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Role-Playing a Soldier, an Imperial Army Guide

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Role-playing a Soldier

The following is a guide to how to best Role-play a Soldier in the Imperial Army.

First we will list the Information that everyone should have as Soldiers in the Imperial Army.

The Salute

When to and When not to:

The salute is not simply an honor exchanged. It is a privileged gesture of respect and trust among soldiers.

Remember: the salute is not only prescribed by regulation, but is also a recognition of each other’s commitment, abilities, and professionalism.

The salute is widely misunderstood outside the military. Some consider it to be a gesture of servility since the Junior extends a salute to the Senior, but we know that it is quite the opposite. The salute is an expression that recognizes each other as a member of the profession of arms; that they have made a personal commitment of self-sacrifice to preserve our way of life. The fact that the Junior extends the greeting first is merely a point of etiquette—a salute extended or returned makes the same statement.

Salutes are not required to be rendered or returned when the Senior or Subordinate, or both, are:

  • In civilian attire

  • Engaged in routine work if the salute would interfere

  • Carrying articles with both hands so occupied as to make saluting impracticable

  • In public places such as theaters, churches, and in public conveyances

  • In the ranks of a formationWhen do you salute inside a building?

  • When reporting to your commander

  • When reporting to a pay officer

  • When reporting to a military board

  • At an indoor ceremony

  • At sentry duty indoors

In general, you don't salute when you are indoors (except when reporting), or when saluting is not practical (carrying articles with both hands, for example). A good rule of thumb is this: if you are outdoors and it is practical to salute, do so.

Customs and Courtesies

• When talking to an officer of superior rank, stand at attention until ordered otherwise.

• When you are dismissed, or when the officer departs, come to attention and salute.• Walk on the left of an officer or NCO of superior rank.

• When outdoors and approached by an NCO, you greet the NCO by saying, for example, “Good morning, Sergeant.”

• Never criticize the Army or a leader in public.

• Never offer excuses.

• Never "wear" a superior's rank by saying something like, "the first sergeant wants this done now," when in fact the first sergeant said no such thing. Speak with your own voice.

• Never turn and walk away to avoid giving the hand salute.

• Never appear in uniform while under the influence of alcohol.

• If you don't know the answer to a superior's question, you will never go wrong with the response, "I don't know sir, but I'll find out."

Addressing the Different Ranks

How to properly address Soldiers, NCOs, Warrant Officers and Commissioned OfficersCommissioned Officers:

• Address all personnel with the rank of general as "General (last name)" regardless of the number of stars.

• Address both colonels and lieutenant colonels as "Colonel (last name)."

• Address both first and second lieutenants as "Lieutenant (last name).

Address warrant officers as "Mr. (last name)" or "Ms. (last name).

• Address privates (E1 and E2) and privates first class (E3) as "Private (last name)."

• Address specialists as "Specialist (last name)."

• Address sergeants, staff sergeants, sergeants first class, and master sergeants as "Sergeant (last name)."

• Address first sergeants as "First Sergeant (last name)."

• Address sergeants major as "Sergeant Major (last name)."

How to Role-Play a Soldier

First Remember you are here on Orders from your Commanding Officer. If somebody has a problem with and/or questions what you are doing feel free to always fall back on the tried and true response:

"I am just following orders Sir/Ma'am."

You can then direct them to your Commanding Officer if they request to speak to whoever is in charge. If you find that you are that Commanding Officer then your reply can be more varied.

  • "We are here under orders of [The Hutt Cartel, The Dark Council, Darth Marr, The King of all londinia.]"

  • "Article 82b of The Imperial Military Garrison Act gives us Authority to Question any Imperial Citizen in the event that a direct threat to the Empire is evident."

  • "I'm afraid that information is need to know. So if you are hitherto unawares, you are likely to remain that way."

  • Or my favorite:"I'm going to need to see your Security Clearance level credentials and then I will call it in to someone bigger than both of us to confirm you are allowed to be privy to that information."

As Soldiers we have Rules of Engagement

Do not fire upon someone unless fired upon yourself. This rule is really easy to follow in RP, because usually they can't attack you. If you are in an area with a known Hostile Element(PVP) this does not apply.

If you are a Sith in the Imperial Army, you are either here by choice, sent here by a master, or commissioned here by a Dark Council member. In all of these instances you are to obey the chain of command as though it were your own master, or Darth Marr himself ordering you to do something. Alternatively, consider using a vibro-weapon in place of your lightsaber, and assuming the role of a melee-specialist.

How to Interact with People

The Three Cardinal Sins of Role-Playing:

Bunnying: You do not control anyone else. Anytime you dictate what happens to another player's character, you're pissing that player off. You are free to decide what your character tries to do, but you can't decide what affect it has on anyone else. How much fun would role-playing be if every time I didn't like someone both NPC or PC I just pulled a blaster and pronounced them dead?

Example: "John walks into the bar and sits at an empty table. Moments later, a bounty hunter walks in and scans the room for notable faces. John decides that he doesn't like bounty hunters and is going to start a verbal confrontation. He approaches the bounty hunter after a lengthy post about how his father was murdered by their lot. The bounty hunter on the other hand, having read all of this, assumes he's getting into a fight and decides to pull a gun shooting both of John's kneecaps and disarms him of his weapons. John's player is now sitting at his computer pissed right the * off.

Godmoding: This is when someone's character has the ability to do practically anything without limits or boundaries. A character without flaws or limitations really takes the life out of an otherwise enjoyable story. Nothing is more aggravating than having to deal with a Mary-Sue.

Example: "My name is Anakin Kenobi a half-Kiffar / Half-Sith Pureblood who does by the name Darth Betterthanyou. I am both a Sith Council Member and Mandalorian. That's why I dual-wield Han Solo's Heavy blaster and a double-bladed lightsaber. Even though I just met you, I feel you should know my darkest secrets and we could murder everyone around us with no real consequence. My fleet of Sith warships just got finished glassing the planet of Endor. Also I slept with your sister."

Meta-gaming: Having a character act on knowledge that only the player has access to. OK, so you have put together a stealthy rogue and are trying to pull a fast one over one of your Sith guildmates. Your going to record him admitting to an act of murder and try blackmailing him for credits. In explicit detail you describe a hidden recording device within your clothing with multiple encryptions and safeguards against force tampering and detection. Sounds good right? Suddenly, the Sith you are talking to begins to act strange and tries to call you out on your scheme. His explanation is that he knew all along and his force powers tipped him off even before he started talking to you. A likely story...You sir, have just been the victim of meta-gaming.

Special Thanks to Kalekov Falx for the 3 Cardinal Sins section.

How to handle Citizens

Be Respectful

I think it important to understand that we are fighting for the Empire and Imperial Citizens alike. They might not have as many rights as they would like (we may be slightly oppressive), but leave the being jerks to the Sith as they are better at it. (No offense meant to Sith in the Imperial Army)

We will earn a lot more respect if we treat the Citizens of the Empire with respect.

We Recruit our Soldiers from that pool of Imperial Citizens, and Imperial Mandate asks that we not give them any reason to distrust us in the case that they could be asked to join up one day.

So if you are searching for stolen goods, we get a much better response with:

"Excuse me Ma'am, have you noticed anything odd today? perhaps someone trying to move some goods discretely?"

instead of,

"YOU THERE!! I need to search you for stolen goods! Scum!"

So with Citizens always treat them with respect in the public.

How to deal with Sith

Be Respectful

Those Sith are so cute -- they all think they rule the world, but I promise you: They are all bark and no bite. They do not usually meddle in Imperial Matters and can usually be put in line, but remember you are a character in this galaxy so take the proper courtesy:

  • "I'm Sorry my Lord, I have orders to..."

  • "My Lord, such affairs are beneath a Sith/Lord/Darth such as yourself."

  • "We are here under the authority of Darth Anysith, my Lord."

How to deal with Alternative Authority

Be Respectful

You will soon find that once you start RPing you will find someone who "Owns/Runs the place". Whether they are a Security Officer, or a Egotistical Sith, it will happen. Often. The best way to do this is to play along enough to Be Respectful, but that does not mean surrender to their every whim. They do not own the RP here -- nobody does.

  • "This is a Military Matter Sir."

  • "I am just following orders Ma'am."

Turn it around on them if they come asking why you are here, trying to throw you out, or arrest you. Ask them where their Authority comes from. This is not to be done to Win, it is to be done to Draw -- as all RP sorta should be.

  • "On whose authority are you acting?"

  • "We were not told that X would be present here."

  • "Please take it up with X"

  • "I'm sorry sir, the Imperial Army always takes pains to comply with all listed regulations on interaction with Security forces. To which are we in violation of?"

  • "In the event of a imminent threat to the Empire the Imperial Military is given authority to move quickly to subvert said threat. We apologize if we did not have time to inform the resident security force. If you would like information of this operation after the fact please file a request through proper channels."

These guys may become Jerks at some point, but there is little they can do to actually dictate our RP, so long as we continue to remain respectful and in-character, they will only make themselves look like asses.

How to deal with Trolls

Be Respectful

Trolls exist. You will find that when you RP, you will have people who refuse to play along, or go out of their way to try to hurt your RP experience. There usually is only one way to deal with this:

"Sir, please move along."




and if they don't:


Everyone already hates these people -- don't detract from our image by being convinced to acknowledge their behavior.

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