, and Kal himself incinerated a pair of Chaos Space Marines with a melta gun. He quickly turned the hydra emplacements on the raider's hovering dropships and sent them crashing to the ground before turning the autocannons on a mass of counterattacking forces and massacring them. Having essentially saved the regiment, Kal recieved promotion after promotion in the following years until he was a General controlling all Imperial Guard operations on the Aressar Plateau. When in 247.M41 a large scale invasion force broke through the orbital cordon and made planetfall on the plateau, Kal had perfectly anticipated their landing zone and formed up his regiments into a thick defensive cordon around the area. Attempts to break through the Imperial line that encircled them were ineffective due to the rapid redeployment of armoured regiments, and with nowhere to escape to the chaos forces were utterly destroyed by repeated Aeronautica strikes and eventually mopped up when Kal tightened the cordon and swept through the area with his infantry. With the retirement of the previous Lord General soon after, Kal was unanimously voted to take his place by Malta's military parliament and he has served in this position for over a hundred years.
- General - The highest conventional rank in the Imperial Guard that does not give authority over other Imperial branches, and the highest rank of the 'General Staff'. Generals typically control battlespheres the size of major continents or entire planets, involving thousands of regiments and tens of millions of guardsmen. This is also the highest rank in the seperate PDF heirarchy, and each populous planet will usually have a single General that controls their entire PDF. Notable Generals of Sector Deus:
- Horten Jass - Supreme commander of Athena Prime Combined Army Group Seven (also known simply as the 7th Army) an amalgamation of approximately 4000 combat & support regiments numbering roughly 25 million guardsmen in total (though ostensibly based on Athena Prime, the 7th Army has many regiments from other worlds folded into it). Jass started his career as a beurocratic officer in an Athenian Supply Regiment, but his incredibly keen intellect and knack for battlefield tactics saw him transferred to an Intelligence regiment where he secured promotion after promotion thanks to his abilities. His command of successful campaigns during all three Ionian crusades, as well as tours of command on Malta, ensured Jass' rise to General. As a General he gives a mixed impression. Many deride his lack of real combat experience, but he is beloved by the soldiers under his command for ensuring they are always well supplied and never overextended.
- Lieutenant General - The second highest rank of the 'General Staff'. Lieutenant Generals are in command of operations that span entire nations and hundreds of regiments. A typical Lieutenant General will command at least a few million souls and tens of thousands of armoured vehicles. Notable Lieutenant Generals of Sector Deus:
- Marius Xerant - Hailing from the Xerant Dynasty of Adamant Prime. Marius joined reinforcements sent to Malta by Adamant Prime that he commands to this day. As a member of his prestigious dynasty Marius started his military career as a Colonel, but thanks to the rigorous military schooling of his dynasty he was also very good at his duty, leading his regiment through the First Ionian Crusade with honour. He returned to Subsector Ionium twice more as a Brigadier General in the Second Ionian Crusade then Major General in the Third Ioinan Crusade where he continued his exemplary command, prosecuting successful campaigns on Folkvangr and Nutrimenta. During his service on Malta Xerant and his Adamatians have held fast against numerous attacks on the city-state of Standat they're assigned to defend.
- Major General - The third highest rank of the 'General Staff'. A typical Major General will command a few dozen regiments and several hundred thousand or even a million guardsmen, with areas of operation spanning things like major cities or critical regions within a nation. Notable Major Generals of Sector Deus:
- Kerius Dermont (former) - An exceptionally tough man and native of the death world Mormark, who served in the Imperial Guard during all three Ionian Crusades. When he retired back to his homeworld he was appalled by how his people were suffering under the incompetent rule of a Noble from Tachion Primaris who had taken the chaos of the Ionian Crusades as an opportunity to seize the planet for his own. Military forces quickly gathered behind the war hero Dermont's outspoken opposition to the Noble's rule, and he soon led a military coup and seized rule of the planet for himself. He rules Mormark to this day as dictator.
- Brigadier General - The lowest rank in the Imperial Guard 'General Staff'. Brigadier Generals are the lowest rank to command a truly combined-arms ground force, being in control of battlegroups of multiple regiments - usually up to a dozen or so - containing many tens of thousands of guardsmen. Alternatively Brigadier Generals may instead command one of the more massive Fortress World flagship regiments that number over a hundred thousand strong. Notable Brigadier Generals of Sector Deus:
- Bartlett Krusch - Commander of the 1st Athenian Infantry Regiment, the largest permanent regiment in the sector at 250,000 strong including large Armoured and Artillery complements. As commander of the 1st Athenian Infantry Regiment, also known as 'The Big One' or simply 'The First', Krusch is at the forefront of almost every major campaign involving the Imperial Guard in the sector. He is also a 'mustang' - an officer who began his career as a lowborn enlisted soldier - and clawed his way up the ranks through grit, heroism and an uncanny ability to beat the odds.
- Colonel - Most types of Imperial Guard regiments are led by a single Colonel. Notable Colonels of Sector Deus:
- Durant "Havoc" Haviss S.o.T - Commander of the 1st Athenian Storm Trooper regiment, the oldest and most illustrious regiment in the entirety of Sector Deus, Haviss is a veteran of a hundred wars and a thousand battles. Despite approaching 200 years of age the juvenat procedures, extensive bionics and near-constant state of battle he lives in make Haviss far more physically capable than the vast majority of healthy young guardsmen. Considered a living legend among the Sector Deus Imperial Guard, 'Havoc' and his regiment have taken part in ever major conflict in the sector for the last century and a half. Among his long list of exploits is the eradication of ork clans, defense of Malta against hordes of chaos, counterattacks against dark eldar raiders, and lightning assaults against the planetary capitals of worlds threatening to secede, ending wars before they even began.
- Major - The battalions that make up each regiment will be led by Majors and the most senior Major will be the regiment's second-in-command.
- Captain - Each company is commanded by a Captain. Experienced, competent Lieutenants (or Lieutenants with the right connections) are promoted to Captain when such a position becomes open.
- Lieutenant - The most junior officer rank, Lieutenants lead individual platoons and it is the rank that almost every officer starts their career with. There are many ways to become an officer in the Imperial Guard. The most common is being an officer in a planet's PDF (which itself is mostly achieved through specialised officer training courses or direct purchase), who is inducted into the Imperial Guard as part of the imperial tithe. Another method is to apply directly to officer training in the Imperial Guard which - if passed - earns one a commission. Yet another method is simply to purchase a commission - an option commonly taken by members of the Nobility (sufficiently powerful Nobles can even buy their way into starting at higher ranks).
Non-Commissioned Officers and EnlistedEdit
- Regimental Sergeant Major - The most senior enlisted rank in common use in the Imperial Guard. Generally each battalion will have a single RSM who serves to assist, protect and advice the battalion's commanding officer (usually a Major). The most experienced RSM in a regiment will instead serve the regiment's commanding officer (usually a Colonel). Though technically of lower rank than all officers only the most foolish would question an RSMs advice.
- Company Sergeant Major - The most senior enlisted soldier of a company. CSMs are advisers & assistants to Captains much like RSMs are to Colonels & Majors.
- Colour Sergeant - Also called Staff Sergeant in some regiments, each platoon has a single Colour/Staff Sergeant who serves as a Lieutenant's adviser and second-in-command. Many Lieutenants owe their lives to their Colour/Staff Sergeant and it is said that the entire structure of the Imperial Guard is built upon the competency of these NCOs, as it is up to them to ensure green Lieutenants survive & learn long enough to become effective officers. Naturally Colour/Staff Sergeants are very experienced soldiers who have seen many battles. In rare cases Colour/Staff Sergeants who exhibit an extremely high level of effectiveness and talent may be given a commission by their regimental commander, making them an officer as Lieutenant.
- Sergeant - These are soldiers who have experienced multiple combat actions and shown a solid ability to lead. Each Sergeant leads a section of guardsmen, (ie 10 infantrymen, a single tank or a single artillery piece)
- Corporal - These junior NCOs have (usually) seen at least some action along with a good degree of competency, and serve as a Sergeant's trusted subordinates. Corporals will lead a handful of guardsmen in carrying out orders.
- Guardsman - The lowest rank that all enlisted soldiers being with. The humble guardsman's bravery, discipline and sheer numbers has kept the Imperium together for 10,000 years.