Claiming Ceremony

<Accept the offer,> Feels prodded. <She’s waiting for you to say yes.>   “It would be an honor,” Jake answered dutifully.   “Then it’s settled,” Margold answered, pleased. She pulled the pin from her own dress uniform, instead attaching it to the right collar of his jacket. “I’ll have Navigations jump us to my ship.”
  Upon conscription at the age of sixteen, citizens of the Sparnell Confederation report to SAF Military Headquarters on Sparnell for boot camp and military training. They are assigned housing at Headquarters until the completion of their classes, at which point they will be assigned to their future roles throughout the fleet.   At least, that is the official statement.   In truth, the initial classes offered are merely an opportunity for each of the major Families to remind new conscripts of their historical prestige, and in turn review each class for promising recruits. Those who catch the eye of an Admiral or Vice Admiral are often Claimed, sworn into service in their sponsor's fleet. The sooner a conscript is Claimed, the more prestigious for both them and their Family, and the sooner they will begin to accrue their own glory. Some Families will even reach out to an admiral in advance, negotiating for them to Claim a newly conscripted Family member before they even begin classes, often in exchange for other benefits from the requesting Family.   Those remaining unclaimed at the completion of this initial round of political classes are then assigned to additional training, dependent upon their Family's prestige and the results of their personal aptitude tests. Over the next two years, students pour their attention into their studies, ever hopeful to rise to the top and earn notice, either on their own merits or as the most skilled in a capability needed by an admiral. Those still unclaimed at the end of their studies will instead be assigned to the fleet, or necessary support roles, by Sparnell Fleet Command.

Execution

“Ma’am…?” he asked hesitantly.   “Oh! I’m sorry.” Embarrassment crossed her face. “I let my excitement get ahead of me. I hereby Claim Ensign Lawson Jacobus, Shielding Mage of the Glorious Sparnell Armed Forces, in personal service to myself, Vice Admiral Margold Vadessa. May your glory bring honor to us all.” She smiled warmly. “I’ll work out the paperwork for your promotion once you’re settled in, but since you’re mine now, that’s a mere formality at this point.”
  Claimed individuals are presented with a gold pin bearing their Claiming admiral's personal insignia, accompanied by a short spoken ceremony between the Sponsor and their Claimed conscript, where the admiral formally announces their Claim. This formulaic statement includes the conscript's full name, their new rank, their intended role, and the admiral's name and rank, followed by the standard Sparnelli wish for future honor. Often this ceremony is spoken in private, an intimate moment between the recruit and their admiral, although there may be witnesses if the admiral so chooses.   The admiral's gold pin is to be worn on the conscript's uniform collar until they join their admiral's fleet, at which point the pin is omitted outside of political functions involving multiple admirals. This is in contrast to the silver pins presented by TAGs to future members of their Tactical Assault Group, which are worn at all times.   From this point onward, the Claimed individual is now under the jurisdiction of their admiral, and subject to their admiral's choices regarding their future career path for the duration of their service. They may continue with their classes, although most admirals will choose to have their new subordinate immediately assigned to their roles within their fleet, with any additional training requirements fulfilled on the job. They are also outside the jurisdiction of other admirals, with the exception of official Fleet Command and Sparnell Confederation business. Military awards and decorations are determined by their admiral or by Fleet Command, dependent upon the award, while ranks and promotions up to and including Commodore are entirely determined by their admiral.  
“Recruit Lawson!” Instructor Gorlik bellowed, stomping toward him. “How dare you threaten the safety of the other students! I’ll see to it you’re suitably punished for this outrage!”   Sighing, Jake squared his shoulders to face the new threat, only to feel Soren’s hand land heavy on his shoulder.   “You’ll do no such thing,” Soren answered fiercely. “He’s no longer within your jurisdiction.”   “He’s in my classroom,” Gorlik seethed.   “And he’s been Claimed by Admiral Margold. If you have a problem with him, you take it up with her.” Soren squeezed Jake’s shoulders. “Or me.”
  Most members of the Sparnell Armed Forces will serve the same admiral for the duration of their service, unless traded to another admiral in exchange for personnel with more necessary skills or, in particular prestigious cases, even a ship, with or without the necessary crew. Those who follow the Old Ways will also offer personnel to allied or rival admirals under the Codes of Tribute, as a way to strengthen bonds between Families. It is considered a great badge of honor for all participants in a trade, particularly for the individuals traded, as this means both admirals involved value the individual's skills and abilities.   Regardless of the honor, most prefer to remain with their Claiming admiral for the duration of their careers, forming close ties of loyalty with both their admiral and their fellow service personnel.
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Generic article | Nov 16, 2022

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