MechWarrior (Dalcour Military)
Mechwarrior in the Armed Forces of Dalcour
Become a MechWarrior: AFD Career Guide
BattleMech Corps is a branch in the armed forces responsible for BattleMech warfare. MechWarriors pilot a variety of BattleMechs, including recon, fire support, assault and scout BattleMechs. Individuals become MechWarriors in the Armed Forces of Dalcour by extensive BattleMech training.
Note for applicants
Contrary to popular belief, the Armed Forces is not necessarily looking for someone who is at the top of the class academically or the sporting team super star. Instead, AFD seeks good all rounders - people who can adapt to new situations quickly, who can think logically and make decisions, and who have a broad range of interests and abilities.
Only a very few out of the many who want to pilot a 'Mech will make the cut. Every MechWarrior candidate in the AFD MechWarrior School will not pass the course. Many will be eliminated because they can not take the G Forces that a MechWarrior must endure, or they cannot cope with the neural link created by the neurohelmet. Many will be eliminated because they can not pass all the academics of training program. And some will be eliminated because they fail to conform to the military life.
To apply to the training program you must accept the possibility that you will not become a MechWarrior and must accept some other military assignment. In such event you will be offered an NCO position in AFD or a place in on of the AFD officer training programs, depending on your qualification points at that moment. If you aim to become a MechWarrior and an officer in the AFD 'Mech Corps, you need to become a MechWarrior first. You need to graduate in the top 20% of the class to be able to apply to the Academy.
Phase 1: The Applicant
1st Step: Earn a MechTrainee licence
To apply to the MechWarrior training program the applicant must have a two-year college associate degree, a MechWarrior training stipend or a Covenant of Possession. Those aspiring to become officers in 'Mech Corps must have a full college degree.
2nd Step: Meet MW Qualifications
Applicants must be 17-25 years old and have a citizenship in order to pursue MechWarrior training. Applicants take the MechWarrior Candidate Qualifying Test (MWCQT), and must receive a certain minimum score to pass. The MWCQT consists of instrument comprehension and math test, psychological evaluation and a physical test. Applicants must also pass background checks for a security clearance.
Phase 2: The Recruit
In the Phase 2 the applicant is registered as a student (recruit) in the AFD MechWarrior School. Each year 150 recruits begin the training program.
3rd Step: Attend Basic Military Training
The six-week long basic training is a an introductory phase to the military. Covering a multitude of subjects such as values & standards, physical training, basic firearms training, drill and fieldcraft.
4th Step: Attend Advanced Military Training
The eight-week long AMT program includes classroom lessons in a variety of topics, such as problem-solving, team-building, military customs and courtesies, standards and military history. Recruits also complete field exercises in land navigation, first aid, self-defense, tactical marches and base defense.
In the end of the Phase 2 the recruits are divided into three groups. The 36 recruits in the first group are assigned as MechWarrior trainees, and continue to the Phase 3. The recruits in the second group are offered a student position in the AFD Officer Candidate School or the AFD NCO school for a career in the other branches. The rest of the recruits are dismissed.
Phase 3: The Trainee
The 36 trainees are organized into nine "study lances" as they begin the MW training program.
5th Step: Initial BattleMech Training
MW trainees begin 'Mech training by passing Initial Pilot Testing (ITS), which is a process that allows instructors to assess a trainee's ability and desire to learn piloting skills. During the four-week IBT the instructors use various training simulators to introduce MW trainees to basics prior to entering advanced training. 1-2 trainees fail the IBT each year.
6th Step: Advanced BattleMech Training
This 8 month long program consists of classroom instruction on tactics, BattleMech systems, regulations, MechWarrior physiology, navigation, terrain and weather. Technical training in the 'Mech hangars include pre- and post-combat checks and the basic maintenance procedures. A number of long days are spent in the simulator hall, and basic piloting training uses the 10-ton Spike-1B-training BattleMech. At the end of ABT the trainees will take the Advanced MechWarrior Selection Test (AMST) and the trainees will again be ranked in order of merit and that ranking is used to assign 'Mechs.
The ABT is a hard training program, and several trainees fail the AMST each year. Trainees that fail the technical part of the AMST can be recycled once - the trainees will start the Initial BattleMech Training program again next year. Failing other parts of the AMST will send the trainee for a review, and the School Review Board will decide the fate of the trainee (usually a transfer to another branch). 15-20 trainees pass the ABT each year.
7th Step: Assigned Specialty Training or Officer Candidate School
Following successful completion of ABT, the trainees are sent directly to the AFD BattleMech companies as secondary pilots to the 'Mechs they were assigned. The exact content of the 4 month long AST program varies from company to company, and is mostly "on-the-job"-training. Passing the AST final test will grant the trainee the MechWarrior status, and the rank of Secondary Mech Officer, Grade 1 (SMO1).
The prospective officers join the AFD Academy's Officer Candidate School (in Winterswijk) after the ABT. The one year long Officer Candidate Course is primarily a leadership and management course. The OCC contains a two month "on-the-job"-training period similar to AST.
MechWarrior training stipend
Mechwarrior training stipends are the provincial stipend and the federal military stipend.
The Provincial Stipends are awarded by provincial military commands. These stipends are mostly given as a reward for soldiers and civilians who have distinguished themselves in service above and beyond the call of duty. The number of stipends each province can award is strictly regulated - each Mechwarrior course has a reservation for one stipendee from each of the Provinces, and no province can award more than three stipends in a period of five years.
A stipendee has to pass the MechWarrior Candidate Qualifying Test to continue in the program. Stipendees with a military background may be allowed to bypass the BMT/AMT phases and take the Initial Pilot Testing directly after the MWCQT.
The federal stipend is awarded by the Commander of the Armed Forces of Dalcour. There is no restrictions on the number of stipends that can be awarded at any time, but there is a strict criteria on which a stipend can be awarded. The federal stipend is a rare award, usually one or two stipends are awarded within a decade.
Covenant of Possession
When the Gallimonte treaty was signed in 2896 there were 35 BattleMechs privately owned by wealthy families in Cayerlon and Penegyar. The families had to relinquish the ownership of those 'Mechs, but they were granted Covenants of Possession - a privilege to choose the primary and secondary pilots for these BattleMechs. The pilots chosen still need to pass the AFD 'Mech training and the yearly tests just like any other MechWarrior.
There are currently 19 BattleMechs in service that are covered by a Covenant of Possession.
- Artillery ops
- Anti-Air ops
- Combined Arms ops
- Recon ops
- Amphibious ops
- Non-atmospheric ops
- Logistics ops
- Airlift ops
MechWarrior service status
MechWarrior Warrant Officer ranks
- Secondary Mech Officer, Grade 1 (SMO1) (The starting rank of a MechWarrior with a secondary pilot Mech assignment)
- Mech Officer, Grade 1 (MO1) (The starting rank of a MechWarrior with a primary pilot Mech assignment)
- Mech Officer, Grade 2 (MO2) (Requirements: 24 months in service, 1 service tour)
- Chief Mech Officer (CMO3) (Requirements: 60 months in service, 2 service tours, assigned as a COY chief/equivalent )
- Master Chief Mech Officer (CMO4) (Requirements: 120 months in service, no conduct marks in service record, assigned as a BN chief/equivalent )
- Command Master Chief of the Academy (CMO5) (CMCA, "the school master". Appointed by the Chief of Staff.)
- Master Chief of the Armed Forces (CMO5) (MCAF, The most senior WO position in AFD. Appointed by the Chief of Staff.)
MechWarrior Officer ranks
- Lieutenant, Junior Grade (The starting rank of a Mech Officer)
- Lieutenant (Requirements: 36 months in service, assigned as a lance leader)
- Captain (Requirements: 24 months since last promotion, assigned as COY XO/equivalent position)
- ForceCommander (Requirements: 24 months since last promotion, assigned as COY CO/equivalent position)
The officers that are promoted to Lieutenant Colonel usually give up the active role of a MechWarrior.
Primary pilot is the MechWarrior assigned in charge of a BattleMech. In MechWarrior society the Primary Pilots are the "true MechWarriors".
Secondary pilot is a reserve pilot of a BattleMech, who will pilot the Mech if the Primary Pilot is exhausted or injured. Secondary pilot has been trained to use the 'Mech and his/her neural patterns are stored in the BattleMech's computer system.
Some Secondary Pilots are promoted to Primary status when the former Primary Pilot retires or dies, but some secondary pilots have to retire from the military never gaining the prestigious Primary Pilot status.
In MechWarrior society the Secondary Pilots are considered as "lower caste".
There is no age limit in the career of a MechWarrior in AFD, but a MechWarrior in his fifties is a rare sight due to the fact that most fail their yearly tests in the late 40s. The oldest MechWarrior in AFD history was 61-year old CMO4 Keith "DOUBLESHOT" Craveridge, who retired in 3008.
Retirement from the role of the MechWarrior is mandatory when you fail the yearly tests. If you have less than 15 years of service, you will be transferred within the AFD (you will have some say in the position you will be tranferred to). If you are a warrant officer with more than 15 years of service, you may choose to retire from the military with full pension. If you are an officer, you will need to serve to the age of 45 in the military before you are eligible for a full pension.
MechWarrior society on Dalcour
Example of an AFD BattleMech unit
Main article: AFD BattleMech Unit