Rostran Archipelago Confederacy Marine Forces
The Rostran Archipelago Confederacy Marine Forces (also known as the RACMF) is the unified national military force of the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy. Despite the name, the RACMF is not confined to water-based operations, being also invested in defending Rostran shipping assets abroat (especially against Avarix Corps piracy and overly zealous commerce raiders involved with the War of Reunification).
While every member of the Grand Army of Voxelia or the Coalition Defense Forces is a rifleman, every member of the RACMF is a mariner. RACMF neo-gambesons tend to be composed of Rostral grand sheep weave saturated with water-repellent compounds and stitched with pouches which can be filled with air to promote buoyancy.
Most members of the RACMF are equipped with a standard issue "Swordfish" 9mm submachine gun (essentially indistinguishable from the ubiquitous grease gun) and a knife for close-quarters combat. In some units, rifles are incorporated into the hafts of ba'amba to provide an all-in-one solution for ranged and melee combat, though this transition is only in the early stages as of the year 10,000 AR. The RACMF also fields some wholly unique crew-served weapons, such as the RTC "Thunder Caster" Area Denial Weapon.
As the name would imply, the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy Marine Forces are the only faction in the Manifold Sky setting to dedicate a significant proportion of their military expenditures to water-based vehicles. The RACMF employs a number of unique amphibious surface vehicles, including the ANF-1 "Angler Fish" Amphibious Special Duty Tank, MF-A2 "Kirie" Traversal Auto Armor, and the "Ixulova Tun" Amphibious Assault Auto-Armor, to safeguard their coastal assets. Almost all Rostran aircraft, including airships are amphibious as well. Though the RACMF does employ purpose built military vessels, most of their defensive naval force is actually comprised of merchant marines, with the remainder being small, fast "sea fighters" capable of being deployed from an allied airship or skystation.
Because the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy is seldom in a state of war, the RACMF's military doctrine is less cohesive than that of other contemporary military forces. The unique perceptiveness of Rostran physiology predisposes them to seek comprehensive battlespace awareness in all circumstances. RACMF forces are extremely difficult to take by surprise due to ubiquitous scouting and other intelligence-gathering efforts. The RACMF prefers to strike with surprise from the cover of the sea or, if no water is available, from the cover of darkness to deny their enemies these benefits. If forced onto the defensive, RACMF forces move into the most rugged terrain they can find in the hopes of denying their enemies room to move, harrying the enemy with Kiries and Thunder Caster teams to further slow pursuers while the rest of the unit disappears into the terrain. The Rostrans' extensive cultural experiences with both seamanship and mountaineering make them extremely maneuverable in these environments. While the Grand Army of Voxelia excels in lighting-fast hit-and-run fighting, RACMF forces are uncatchable in mountains or jungles even in the rare cases when they are pitted against the fleet-footed KF "Knave" Fast Attack Auto-Armor. Recent action in the Red Velvet Desert against Avarix Corps have given the RACMF yet another terrain type to 'conquer' in their quest to become the masters of special maneuvers.
Beyond basic training for individual recruits' MOS, because the RAC is so seldomly at war with other factions, most RACMF training material is either adapted from observations of other fighting forces in action or from experiences in dealing with the Avarix piracy issue. Occasionally, members of the RACMF will be attached to other factions at war (notably the Coalition Defense Forces) as observers, but this has become less common as the civilian government has sought to avoid the perception of overtly taking sides in the War of Reunification.
Many populous islands in the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy possess their own island militias or other civil defense corps. The RACMF sometimes calls upon these forces in times of need to provide a regional response should RACMF assets be too dispersed or distant to respond in a timely manner (i.e. local natural disasters). RACMF recruits with previous experience in these auxilia receive accelerated rank advancement in acknowledgement of this service.
The Rostran Archipelago Confederacy and Ovinex Island Tribes came to a mutually beneficial defense agreement in the aftermath of the Rostran-Ovinex War, with many ovinex prisoners of war integrating into RAC society as Civil Ovinex. As a result, the RACMF is somewhat unique in the Manifold in that it employs both Rostran and Ovinex recruits. Any adult citizen of the RAC, regardless of ethnicity or species, may join the RACMF. However, the corps are sex-segregated as of the year 10,000 AR, with female recruits generally not being assigned to frontline combat roles. Ovinex tend to be recruited into various marine and infantry roles, while Rostrans tend to be recruited into air and naval roles, though these trends are based on demonstrated aptitude rather than any racial predjudice on the part of recruiters.
Overall training Level