Themiclesian Marine Corps
|Themiclesian Marine Corps|
|Active||1318 – now|
Naval aviation (helicopters)
5,220 (in reserve)
|Part of||Ministry of Defence|
|Nickname(s)||Wandering Legion, Star Children|
|Colours||Blue, verdigris, silver|
The Themiclesian Marine Corps (房冗人, bjang-njung′-njing) is the naval infantry branch of the Themiclesian Navy (航, gang) and performs a range of tangent and peripheral duties.
- 1 Name and translation
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early centuries
- 2.2 Revolt of 1279
- 2.3 Wax Tablet Case
- 2.4 Formula
- 2.5 Gwidh-mjen's reforms
- 2.6 Mutiny at Trjung-gengh
- 2.7 Mutiny at Smljin-ts′jêng
- 2.8 Maverican War
- 2.9 Cat legend
- 2.10 Raid on Rad
- 2.11 Lord of Gar-lang's disarmament
- 2.12 Commissioning evolutions
- 2.13 Salary reform
- 2.14 Battle of Rafts
- 2.15 Battle of Liang-la
- 2.16 Mediatization
- 2.17 Trjuk's reforms
- 2.18 Textbook crisis
- 2.19 Merger
- 2.20 Recruitment and discipline
- 2.21 With the Coast Guard
- 2.22 Prairie War
- 2.23 End of commission sales
- 2.24 PSW and infiltration
- 2.25 In Menghe
- 3 Current roles
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Culture
- 6 Uniforms
- 7 Oath
- 8 Scandals
- 9 List of leaders
- 10 In popular culture
- 11 References
- 12 See also
Name and translation
Themiclesian Marines acquired their Tyrannian names confronted with Tyrannian Royal Marines, who fought them in 1791 during the Raid on Rad and gave them their present name. Hallians and Sylvans prior to this regularly called them the Exercitus Thimiensis, "Themiclesian Army". The term Exercitus Thimiensis was even used by Themiclesian diplomats. In modern times, this is deprecated due to confusion with the similarly-named Themiclesian Army, which would have been called just "Army" in the early modern period. "Themiclesian Marine Corps" is the sanctioned translation of the Shinasthana bjang-njung-njing (舫冗人) since around 1810.
Themiclesians do not use bjang-njung-njing to translate "marine corps" in general; rather, the term st′jur′-prjang (水兵, "maritime army") is used. This is because, domestically, st′jur-prjang refers to the lake-based naval infantry that was part of the militia, which predates the institutional Navy by several centuries. st′jur-prjang being the more inutitive term, it is preferred in translating foreign terms.
bjang (房) is a proper name for a cabin located in the stern of a ship and constrats with stjit (室), a cabin in the bow of a ship. Both pjang and stjit are compared to parts of terrestrial buildings. There is currently disagreement about the proper reading of bjang: the 3rd Regiment, formed in 1524 and the oldest extant unit, reads it as bjang, while the 4th and 5th Regiments, both dating to the Pan-Septentrion War, read it as pjang’ instead. Philologically, bjang is likely the correct reading, since it is homophonous with the root word bjang (房, lit. "rear chamber"), and also pjang’ means jib. Various theories have been forwarded to explain their confusion by individuals who "have good reason to distinguish them". 
The word njung-njing (冗人) means "passenger". Currently, this term is still used to identify passengers on both ships and aircraft, but not passengers on road vehicles. The source of this name is uncontroversially linked to the archaic custom that all passengers on ships sailing beyond the coastline are required to bear arms for its defence, under the captain's direction.
The original distinction between sailors and "passengers" is first attested in an royal edict dating to 503, forbidding passengers (anyone not a crew member) from defecting to enemies in case the ship was attacked. Maritime historian C. Larter belives these laws evidence the "increased militarization of the Rjang merchant navy, seeking to utilize every person onboard." However, he also recognizes that the role of passengers in these situations is "murky at best".
The oceanic navy was organized in 810 as a merchant then military fleet to fend off Hallians attacking Themiclesian outposts in Columbia and to control over the prized Maracaibean trade, which brought much gold to Themiclesia. In ensuing naval conflicts, enemy fleets, replenished locally, carried more troops. In comparison, Themiclesia carried ten months' provision to cover the four-month voyage to and from Meridia. If Themiclesia wished to match enemy deployments, ships would be set aside for grain storage; such ships would be weakly defended and useless in combat. Thus, many Themiclesia vessels were less crewed than their opponents. Good manoeuvring compensated to some extent, but the court searched for a permanent solution. A second problem arose that if experienced sailors died or were captured, the craft could be paralysed; carrying substitute crew created the same problem with provisions. As a result, the 503 statute was extended to the military navy, ordering the fleet's physicians, scribes, craftsmen, and priests to fight with the crew; however, such specialized officers were valuable to the fleet, and their engagement was considered a desperate measure.
In the Themiclesian fleet, crew member both manned the vessel and boarded enemy ships, a combination of duties that provisions constraints reinforced; however, it was then observed that enemy fleets were frequently augmented by soldiers that were not part of the ships' crew. Themiclesians called them passengers, like their own non-crew officers. After the capture of Portcullia, Themiclesians or their allies were found there in predictable numbers. After 945, that every Themiclesian there or elsewhere in Meridia was liable to be pressed and procure their own provisions, as long as the fleet compensated them with money, which could be transported much more easily than bulky grain. From that point, the fleet expecting battle would sail to Meridia with a small crew, press men into service for battle, and release them as soon as it was finished. Since these individuals were not sailors and served largely the same role as soldiers on enemy fleets, they were called passengers.
The first passengers augmented ships lacking sailors, navigating while crew members were aboard enemy craft; however, around 1050, crew and passenger were both used for combat, and by 1200, pressed men were responsible for most of it. The press was exceptionally unpopular with Themiclesians abroad engaging in commerce. Those who could afford it hired substitutes when it was imposed. Additionally, as the number of passengers waxed, they also became prone to mutinies, which hampered several important operations in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Revolt of 1279
In 1279, a number of Meridian states entered into an alliance and assembled a fleet to rival the Themiclesian one. Hostilities opened some time in 1280. Themiclesian archival sources provide that the enemy was spirited but poorly co-ordinated; however, many historians contend that the Meridian states fielded well-built ships and expert mariners that flustered Themiclesian admirals. The Themiclesians invaded two of the major allies at the same time, which caused the Meridian fleet to split and rush in their aid. In one, the Themiclesian fleet laid in wait and ambushed one of halves and won a victory at not-insignificant cost, but in the other, the Themiclesian troops were facing stern local opposition. Shortly after this victory, the passengers who took the first Meridian city refused to set sail to assist those in the other, having learned that the battle was hard and proclaiming that they were promised only one battle. This delay permitted the standoff to reach the other city, where the passengers defected to the Meridian alliance, knowing that the fleet was quagmired and unable to reinforce their position in a reasonable amount of time. The Meridian admirals promised that they would be sent to Portcullia unharmed. The campaign of 1279-80 severely weakened Themiclesian military standing, and it is generally agreed as the most significant factor in founding permanent units of passengers in 1318.
Wax Tablet Case
The entry of Sylva into the race for colonies in Meridia has prompted Themiclesia to expand its fleet. In 1518, the Admiralty devised an formula for calculating how many marines were required on each ship. Advocates of the formula stated that, since ships and marines were both fixed costs, expenditure on either can be mathematically optimized. Beneath the optimum, the likelihood of capture increases dramatically, while above the optimum, deployment carried diminishing returns. This was compared to the current value of the ship they defended. Opponents of the formula asserted that it does not factor in the enemies and thus must be inaccurate. Nevertheless, the court adopted the formula, and the size of the Marine Corps seems to have followed it closely for the next two centuries.
In 1705, Emperor Gwidh-mjen embarked on a rigorous programme to re-organize the defences of his realm, which stretched from the west coast of Columbia to the remote interior of Hemithea. The Themiclesian court became weary of stationing large, unified armies in disparate regions for fear of developing local loyalties, the likes of which eventually led to the independence of Camia. He separated the remaining colonial army into smaller garrisons, which was intended to enhance their attachment to smaller communities and increase dependence on the metropole for defence. Taking advantage of the sea between metropolitan Themiclesia and Columbia, a new army was raised and paired with a new section of the fleet to function as a large reinforcement that could arrive on short notice.
This army was labelled "passengers" by the admiralty, much like the naval infantry and some non-sailing divisions of the navy. The original naval infantry became the "left" passengers (左冗人), and the new army became the "right" passengers (右冗人).
Mutiny at Trjung-gengh
Four regiments of the Columbian Colonial Army were re-assigned to the authority of the Admiralty in 1731. Due to a history of conflicts with that force, the fleet docked at Trjung-gengh (中亙; now in Camia) turned away the four regiments in Jan. 1732. The fleet combined this with other grievances and refused to sail until addressed. While this took place at peace, the court was gravely troubled. The new regiments were required to take an oath before the crew of the ship on which they served, swearing to defend them as much as themselves. This is remarkable as it shows significant Casaterran influence, Themiclesians rarely swearing oaths before this time.
Mutiny at Smljin-ts′jêng
On August 2, 1740, the 11th Regiment of Marines mutinied at Smljin-ts′jêng (神清; now in Camia). Some of the regiment had been caned for a minor offence with a number of sailors. The sailors received their captain's protection, which commuted caning into amercement, but the marines did not enjoy the same. The mutineers barricaded themselves at a small, defensible position at Smljin-ts′jêng, presenting their grievances on an ensign, demanding, amongst other things, equal treatment. However, the fleet set sail on the night of the 5th, leaving the 11th in their barricade. The court disbanded the 11th on Nov. 22, 1740. While the grievance was not addressed, the Passenger Offences Act was amended in 1741, effectively granting their petition.
While the Marines saw combat against Ostlandic marines during both Maverican Wars, the conflict for which they are most famous occurred in 1768, known as the Great Firefight. The Colonial Army massacred and intentionally caused a famine for the locals in retribution for their revolt, but it also encumbered the navy's revictualing, which relied on plentiful Maverican grain. The admirals ordered marines to investigate and resettle dispossessed Mavericans, contradicting the Colonial Army's policies. Skirmishes then broke out between the two forces, the most deadly occurring on September 1, 1768, with 281 casualties. The locals support the Marines who appeared to be fighting for their security. The Colonial Army took this as proof that the Admiralty was in league with them and imported two regiments from the subcontinent to expel the marines. Vindictive Colonial Army officers threw captives into the sea.
It is reported that in the 1782, the Marines were on an escort mission to Kashubia where they encountered some hostile forces superior to them in number. Combat occurred whereby one of them went missing. They spent a few hours waiting for their comrade to re-appear, but circumstance compelled the unit to leave the site. The unit's commander shouted the comrade's name three times in a final attempt to recover him, and a cat jumped onto the commander's face. The unit came to believe their comrade had become a cat in the fog of war. The cat was allowed to remain on the missing marine's ship and provisioned with his rations. This story propagated and led some Themiclesian novelists to theorize that most marines were cats to start with, only transformed into human shape by the magical spells of the fleet's mages, and the spells wear off if fighting proved too intensive.
Some historians have sought to recover the basic meaning of this legend. One explanation states that the legend actually ridicules coastal Themiclesians for their accent, which was labelled as cat-like by many. A consonant proposition is that sailors often took stray cats, frequently seen in port towns, onto their ships to keep rodents at bay, and that practice was connected with the forced impressment of marines often done at the same time. "It is conceivable that some Themiclesians may have thought that some of the cats brought aboard became marines," A. Gro writes, "since they were usually reluctant to start conversations in towns foreign to their own. This muteness and coyness may have reminded some of cats' behavoiurs." A further observation is that marines were usually charged to keep night watch, even if the fleet is docked; nocturnality is further thought to have solidified their identity with cats.
The fate of the cat found in 1782 is unclear. After the fleet returned home, the cat was registered by a Royal Counsel and a Royal Accountant as the unit's spoils, which would have been declared to the Exchequer for tallying and distribution. Anything which was not of Themiclesian origin was registered as spoils, as a measure to ensure equitable distribution and prevention of embezzlement by officers. The Exchequer's Pipe rolls confirm the existence of the cat but do not record its futher deposition. By accounts of two officers, the men pooled funds to ransom the cat, which would have assessed whether it was worth keeping alive or not. However, the ransom records have been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1841. "If the cat was not ransomed, it is very likely the Exchequer would have ordered its destruction in view of costs to feed and house it," A. Gro writes, "but the records which would have mentioned that are lost."
Raid on Rad
Lord of Gar-lang's disarmament
The military arrangements in the subcontinent, of which the Marines were part, were disrupted or vacuated during the Maverican Wars. In 1796, the Themiclesian court faced a critical choice whether to re-establish military presence and administration in Columbia, which would be expensive, or to abandon their interests there, likely for good. The emperor was desperate to reach preliminary agreement with aristocrats to recapture lost territories, even with the promise of a more equitable distribution of colonial profits, but most of the nobles distrusted the crown and opposed his policy. After an impasse lasting almost four years, the Lord of Gar-lang was appointed prime minister and began disarmament not only to reduce military expense, but to complement a pacifist policy that he believed would deprive the crown of political capital. To this end, Gar-lang in 1802 disbanded the elevent regiments in the Right division, numbering around 12,700 men, leaving the Left Division of four regiments.
Historically, the Marines have been more open to appointing officers from the rank-and-file than other forces based in the Demesne Land. This is ordinarily thought to be the consequence of making appointments away from the metropole and the Ministry of Administration, which would have preferred appointing serving bureaucrats (見任吏) or members of the landed gentry (郡邦士), who were either formerly bureaucrats or related to them. However, as the statutory gentry expanded to include rich graingers, merchants, and (later) industrialists, the ratio of gentleman to non-gentleman amongst Marines officers shifted in favour of the former, who formerly accounted for less than a tenth of them. By 1850, the gentry formed the entire officer corps. Scholars describe this phenomenon as harmonization with mainstream Themiclesian society.
Like many regiments in the 19th century, the Marines also sold active and reserve commissions. In some ways, the 1850 law restricting new commissions to graduates of the Army Academy encouraged sales since the concern of appointing unqualified officers abated. While only a small fraction of officers were usually absent in the mid-19th century, they represented half of them by 1890. The expansion of the Academy as a liberal-arts university also meant that many officers had no expertise in leading military units, which meant reliance on petty officers. The Admiralty sought to control this issue by putting units with absentee commanders in reserve, but ultimately it was not possible to reserve all of them. This situation persisted until the 1930s and is accurately reflected in A Movie Director and a Geologist, a fictionalized novel about the Dayashinese infiltration of the Marine Corps, aided by many officers' total lack of military experience.
In 1820, the Lord of Rjai-lang was Navy Secretary and worked to eliminate corruption, which he attributed to excessive reliance on officers, who inflated troops numbers and assessed fictitious fines to private their men's salaries. To this he introduced the Casaterran use of primary documents to enhance control, on the argument that if every salary payment was checked against the recipient's own calculations, embezzlement could not exist and willingness to fight would increase. Marines were ordered to invoice the Demesne Exchequer for the salaries directly, instead of the Naval Purse. The reasoning is that bureaucrats have done this for centuries without trouble. In 1821, the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty reported that marines were not tested for literacy and numeracy at enlistment, and from private letters, historians understood this policy as an unmitigated disaster. Scores of marines went hungry or found themselves hounded to suicide by debt collectors. Many were kept alive through the petty cash or the private largess of officers. The policy was reversed after three years, when it became obvious that rebellion was at hand.
Battle of Rafts
Battle of Liang-la
After Acker II became president of Camia, he became politically attached to the policy of removing Themiclesians from the Isle of Liang, which was only 70 miles off the coast of Camia. According to him, "a Themiclesian invasion could begin with less than a single day's warning." The Themiclesian envoy advised him this was impossible, since the Themiclesian fleet was chronically underfunded to spare ships for such a mission; nevertheless, Acker II never represented this to the public, instead using the threatening notion of an invasion to his political advantage. In 1867, the Camian government amassed some 12,000 troops to take Liang and commandeered 30 ships to ferry them over, once the navy had dealt with Themiclesian warships that were thought to be in the vicinity. The capture of the island was critical to keeping the Themiclesian fleet isolated in the Halu'an.
On Dec. 25, 1867, the Camian Navy set sail and found no Themiclesian vessel in the waters surrounding the island, thus landing two days ahead of the ships that carried most of the troops. Camia's 2nd Regiment of Marines were initially ordered to capture only the harbour, which they did easily because it was deserted. The 2nd ventured further inland until they happened upon an occupied fortress on Dec. 26, and the three Themiclesian units, with Lord M′reng as the most senior officer, promptly surrendered without engaging.
After the surrender, the Themiclesians quickly found out why the 2nd Regiment was called the "hangman's regiment". The 2nd had been training for this battle scenario under exacting standards and even suffered some casualties during training with real ordnance. According to historian H. Hope writing in 1887, they felt deceived and slighted by the speed and ease of the Themiclesian capitulation. Additionally, the Themiclesians easily threw off their arms but would not give up their rooms and beds to the invaders, who lived in tents. The 2nd held a kangaroo court with no juridical apparatus for 54 Themiclesian officers and men they felt had committed the crime of cowardice and hanged them, one after another, before the other Themiclesians.
Lord M′reng and sixteen other senior officers were carried off to Camia on Jan. 14 when the naval blockade of Themiclesia was underway, while the rest of the Themiclesians were kept on the island. Their existence on the island, according to Camian sources, have not altered significantly beyond being turned out of the fortress; there were vegetable patches and a small cattle ranch that provided for the unit's food. After the blockade ended in April 1868, the Themicleian foreign secretary, the Lord of Ghor, sailed to Camia and successfully negotiated for the prisoners' release.
Trjuk Krjên-magh, the colonel who surrendered the Isle of Liang, became Captain-general in 1870. He was silently hated and despised by most officers; however, he also introduced a number of important reforms that, historians believe, would not have been possible if he did not take this office. In 1871, he secured a law that exempted marines from the militia fine, which was nominally assessed on all able-bodied males not participating in militias. Next year, Trjuk abolished the Spiritual Benevolence, which was taxed on salaries for the upkeep of the Naval Cult but had become a device of embezzlement, since the Cult was obsolete. In 1874, he appointed the first accountants to supervise the Marine Corps' purse. In 1875, he pioneered an initiative to teach ordinary marines to read, write, and count, which made them less susceptible to abuse from superiors and gave them a small chance to become officers. By 1880, he had increased the marines' effective salaries by a fifth while reducing the running costs. C. Larter says that Trjuk "made the Marine Corps a lot less superstitious, oppressive, and medieval."
In 1887, the text Child's Tear (芻子淚, tsrjo-tsje′-rjebh), a long, tragic poem about a child starving in the streets, was included in the list of recommended texts for primary curricula. The poet's brother was seized by the marines, aged 16, and has not been heard of since. The poet recounts puerile hopes that he may return one day with candies (of which Meridia was famous and dates the poem to the late 1500s) and some wealth but gradually consigns himself to believe his brother's corpse is now in the ocean, gnawed on by fish. The poet contrasts what happened to the physical body of his brother (eaten by fishes) to his personhood (lost to the treasury). Critics read that the poet believed his brother's life was exactly like expendable tax money. The Marines lobbied to hav the text retracted, to no avail.
Between 1910 and 1916, several leaders of the Marine Corps advocated for merger with the Capital Defence Force, one of three professional armies then. They believed that more advanced tactics and better equipment could thus be introduced to naval use, though historian M. Graw believes that the social prestige of the Army Academy and officers' alumni connections with those in other professional regiments was also a major motivation. The Admiralty was highly opposed to this plan. First Admiral Dek was weary of the fact that every single Marines officers was a graduate of the Army Academy. In Commons committee, he reported that merger would yield no economies, weakening the argument for merger. Additionally, the Liberal government planned to expand the Navy's roles and so did not press forth with the merger.
The 1916 amendment to the Naval Academy Act established a seminar in that institution for the Marines; however, incumbent Marines officers decried this as an assault on their regimental independence enshrined by the Regiment Act of 1850. Nine Marines officers, with assistance of members of the Themiclesian Bar, privately prosecuted the Admiralty for breach of statute successfully. However, the Marines' success in maintaining their regimental independence has been received in light of the eventual inability to procure enough graduates in the early phase of the 1936 conscription. Into the 1940s, commissions were granted to petty officers, who, despite good performance in some instances, were subject to broad and patent discrimination due to their "less than gentlemanly" means of obtaining commissions.
Some graduates emphasized that "without the authority and grace generated by gentle breeding and good education, an officer can never command respect," though others said this was "a profoundly irresponsible and self-serving position."
Recruitment and discipline
Most Themiclesian regiments, militia and professional, were associated with counties or towns where they had priority to recruit. It was outlawed in 1801 to press civilians into the navy, so the Admiralty faced stern competition from local magistrates recruiting militias. It arranged with certain counties in the 1810s to immerse leftovers from the militias, but these proved difficult to solicit, since those who found local drilling unacceptable rarely assented to 20 years of service with the Navy. Flyers expounding that marines received a fixed salary were banned by many magistrates as obstacles to fill their militias. As a result, the strength of each regiment fell from to 910. Restrictions on naval recruitment tightened in the 1830s as young men left agriculture to find work in the cities. In 1847, the Marines began recruiting in Rim-tsi and Kien-k'ang rather than compete with militias, which were short-handed as urbanization progressed.
Thus, from mid-century, most marines had urban backgrounds, creating a well-known and pervasive cultural contrast with sailors, who tended to come from coastal towns. Sailors frequently maligned marines as criminals or ridiculed them for their urbanity and perceived weakness. Uniforms, designed at the turn of the century to inspire respectability, were held ironically against their perceived stature as lowlifes. Some marines with no criminal past turned to it after enlistment. Most recruits were unemployed and lived amongst petty criminals in lawless urban slums, subsisted on a near-starvation diet of adulterated foods, or were stunted in their physical and mental development. As a reflection of these recruits' lifestyles, gambling, drunkenness, larceny, and assault plagued the navy. Though many captains-general attempted to alter this situation, low wages constrained recruitment to those who otherwise had no stable income, and as the urban revolution continued, the unemployed were associated with laziness, unskillfulness, irresponsibility, and ultimately, moral turpitude.
While some martial spirit may have been used as a device to discountenance such behaviour, it was tainted as a privilege of learnedness. Before compulsory education was introduced in 1901, most marines could not read political literature, which alienated them from the ideology itself. As an exception, petty officers sometimes exhibited extremes of patriotic zeal. Some characterize this tendency as an attempt to obtain higher office despite inability to afford actual military education in the Army Academy, required to purchasing a commission under the Regiment Act of 1850. Enlisted men thus derided such petty officers as thugs with delusions of grandeur, their patriotism perceived as a façade to conceal their lack of intellectual attainment and aristocratic blood. This attitude was not limited to the Marine Corps and existed in one degree or another in all regiments recruiting in industrial cities, where class was most visible.
With the Coast Guard
In 1919, the City of Rim-tsi banned marines from certain districts citing unruly and offensive behaviour. Though the Admiralty public protested, First Admiral Gap rhetorically asked his secretary "if [the City] can be blamed." Traditional sources of authority, such as the Naval Tribunes, were abolished following ambitious reforms but never truly replaced. In the past, the ultimate threat against misbehaviour was collective punishment: mutineers were reminded that their families were vulnerable if they were not, and tribunes, as royal record-keepers, embodied the government's ability to hold their relations to answer. Industrialization enabled at urban-dwellers to eke out an individual existence, and degradation of public records meant that many marines had no known families. Capital punishment was abolished in 1853, that ship captains could no longer throw misbehaving marines overboard except in a true emergency. Lapsing discipline, arising at a confluence of causes, was never solved before social and educational programmes ameliorated the sufferings of the lowest classes of industrial Themiclesia.
In 1921, the Admiralty asked the newly-formed Themiclesian Coast Guard, then under the Home Secretary, to keep unattired or drunken marines and those with obviously-stolen items from going into the city. This policy created much resentment amongst marines, since sailors could move freely even if bare-chested or inebriated. Fistfights ensued between the two services, and marines prefered bootleg spirits to dutied ones because it meant defying the Coast Guard. A newspaper article by a retired Marines officer in 1923 pointed out that excise on alcohol was virtually nil, so there is little economy buying bootleg and possibly-adulterated drinks.
There remains a friendly rivalry between the services today in the game of "Hunt" (邍). It reprises many a bootleger pursuit by the Coast Guard of a marine with his coattail pockets laden with alcohol, though today they are not confined to their canonical roles in this game. The primary challenge for the "marine" to run at full speed without breaking or losing the bottles while escaping the "coast guard" catching up from a set distance away. The "marine" cannot simply take the bottles out of his pocket and run with them in his hands as this historically aroused suspicion. The "coast guard" wins if he catches up with the "marine" or if the latter exposes or breaks the bottles, while the "marine" wins if he can stave off apprehension and hand over his wares to the umpire at the end of the course.
The government passed the Special Conscription Act, 1935 to conscript organized men before the general public in response to mounting pressure from Menghean volunteers in Dzhungestan. The 1st and 2nd Regiments of Marines were sent to the front this way with a litany of others units not initially involved there. Anticipating a naval invasion from Camia, the Marines were ordered to recruit starting in 1937, progressing at a snail's pace as most able-bodied men were already conscripted or on notice for conscription. Dayashinese immigrants, feared regional discrimination, which was known to be rife in some units, responded to the the lobby encouraging them to join the Marines instead, where they would form a majority in the new regiments; some have called this phenomenon a "group-buy mentality", where minorities could band up and create or enforce a friendly environment. In 1940, Dayashinese men accounted for over 80% of the entire enlistment and 65% of the force.
End of commission sales
On September 1, 1936, the Marines obtained permission from the War Ministry and Cabinet Office to forbid the resale of their commissions, which occurred at an alarming rate as officers raced to quit the military due to impending war. Though not expected to be in combat, the high proportion of absentee officers meant the Marines had an immediate shortage of them. Official statements exhorted all commission-holders "to present oneself at the earliest possible time," but there was speculation that the prohibition on commission resales was intended to halt the precipitous fall of junior commission prices, which would ultimately endanger those of senior commissions. In the 20s and 30s, the Marines were fasionable for figures like aspiring politicians and renowned editors to be commissioned in, as it was urban, socially active, and possessed a serviceable petty officer system that liberated the commission-holders from routine duties and allowed them to reap social benefits.
Though touted as a wartime measure, the sale of commissions never resumed after the war.
PSW and infiltration
After the 1st and 2nd Regiments were re-organized for combat at the eastern front, the remaining marines, numbering some 950, were assigned shipboard and logistics duties in the city of Tonning, which was a major naval port. These duties expanded to the outskirts of Rim-tsi in early 1936 and then the coastal prefectures of Lêng, Tsjinh-′an, and Prjin. The royal household and government evacuated to Rim-tsi in November 1936. The Dayashinese Imperial Special Operations Group (D/ISOG) sent infiltrators to surrender and then join the Marines, due to their predictable region of operation near the seat of the government.
Assassination attempts thereby occurred between 1940 and 1941, and on two occasions the assassin was only foiled before the royal presence. This caused the royal court to move to Gwrjang-′an (永安宮) Palace in early 1941 and then to the even more secluded ′Klrui-ljang Palace (淮陽宮) in the same year. The Navy Secretary refused to step down after these incidents became public, causing Lord Nrar (戁君), Captain-general, to commit suicide after being cleared of suspicion.
The 1st and 2nd Regiments were returned to naval control in the re-organization of 1943.
The Marines were mostly seen with naval convoys that shipped men and goods to Menghe starting in 1946, not experiencing combat at sea or on land. An altercation occurred with the military cinemas, showing anime, set up in Menghe, originally for Themiclesian soldiers but admitting Menghen civilians, provided vacant seats; however, marines were not part of the South Expedition Army and thus not entitled to free admission. On Feb. 4, 1947, one marine first entered a scuffle with a ticketing clerk, complaining that they were treating the locals better than fellow soldiers, and then vociferated obscenities before the cinema, "creating a gross disturbance of the peace". Eventually, an officer pacified him, paying for his ticket. In March, he was fined three months' wages under the confessed charge of conduct unbecoming. The identity of this anime-loving marine was only revealed in 1990, who, in his old age, said that
punching others and publicly shouting obscenities is shocking and outrageous, and to that I confessed, but anime unites humans of every sex, race, and religion. If you looked into the theatre, mortal enemies sworn to each other's destruction sit shoulder-to-shoulder enjoying the same thing. If nationality and political allegiance fades into insignificance before anime, why should a little badge on my shoulder make any difference? This is the greater outrage of immorality."
The Themiclesian Marines currently have four distinct roles, as defined by the Admiralty's White Paper on Naval Defence, 2003.
- Protection of the Themiclesian fleet and naval installations from land-based and personnel threats;
- Conversion of foreign naval and land assets in support of naval operations;
- Defence of areas not assigned to the Army's military districts and Themiclesia's "small islands" in the Halu'an Sea; and
- Certain diplomatic and ceremonial duties.
- The Cloud-streak Class (虔雲艇, grjar-gwjen-lêng′) landing platform dock was introduced in 2000.
For a few centuries, the Themiclesian Marines resembled many of the units pledged by minorities to the royal court in terms of their symbolisms and mythology. The most prominent figure that has been recorded by contemporaries to be worshiped by marines is the planet Venus. Venus was called smrjang (爽) in Themiclesian astronomy, literally "dawning". This is consistent with the cross-cultural mythical position of Venus as the morning star. Authorities have discussed the relevance of the morning star to the Marines, if it was a belief adopted from a different culture or created by the fleet's reliance on astrology. Research into the Marines' archives have yielded no useful description of this belief due to its bias towards written records of an administrative nature, and due to changing recruitment practices in the 18th century it practically left no trace in the modern unit. Its absence from official records stands in stark contrast with multiple accounts of entire ships of marines bowing their heads at the rising of Venus. Another source of information are several airs that call upon Venus to protect marines, who address themselves as "sons of stars and the great dawning star".
In 1875, Lord M'reng reportedly helped himself to 40 dumplings and ate one for each time Christian marines praying in the next room said "kyrie eleison". Near the end he threw up because he could not stomach that many. His perceptive secretary, later Lord Kaw-ning, puisne justice of the Supreme Court, said that it was a silent protest of being fed up with to what he could not stomach, but he could not bring himself to say so because he authorized Christian prayers only in 1873.
Chang and Beecky (1984) asserts that some of the activities of the Themiclesian Marines in the 19th century were remarkably similar to trade guilds of the day. Craftsmen continued to migrate to major cities, particularly close to coast, after the restarting of trade with neighbouring states in 1796. Urban-dwelling craftsmen built on the medieval institution of trade guilds and, many enriched through enterprise, began to develop professional pride. It was not only founded on excellence in one's skill, but also the resulting economic security.
The Themiclesian Marines are a non-regional force, like the rest of the Navy and the TAF. Recruits since the 1500s were placed into its units without regard for origin, though it is assumed that most recruits are from the coastal areas, where recruitment took place. The Navy has recruited foreign sailors, or even impressed them from formerly hostile fleets, to replenish its own crew, especially after engagements with large casualties. The same applies to marines, though the subject of impressment would be ordinary civilians, rather than sailors. Since the recruitment of Dayashinese-Themiclesians in 1938, Dayashinese has also been added as an official language, though the main spoken language still appears to be Shinasthana, with foreign terms primarily appearing as jargon.
Emblem and Sylvanate name
The seal, adopted in 1843, consisted of a globe with orange longitudinal and latitudinal lines and red equator and prime meridian over a dark-blue field with the asterisms of the Great Dipper and the Boat. Three concentric rings, at various positions of obliquity, of gold, silver, and bronze, encircled the globe, representing the orbits of the sun and moon. The field was encircled by a thick verdigris border with increments. The rings represent a traditional navigational instrument, whose functions were comparable to a sextant. The asterisms were key pointers for celestial navigation, the Great Dipper pointing to the north in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Boat to the south in the Southern.
In 1872, the outer ring was added, with the Sylvanate translation added from sinister to dexter, like the Tyrannian text today, reading Legio Vectorum Thimiensis ("Themiclesian Passenger Legion"). Tyrannian was substituted in 1890. Notably, the Shinasthana text was only added in 1979; this is typical for Themiclesian unit sigils, which were adopted expressly for the purpose of identification by foreigners.
The inaugural flag of the Themiclesian Marines was adopted in 1880 and featured four stripes, red, yellow, green, and blue, representing infantry, artillery, logistics, and civilian officers. It was an imitation of the flag of the Capital Defence Force, which had six stripes due to a broader internal structure. Though well-liked, the flag was sometimes criticized as an impoverished version of that of the CDF. In 1921, the flag was changed to the modern design, with two white waves across a blue field, with a white Septentrion globe superimposed on and interrupting the waves. An anchor was added in 1959, in the canton of the flag, to elucidate the naval affinity.
Stereotypically, Themiclesian marines are Liberals, espousing their values of minimalism, efficiency, and personal liberties. Before the PSW, military officers openly wore political affiliations, and more Marines officers were members of the Liberal Party than of the Conservatives. This is only true for officers, since universal franchise only appeared in 1904. Before then, few marines possessed sufficient property to qualify for the franchise.
In consequence of the major reforms of the 1950s, levying military office for political ends, long a social offence, was made illegal. Conservative legislators pointed out in 1970 that many of the public and private statements delivered by Marines' officers possessed "a strong Liberal slant". Successive attorneys-general investigated the forces but were unable to conclude that military authority had been abused for partisan ends, at least not at the electoral level. Modern commentators provide that the "Liberal slant" existed insofar as the Liberal Party pressed for a strongly interventionist foreign policy, which called for the unit's strengthening to fulfill the policy's expeditionary demands. Exit polls suggest that the Marines, like all other forces, lean solidly to the left largely due to its favouring income equalization.
In the landmark case of Tro v. R., the court ruled in 1951 that the prohibition of females from taking combat roles was unlawful in the Consolidated Army. While the Staff Board was taken aback by the decision, the Marines announced on Dec. 18, 1951 that they "intend to respect the right of women to serve to their fullest potential." At the time, Marines divided battalions into first through third lines, depending on the width of the front they were expected to hold; first-lines, which had the widest frontage and least depth, were initially not open to females.
In recent scholarship, it was discovered that sexual abuse of marines, a minority on most ships, was a suppressed fact of naval life until the late 19th century. After 1882 and until 1971, the ill-defined "carnal knowledge" between naval servicepersons was prohibited on penalty of imprisonment or expulsion. The rule did not, until 1957, extend to civilians or members of other services. In the early 20th century, it was seen as progressive in some academic circles to discourage homosexuality and conservative to be agnostic; this arose under Casaterran influence, which boasted a considerable body of (now discredited) academic work asserting that homosexuality impaired effectiveness. By the 60s, much of the work stigmatizing homosexuality in the forces was found unsatisfactory. In 1971, the law was amended to decriminalize homosexual contact.
Despite this, the Marines have proven notably recalcitrant to changing social attitudes regarding homosexuality. Interviews from the 90s suggest that homosexuality is still identified as effeminate or corrupt, or at any rate an "ambiguous vice". Fragmentary evidence also document that the history of their sexual abuse was utilized as a emotional or rhetorical device for their training, or mentally to fortify or motivate them in some way. In 1998, Pvt. H. B. Kon hanged himself in his barracks, accusing officers by name to have done nothing to prevent his peers from verbally and physically abusing him for his sexual attraction to sailors on the SSS Go-ning. While the Ministry of Defence attempted to conceal his accusations, Kon had arranged an e-mail to be dispatch after his suicide automatically, in anticipation of the MoD's cover-up. A royal commission was issued in 2000 to investigate institutional prejudice and inaction in the Marine Corps and the 22nd Infantry Division, a unit that made headlines for a similar reason in 1992.
In the unit renumbering scheme of 1971, marines have started numbering at 201, since the Themiclesian Army are not using 2XX as unit numbers. This makes it less likely for unit numbers to be confused, which was a serious problem in the Pan-Septentrion War, in which each prefecture started numbering at 1. This meant there were as many "1st Regiments" as there were prefectures.
- 3rd → 203rd Regiment—Star Chasers (追星, tjur-stsêng), acquired by voice vote in 1918, in reference to the ancient traditions of celestial navigation that the Marines performed.
- 4th → 204th Regiment—Glory Seekers (榮益, gwrjing′-′ik).
- 5th → 205th Regiment—Sharpshooters (循射, sghjul-mljagh). But "sharpshooter" is homophonous with "missed by a long shot" (夷射, lir-m-ljagh) in many dialects, including the one most marines speak.
This list is incomplete. For centuries, Themiclesian military units were named after auspicious natural phenomena or clouds, which were regarded as the portend of coming greatness and good fortune. Blem Mar, a 16th-century Themiclesian diarist, says that the navy's regiments all have "complimentary names" to bolster their confidence in the uncertainty and peril of oceanic travel, just as crews name their vessels. Becuase a great fire burnt down sections the Citadel of Kien-k'ang in 1792 and again in 1841, most of the disbanded regiments' names have been lost. While government authorities have used numbering to distinguish regiments from each other, debate continues whether numbers have been re-assigned at some point in history and if a regiment was in fact two regiments having used the same number at different times.
- 1st Regiment—Spectre (絢光, hwin-kwang), conscripted to the East Expedition Force in 1935.
- 2nd Regiment—Circumscribed Halo (繞虹, n-ngjawh-gong), as above.
- 6th Regiment—disbanded 1842.
- 7th Regiment—disbanded 1810.
- 8th Regiment—active 1512 – 1600, fate unclear, possibly lost in Meridia or amalgamated into another regiment.
- 9th Regiment—Aurora Australis (微彩, mrjei′-ts′e′), disbanded 1810.
- 10th Regiment—disbanded 1860.
- 11th Regiment—disbanded 1740, due to mutiny.
- 12th Regiment—burnt to the waterline in 1791 in Raid on Rad.
- 13th Regiment—sank in 1762 off the coast of Camia.
- 14th Regiment—lost in Camia c. 1750.
- 15th Regiment—captured and massacred by the Tussle Nation of inland Columbia, c. 1710.
- 16th Regiment—disbanded 1810.
- 17th Regiment—lost in Meridia.
- 18th Regiment—burnt to the waterline in 1791 in Raid on Rad.
- 19th Regiment—disbanded 1868.
- 20th Regiment—disbanded 1869.
As the Themiclesian Marines were not associated with specific counties and recruited without regard for local borders, they were frequently called the "Wandering Legion" (遊旅) in coastal areas, where locals more frequently saw them. This name became their primary appellation in the 15th century, and surviving letters demonstrate that marines most frequently called themselves "Wandering Soldiers" (遊卒). Contemporaneously, soldiers in other armies also used similar phrases to describe themselves, such as "Guard Soldiers", "Demesne Soldiers", or "Capital Soldiers". In contrast, the term "passengers" (冗人) was considered officious. Terminological doublets like this were common in Themiclesia and reflected contrasting worldviews held by the elite, which sought political and legalistic continuity, and those by commoners, which was usually frank and substantial.
In 1879, a Lt. Gaw had his cravat woven out of peacock feathers, so that he could be called "featherneck", as a jest towards Tyrannian Royal Marines and Camian Marines after them, who were nicknamed "leathernecks" due to their leather stocks. The peacock cravat was later donated to a private collection, and in 2019 it attracted the opinions of modern marines, that it was "very pixelated".
Casaterran-style bare-knuckle boxing became popular in the Navy in the 19th century as it required very little equipment or premise, and marines frequently placed highly in the Navy's boxing matches, though winning the championship only once, in 1879. Some sports historians attribute this to gamesmanship, while others comment that street fighting was very common in lower-class urban communities whence marines typically originated, resulting in a proficiency that other naval servicepersons found difficult to match. This argument is supported by the observation that the Marines lost their standing after open recruitment was enacted in 1947, which allowed all services to recruit freely throughout the country. Bare-knuckle boxing was nationally banned in 1960 as a blood sport.
In the 1950s, the Themiclesian Air Force entered a rivalry with the Marines in tennis. The 1949 match between them, with a score of 13-11, 6-3, 6-8, 10-12, and 7-5 and lasting three hours, was the most-attended inter-service sports event up to that time, attracting over 2,000 servicepersons. In 1953, the TAF banned the Marines from the Upper Themiclesia Championships (邦陰算, prong-′rjum-stsorh), claiming that marines were training during working hours and were, effectively, professional athletes. In response, the Marines hosted a new event and sent out invitations to a great number of regiments and units, creating a schism that briefly drew public attention. TAF maintained its policy that service members may not replace their work with "sports and diversions", but the Marines claimed that sports enhanced team spirit and was a bona fide part of their work. The schism persisted until 1970, when the "open era" began. At this point, the TAF had banned most of the forces from Upper Themiclesia and earned the animus and scorn of many commentators and veterans.
Marines who injure officers or crew members were been thrown off their ships prior to the 18th century without trial, under a captain's ancient prerogative to maintain order on his vessel. Non-violent offenders are subject to the ordinary naval law, which included caning, up to 2,400 strokes, as its primary punishment. It was not uncommon for caning sentences to cause death. Officers were allowed to exchange (贖) caning for amercement, but since officers tended to be wealthy by background, the amercement figures were effectively unpayable for enlisted rates, who had little savings after mandatory contributions and expenses on food, clothes, and weapons.
In the 18th century, attorneys were further empowered to enforce laws in the navy, which reduced ad hoc punishments and corruption to some extent. The naval law was changed in 1710 reducing caning to a new maximum of 600 strokes and introducing imprisonment. Most marines sentenced to prison turned up in the Tonning West Jail, which was operated by the Exchequer and mainly held tax evaders, fraudsters, counterfeiters, gamblers, and debtors. This continued even after the Navy built a dedicated prison in 1827. While the conditions at Tonning West were hardly harsh, many emerged from it with negative equity, but an exceptional marine made $600 in prison, enough to buy him a house and his service contract back.
The Themiclesian Marines currently recognize three degrees of dress: dress, undress, and battle uniform. A separate battle uniform emerged in 1920, while the form and use of dress and undress mirrored unwritten civilian dress codes. Many officers, of all services, defended de rigueur dress codes even in military contexts to discourage "less refined" individuals from seeking commissions. However, as social status became less emphasized during the Pan-Septentrion War, rules were codified in 1950 to counteract open discrimination on the grounds of class.
In 1819, an ordinance required all marines to wear a blue jacket, a waistcoat, cravat, shirt, trousers, and shoes "in the Western style". This was motivated at least in part by the Tonning tailors' guild, which offered kickbacks to Marines officers for directing their men to purchase their clothes from the guild. Both enlisted men and officers wore bicornes in the first decades of the 19th century. Since uniforms were tailored individually, colour and cut varied considerably, aside from shirts which were always white. Enlisted rates also frequently sold or repaired their own clothing to economize. Paintings show that, within a single line of marines, coats varied from sky blue to a hue nearing black, and buttons could be fabric-covered or metallic, arranged in two to four rows.
By 1830, the double-breasted dress coat had lost favour to a single-breasted one. With the rise of the social season and the Regiment Act of 1851, most military officers as part of fashionable society accepted that dress coats should be as dark as permissible and that metallic and colourful insignia should be eschewed for fear of outdressing others. Epaulettes rarified under this pressure, the dress coat became indistinguishable from a civilian coat. Hence, the dress coat became obsolete, implicitly requiring officers to wear their civilian coats to occasions where it would be appropriate.
In 1822, an edict was issued ordering the five extant regiments to adopt peculiar waistcoats. It was expected to be purchased or subsidized by the regiment's colonel. Materials ranged from wool to velvet, but silk waistcoats were reserved for officers. Like the dress and frock coats, the waistcoat could be personalized to a great extent. For example, the 1st Regiment's waistcoat was themed with conifer cones between 1838 and 1859, while the 2nd had flying fish.
A frock coat appeared in 1827 for daytime drilling and meals, replacing the bicorne with a cap. Then perceived as a form of undress, officers adopted the frock coat before the enlisted rates were permitted the same in 1837, possibly out of a consideration for cost. The frock coat would become the main uniform style for not only the Marines but virtually all infantry regiments for the next century. Like the dress coat, the frock coat varied in colour and cut. Ready-made civilian clothing appeared around 1840 and was instantly adopted by the enlisted rates due to their cheapness. This broke the collusive relationship between officers and the tailor's guild, billed a victory for market economy as envisioned by the Liberals that came to power in 1845.
As the frock coat was usually purchased off-the-shelf, its shape evolved with civilian fashion and was only tempered by vague guidelines over colours and basic shape. There generally was a vent on the wearer's rear, closed by buttons, and two pockets opened towards the vent, concealed in the pleats. The pleats became less pronounced in the 1840s, while the collar lowered and narrowed and the skirt shortened. At the same time, the frock coat was promoted to daytime dress and admitted elements of the dress coat, like peaked lapels, contrasting collars, and revers. In 1859, the silver buttons on frock coats were exchanged for copper ones. Frock coat pockets moved from the wearer's back to the inside of the skirt during around 1860 to prevent awkward bulges over buttocks.
A renewed wave of interest in military uniforms, probably caused by two new units—the air force and coast guard—created within 1918 – 19, compelled several units to standardize frock coats in 1920, like the Marines and the Capital Defence Force. For the former, the new regulations specified the frock coat's cut and accompanying garments in detail but mainly set forth existing sartorial norms in civilian society. In 1923, enlisted marines were commanded to be dressed (i.e. frock coat) when walking out, but this regulation was relaxed in 1938 when they undertook patrol duties in Tonning, which soiled the expensive coat easily. In 1950, it was formally labelled "day dress" and appointed for occasions involving the monarch, royal family, government ministers, and foreign dignitaries of similar stature.
Frequently paired with the frock coat was the top frock and over-frock coats, worn flexibly by marines to keep warm on the open sea. Their cuts were identical, down to the pleating and pockets, to that of the frock coat, except larger to accommodate the latter. Collars and cuffs were sometimes lined with fur or velvet, but expensive furs were only seen on officers. In 1888, the Navy Secretary Lord Hap commanded that Marines officers "may don a top coat on October 1 and over-coat on November 1, as long as their captains so permit". Neither coat was officially regulated by statute or ordinance until 1950. Today, the top and over-frock coats are primarily seen on senior officers, who wear them to follow suit with other dignitaries.
In 1923, the Navy Secretary issued a one-line ordinance that Marines officers may wear sack coats. The assumption was that officers would know, with a background in elite society, when a sack coat was appropriate. In the 1920s, sack coats or the suit jacket was worn in the company of familiars, such as by civil servants or corporate managers in their offices, but a formal coat would have been worn otherwise. The Themiclesian Air Force Almanac provides that they led the forces adopt sack coats as regulated undress, but accounts suggest that members of the Marines Club were already wearing sack coats on club grounds in the 1890s.
The Marines appointed in 1950 the sack coat a form of undress that was appropriate for all garrison use, day or night. As stipulated by the 1950 regulations, the sack coat is made of dark blue wool, single-breasted with gold buttons, and pockets on either side of the wearer. Suit trousers (the same facings) are worn with black dress shoes, and ribbons and insignia may be worn with the coat. The dress shirt and necktie are only required to be white and dark, respectively. A waistcoat may be added in colder months at will, though due to the cut of the lapels it would not likely be visible. The sack coat remains today the standard uniform for both officers and enlisted men when not in the field.
Due to disruptions arising from the Columbian Colonial Army's augmentations in 1732, new marines regiments were required by law to take an oath before the ship on which they served, before they were allowed to board the ship. The oath, originally established for former members of the Colonial Army, was made mandatory for all members of the force in 1780, under a consideration of fairness.
I, A.B., swear, in naval war, I shall observe all laws of passenger aboard and defend your bodies as my own body and this ship as my home. In the event I do not do as I say, let me be abandoned.
To this, the captain or his mate would reply that he would treat marines as well as his crew, making no "unlawful distinctions".
In 1852, the enlisted oath was updated as follows:
I, A.B., swear (or solemnly affirm) I shall obey all statutes and lawful commands given to me and at all times be a faithful servant to the Themiclesian Navy and all her vessels. If in this I fail, let peril be my lot.
And officers' oath:
I, A.B. of [place], gentleman, hereby truly declare before the admirals (or another competent Navy officer) that I have been lawfully commissioned in [office] by the high authority of the Sovereign and the Peers and the People of Themiclesia, in the Regiment Act passed in the 25th year of Emperor Tjang and other statutes passed at other times contained, and the same office I shall discharge to the utmost of my abilities. Let this rest upon my honour.
In 1941, to reflect An Act for Clarifying Allegiance of Officers and Petty Officers and Enlisted Men of Certain Regiments which required citizenship in order to take a commission or become enlisted with the Marines, the enlistment oath was updated slightly:
I, A.B., a natural (or naturalized) Themiclesian subject, swear (or solemnly affirm) I shall obey all statutes ... peril be my lot.
As certain servicepersons at this point were not technically Themiclesian subjects, a temporary oath was imposed upon them to effect immediate naturalization:
I, A.B., a subject of [foreign monarch] (or citizen of [foreign state] or stateless to be best of my knowledge) hereby renounce and abjure all allegiances and debts due to sovereigns (or states) and their heirs and successors and in accordance to a statute called An Act for Clarifying Allegiance of Officers and Petty Officers and Enlistedn Men of Certain Regiments passed in 18th year of the current emperor and other statutes touching, submit to the authority of the Sovereign the Peers and the People of Themiclesia (邦君眔徹侯眔羣姓) in Parliament assembled and all the laws and customs of this realm. If in this I fail, let peril be my lot.
In 1989, the journalist H. Hrap alleged in The Times of Themiclesia, a major right-leaning newspaper, that the Marines have practiced indoctrination with material from Ballad of the South Sea, a propagandistic book from 1849 printed by the Admiralty to boost the monetary value of Marines commissions by presenting the unit's history in light of its relatively limited role in 1849. Hrap further said that the materials found in the books were subject to further revisionism and applied to recruits to instill the "spirit heroism and self-sacrifice". While later responses characterized the piece as predominantly neutral in tone, many historians have criticized the officers involved in this "misapplication" of historical information for "the convenience of commanding officers" and creation of "comic-book heroes in real life". Hrap argued in 1990 that Ballad of the South Sea was never meant to be a real history, and in the mid-19th century its real purpose—to make commissions more valuable by making the unit look good—would have been obvious to its readers and typical for units of the day.
In 1992, Lieutenant-General Sagh Nam commented on The Times he believed this indoctrination "had been ongoing for at least three decades and may have contributed to some scuffles." The following year, another military officer, Tap-ku Ba wrote on The Globe, a left-leaning newspaper, that this form of indoctrination implicitly "casts a rosy tint on the Liberal Party, which came to power in 1845 and was at the height of its popularity in 1849." According to her, its subjects become "vulnerable to certain kinds of political messages, such as patriotism and xenophobia, and this effect may well outlast an enlistment or commission." Ba further writes that certain portrayals in the 1849 book are used in an insulting and demeaning way. She says,
Ordinary marines are portrayed as infinitely docile and nearly thoughtless beings. They accept any kind of abuse without question. These characteristics were important to prospective commission-buyers because insubordination and mutiny were grounds for cashiering, and even if an officer is not cashiered after such an event, the value of his commission will depreciate if it becomes known as a troublesome one. We now know this is advertisement: buy a commission over a unit of the docile and thoughtless, and you'll have a low-risk investment. From the fact that this quality is so strongly and unnaturally emphasized in the book, and the observation of the unit's profile in the press, we can also see that the Marines were probably not as trouble-free as its authors made them out to be. The 20 commissioners who compiled and printed this book were all Marine Corps officers: they stood to gain considerably and financially if this book could propel their unit to romantic stardom. And it worked, as Marines commissions rose by 40% over the next six years and stayed high until it crashed in 1867, when Lord M'reng surrendered to the Camians; he was hated for this reason more than anything disparaging he said about ordinary marines.
So, how did what essentially amounted to a stock market gambit become a propaganda playbook used by the modern military? After all, royal commissions were issued by Parliament nine times between 1849 and 1867, attesting to the fact that marines, not unlike other regiments, were well-aware of their abuse and stood up against officers, only not labelled as mutinies because no death or injury occurred; the commissioners, shrouded by mystery, distance, and power, gave the illusion that appeals were being heard by such authority even officers could not overrule. In reality, commissioners rarely ruled against the officers, but the latter would have been embarrassed to be questioned on the same table as their subordinates. The book intimated that these events were rarer than they actually were. Frequently enough, officers from other forces were commissioned to investigate the Marines. Can you imagine the embarrassment if your social competitor was appointed as a commissioner to investigate your relationship with your men? Naturally, the book was a face-saving device, partly admitting to baseness but identifying a desirable future through the language of history.
In the 2019 deployment to Idacua, Themiclesian marines captured drug cartel members and paramilitary personnel thereby retained. Amongst them is the International Liberty Front, noted for their anarcho-capitalist beliefs. On Nov. 20, that group tweeted that at least one of its members were taken prisoner, warning that any abuse would be reported. Captain-general Geoffrey Gwjang (王晞, gwjang-l′jei) reportedly took insult and allowed an official tweet calling the ILF "perverts". Reception has been overwhelmingly negative, with many satires appearing on the same platform, using the word "pervert" to put off those voicing legitimate complaints or concerns, e.g. the landlord of a leaky house calling a complaining tenant "pervert". By the end of November, "pervert" has become an Internet meme. Gwjang was dismissed on Dec. 28, 2019, replaced with Colonel Margaret Sui. She says that the conduct of the Themiclesian Marines in Idacua "can stand up to the entire world's scrutiny" but apologizes for the "inappropriate tweet".
List of leaders
- Lord Tsjêng-gar (清河君): Apr. 22 – May 3, 1348, later Prime Minister of Themiclesia.
- Pjang Ngjam C (方卿巖): Jun. 23, 1745 – Nov. 12, 1749, musician.
- Lord M′reng (顭君): Nov. 30, 1870 – Feb. 15, 1880, mathematician.
- Lord Nrar (暵君): Jan. 2, 1940 – Mar. 5, 1941, jurist and politician.
- Dr. Geoffrey Gwjang L′jei (王晞): May 4, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2020, archaeologist.
- Dr. Margaret Skur: since Jan. 31, computer scientist.
In popular culture
- Changing Winds (1994): naval-themed beat-'em-up game, with RPG elements, based on Battle of Dubh. The Marines exist as a power-up, where time spent in combat levels them up. They come with a risk of RNG-based mutiny, progressively greater if the player does not discharge them from time to time; however, discharging them too frequently causes their levels to reset, reducing their usefulness in gameplay.
- A Tear in an Ocean (1996): an RPG game where the player survives naval combat after being pressed into the Themiclesian fleet as a marine. The game starts with the character finding out that his village had been sacked when he was away. The plot requires the player to assassinate seven Themiclesian admirals, who are scattered in the various stages.
- Banner of the Stars (1997): a 3D action-adventure RPG with fantasy elements where the player must repulse expanding Themiclesian influence in 16th-century Solevant. The Marines are the enemy grunts barely able to resist the player's magic spells and control over the elements.
- Fantasy Island III (2000): the player explores a fictional island set in the middle of the Meridian Ocean. A Themiclesian marine stands next to a banana tree overlooking a narrow footpath, passage wherethrough is required to advance to the next area, and shakes it so that bunches of bananas drop on and instantly kill the player. The player must bring him a mouse, which transforms the marine into a cat. The cat continues to wear the distinctive hat of the Marines.
- Nine Lives (2002): the protagonist is a Foreign Office agent and must reverse his fate by bringing a sympathy-arousing item into the childhood of nine NPCs that, in the modern day, are determined to kill the protagonist painfully. The fourth NPC is a Themiclesian marine. The correct item is a child's model cruise ship, which the play must steal from a store in a stealth maze mission. The game has been criticized because the model is not of a warship, which would be "a more appropriate connection"; however, the developer responded that the connections are not meant to be obvious, and the common story of all nine NPCs is that they are not in their dream jobs.
- On Official Business (2003): in stage 5-4, the player is a marine stationed at an embassy of a non-specified state. The stage is an escort mission for a diplomat, whom the player plays in other stages, that needs to reach dangerous areas. The marine is overpowered and guns down not only attackers but bystanders in the line of fire in one hit. The diplomat is immune to damage from the marine but will die in one hit from other enemies. Game developers provide that this is because the game engine only allows one life bar, which is given to the player-controlled marine, who can take several shots depending on difficulty; the diplomat NPC can only be programmed to die when colliding with projectiles or attack.
- Price To Be Free (2002)
- Hot-blooded (2003): "Hot-blooded is an all-round shittier version of Price To Be Free, plus battle scenes and pints of fake blood. The story assumes in the aggregate audience the intelligence of a ‘fucking rock’, and the characters are so flat they could ‘pass under a closed door’. For the fact this film came out four months after Price To Be Free, it strikes us like a spoof or a bad parody and leave us feeling soiled, violated. It has nothing of the risk-taking, fragile humanity of Price To Be Free that touched every heart. While I express my highest regard for this production's artists, producers, stunt professionals, and the absolutely incredible cameramen, Hot-blooded should simply not exist."—Meridian Quarterly, 2003. "The timing of the release of this movie is unfortunate. We are told Hot-blooded actually began production earlier than Price To Be Free, and the complex action scenes took many takes to get right, delaying post-production until the latter premiered. Nevertheless, it must be agreed that Hot-blooded is a film doomed to the panning of critics, even without Price To Be Free; with it, Hot-blooded looks like a complete joke. I imagine the Marines must be desperate to rip their logo off the credits of this film, but Neptune Studio wanted their principal patron to sink with them into the abyss of cinematic disgrace."—The Stage, 2003. "Hot-blooded has everything a great film has—celebrities, music, visuals—except a story. The entire film can be condensed thus: because we fought for the country, you must love or worship us back. As soon as the film starts, one is told who the good and bad guys are and how the film will end; their identities and motives never change, you expectations are never challenged, and an off-screen air force fires the silver missile to rescue our heroes. Price To Be Free makes you feel even the ordinary grunt has an extraordinary story to tell; Hot-blooded humiliates you so much, it should be a war-crime to screen it."—The Decade in Films, 2012. "This is the sort of film that totalitarian states would pay you to watch, but here in Themiclesia we pay to watch it."—Cinematic Review, 2019.
- A. A. Ascott, 1901.
- In this period, a Themiclesian pressed into service would have to arrange for his property to be kept with a bailiff and to declare a will, in case they fail to survive.
- Only the literate and numerate were eligible, which would have been the minority amongst the enlisted ranks.
- The other two were the South Army and Royal Signals Corps.
- It has been noted by many authors that the most patriotic class of Themiclesian society was the petty middle class, who came to dominate the commission lists towards the middle of the 19th century. Some such authors consider this their "ticket" to political enfranchisement, to convince the social elite that they were reliable individuals deserving the ballot.
- Historian K. Gro writes, "One such angry marine fulminated in 1875, 'These fabricators with their pretenses, tail-wagging and cheek-licking, think they are better than us, and they exude a dastardly demeanour they are better than us before those that are better and the furtive, guilt-ridden hope even to join them. They hear not of the truth that they are as we all are, here to put food in our mouths, but truth will out, and the pall of disappointment & fall from grace will strike them harder than anyone else. And then they shall all die of heartbreak and pain, and even their children will disown them.' We know not what injustice he suffered, but we may speculate it reflects very honestly the common hatred of the enlisted men of those only 'slightly better' than they are."
- This has been criticized by some as an endorsement of the outdated geocentric model of the Solar System.
- The "naval rape culture" described by Gwjang, 1985.
- Their spokesperson said, "We must not remain fast to outdated theories. Regulations against homosexuality have always been based on what was considered the most advanced knowledge available; now that research has refuted the legitimacy of such laws, we shall strive to have them struck out as soon as possible."
- Upper Themiclesian Championships were, by the rulebook, an amateur event.
- Dress coats were usually more expensive than frock coats, even though the latter used more fabric. However, since frock coats were considered a form of undress, a coarser (and cheaper) fabric could be used.
- The practice of following suit, that is wearing something similar but not exactly the same as someone else, is a sartorial gesture of respect in Themiclesia. Conversely, overdressing or underdressing can be considered insulting.
- i.e., the crew.
- i.e., thrown off the ship.