About the Amherst

The Amherst is a scout class ship as a part of the Purple Sector Fleet. Its role is primarily to determine the safety of planets for research or settlement. It is not generally meant for any engagement, but is well prepared to to defend itself if needed. Voyages are scheduled for five years at a time with two of these generally reserved simply for getting to where they need to be. Unlike many larger ships, The Amherst does have light speed travel capabilities, though they are limited.

The tour to the Sagittarian sector is a seven month journey and so far they’ve had a very quiet three months with only dead planets on record at this point. It will be their tenth month into the voyage when the signal from Pern is picked up with two more weeks to reach the planet.

Rank Structure of the Federated Sentient Planets, Purple Sector Fleet

Students from the FSP Military Academy are eligible to apply for basic training at sixteen years and after successful completion they may be offered a place on a ship. Everyone goes through this six-month course before moving into a career classification, but may begin to take extra schooling in relevance to their desired field before applying for basic.

Aboard the Amherst there are nine units, six fighting and three non-fighting, each lead by a Sergeant and their second in command. The bulk of the unit is made up of recruits and privates, with recruits being under-age members that are taken onboard for training. Within their unit privates can earn the rank of corporal, which is a junior command given to promising members. Three units make up a formation, lead by a Staff Sergeant and their second. The entire ship as a whole is lead by the Captain with the Commander as his second in command.

The ranks of Sergeant and below are considered non-commissioned members (NCM) of the military. Once they’ve had command of a unit for minimum six months they can apply to officer’s training which can earn them a higher posting. Staff Sergeant Second and above are commissioned officers (CO).

Sometimes a posting can be bought, though Captain Sander tries not to take aboard any officers that didn’t earn their way up through the ranks. However sometimes it’s impossible to avoid upper command placing an officer from a prestigious or wealthy family onto a ship. These folk will have still gone through basic training, but essentially skip the time spent in service to go directly to officer’s training. They tend to be very well educated in theory, but often lack the experience that the ‘common soldier’ gets.

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Commisioned Officer Ranks
Captain
Commander
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant Second

 

Non-Commissioned Members
Sergeant
Sergeant Second
Corporal
Private
Recruit

 

The three non-fighting units are the Medics, Engineers and Support. The Staff Sergeant who leads this formation will come from one of these three units. Non-fighting doesn't mean that these units are un-trained in battle, but this formation's primary purpose is support.

Additionally there is a small flight crew to pilot the three spacecraft aboard the Amherst. These are a unit of their own and answer directly to the Captain rather than being a part of a formation, but they can be absorbed into a fighting unit if ever required.

 

Flight Officer
Pilot
Pilot 2
Mechanic
Mechanic 2

 

Life on the Amherst

Captain Blake Sander is strict man, hard to please and sometimes a bit harsh in punishments, but rarely unfair. Being raised in upper class society influenced the way he runs his ship. There is never room for disrespect or sloppy behaviour and every crewman down to the youngest cadet is expected to be sharply dressed and polite at all times. Stiff-necked as he is, Sander is an efficient leader and ruthless in making difficult decisions. He's not a man to piss off, but he can be depended on to save your ass.

The Amherst is an impeccably run vessel, however the formality and firm adherence to rank can be a bit stifling. Sander is very old fashioned in his beliefs and he does not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour on his ship. He tends to pick his crew based on proprietary first, keeping those who follow his line of thinking in his service as much as possible. As such, crew onboard need to either be similar or pretend convincingly.