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ARMAGEDDON UNLIMITED'S RANK STRUCTURE
The vision we've (being the Command & Staff who've participated here since the beginning of the on-line iteration of the Wolf Family Mercenary Units, LLC) always had of Armageddon Unlimited, as a mercenary unit, has continued to be that of real-world mercenary units, where organization is, more often than not, king, akin to 'legitimate' military forces around the world, with rank, awards, and pay for reconnaissance and combat services rendered.  For mercenaries, commanders more wise than honorable -honor has its own wisdom, though it often does not jive with good sense- will seek out the highest bidder with the lowest risk for paying military and para-military jobs.  However, and especially for the computer-gaming crowd, many of whom will not be, or have been, in the military, honor and structure have far less meaning than playing the game for fun, sport and, in MWOs case, in-game gain; like it or not, we as the Command & Staff, and those who come to play within the unit, will be required to deal with this sort of attitude.

Brevet Rank - IMPORTANT!
With the advent of three means by which an individual is capable of building rank -Time-in-Service, Advantage by Service Character, and the Educational Opportunities Program-, as opposed to one, which required all MechWarrior's to participate in multiple aspects of Armageddon Unlimited, the importance of being breveted to a rank necessary to hold a position within AU is now indelible.  Brevet ranks are those that are given an individual for the sake of their ability to fill a position requiring the minimum rank; these may be granted by the Command & Staff or by a Commander within their realm -Company, Battalion, Regiment, or Brigade Commander- of command to fill a slot necessary to the advancement of their element.

Con's of a Brevet Rank
  • The rank you were Brevetted to in order to fill the position is not your true rank, you still have to earn your way up, and your true rank will be reflected next to your Brevetted rank on your MSR and in the Personnel Workbook for AU;

  • You do not have the privilege of participating fully at the level the Brevet rank would grant someone at that rank who is not Brevetted.  For example, if you're Brevetted to the rank of E4 Sergeant so you may take the position of a Lance Leader, you do not get to pick the type of Lance you run -if there's a set of choices to make- and you do not get to select the individual's who will compose your Lance;

  • At a Brevetted rank that allows you the position of Lance Leader or above, even if you complete the Drop Commander Certification Course, you may not begin official AU drops without the permission of a superior officer, unlike if you had the actual rank for the position (this rule is subject to review);

  • A Brevetted rank may be taken away at any time, if seen fit to be by an individual two positions higher than you, or higher than them in their Chain of Command.  Two positions higher than you means, for example, if you were Brevetted for a Lance Leader position, your Battalion Commander or higher could remove you from that position.  The Brevet may also be removed if you are in a slot needed for someone with actual earned rank to fill; thus, it behooves you to work to keep what you are Brevetted;

  • Your responsibilities will be the same as the position you are Brevetted to, as if you were actually the non-Brevetted rank.

Pro's of a Brevet Rank
  • May be granted for good work within the element, as a requirement to fill a position that could not, otherwise, be filled;

  • If you have some manner of great idea, something seen as worthy by the powers that be, or you display prowess necessary to a position to be filled, you may be Brevetted to a position that will allow you to conduct work toward completion of that idea;

  • You have the privilege of being known by the Brevet rank, while your true rank continues to grow, based on the work you do within AU, as normal.  You will also gain the Time-in-Service bonus applied to the position you're taking on, for which the Brevet was necessary;

  • Once your true rank matches your Brevet rank, you lose the Brevet tag and all you have done within that element of the unit will be yours completely.  At that point, you can begin participating per normal for the rank, not just the position, you can recommend big changes and make small changes, and you will be at that rank;

  • You do have some privileges of the rank, but not all of them.  Except for Command & Staff, you will be allowed into the appropriate area of the forums, and you will be allowed to have the same intel non-Brevetted individuals at the position level you are will have.  This latter part is to ensure you have the same information to work with, so you're not left in the dark, as others do; should information be released you do not need, you will not be made immediately privileged to that information;

  • Your responsibilities will be the same as the position you are Brevetted to, as if you were actually the non-Brevetted rank.
If you have further questions regarding Brevet ranks, please address them by clicking here!

What follows is the most open rank framework policy for AU that I can possibly think of; one that will maintain a level of structure appropriate to the size of the unit, and will allow for the development of further responsibility assignment, as necessary.


Unit Structure ~ Level One

Nominal Range: 4 - 12 Players (expandable)

When first beginning this iteration of AU, the rank structure will be close to non-existant for most players; the goal of this is to allow everyone to relax, participate at their own levels and under the constraints of their other responsibilites (gaming and real-life), and to not be all that formal (NOTE: NONE of our MechWarriors may be affiliated with other MWO active units, unless special authority is granted to do so).  The Command & Staff, however, will have separate repsonsibilites, namely maintaining an off-table track of all personnel to see who will fit positions within the unit better, if they desire to take the position offered, and so records will be in place for subsequent Levels.

At this point the 'ranks' will be spread among the unit Commander, Executive Officer, a third Lance Leader, and MechWarriors for each lance.  The Lances, which may extend into Companies, and further, are listed immediately below, and this structure will remain similar through both subsequent Levels.  Outside of Gameplay, only the CO and XO of the unit will have true responsibilities at this Level, with the web designer/maintainer and forum mods also having their varied responsibilities; Education and Participation will be optional, but tracked by the CO/XO.

In Gameplay, the 'rank' structure for this Level of command authority will be in play, and should be adhered to as much as possible. Moving to Level 2 structure and command authority has to be a decision of the 'officers' of the Merc Corps, in response to dissatisfaction (participation, lack of rank structure, 'who's in charge?' or for the sake of ease of use/play).  (NOTE: Piranha Games Inc have explained that, for MechWarrior Online, there is to be a Mercenary Corporation HQ for each Merc Corps; as development is brought to the front, what will be tracked by the Command & Staff for each individual Player may be less.  You want less, so that all members will be able to play.)

The highest ranks achievable during this level of structure should be no higher than Major for Officers, and MechWarrior for Enlisted...
MechWarrior
Non-Officer MechWarrior
Lancer
Lance Leader
Lieutenant
Lance Leader
Captain
Company Commander
Major
Battalion/Force Commander
← If you want to see our present level of organization, click the MW symbol to the left.


Unit Structure ~ Level Two

Nominal Range: 16 - 36 Players (expandable)

As the unit continues to grow, it may come to a point where the Command & Staff, due to feedback from the unit's MechWarriors, or necessity of change for the sake of growth, or any other of a number of factors, votes unanimously for the unit to advance to this Level of structure.  Though the goal will remain intact for the unit to have fun, relax, and be friends, this change will be necessitated so the Command & Staff will maintain better accountability and develop channels that will better allow the chain of command and support to function as it should.  The general lack of constraint among the new ranks will remain close to, if not exactly the same, as operations at Level 1 Unit Structure, though responsibilities will increase for several folks.

The ranks will grow to include adding Officers with Positions in the unit (Commander, Executive Officer, Training, Intelligence, Command Sergeant Major-AU, MechWarriors for the Lances, and other relevant and necessary positions, perhaps eventually including a Treasurer) to develop a larger, more complete, Command & Staff and more operational/line Officers (Captains, Lieutenants).  Outside of Gameplay, the overall Command & Staff will oversee all other personnel, though this will still not be a very strong military structure, more concentrated than Level 1, but still not as strict as Level 3.  The varied responsibilities of the web site maintainer and forum moderators will remain intact.

In Gameplay, the rank structure will become more important so that we will, indeed, be able to bring our proverbial "A" game with larger forces in-play; likely, mutliple missions on individual maps will take place simultaneously, meaning our Officer and NCO Corps will need to be at the top of their game, anyone in the Lance structure able to take command of that Lance, if necessary.  Moving to Level 3 structure and command authority, should the unit rise to such prominence, will be the decision of the Command & Staff, plus the Officer Corps and the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps, ranks E-5 and above; the vote must be 2/3rds majority, or the move does not happen.  This vote may be called by any of those members, with support from others, for any one of a number of varied reasons, including but not limited to unit overall size and a serious lack of battlefield discipline (battlefield-only).

The highest ranks achievable during this level of structure should be no higher than Colonel for Officers, Command Sergeant Major - AU for Enlisted (elected from among the ranks), and MechWarrior for Enlisted...
MechWarrior
Non-Officer MechWarrior
CSM-AU
Highest Enlisted
Lancer
Lance Leader
Lieutenant
Lance Leader
Captain
Company Commander
Major
Battalion Commander
Colonel
Regiment/Force Commander

Unit Structure ~ Level Three

Nominal Range: 48+ Players

If a vote of the combined Command & Staff, Officer Corps, and NCO Corps (E-5 and above), with a 2/3rds majority, has lead the unit to Level 3 structure and command authority, most likely the unit is already out-of-hand and needs the maximum structure in place to keep the unit from collapsing.  This level is the preferred one, though it has been abused in the past; a way to knock the abuse off is to place only the most loyal and hard-working members of AU, to-date, in positions where they will make their reports, help the Command & Staff to keep points and scores for the various personnel within the unit, and participate in other command functions.

The display of uniforms, ranks, awards, etc., will become the norm in this case, and discipline, education, training, and participation will be expected by those who actually care to make rank and build this unit up; how those expectations play out will be on an Officer-by-Officer basis, and those Officer's will answer to the Command & Staff and/or the CO/XO of the unit. 

At this level of structure, lines of communication between the upper and lower echelons will be through the proper channels only, except on the battlefield, where expediency will be the order of the day.  Rank and position(s) will be all encompassing and play a very important role in the unit's development, day-to-day operations, chain of command and support, discipline, and fun will have to come by the drop.  Reports, After-Action-Reviews, and the like, will become important, as well, in order to keep a better track on how the unit is feeling, performing, and adjusting to the military mindset.  In short, it will be like the last two times we played in AU, only this time, hopefully through the previous Levels we'll actually have garnered the support, knowledge, experience, and good military sense we're looking for at the end of the day.
MechWarrior
Training Evaluation Candidate
Recruit/Candidate Private Corporal
Sergeant
Company Level Senior
Non-Commissioned Officer (Basic NCOC)
Senior Sergeant
Battalion Level Senior
Non-Commissioned Officer (Advanced NCOC)
Sergeant Major
Regiment Level Senior Non-
Commissioned Officer (Minor Officer Power)
Command Sergeant Major
Armageddon Unlimited
(CSM-AU)
Brigade Level Senior Non-Commissioned
Officer (Major Officer Power)
Lancer
Lance Leader
Lieutenant
Lance Leader
Captain
Company Commander
Major
Battalion Commander
Colonel
Regiment Commander
General
Brigade/Force Commander



DISCLAIMER: BattleTech, MechWarrior, BattleMech, 'Mech, and other associated terms are Publisher and Electronic Copyright © Smith & Tinker.  MechWarrior: Online © Piranha Games Inc. and Smith & Tinker.  MechWarrior Online Logo used with permission (@Garth Erlam).  MechWarrior 4: (et al) is © Cyberlore and Microsoft.  MechWarrior 3: (et al) is © WizKids, Zipper Interactive, Hasbro, and Microsoft.  MechWarrior 2: (et al) is © Activision, FASA Studio, and Microsoft.  No copyright infringement is intended by anything posted on this web site.

Armageddon Unlimited (we are the ONLY originals) started in 1985 as Red Death Squadron, re-designated in '87 as Wolf's Cavaliers, again in '92 as Equal Opportunity Destroyers, once more in '95 as Shadow Blade/Lynx Lancers and, finally, in 1997 as Armageddon Unlimited for MW2: Mercs, MW3, MW4, MW: O and MW: T.  Each new name has been advanced as a result of a new Commanding Officer and/or a new era of BattleTech, the final change being specifically for MechWarrior.  So, you imitators out there claiming Armageddon Unlimited as your name, make sure you hold to a high and honorable standard, or we're comin' for ya.  'Nuff said.

If you have any questions, comments, or complaints about this site, please feel free to contact the Webmonkey.  If you wish to join such an auspicious unit as Armageddon Unlimited, please click here!