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Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

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Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:05 am

I am working on an alternate-history universe where the Roman Empire survived to this day, its military force structured along modern lines but with the obvious uninterrupted military tradition flowing from good old times.
The most interesting aspect is about the flow NCOs-company level officers.
As I understood the Roman military hierarchy, Centurions were the most significant part of the officers corps, carrying out duties ranging from company (Centuria) command to battalion command (Cohors), including staff offices and brigade-level positions.
The majority of the Centurions arose from the ranks, promoted from the rank of Optio, which was a sort of very senior NCO carrying out also duties and functions which nowadays are carried out by Lieutenants.
Here comes the rain: in a modern Roman army, would centurions be promoted from the ranks, without any particular officers training, up to the rank of Major/Lieutenant Colonel? And would their rank insignia reflect this continuity?
Would the senior ranks (Military Tribunes, Legati and Comes and Duces) be appointed after a specific course?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby SFMRAS » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:39 pm

I think the answer is both.
You'd likely also have Greek and other influenes as well. Roman existed, in one form or another, for nearly a thousand years, IIRC. If it were to exist today, I believe that would add an additional thousand years to draw on.
IIRC, in antiquity, Centurions were also directly appointed, without prior experience.
I think there would be some form of Continuity of ranks, for instant, by rotating the insignia, as the Centurions dud in Rome.
Optios could have no insignia to several, say |, ||, |||, ||||.
Centurions would have - or =. Senior appointments/ranks would add feathers, as the early Romans did. So something like |-| or |=|.
I read somewhere that'generals' wore knotted belts, so that would likely survive.
I'd actually created a set of Romanesque helmet ranks. I'll see if I can find them.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby marcpasquin » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:44 pm

I think you might need to decided whether you are basically doing an integral roman empire with modern guns or a roman empire that has evolved over the past 2 millenias.

If the former, getting equivalency will be a bit hard. Centurions rose from the troops to have responsabilities and an autonomy of command far beyond what non commision officers would have OTL. It would roughly be like haveing all ranks up to major or so being enlisted ranks and having colonel and above be political apointee.

what's worse is that in this HQ staff, the tribunes were there mostly to observe and only in a few cases command anyone with only the legates actually taking decisions. So 2 ways to see this in term of insignias is that either all ranks up tribunes are treated as a single progression stream (like the chevron and rocker system of US army but extended) or else treat the centurion and those below as having 2 different sets of rank insignias.

As to what they might look like, centurion could wear a fan like design that's a stylized representation of his ceremonial uniform crest with below a number of pips depending on which cohort he comands (and thus his level of seniority). It could also be something incorporating a vine stick which was historically a symbol of his authority.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby SFMRAS » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:52 am

marcpasquin wrote:I think you might need to decided whether you are basically doing an integral roman empire with modern guns or a roman empire that has evolved over the past 2 millenias.

If the former, getting equivalency will be a bit hard. Centurions rose from the troops to have responsabilities and an autonomy of command far beyond what non commision officers would have OTL. It would roughly be like haveing all ranks up to major or so being enlisted ranks and having colonel and above be political apointee.

what's worse is that in this HQ staff, the tribunes were there mostly to observe and only in a few cases command anyone with only the legates actually taking decisions. So 2 ways to see this in term of insignias is that either all ranks up tribunes are treated as a single progression stream (like the chevron and rocker system of US army but extended) or else treat the centurion and those below as having 2 different sets of rank insignias.

As to what they might look like, centurion could wear a fan like design that's a stylized representation of his ceremonial uniform crest with below a number of pips depending on which cohort he comands (and thus his level of seniority). It could also be something incorporating a vine stick which was historically a symbol of his authority.

Perhaps the vine staff could function as the number of the cohort? A vine staff for the 1st, two in a 'V' for the 5th, a pair crossed for the 10th, etc.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:51 pm

Well, my wondering took the assumption that the basic structure would remain unchanged, so ranks up to major being a sole stream from Miles Gregarius to Primus Pilus or even Praefectus Castrorum.
Tribunes, as staff officers, would be distinguished from both Legates and above ranks and from Centurions.
SFMRAS wrote:
Perhaps the vine staff could function as the number of the cohort? A vine staff for the 1st, two in a 'V' for the 5th, a pair crossed for the 10th, etc.

Or a vine staff with a roman numeral. And, for non-commanding Centurions, a sort of equivalent.


P.S. After only 4 years I gained my first star on the first shoulder board! I'm very proud. :D
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Helios88 wrote:

P.S. After only 4 years I gained my first star on the first shoulder board! I'm very proud. :D


Complimenti, signore sottotenente:)
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:49 pm

This is a great one....!

I could have SO much fun with this!! smilies-15
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:56 pm

I'm very curious about possible developments.:D
Miklós Lovász wrote:
Helios88 wrote:

P.S. After only 4 years I gained my first star on the first shoulder board! I'm very proud. :D


Complimenti, signore sottotenente:)

Thanks a lot. :D


P.S. In Italian the final "E" of "Signore" is omitted when followed by a name or a title. :D

Mille scusi, signoR sottotenente :P
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:22 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:This is a great one....!

I could have SO much fun with this!! smilies-15


So? Why don't you? Pretty pleeease with a loooot of uische'beagha in it? :D

Come on, it IS fun ... why don't you do it?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:02 pm

Oh, believe me, when I'm not on-call for a big ICU, I will totally have a go at this...!!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:21 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Oh, believe me, when I'm not on-call for a big ICU, I will totally have a go at this...!!
smilies-29

Just tell them that there are lots of terminally ill patients, fighting with their last breath the symptoms of that horrible - and most lethal - disease called medic-designs-whitdrawal (nullus designus medicus uniformatus lethalissimus morbidabilis), so you would need to be released to care for them smilies-23
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:03 am

.... still waiting ... just reminding you ... no hurry .... none whatsoever ... at all, at all ....
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:31 pm

If we accept the idea of an evolved Roman Empire, towards modern methods of warfare, find an interesting situation: the officers corps directly derives from the chivalry and, often ostensibly, officers perform the same duties knights once performed.
On the other hand, the Roman military DID NOT have an officer corps in the modern sense: Optiones and Centuriones came from the ranks, and their careers ended (if not promoted in the Equites class) to the position of Praefectus Castrorum.
It may be interesting speculate how modern esigencies (of our timeline) may be interpreted on these basis, i.e. on the lacking of an officers corps in modern/western sense.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:18 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Oh, believe me, when I'm not on-call for a big ICU, I will totally have a go at this...!!
smilies-29


not that I'm impacient or something ... not at all, at all ... just mentioning passingly that the year is coming to it's end ... that's all ...
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:01 am

You do make me laugh...!! smilies-15

Sorry, my friend -- it's going to be a while before I get to this in any meaningful way.

Just because I don't have time to sit down in front of a computer and do detailed drawings, it doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it! I'm very interested in the discussions in the first few posts regarding the progression from ancient Roman "ranks," and the distinctions of political and social class, and how those might have evolved into a more contemporary structure.

A few main points spring to mind:
1. No system is static; ALL systems continuously evolve to take account of external pressures that require the system to meet different operational needs.
2. The Roman rank structure (and the sub-groups within it) was closely linked to, and highly dependent upon, the Roman social structure and the classes within that.
3. I'm sure we've touched on this before in discussions here but there's an interesting debate to be had regarding the relative equivalencies between Roman and contemporary military ranks. I think we all agree that regarding the various Centurion grades as "NCOs" is over-simplistic and relies too heavily on the distinctions of social class. What is more interesting is how we think they might equate to company and field grade ranks, potentially right up to something approaching the equivalent of a full Colonel staff officer for the Praefectus castrorum.
4. While these were undoubtedly professional officers, there are aspects to the structure that make me think more of the Warrant Officers of the Royal Navy in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Now, true scholars of both the Royal Navy and of classical Rome and the Roman military of antiquity may well tell me I'm well wide of the mark here but the parallel is that the ship's standing officers, appointed by Warrant, not Commission, were the originally the professionals in their fields (sailing master, carpenter, sailmaker and so on) and stayed with the ship while the "gentleman" commissioned officers came and went. It's a bit of a simplification in order to make a point but the evolution of this was, eventually, that the gentleman officers of the Royal Navy became more and more professional in their training and warrant officers began to be appointed to commissioned ranks, and by the mid-Twentieth Century the role (in its original form) had disappeared as it was merged into the commissioned ranks, admittedly as "second class citizens" initially (with limited rank progression) but eventually they simply became part of the greater whole and promotion from the Rates to commission is an accepted pathway. Subsequently the warrant rank is re-created along Army lines as a true "Senior NCO" in a way that the original Warrant Officers weren't.

The reason for going through all that is to think about how some sort of similar evolution would have occurred over the best part of two thousand years, had a functioning and stable Roman Empire lasted to this day.

The other great driver for change in any military organisation is technology -- and battlefield technology re-shapes the roles that individual soldiers play and the way in which they are led. The basic sub-units might not change much, especially at field infantry level, but the number of individuals and the relative ranks of those in first-level leadership roles will adapt and change; there's also the need to acknowledge specialists in technical roles alongside pure fighting roles — although the Romans were actually pretty good at that...!!

I'm posing questions to stimulate debate rather than providing answers or even suggestions at this point and I'm certainly not doing drawings yet (sorry buddy!) although I do have a few ideas. I'm more interested in seeing what you guys come up with and then seeing what that stimulates in terms of concepts for a rank structure and the insignia to go with it.

I'm also a sucker for the "back-story" so taking the time to chart the history and evolution helps me to think through the "how" and the "why" that lead to the designs.

If you didn't understand the history of gold and silver bullion epaulettes and the selection of opposite colours for contrast and visibility then you'd never understand why gold is Junior to silver in US officer rank markings. I like to work with the same sort of hypothetical ideas in my head when I'm playing with designs.

The Aquila eagle emblem, the lightning bolts, the vine staff and the transverse helmet crest (or perhaps some modernised, stylised representation of it) are all likely items to appear somewhere in the components that makeup a scheme of insignia of latter-day Romans but I'm also sure there are loads of things I haven't even thought of yet!

Would the uniforms look like contemporary military clothing or could they be completely different? What about formal dress, service dress, working dress (or their broad equivalents)...?

Where would insignia appear?
On the chest? On the helmet or soft barracks cover? On the sleeve, cuff or shoulder...?

Would the insignia be the same (or embellished versions of the same) across all types of uniform or would, say, formal dress be completely different to working dress?

This could be fun -- let's hear your ideas guys!!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:04 pm

The Roman Empire (and European society) changed because of the migrant peoples. So, let's assume they were defeated and assimilated, or they didn't migrate, at all.
In this case, I would assume a Roman Empire changed by the times (invention of the steam engine - Heron of Alexandria did it -, gunpowder, etc) and still clinging to the cursus honorum. Therefore, I can imagine a system with separate insignia for those of - potentially - senatorial rank and the plebe, as well as one adapted for the necessities of war (cam's and all) and one simply beeing beautiful and antient.
So, dress would be something acutely reminiscent of Imperial Rome (w/o the skirt ... or perhaps with it? ... hmmm .... food for thought ... ), while the service/BDU would be somehing more appropriate and developed through the ages ...

What do you think?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:54 pm

The all-conquering armies of mighty Rome wearing short leather skirts with studs and feathers on their heads. Could be an interesting look...

smilies-10 smilies-26 smilies-15
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:22 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:The all-conquering armies of mighty Rome wearing short leather skirts with studs and feathers on their heads. Could be an interesting look...

smilies-10 smilies-26 smilies-15


LOLOLOLOLOL

that's pretty much my onnly reaction .....


on the other hand ... Highlanders&Co ... hmmm ....
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:23 pm

Allegedly it was haute couture for triumphal parades in about 100 BC...!!





(OK, maybe not for now though...)
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:07 pm

Well, it's still haute couture for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, isn't it?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:13 pm

On the other hand, if the Roman Empire didn't cease existing, today most (if not all) of Europe would be guarded by the legions, after they fought and won myriad battles against pretty much everybody, Vikings included. Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if a reverse "Red Sea rig" would appear, with the leather skirt rpelaced by trouers or omething ...
Also, let me mention here the Lowland and Irish regiments, wearing tartan trouser ... perhaps something like this would have appeared in our case, too.

As for the backstory ... there are plenty of moments in Roman history that may have led to such a situation, if things happened differently ... there was an emperor who wished to restore the Republic, I seem to recall ... he may have been the engine of change ...
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby marcpasquin » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:20 pm

In regard to the backstory, I had worked on one for an Alt-history setting and the way I saw it maybe the best way would be for an alternance of civil wars, successor states and then reunifications.

In this sense, it would be similar to Chinese history. China is usually considered a country that has existed for over 2 millenias despite the fact that at various point it was split between various warlords.

What would form the continuity of the Roman Empire is the notion of "Imperium", the worth to rule, an equivalent to the Chinese mandate of heaven. This would mean that any ruler would see himself as the true leader of the Empire and not someone creating a new country as ethnicity and location would be disconnected from the notion of civic governance. Any split would thus be considered by all to be temporary even if it lasted for a few generations with reunification being the ultimate goal.

In that way, the modern alt-Roman empire would have gone through many period of conflict, seen many changes but ultimately still look to Julius Caesar as the founder of their country.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:58 pm

Hi Mark -- yes, that's pretty good!

I like the parallels with China and the idea that there would a sense of a general cultural identity that would be separate from allegiance to whichever actual political entity (or entities) happen to be the nation state (or states) at any given time.

Depending on how long separation into a number of different countries might last for any given time period, I guess that could also give rise to some of the cultural drivers that would explain why different regions would retain particular aspects of traditions and lose or change others.

I suppose some of that might have be seen in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.

I hope Helios88 gets to chip into this discussion too!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:09 pm

Here I am. :D I was on vacation these days.
First of all, I'd make my compliments to Medic due to the extensive reflection he/she has provided to the discussion. :)

Second, I'll try to answer to some questions Medic made in the post about the evolution or to better say I'll try to offer a possible analysis.

As premise, I have to say that I appreciate the parallel drawn between real-history China and this alt-hist Roman Empire. It is to say that several traditionalist scholars see the similarity between the Mandate of Heaven and the Imperium, both being of divine origin and entrusted to the individual ruler rather than the concept of the class, dinasty or other social group.
Due to the lenght of the Medic's post, I'll quote only the parts which I can comment or about I have thoughts to express. :-)




2. The Roman rank structure (and the sub-groups within it) was closely linked to, and highly dependent upon, the Roman social structure and the classes within that.

Up to a certain point: in the late Empire the senatorial class was progressively excluded from the military command. At least from the Gallienus' rule the Legatus legions was replaced by the Praefectus legionis (possibly merging the Legatus with the Praefectus castrorum). So it's feasible to stage the hypotesis that, the more the Empire lasted, the less the social class counted (relatively speaking of course).

3. I'm sure we've touched on this before in discussions here but there's an interesting debate to be had regarding the relative equivalencies between Roman and contemporary military ranks. I think we all agree that regarding the various Centurion grades as "NCOs" is over-simplistic and relies too heavily on the distinctions of social class. What is more interesting is how we think they might equate to company and field grade ranks, potentially right up to something approaching the equivalent of a full Colonel staff officer for the Praefectus castrorum.

In my views the Centurions were primarily company/field grade officers (up to Battalion commander, to indicate a contemporary position); their work was to make tactical and, in small engagements, strategic decisions about their Centuria and, in case of Cohors commanders, their Cohors.

4. While these were undoubtedly professional officers, there are aspects to the structure that make me think more of the Warrant Officers of the Royal Navy in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Now, true scholars of both the Royal Navy and of classical Rome and the Roman military of antiquity may well tell me I'm well wide of the mark here but the parallel is that the ship's standing officers, appointed by Warrant, not Commission, were the originally the professionals in their fields (sailing master, carpenter, sailmaker and so on) and stayed with the ship while the "gentleman" commissioned officers came and went. It's a bit of a simplification in order to make a point but the evolution of this was, eventually, that the gentleman officers of the Royal Navy became more and more professional in their training and warrant officers began to be appointed to commissioned ranks, and by the mid-Twentieth Century the role (in its original form) had disappeared as it was merged into the commissioned ranks, admittedly as "second class citizens" initially (with limited rank progression) but eventually they simply became part of the greater whole and promotion from the Rates to commission is an accepted pathway. Subsequently the warrant rank is re-created along Army lines as a true "Senior NCO" in a way that the original Warrant Officers weren't.
This fits my view perfectly. Transposed in a ground context, gentlemen should be a sort of "decorations", viable for further study and training, in order to fill the higher posts; maybe senior officers tasked with making strategic decisions.

Would the uniforms look like contemporary military clothing or could they be completely different? What about formal dress, service dress, working dress (or their broad equivalents)...?
Here we go into pure speculation. Therefore I can only describe what I imagined for this Roman Empire, obviously explaining why.
Given the contemporary military technology which is the base of our reasoning, and given clothing tendencies shown in the historical Roman civilization, I'd stage the hypotesis of the presence of trousers (in the historical Rome there were the "braccae", not-so-loose ankle-closed trousers). Also closed shoes were used, although I think that, given the absence of major Germanic invasions and related cultural shifts, the presence of this type of garment depended heavily by the actual climate. Given both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, maybe they may be a fixed presence only for certain climates, i.e. only for certain combat dress uniforms.
For the upper body, I admit that I have no clear ideas. We could hypotize that shirts and jackets are the same of today, or we may imagine that the tunic model is the curent form.

Where would insignia appear?
On the chest? On the helmet or soft barracks cover? On the sleeve, cuff or shoulder...?
It is an interesting but hard-to-answer-to question. Therefore I pass the answer, at least for now.

Would the insignia be the same (or embellished versions of the same) across all types of uniform or would, say, formal dress be completely different to working dress?
In this, perhaps paradoxically, I have more ideas than for the previous point. Romans were a pragmatic culture, and my hypotesis is that the formal insignia would be an embellished version of the combat dress ones. But these are only my two cent. :)
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:30 am

Thanks to Medic-in-Uniform's post, this thread is too interesting to be let to drown :D
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:17 am

I'm thinking about it...

I have ideas jostling for position inside my head but it'll be a while yet before I have the time to sit down and lose a few hours drawing them -- and the first attempt always ends up being refined and updated. I can't think of anything I got totally how I wanted it first time around!

Keep the discussion going though; it all adds to the creativity and, best of all, this sort of thing always makes me go away and look stuff up and learn new levels of detail about subjects which already fascinate me!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:47 am

Well, I may imagine that, around 25th Century A.U.C. (i.e. 18th Century A.D.) technological devices such as relatively widespread and relatively reliable firearms and "fire" artillery may be influence even an Army already accustomed to manage large formations.
Therefore, on the lower ranks, we may see an evolution or a growth of the "Immunes", specialists and artillerymen; this may have led to a creation of the third branch, the Artillery, alongside the Infantry and the Cavalry.
With regard to the latter one, we see that, if we assume that the surviving Roman Empire maintains its geographical focus on Rome and the Mediterranean Sea, we can see that there are not so many vast plains suitable for deployment of the cavalry "en masse". I would imagine, therefore, that the Infantry may remain the "Regina Pugnarum".
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:06 pm

Yeah, that seems reasonable -- and if you think of the way that successive European conflicts like the Wars of Austrian Succession and the Napoleonic Wars played out, that's pretty much what happened.

As a side question, your mentioning of the Mediterranean made me wonder:
how would a Roman navy fit into this? Just another branch of a generic Roman military, or evolution into an entirely separate service from the army...?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:31 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Yeah, that seems reasonable -- and if you think of the way that successive European conflicts like the Wars of Austrian Succession and the Napoleonic Wars played out, that's pretty much what happened.

As a side question, your mentioning of the Mediterranean made me wonder:
how would a Roman navy fit into this? Just another branch of a generic Roman military, or evolution into an entirely separate service from the army...?

For this topic, I'd see the real history: in the Eastern Roman Empire the Arab/Islamic threat pressed Costantinople to develop a strong navy; in a similar way, if we assume that the Arab world would develop, the Navy would be an extremely important branch. Compare the modern-day real world: even a nation with financial difficulties like Italy is building a fleet of 16 new frigates and a new LHD (mentioning only already approved and financed programmes) in addition to the existing fleet in order to keep secure its own interests.
Even a Mediterranean Sea completely dominated by the Roman power, a sort of Mare Nostrum, would constitute the strategic depth for the Empire; not to mention the geographical discoveries (the Atlantic Ocean would be a frontier between Roman Gaul and Iberia and whatever may lie beyond the western horizon or may become the vector for a Roman-specific colonization) and the contact with other already established empires and civilizations (Chinese presence, Middle eastern powers, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Black Sea, etc.).
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:32 am

Ater some further study, I'd propose the following organization. I decided to loosely inspire the modern Roman Empire to the McCallum saga "Romanitas".

I assumed that, as of 28th Century A.U.C. (21st Century AD), there is a substantial social homogeneity, which allows to avoid the distinction between Roman and non-Roman units. Operational theatres where the Roman Army is expected to operate include the Mediterranean world, France, Great Britain and Ireland Germany, Central-Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine), Middle East (Euphrates-Tigri region). A complex mixture of theatres and of ground configurations, where the Cavalry has not an overall dominance (especially in the "core regions").

First of all, the elementary unit is still the infantry Legion (latin: Legio), assimilated to a multipurpose formation (4,000 to 6,000 soldiers); the Legion has several Battalion-sized Infantry Cohortes, some artillery units, cavalry units (for exploration tasks) and tank units (if it is a mechanized infantry legion).

There are also several independent smaller units, called Numbers (latin: Numeri) and Wings (latin: Alae); these are usually specialized units and are framed within large formations, providing combat support and support to the central pieces of troops, i.e. Legions (i.e. at divisional level there are some cavalry Wings or army aviation Wings or Military Police/Statores Numeri, and so on) or may be attached to higher echelons.

Hierarchy: it is to note that, over all the Roman history, the military had the very same importance of the civil government. Therefore the supreme commander is still the Emperor, but there is not an intermediate level between the Emperor himself and the military: no Prime Minister, no Ministry of Defence.

General ranks are drawn from the Late Empire titles. All general officers are patricians: in order to preserve military efficiency, when a career soldier is promoted to the general rank, he is firstly ennobled and consequently given the rank he should hold.

    Magister Utriusque Militiae (Master of Both Militias): 5-Star rank.

    Comes: Commander of army corps and field armies: according to the individual position held, 3 or 4 star rank.

    Dux: title for formations comprising at least 2 Legions and the attached support units (i.e. major general)

Senior officers: this category is, in my opinion, the most difficult to deal with. As I mentioned at the start of the topic, one has to decide who commands what.

The Praefectus Legionis is the career Legion commander; if a patrician is appointed as Legion commander he is styled Legatus Legionis, who according Wikipedia could be distinguished in the field by his elaborate helmet and body armour, as well as his scarlet paludamentum and cincticulus. The latter was a scarlet waist-band tied around his waist in a bow). The corresponding rank would be Brigadier/Brigadier General.

For the other units, which could vary in actual strength from 500 to 1000, the commander would be the Praefectus Alae/Numeri; a corresponding rank may be Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel.

Tribunes Militares (i.e. Military Tribunes) have a staff officers role, and may be young officers freshly trained and still lacking command experience. The corresponding rank I would give them may be Senior Lieutenant/Staff Captain/Major, according to the seniority.

The Centurion (latin: Centurio) would be the ordinary company commander, as well as the chief of staff of small support units commanded by a Praefectus. Differently from the early Empire, when he was a jack-of-all-trades, he would be limited to the small units command. It is to note that in this system, there is a sort of alternation: career soldiers reach the rank of Centurion, and then they may attain the rank of Praefectus; Tribunes come from the Military Academy and are destined to higher echelons.

The Optio would be a mix between a senior NCO and a Lieutenant, i.e. a Platoon Commander.
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