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The Fiuthnollan Yellow Jackets

Veterans of the Aggression

  For a time, the Fiuthnollans planned to have their soldiers don yellow longcoats as their uniform. This was intended, until the Stormaki Aggression. All of a sudden, the Fiuthnollan's untested and underequipped army had to be pressed into service, including thousands of National Guardsmen. Thus, many white coats were shipped out, undyed, to provide some kind of uniform to the troops, with the yellow jackets reserved for troops of particular importance and renown. The Yellow Jackets, as the came to be known for their color and their ability to sting the Stormaki harder than any other, survived the bloody early days of the conflict and held the line when all others melted away. Those that survived to honor their uniform were given medals, and in particular the National Medal of Heroism. After the Aggression, only those awarded this medal were allowed to wear a yellow uniform into regular service, as the bloodstained white uniforms that became patriotic symbols were translated into a standard salmon pink uniform seen today.   In Fiuthnolla, only veterans bearing a legitimately earned National Medal of Heroism are allowed to wear a yellow longcoat in the Fiuthnollan style. Ownership of one is accepted for anyone, but to wear one within their borders or on one of the their ships or in one of their embassies is considered tantamount to stolen valor, and earns a large fine, and prison after a small number of repeat offense. True National Medals of Heroism can be identified by unique magical signals. Thus, anyone publicly wearing a yellow longcoat in Fiuthnolla is a sign that someone almost certainly fought in the Aggression, and fought hard, and fought well. A majority of these veterans remain in active service, often in front-line roles, often as officers, enough that they can be organized into their own units. However, most of the time, they are divided among the units, subjects of awe, reverence, and admiration by new recruits and even some of the more experienced yet still eager soldiers.  

Structure and Composition

  The Yellow Jackets are an informal unit, normally not constituted unless there are specific tactical or strategic concerns. These concerns can include parading, shock troop roles, morale attacks, infiltration, and high-risk monster hunting. They are typically supported by artillery and, where applicable, ships and cavalry. When formed into a unit, they will typically form pure infantry companies or battalions. The number will depend on the available units that can be concentrated. When not currently organized into a united formation, most Yellow Jackets will be part of normal, conventional units. Any given Battalions can be expected to have no more than 5 Yellow Jackets, including both rank-and-file and officers. Most battalions have at least one Yellow Jacket.   A Yellow Jacket unit will typically be organized into a similar structure to a conventional unit - however, they are likely to have a higher concentration of officers. Their command structure will typically be more contained, and given more autonomy compared to the typical Fiuthnollan unit. Supporting elements will be more densely concentrated than a typical unit, in hopes of attempting to minimize casualties of this unit. Their numbers are occasionally replenished by new winners of the National Medal of Heroism who then inherit a jacket from someone else or purchase it in auction, but as their numbers slowly shrink to the attrition of age and combat casualties, the possibility has been discussed that the Yellow Jackets will be formalized into a fully-fledged special forces unit.   The Yellow Jackets will typically act in ad-hoc fireteams and squads, attacking and defending in flexible and cautious loose formations, using terrain to their advantage to deny enemy mobility advantages when possible. They are skilled in using their bayonets to blunt the charge of light cavalry when needed, a much-needed skill during the Aggression that is passed on to all new members. Their raw combat experience, skilled officers, and general high standard of skill allows them to effectively spearhead attacks and exploit openings in equal measure, and their reputation makes them a potent force in intimidating the enemy, as is their crack shooting. Still, they do constitute light infantry, and there are roles in this respect that are better suited to the Dragoons.  

Tactics

  The Yellow Jackets do not fight very differently to a typical Fiuthnollan unit - battle is engaged from as far back as 400 feet, though this is typically only done to force an enemy to approach advantageous grounds that the soldiers want to hold. However, unlike most rank-and-file, Yellow Jackets are known to hit from this distance with surprising regularity given the raw distance - still inaccurate, but nevertheless much more than expected. Typically, 160 feet is a more common distance of engagement, at which they will hit with amazing accuracy. If at all possible, melee combat will be vigorously avoided. However, they do carry bayonets and are more than capable of using them.   If given the chance, the Yellow Jackets will entrench, much like most Fiuthnollan soldiers, and they carry shovels for just such a purpose. However, the Yellow Jackets are experts at using trenches and earthworks to break up cavalry charges, and lure enemy troops into kill fields where their rapid fire weapons can be most effectively used. In particular, they are experts at mountain warfare, and are able to even outmaneuver and overtake entrenched mountain positions as attackers. They have also served as marines aboard Fiuthnollan boarding ships, and can seize surprisingly large and well-defended ships if needed.   Yellow Jackets are the only unit to consistently provide cycler revolvers to their rank-and-file when their officers request it. This is primarily used in infiltration tactics, at the moment where units open fire - needless to say, even a squad of Yellow Jackets all carrying cyclers can lay waste to large numbers of enemies if they catch them by surprise. In the hands of yellow jackets, with enough time to plan the moment where they open fire, they have been known to accomplish ratios of 10 kills per man with regularity, with very few casualties  

Traditions

  The most common and well-known tradition of the Yellow Jackets is their Formation Ceremony. When a unit of Yellow Jackets is organized, they will undergo a ceremony where the direct subordinates of the highest commanding officer will prick the tips of their fingers before smearing the blood along the cuff of the highest officer's uniform. This is a symbolic refutation of the stereotype that some have, partially unfounded, that the Yellow Jackets get the cushy, low-danger positions and operations where they don't see a drop of blood while the common pinkback has to fight and bleed, which is how they got their pink uniforms. In truth, while Yellow Jackets often get informal special treatment while divided, All-Yellow units tend to tolerate rougher liver conditions than average, and are often given much more dangerous assignments in harsher terrain.   Furthermore, every time a Yellow Jacket falls, they body is found, stripped of their uniform, and garbed in a red sheet. They are then sent to be buried at the site of the Battle of Trevalla, the engagement that brought the Yellow Jackets to prominence, that has been turned into a veteran's graveyard. They body is sent back with one bullet, sans powder, from each member of the rest of their squad, or from their fellow ranking officers in the event that the decease is a commissioned officer.   Some rare squads have been known to practice hazing with new members, a controversial and often-punished behavior. Finally, the biannual military parade in the City of Fiuthnolla is attended by a formation of Yellow Jackets. They hold a place of honor guarding the Lord Castellan in the parade. They are joined by musicians of their choosing, and may choose the tune played in their part of the play.  

Notable Engagements

  The Battle of Trevalla - a battle from the Stormaki Aggression, and the first battle where a unit primarily made up of Yellow Jackets was one of the main combatants. The largest number of National Medals of Heroism in one battle were handed out in the aftermath of this battle, and the slim majority of them were to the Yellow Jackets.   The Action At Checkpoint Tiffany - a policing action that resulted in the capture of one of the leader of one of the largest slave trading organizations in Starflame. A boarding ship loaded with Yellow Jackets was instrumental to boarding the giant galleon that had previously overpowered and and bypassed the Fiuthnollan fleet, and overwhelming their deck crew.   The Battle of Powderbrook - Yellow Jacket squads were responsible for attacking and clearing many buildings of Stormaki soldiers during this decisive engagement of the Aggression. This was one of the first battles where all-cycler squads were employed, to amazing effect. Yellow Jackets remain reviled by the Stormaki military to this day after this engagement.   The Scourging of the Tiamat Range - a series of battles where Fiuthnollan troops attacked and captured or destroyed Stormaki holdouts who refused to surrender after the end of the war. Yellow Jackets were instrumental in finding, isolating, and uprooting these positions.   The Assassination of the Duke of Ekermakt - a battle where a unit of Yellow Jackets ambushed Duke Vidar II of Ekermakt and his retinue, annihilating his elite unit of knights and men-at-arms and killed the Duke. One of the most skilled and prominent generals of the Stormaki Aggression, his death had a significant impact on the duration of the war.

Information

Type: Infantry, Informal   Size: ~1000 Active Members   Role: Elite Veteran Forces   Uniform: Fiuthnollan standard uniform in yellow, often with many medals, and always with the National Medal of Heroism (informal)   State: Active
Type
Infantry

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Comments

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Master Moondare
Laure Yates
1 Jan, 2022 22:41

Another good one! That first paragraph about the importance of the uniform color, inspired! The salmon colour because of the white becoming blood-stained, great detail. I want to know what 'Cycler Squads' are too. That article was very inspiring as my armies are set in a neo-Napoleonic setting, which I think is what you're (maybe) aiming for. Loads to think about for me. Thank you.

12 Jan, 2022 19:04

In the Iocrade setting, the term 'Cycler' simply refers to a revolver, and the words are interchangeable - it's just a silly little detail inspired by, say, tanks being called barrels in certain alt-hist settings.   As for the Neo-Napoleonic inspiration, that would be fair to say about Fiuthnolla, which is a nation decently further ahead than the the rest of the setting. The rest of the setting straddles the line between Late Middle ages and Early Modern, with some outliers.   Thanks for the comment - I hope you enjoy more of my work!

11 Jan, 2022 23:29

Pretty cool! I love this article, both for it being one of the few good, non-pure-fantasy, military articles, and because of the sheer detail, information, and story you managed to include in this.   If you don't mind me asking, and I understand why you might choose not to include this in the article, but could you give me some sort of deeper idea of how these units exist within the greater Army, such as in the manner ofa "hierarchy of Formations"? "Battalions, Regiments, Divisions, etc.)

12 Jan, 2022 19:28

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed.   As mentioned in the article, most Yellow Jackets spend their time as parts of common formations of Pinkbacks, or common regulars. The units of the Fiuthnollan army are divided along the modern military lines as we would understand it for the most part, though there are no formal units smaller than a Company, which are highly flexible in size, with equally flexible Battalions, Regiments, Brigades, Divisions, and Corps above them. There is a semi-formal social unit below the Company, known as a Tent, which is a uniform 10 men around which the distribution of goods and services in the army are distributed.   Despite this, most NCOs organize ad-hoc squads and platoons in the field, of varying size and composition based on their task and position in the field. This can lead to heated debates over troop allocation, though ultimately a higher officer will step in and give his final order on the matter if such an event occurs. If there is any more detail you're interested in learning, please let me know! And thanks again for reading