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> Military Core Curriculum, A solution to a common problem...
Penta
post Sep 22 2009, 03:20 PM
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So I was thinking...

Maybe it's me, but military/ex-military backgrounds seem very common for certain kinds of campaigns.

Now, that's not a bad thing. Sometimes they make sense.

But I'm a very details-focused GM. I try to prevent errors like someone claiming military experience but missing critical military skills.
---

So, after talking with MusicMan last night and then sleeping, I came up with an idea.

Skill sets to represent military training.
--

Now here's my problem: I know how I want to divide things up, but no idea what skills to put in each "set".

Thus I ask for help. If this were to be suitably developed, I'd be happy to consider submitting it to the Dumpshock magazine.

For simplicity, I'm considering SR4, canon 2072. For additional simplicity, I'm going to consider national militaries only.

The idea is that if a character were -just- coming out of chargen after these points, what skills would they have?
---
How I'm dividing things:

First, by country. Every country runs their military training differently. I see the UCAS and CAS being so alike as to make separating them not worth it for our purposes, but otherwise that holds.

Next, by service: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, whatever. Every service tends to do things differently too.

Finally: Officer or Enlisted. Officers get different training than enlisted folks.
---

Absolutely common stuff:

To join the military, you must have the SINner (standard) quality, usually of the nation whose forces you're joining.
You generally may not have physical flaws such as reduced sense, or mental disorders. They may be gained in service, but you aren't likely to be allowed to join with them.

---

Now onto the fun stuff:

I'll list a setting, you lay out attribute/skill stuff you think would be gained.

UCAS/CAS, Army, Enlisted Basic Combat Training

UCAS/CAS, Army, Enlisted Specialty Schools

UCAS/CAS, Navy, Enlisted Recruit Training

UCAS/CAS, Navy, Enlisted Specialty Schools

Repeat for Marine Corps and Air Force.

UCAS/CAS, Army, Officer training (ROTC)

UCAS/CAS, Army, Officer training (Service Academy)

UCAS/CAS, Army, Officer training (OCS)

UCAS/CAS, Navy, Officer training (ROTC)

UCAS/CAS, Navy, Officer training (Service Academy)

UCAS/CAS, Navy, Officer training (OCS)

Repeat for Marine Corps and Air Force.
---

Things I have absolutely no idea how to handle:

Magic-types. Spellslingers and physads. Would they even go through the same training as everybody else? Would they all be officers?

Hackers and technomancers. Again, the same questions arise as with magic-types, especially for TMs.
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fistandantilus4....
post Sep 22 2009, 03:32 PM
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A couple of skills that may not be immediately obvious for a military trained character, but should be:
Running ( no brainer)
Etiquette (Military specialization)
Leadership (basic leadership skills, doesn't have to be in regards to tactics)
Computers ( very basic, btu a lot of training is done on them)
Swimming (It's surprising how many people join the Navy that can't swim)
Survival (especially if the character was a pilot)
Navigation (especially Army)
Unarmed Combat (Depends on branch. Navy teaches very little unless your job specifically includes that)
First Aid (spec combat wounds)

Weapons skills and general combat-ness beyond really depends on what they did, where they did it, who they did it for, and how long they were doing it. But there's a few other ideas to round it out a bit more. That's not including knowledge skills of course. But for a beginning character, basic training in these is only going to put their skill at a Rating 1 unless it's something they use regularly.
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Warlordtheft
post Sep 22 2009, 03:40 PM
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And all this training would add up to a 1 or a 2. Though, specialty would indicate what skills get a 3.

Example:
Infantryman (basic Pvt fresh from boot camp, trained to western standards)

Running 1
Ettiqutte 1 (3 military)
Computers 1
Swimming 1
Survival 1
Infiltration 2
Dodge 2
Navigation 2
Close combat skill group 2
Fire arms skill group 3
Heavy weapons 2
Gunnery 2
Thrown weapons 1
First aid 1


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StealthSigma
post Sep 22 2009, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Sep 22 2009, 11:40 AM) *
Example:
Infantryman (basic Pvt fresh from boot camp, trained to western standards)

Close combat skill group 2
Fire arms skill group 3


Nope.
Unarmed: 2
Blade: 2

Pistols: 2
Automatics: 3

No weapon class from the longarms group would be utilized by a grunt.
No blunt style weapon would be utilized by a military personal outside of MPs.
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fistandantilus4....
post Sep 22 2009, 04:05 PM
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Agreed. Master-at-Arms (Navy MP) are trained specifically with shot guns and batons. Other ranks within the Navy are not, unless they get training for security as a side duty. That's just the Navy side however. Not a lot of shadowrun players go "I wanna be ex-Navy!, unless you're talking SEALS. Honestly, a beginning character doesn't have enough BP to play a SEAL, so just move on.
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Penta
post Sep 22 2009, 04:13 PM
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The Navy was included mostly for completeness - but I think it should still be covered.

Note that I never even thought of including all 200+ career paths the Army alone offers - but this all developed when I noticed someone got through an entire enlistment without even 1 point in a firearms skill, and the thought came to me of "so what the heck does BCT or boot camp teach by 2072 anyway?" Which naturally lead into thoughts about officer training, as well.

The more I think about it, the more I'd love to turn this into an article, but the more I also realize I have no idea about what someone who's gotten through basic training, even, would know, let alone a whole tour.
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fistandantilus4....
post Sep 22 2009, 04:52 PM
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I know we've got plenty of enlisted around here, in a number of branches. Not sure about officers though..
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Apathy
post Sep 22 2009, 04:58 PM
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I tried to stat this out back in SR3, and came up with this:
[ Spoiler ]

These numbers would have to be adjusted for the transition from SR3 to SR4, which I think means reducing skills by a third and knocking about a point off the attributes.
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StealthSigma
post Sep 22 2009, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE (fistandantilus4.0 @ Sep 22 2009, 12:05 PM) *
Agreed. Master-at-Arms (Navy MP) are trained specifically with shot guns and batons. Other ranks within the Navy are not, unless they get training for security as a side duty. That's just the Navy side however. Not a lot of shadowrun players go "I wanna be ex-Navy!, unless you're talking SEALS. Honestly, a beginning character doesn't have enough BP to play a SEAL, so just move on.


Yeah, the biggest problem with spec-ops is that they would be 3 minimum in most of their stats, and would have multiple 5s easily. Skill wise they're not as big of a problem.

Body: 4
Strength: 4
Agility: 5
Reaction: 5
Charisma: 3
Intuition: 4-5
Logic: 4
Willpower: 4
Edge: 4+
280 BP

If you want to play a spec-ops, the best way is to allow entropy to have eaten away at his stats/skills. Give a reason for him to be out of service for awhile and not having been using his skills regularly. That or play a 600BP setting so you get 300BP for attributes, and 75 BP for resources.
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Karoline
post Sep 22 2009, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Sep 22 2009, 11:40 AM) *
And all this training would add up to a 1 or a 2. Though, specialty would indicate what skills get a 3.

Example:
Infantryman (basic Pvt fresh from boot camp, trained to western standards)

Running 1
Ettiqutte 1 (3 military)
Computers 1
Swimming 1
Survival 1
Infiltration 2
Dodge 2
Navigation 2
Close combat skill group 2
Fire arms skill group 3
Heavy weapons 2
Gunnery 2
Thrown weapons 1
First aid 1


Going to sound like I'm being a pisser as I'm just going to counter these as I go down the list, but it is just easier to agree/disagree that way.

Running 1 Should likely have a (long distance) spec, because that is mostly going to be long marches and jogs and exceedingly short sprints, not normal running.
Ettiqutte 1 (3 military) Totally
Computers 1 Really? Soldiers get special computer training now-a-days? Wow how things have changed since a few months ago when my friend joined.
Swimming 1 Don't really know about this, I don't think they exactly have swimming classes or anything. Remember that a 0 skill doesn't mean you can't do it, it just means you lack extensive training in it.
Survival 1 Yeah, they tend to be taught how to put up a tent and open their rat-packs (The first of which is harder to do properly than it seems, and the second of which involves actually having to eat the pack (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) )
Infiltration 2 I don't think learning to crawl in the dirt would cover to 2.. though certainly it is something, so 1 would make some sense.
Dodge 2 Totally
Navigation 2 I'm fairly sure that infantry are taught to do what they are told, not to spark up debate to try and convince their CEO to only jog 20 miles this morning.
Close combat skill group 2 I wasn't aware that infantry got extensive close combat training (it meele)... Now maybe they learn to beat someone with their gun, but I would think that about covers it.
Fire arms skill group 3 Longarms seem like an unlikely skill for most infantry, and I'd imagine that their skill with an AK or whatever they are issued would be much higher than pistol... maybe pistol 2 and Automatics (Assault rifles) 3(5)
Heavy weapons 2 I'm fairly sure that HMG and Rocket troops are separate from standard infantry.
Gunnery 2 Similar to heavy weapons, most infantry learn to fight on their own feet, not on vehicles (Thus infantry and not... jeeps I guess?)
Thrown weapons 1 I'd think this would be a bit higher, as chucking a grenade properly is important (and fun!)
First aid 1 Are they really taught any more first aid than "Bind the crud out of it"?

Sorry it seems I'm being so controversial. I think what we'd really need to do this would be someone who is currently in the military, either currently going through this training, or someone who is generally in charge of training raw recruits. Most other things are just going to be conjecture and guesswork.
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PBI
post Sep 22 2009, 05:33 PM
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I think any ex-mil character should get First Aid of at least 1, at least the UCAS types. Remember, UCAS absorbed Canada and the CF does things a little differently, like requiring all recruits to pass a St John's Ambulance Emergency First Aid course. While it's true that the union of the US and Canada resulted in almost nothing of Canada coming through, who says that some bit and bobs wouldn't?
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Chrysalis
post Sep 22 2009, 06:53 PM
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Remembering back:

TA - Phase 1.

1. In-unit foundation scheme - TAFS

Often timetabled over 4 weekends with a pass off parade at the end.

Aims: To induct recruits in to the TA and provide them with the skills and knowledge to prepare them to undertake CMS® TA Part 2 training.

Training Objectives

1: Carry out basic fieldcraft skills in the field

2: Demonstrate the physical Requirements of a TA soldier - BPFA

3: Demonstrate basic foot drill in quick time

4: Demonstrate basic military knowledge about the army

5: Explain the army system of pay related to matters as they affect TA recruits

6: Demonstrate security awareness

7: Describe military law
2. CMS® TA (Part 2)

Training Objectives

1: Demonstrate skill at arms - WHT, Grouping and Zeroing

2: Carry out basic fieldcraft skills in the field

3: Demonstrate physical requirements of a TA soldier - BPFA, Endurance training, build up and completion of TA CFT

4: Demonstrate the ability to map read

5: Apply aims of first aid

6: Carry out individual protective measures to survive NBC attack

7: Demonstrate basic foot drill in quick time without arms


3. CMS® TA (Part 3)

1: Demonstrate skill at arms - APWT ITD(1) Non Inf

2: Demonstrate the ability to map read

3: Demonstrate basic foot drill in quick time - with arms

4: Apply aims of first aid - BCDT ITD(3)

5: Carry out individual protective measures to survive NBC attack - ITD(4)

6: Attempt the Military Swimming Test

7: Display an understanding of religious faith and military virtues - ITD(11)


COURSE STANDARD

STUDENTS MUST PASS THE SUMMATIVE TESTS DURING THEIR RECRUIT TRAINING TO ACHIEVE THE MINIMUM COURSE STANDARD.

Individual Training Directives Army (ITD(A)). On successful completion of Phase 1 TA Training TA recruits will have passed the following ITD(A)s.

a. TAFS:

(1) ITD(A) 6 The Law of Armed Conflict.

(2) ITD(A) 7 Security Training.

(3) ITD(A) 10 Equal Opportunities.

b. TA Training Gap:

(1) ITD(A) 1 Personal Weapon Training.

(2) ITD(A) 2 Fit to Fight.

(3) ITD (A) 3 First Aid

(4) ITD (A) 4 NBC

(5) ITD(A) 11 Moral Understanding.


Once you've completed your Phase 1 Training and taken some well-earned leave, it's time to join your chosen regiment or corps. At this point you begin specific training for your chosen Army career.

Soldiers

Infantry
If you join the infantry you'll complete another 14 weeks of training, similar to Phase 1. This second phase of training at Catterick in North Yorkshire, will take your infantry skills to a much higher level and provide you with essential preparation for your first posting.

All other army roles
If you join another part of the Army your specialist training begins now. This could last a matter of months if you serve in one of the Combat units such as the Army Air Corps, the Royal Armoured Corps and the Royal Artillery. Or it could last up to two years if you join a trade-based profession like the Royal Engineers to do an apprenticeship.

After phase 2
Following Phase 2 training it will be time for your first posting with your unit. This is when you use all your training for real. If your unit is not on operations at that time, you'll train with your unit. This will consist of both individual and group training, geared towards your unit's role in the Army.

Officers
The training at Sandhurst is only the first step on your journey to becoming a genuine leader. When new officers leave Sandhurst, specialist training in preparation for joining your chosen regiment or corps begins.

All young officers attend courses to learn the skills of their particular arm or service in preparation for their first command of a troop or platoon. These are designed to give you the confidence to command your soldiers and to improve your problem solving, interpersonal and management skills. Further education is given as appropriate to meet individual needs in future postings.
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Stahlseele
post Sep 22 2009, 06:58 PM
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*waits for the inevitable Kerenshara-Input*
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Brazilian_Shinob...
post Sep 22 2009, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE (fistandantilus4.0 @ Sep 22 2009, 01:05 PM) *
Agreed. Master-at-Arms (Navy MP) are trained specifically with shot guns and batons. Other ranks within the Navy are not, unless they get training for security as a side duty. That's just the Navy side however. Not a lot of shadowrun players go "I wanna be ex-Navy!, unless you're talking SEALS. Honestly, a beginning character doesn't have enough BP to play a SEAL, so just move on.


Yeah, that's what I've been telling my friends that want to play as ex-<insert special forces here>. You can't play as one with a starting runner. Maybe with karma-gen, I don't know, never used it. But with 400 BP? Not gonna happen.
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StealthSigma
post Sep 22 2009, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE (Brazilian_Shinobi @ Sep 22 2009, 03:00 PM) *
Yeah, that's what I've been telling my friends that want to play as ex-<insert special forces here>. You can't play as one with a starting runner. Maybe with karma-gen, I don't know, never used it. But with 400 BP? Not gonna happen.


Sure you can, maintain mental stats and your character has been out for 10 years and didn't bother to stay fit. Degrade his physical stats appropriately. Of course that defeats the purpose that most plays have for a spec-ops which is usually physical oriented. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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MusicMan
post Sep 22 2009, 07:45 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Sep 22 2009, 12:17 PM) *
Close combat skill group 2 I wasn't aware that infantry got extensive close combat training (it meele)... Now maybe they learn to beat someone with their gun, but I would think that about covers it.


RBFT
GFT
Pugil Sticks
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DWC
post Sep 22 2009, 07:51 PM
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Actually, the US Army and US Marine Corps have spent a huge amount of time overhauling their hand to hand combat training programs in recent years. I can't say for sure how good their combatives programs are, but everything I've seen and heard indicates that it has definitely been made a priority. Sergeant Zim would be proud.
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Chrysalis
post Sep 22 2009, 07:52 PM
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Depends on what kind of character you want to play. How many years have they been in service, what are the standards set. For instance getting into the regular infantry in the United States demands being in good physical shape. Getting into the infantry in Canada you have to be in excellent physical shape. Getting into the TA in Britain demands not being able to drop a pen and the UOTC about knowing which hand to use when fondling the RSMs wife discreetly or how to blow the RSM behind the NAAFI. Different branches and regiments also set different demands on its recruits.

There are two types of career soldier in any army. The generalist and the specialist. The specialist focuses on a specific area of expertise in that area of specialisation. A specialist may know everything about field fortifications from 1939-now, a generalist about how they should be employed in the field.

A special forces soldier has specialist skills. These skills may involve knowing a foreign language particular to the region, expertise in exotic squad level equipment, expertise in living in a region, advanced training in a specialist skill set such as field craft, and extended experience in training that specific skill set.

Most soldiers will never see a special forces soldier and most of their expertise is nto very sexy, such as a specialisation in reading aerial reconnoissance pictures, military logistics, how to cook for 500 on a budget, construction/deconstruction.
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rob
post Sep 22 2009, 10:25 PM
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Wow. Yall think infantry kids know a lot. Right out of basic training, I think you would have:

Minimum physical attributes and willpower of 3, minimum reaction of 2.

Skills:
Close combat group 1
Athletics group 1
Firearms Skill group 1
Outdoors group 1
Automatics (broken out) 2 (Assault rifles)
Heavy weapons 1*
Pilot ground vehicle 1
Armorer (firearms) 1
First Aid (combat wounds) 1*
Thrown weapons (grenades) 1*
Etiquette (mil) 1*
Dodge (ranged) 2

And a basic Knowledge (military procedure) for knowing how to fill out the appropriate forms and stuff.

This hits the minimum of everything you would need to pass a deployment squad validation; coming out of basic training for a brand new joe is less.. Somebody coming out of basic training would know less, including probably nothing of the stuff marked with an *asterisks. They get familiarization with that stuff, but familiarization doesn't a skill make.

Basically, all you have to do to pass basic is pass the ruck marches, obstacle course, PT test, field exercise, and shooting test. You do more stuff, but few of those are deal breakers to pass. Lower enlisted soldiers coming out of basic know damn near nothing.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Sep 23 2009, 12:59 AM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Sep 22 2009, 08:40 AM) *
And all this training would add up to a 1 or a 2. Though, specialty would indicate what skills get a 3.

Example:
Infantryman (basic Pvt fresh from boot camp, trained to western standards)

Running 1
Ettiqutte 1 (3 military)
Computers 1
Swimming 1
Survival 1
Infiltration 2
Dodge 2
Navigation 2
Close combat skill group 2
Fire arms skill group 3
Heavy weapons 2
Gunnery 2
Thrown weapons 1
First aid 1



There are a lot of skills being thrown around for training purposes here, but some of them are not very appropriate at the levels given... Of course, for those individuals who have advanced training with special forces or highly trained individual units in the various services, these levels might not even scratch the surface

For example...

Running: This skill is for increasing speed during your movement... in the Marine Corps, speed was never a factor, and "running" was used strictly for endurance training...

Swimming... The vast number fo Marines and NAvy personnel barely pass swim qualifications (of which you only need to be able to float)... Rank 1 is probably appropriate here... not too many complaints

Computers... I NEVER saw a computer in training, nor in any of my duty stations... Useless for Basic Training and Advanced Duty postings...

Gunnery is NOT a Basic skill trained in the Marine Corps, and only a select few are even trained in it post-Boot camp...

Firearms Skill Group... Not generally... You would be trained in Automatics, and maybe Pistols and/or longarms if your MOS allowed it, Few Marines would have had the entire group unless they started with it prior to Military Training

Heavy Weapons are a stretch in a lot of cases, but because the M203 is a Staple of the Marine Corps (and probably the Army as well), Everyone has skills in the Grenade Launcher, at least minimally, but not in any other general class of Heavy weapons unless your MOS dictates...

Close COmbat... Okay, Short blades, unarmed combat, and Clubs (Butt Stroke)... I can get on board with this

Navigation and Survival, for the Common Grunt woud be a 1 (not a 2) as MOST grunts are only passsably familiar with this skill... Some few who have gone through the Survival training might/would have slightly higer levels of these skills...



The remaining skills above I can go along with, but you missed some...

Climbing (Mountain Warfare Training Schools, of which at least on teh West Coast, Most Marine Corps Units participate, I assume that he East COast has a similar facility as well)...

Basic Leadership is taught to all personnel, you never know when you might find yourself in charge of a team, squad, platoon or Company...

Tracking, may be a niche skill, but when I was in teh Corps, our entire Batallion went through training to be at least relatively competant as such...

Diving and Parachuting, entire units train in these capabilities, and not all of them are Special Forces... there were a lot of individuals in my unit who had one or the other (or both) sets of training/qualifications...

Pilot Ground Craft: again, my entire batallion went through classes to drive both tanks and landing craft (the LVTP7) on the off chance we would need the skills...

Perception skills, noticing what is around you tends to keep you alive in combat situations...

Demolitions... Niche, but many grunts are minimally trained to do some things involving demolitions...

Not to mention any magical skills a military mage would acquire...

My 2 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif)
Keep the Faith...
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Sep 23 2009, 01:03 AM
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QUOTE (DWC @ Sep 22 2009, 12:51 PM) *
Actually, the US Army and US Marine Corps have spent a huge amount of time overhauling their hand to hand combat training programs in recent years. I can't say for sure how good their combatives programs are, but everything I've seen and heard indicates that it has definitely been made a priority. Sergeant Zim would be proud.



Hand to Hand in the Marine Corps was never inadequate or bad training, even when I was in the service; but yes, I have heard that the regimen has indeed been updated somewhat... Sergeant Zimm would definitely be proud...
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Omenowl
post Sep 23 2009, 03:06 AM
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SR4 assumes characters have basic skills to function in society so players can default on most needed skills for the military. Also if a skill is not used it will atrophy so being ex military does not mean you will keep your skills up if you didn't practice them (excellent example is athletics). I have known of plenty of people who could barely map read, shoot a weapon, or land navigate that did just fine in the military. What you are more likely to find are knowledge skills such as military protocol, military bureaucracy, etc. What should be disallowed unless in a 3rd world military is uneducated, uncouth, inept, deformity, etc. People like this fail out of basic training or are rejected out of hand.

Rank 1 and 2 is more about competence.
Rank 3 is professional
Rank 4 is expert
Rank 5 is Master
Rank 6 is world reknowned

Few people get rank 3 in a profession let alone 4+ so don't use 3 as an average except for well trained soldiers that practice diligently and daily.



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toturi
post Sep 23 2009, 03:34 AM
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It depends on which military you are talking about and which branch. Some conscripted militaries are little more than street punks with guns (whose main mode of attack is spray and pray). But some others like the Israeli and South Korean ones are pretty serious, even if their conscripts terms of service are pretty short. Some armies train more than others. Even if you are in a professional army, how often do you actually get out in the field to train and on the range to shoot? Every week? Every day? Some armies are the military equivalent of cram schools, training 16 hours a day for the entire service term. Others are pretty slack, so it really depends and there's a whole skill range out there.

So if someone says he was in the Korean army and said he was a slacker at nearly everything but range was fun, so he had good shooting skills. That's very plausible. If some rigger from Israel said he wasn't really interested in shooting crap out of people but he was a damned good tank driver, I see no reason to doubt him (particularly because I know someone in my platoon like that).
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kzt
post Sep 23 2009, 03:35 AM
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QUOTE (StealthSigma @ Sep 22 2009, 09:56 AM) *
No weapon class from the longarms group would be utilized by a grunt.
No blunt style weapon would be utilized by a military personal outside of MPs.

So hitting someone with your rifle butt or a muzzle strike uses what skill?
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Chance359
post Sep 23 2009, 03:55 AM
Post #25


Moving Target
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A few years ago I went through Air Force basic training and Security Forces tech school, I'll break down what I remember. This would be in Shadowrun 3 terms.

Active Skills:

Assault Rifle: 1
Athletics: 2
Biotech: 0
-First Aid: 2
Etiquette: 1
-Military: 3

Knowledge Skills:

Military Theory: 1
-Branch History: 3


Security Forces tech school:

Active Skills:

Assault Rifles: 2
Assault Rifles B/R: 1
Athletics: 1
Heavy Weapons: 2
Heavy Weapons B/R: 1
Launch Weapons: 2
Pistols: 3
Pistols B/R: 2
Small Unit Tactics: 1
Stealth: 2

Knowledge Skills:
Navigation (Land): 2
Police Procedures: 2
Security Procedures: 2
Security Forces History: 2


First duty station:
Clubs: 1
-Asp Baton: 3
-Riot Baton: 3
Biotech (First Aid): 2
Spray Weapons: 0
-Pepper Spray: 2

Desert warfare training:
Gunnery: 3
Heavy weapons: 1
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