The High Guard is the military arm of the Systems Commonwealth. The High Guard is not only a military force, it is also is the diplomatic corps which takes care of political and social matters in the Commonwealth, as well as providing mediation services for non-allied planets or warring factions. They are also the dominant power in the known universe, as they have the largest fleet of ships, ranging from civilian transports such as the Leviathan Roused Class, science and exploration vessels such as the To Seek, To Find class, and the massive Glorious Heritage Class heavy cruisers. The Commonwealth also maintains the largest number of bases out of any other government or organization in the tri-galaxies, whether they are on planets, asteroids, or Drifts in deep space. Serving in this elite fighting force, which comprises 2 different yet intertwined branches, is a privilege that many young people of all species compete to join. At the height of its power, the High Guard had over 500,000 ships ranging and billions of soldiers and officers.
The High Guard was extremely important to the Systems Commonwealth, because it was the example of a stable, just military organization. The High Guard was very well trained and equipped, and were seen as a very good, efficient, just fighting force to the rest of the galaxy, on both allied and non-allied planets.
General Huascar nax Yoweri's campaign of conquest across the six galaxies culminated in the foundation of the Vedran Empire, with Huascar's mate Yoweri I named Vedran Empress. Over the centuries, the Empire, which eventually became the Systems Commonwealth, grew from 2,000 worlds to nearly a million after hundreds of years of expansionism. Eventually, Yoweri I's personal retainers formed the nucleus of the High Guard, which was at first exclusively open to only Vedrans. The High Guard then went on to conquer worlds and their races such as Ugroth, the Perseid home world, and Kaldera, the kaldrean home world. In 4150 C.Y., the High Guard opened its ranks to non-Vedran personnel for the first time. Later, the Vedran High Guard supreme commander negotiated the Systems Commonwealth, after a mutiny within the High Guard ranks.
Before the Magog invasion and the Long Night, the High Guard had not been involved in any major conflicts for over 1,000 years. Thus arose a movement to disband the fleet, or at least reduce its size significantly. A referendum was narrowly defeated, but the Magog invasion halted any further discussion on the matter. After several skirmishes, the Commonwealth signed a treaty with the Magog, ceding them several worlds that became known as the Magog Quarantine Zone. The Nietzscheans regarded this as an act of betrayal for all those who died at the hands of the Magog, and began preparations for a full-scale revolt.
The High Guard was not prepared to meet the Nietzschean surprise attack and the following war of extermination. Much of the Argosy was destroyed while still in dock, and a string of defeats followed. The last stand by the High Guard was at the Battle of Witchhead. Some scattered remnants withdrew to Tarazed and preserved some of the Commonwealth's traditions on this isolated world, while others became the Templars and Knights of Genetic Purity.
303 years later, Captain Dylan Hunt, who was frozen in on the event horizon of a black hole, set out on a mission to restore the Commonwealth. When his mission succeeded, a new High Guard was formed as well, supplemented with High Guard ships rescued from Tartarus, various member worlds and the Sabra-Jaguar Pride.
Tasks of the High Guard
The High Guard is strongly involved in representing the Commonwealth in both internal and external affairs, such as first contact, wars, and humanitarian missions. Because of that, the High Guard's entire appearance is designed to express the power and glory of the Systems Commonwealth. Thus, Commonwealth starships are designed to be an awe-inspiring representation of strength, dignity and prosperity.
Being a military force, the main assignment of the High Guard was of course to maintain peace (for example by keeping an eye on the Kalderans), and secure the borders, while also undertaking research expeditions.
For these purposes, the High Guard ships were equipped with highly effective sensor arrays and weapons, the ultimate being the Nova bomb. The fact that actually using the Nova Bomb was not a part of the military doctrine, and that fact not being a secret, made the Nietzschean rebellion much easier.
Argosy is the specialized space based branch of the High Guard, referred to as Argos or Aggros by the Lancer Corps and by most of the members of the Systems Commonwealth. The Argosy Branch is similar to wet navies and special operations forces used by militaries today. The Argosy Division is often put into use by the Commonwealth across its territories, serving as the manpower behind the High Guard's massive fleet. Due to the high quality of their training, graduates of the Argosy Academy are usually put into high positions, or are used in delicate situations that require special talents like negotiating, espionage, or diplomatic skills. Officers showing a particular talent for these skills may be called to serve in the High Guard's black-ops unit, Argosy Special Operations (Argosy Special Forces). The Argosy is primarily used to handle situations that require force in space, but can also used for missions that involve infiltration in friendly or enemy territory.
Argosy Special Forces
Argosy Special Forces is a black operations division within the Systems Commonwealth's High Guard. Knowledge of their activities survived into the Long Night, as Bobby Jensen had read their operation manuals and commented that they had some "great moves". ("Be All My Sins Remembered")
Argosy Special Operations
Argosy Special Operations was an elite black operations tactical unit of the Argosy. Dylan Hunt served in Division 5 of ASO as a Lieutenant Commander. In fact it would be ASO that would bring together Hunt and the man who would become his best friend, first officer, and betrayer: Gaheris Rhade. ASO was responsible for dispatching the Andromeda Ascendant to locate the source of the Magog invasion. When Andromeda returned, with her crew massacred by Magog and nearly driven insane by the near endless wandering in slipstream, ASO sealed her memories of the incident for security reasons. It is revealed in "The Fair Unknown" that the Vedran Uxulta held the rank of Vice Admiral, Commander in Chief of Argosy Special Operations. She was certainly referring to the ASO that was located on Tarn-Vedra since Hunt initially refused to acknowledge her authority.
Division Five was the most elite of the ASO branches. Created to carry out the most difficult of missions, it worked almost exclusively for Argosy Intelligence. It would be in similar standing with the modern day Special Activities Division (SAD), of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Argosy Corps of Engineers
The Argosy Corps of Engineers was a division of the Systems Commonwealth's High Guard that was responsible for civil and military construction under the guidance of the High Guard. They were responsible for the building of the High Guard Station on Acheron. Dylan Hunt used the blueprints of the weapons emplacement from the Argosy Corps of Engineers to plan his assault on the Drago-Kazov Pride, who then resided on the planetary weapons emplacement, and were using it to strategically block any vessels passing through the system and trying to use a crucial slip-point. ("Una Salus Victus")
Argosy Squadron Alpha
Argosy Squadron Alpha is the name of a detachment of the High Guard unit of the planet Tarazed, which became the last haven of the Systems Commonwealth, following its Fall during the Nietzschean Uprising. 300 years after the collapse of the Commonwealth, Tarazed's government remained and thrived in its remote location in the Triangulum Galaxy. When Captain Dylan Hunt set about to restore the Systems Commonwealth, he learned of Tarazed when he was contacted by a scout sent to find him and his vessel. The Andromeda Ascendant was then escorted to the planet itself by an honor guard consisting of Argosy Squadron Alpha. (Home Fires")
The Lancer Corps are the High Guard's ground troops. The Argosy know them as "rock hoppers". Lancers are an elite commando corps that provides soldiers for many other High Guard branches, often used as the primary security detail on High Guard vessels. The Lancer Corps is primarily involved in planetary based assignments, but have been used to storm habitats, drifts, and vessels as well.
The Home Guard made up a large percentage of the Commonwealth's military forces, and were trained as Lancers and Argosy.
Any person wishing to attain an Officer's Commission in the High Guard must serve at least 1 year in a Home Guard Unit, and 1 year as a High Guard enlisted, before they could be accepted into the High Guard Academy. However, only the very best of the Home Guard personnel are even considered for a position in the High Guard.
|Lancer Corps Enlisted Personnel and NCO||Argosy Enlisted Personnel and NCO|
|Lancer Corps Officers||Argosy Officers|
The rank insignia of the High Guard is indicated by pins on the collar of the duty uniforms. Pins are generally blue with gold rank symbols.
- O-6 (Captain): Stylized Sun
- O-5 (Cmdr.): Starburst with eight points
- O-4 (Lt. Cmdr): Starburst with four points
- O-3 (Lt.): Full Moon
- O-2 (Lt. j.g.): Half Moon
- O-1 (Ensign): Quarter Moon
- O-6 (Colonel): Chess Rook with Slashed Background
- O-5 (Lt. Colonel): Chess Rook
- O-4 (Major): Chess Knight with Slashed Background
- O-3 (Brevet Major): Chess Knight
- O-2 (First Signifer): Upright Sword over a Full Moon
- O-1 (Second Signifer): Upright Sword
- AST (Anti-Starship Warfare) -- Destroy, disable or disrupt hostile assets and operations
- BDO (Battlegroup Defense Operations) -- Conduct defensive action for the battlegroup in the theater of operations
- CCC (Command, Control and Communications) -- Provide operational command and control capabilities for battlegroup assets
- C2W (Command and Control Warfare) -- Destroy, disable or disrupt hostile command and control capabilities
- GSO (Guard Support Operations) -- Provide medical, search and other support services for battlegroup assets
- GSW (Guard Special Warfare) -- Destroy, disable or disrupt hostile command and control capabilities
- IEO (Intergalactic Exploration Operations) -- Conduct and support deep space scientific and research operations
- IMW (Interplanetary Mine Warfare) -- Conduct search and destroy anti-mine activities and clearance of navigational hazards in the theater of operations
- INT (Intelligence Operations) -- Conduct surveillance and reconnaissance operations and collect intelligence
- LOG (Logistics Operations) -- Provide logistics support for battlegroup assets in theater of operations
- MOB (Mobility Operations) -- Conduct and support maneuver of assets in theater of operations
- MOC (Missions of Commonwealth) -- Conduct and support military operations other than war
- NCO (Non-Combat Operations) -- Conduct own ship non-combat activities and provide law enforcement support
- PFW (Planet-Fall Warfare) -- Conduct and support space to surface combat operations
- PSW (Planetary Strike Warfare) -- Conduct and support space to surface strike operations
- Argosy is an English term for a flotilla.
- A lancer refers to a cavalry unit that used lances in combat.