I figure this is relevant because of the frequent use of military terminology on the show.
Syfy (ended 2010)
As a retired grunt, I could tell you that a good way to start a bar fight would be to call a Marine "soldier." Soldiers are members of the Army, Marines are members of (in the case of the U.S.) the United States Marine Corps. Airmen are members of the Air Force and Sailors are members of the Navy and the Coast Guard. Each branch of the armed services has its own mission, training, history, and purpose. The term "Division" is used as part of the command structure in ground forces (Fire Team, Squad, Platoon, Company, Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps, Army).
Note that an Army Corps is a fighting force of 20,000 to 45,000 soldiers. Two to five divisions constitute a corps, which is typically commanded by a lieutenant general. As the deployable level of command required to synchronize and sustain combat operations, the corps provides the framework for multi-national operations.
In the case of the U.S. Marine Corps, it has traditionally consisted of four ground divisions with one Air Wing and has less than 100,000 personnel. The mission of a Marine Corps is "The seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns," "Conducting boarding operations and defending navel vessels from hostile boarders," "Providing security for the Captain and command crew during times of mutiny," and "Other duties as the President may direct."
The "other duties" part has caused the U.S.M.C. to evolve into America's 911 force due to the highly mobile, self contained nature of the Corps.
The mission of the Army and focus of training is different but I have already gone on too long.
Hope this helps.
IMHO - For the most part Mr. Moore and his team get it dead on. I recognize that they're not going for a direct one to one parallel with the US military, but a depiction of the remnants of a military force thrown together with what's left of a civilisation on the run in outer space, so he threads the needle beautifully.
The "real" military uses a quasi-dialect that I call "Mil-Speak" which relies heavily in acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon to compress large volumes of information into minimal amounts of spoken verbiage (ironically, it's just the opposite in written documents as the "Pentagon publishes by the pound"). For example: no one ever transmits radio messages "in the clear" like the characters on the show do. However, using standard radio protocol would be intelligible to the audience and detract from the overall experience.
One of the most chilling scenes for me was in "Fragged" when the young Air officer tried to lead a combat op. by issuing a five paragraph order directly out of the manual to a bunch of techs. and they promptly put his lights out.
I thought U.S.M.C. stood for "U Signed My Contract" or "U Suckers Miss Christmas" (a couple more, but they're not fit for print) . Note that they didn't pay me to learn how to spell.
The Marines are very much the infantry arm of the Navy and I've had a Hospital Corpsman save my bacon in the field, so no problem here with the fact that my paycheck came from the Dept. of the Navy.
I thought the Mission statements with "Secure and defend advanced Naval bases" and "Defending Naval vessels" was enough of a clue, but squids can be a bit thick at times. All kidding aside, I am honored to be a part of the Navy.
This is just speculation on my part, but it seems logical to create a psychological barrier between potential mutineers and the folks who are hired to keep them in line. Thus the tendency for shipboard Marines to think of themselves as a separate entity. It is also possible that the very different focus of training, from basic (boot camp) on up has promoted the tradition of Marines as separate from the Navy.
How does this relate to BSG? With everyone thrown in together like they are it just doesn't seem relevant to get that granular with the mechanics of how it all works. The fact that they have a few grunts around when they need them is good enough for me.
No, I hadn't forgotten about the Coasties, but was attempting to be both brief and somewhat generic (many nations do not have a Coast Guard as a separate service) in the post where I was outlining the names for the various service personnel.
However, out of respect for those folks who put it on the line in both peace time and war, I went back and edited the post for you. As a side note, why the heck does the DOD deploy you people outside of U.S. waters??? I remember spotting cutters off the coast of Norway, England, and in the Mediterranean. I get why we need a presence in the Caribbean, but the other side of the pond seems a bit out of place.
|Sorry a bit off topic here... And back on topic being a current active duty E-8 I find that most of the "Mil-Speak" is fairly accurate without being too obtuse.|ChewinFoil wrote: Actually all sorts of reasons we wind up everywhere.....
OK, so what does any of that have to do with securing our coastlines? Not that I'm complaining or anything like that. I've spent more time than I care to remember in the jungles of South and Central America wondering what the hell this all had to do with defending my country.
Come to think about it, this does have a good tie in to BSG. If everyone had just minded their own business and stayed out of each others kitchens there wouldn't have been a war in the first place.
We currently have 11 different mission areas outlined by statute: Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations (AMIO) , Defense Readiness, Drug Interdiction, Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security, Other Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Aids to Navigation, Marine Safety, Living Marine Resources, Marine Environmental Protection, and Ice Operations. So If someone wants us somewhere its fairly easy to squeeze the operation into one of those areas.
As far as BSG goes you would have to think about the development of a space-faring race's military. When planet bound you have an Army who's primary duty is to fight on land, a Navy to fight at sea, an Air Force to fight in the skies, and Marines to secure the Navy's shore-based interests / establish beachheads, etc. Now we move into space things become a bit dicey. The Army IMO would be your planetary defence and/or occupation forces. Marines would protect spaceports, establish secure landing zones and be generally be your rapid deployment force. The confusion lies with the Navy and Air Force; space being how it is you'd really need to mash these too concepts together. The longer your species is in space the more I could see all of these branches kind of merging into one amalgous organization with two semi-distinct branches. These would be your 2d feet on the ground folks (Marines) and your 3D up down all around folks (Fleet). A corollary to our militaries here on earth is how nowadays each branch has a sea / air / land component. We used to joke when I was stationed in Guam, the Navy had more aircraft than the Air Force, the Coast Guard had more vessels than the Navy and the Air Force had better golf courses.
Good questions. I tend to think that the ground troops we see on Galactica are somewhat of a blend of what we call Marines and Army forces. They don't seem to have an army type group that functions the way our army functions.
The first question we would have to answer is if the entire planet is unified under one government. If not, then they would still have need of national DOD's and all the trappings like we have, with an additional branch of a space service. If the individual planets have unified governments but those planets are formed in a somewhat loose confederation as it appears the Colonial civilization was, then I imagine we would see something like this.
A planetary defense force with some level of police powers along the lines of the Senior Chiefs Coast Guard. They would have jurisdiction over everything that fly's, floats, crawls, or swims, from low orbit on down. This would imply some form of ground troops, an air wing capable of space flight, and naval forces.
The next level would be a military capable of projecting force onto other worlds and defending inter-planetary space such as the fleet that the Galactica belonged to. If we use the American Colonies prior to the revolution in 1775-1783, as a model, we could envision the colonies of the BSG universe banding together to fight the outside threat of the Cylons (as happened during the French and Indian wars), but maintaining quasi-independent forces who would also fight amongst themselves if circumstances called for it.
Indeed the parallels between the American Colonials of the 18th century and the BSG Colonials are I think, not incidental. George Washington fought simply to keep his army alive and survive long enough to wear out his opponents' ability to continue. The Continentals effectively lost all but a few battles, their capitols were taken and occupied, and the British forces chased them from one end of the eastern seaboard to the other.
The American Revolution is living proof that force of military arms is only a part of a far more complex dynamic, with collective will, and economic ability to support the fight playing very important roles. There was of course, one other major factor in the revolution. France and England had been fighting with each other for generations over world supremacy, with the British having come out on top in the previous round, but exhausting herself in the process.
Washington knew that once he had proven the viability of our cause at Saratoga, all he had to do was keep his army in the field long enough to give time for the French to come in on his side. Sure enough, when the French forces, most notably the French Navy showed up at Yorktown, the British knew it was all over, they knew they could not sustain yet another global conflict and capitulated.
Interestingly, while England signed the treaty officially ending her claim to the colonies in Paris, she did not admit capitulation to the French, only to her former colonies. It is also worth noting that the French spent themselves into near bankruptcy supporting the American Revolution, leading in no small part to the collapse of Frances' economy and their own revolution a few years later.
This all makes me wonder if Mr. Moore is going to surprise us with some kind of third party saviour during his endgame. The original BSG had the "Ship of Lights," this would be a little too neat and tidy for BSG(2003) but I'm sure they would do it justice in any case.