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The Imperial Commissar
"In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat, than advance."
- Emperor Tarl
Commissar is the term used to designate a political officer who serves in the regiments of the Imperial Army and Stormtrooper Corps or aboard fleets of the Imperial Navy as the representatives of the Imperial Commissariat. Commissars are tasked with the duty to maintain the morale of the troops during their massive campaigns, often in the face of staggering casualties. The Commissar is empowered to use any means necessary to ensure the loyalty and moral purity of his or her charges, including overriding or even executing a commanding officer if necessary, and so is regarded with a mixture of fear and admiration by rank-and-file Guardsmen -- and not a few of their officers.
When Cronus took the Clone Legions with him to form the Fel Empire back in the Imperial Civil War, this struck a severe blow to the Empire, who reasoned, that if it weren't for those legions then the Fels would have never been a real threat.
So when Emperor Tarl came to power after the fall of Emperor Kairn along with the Fel Empire, he realized that he had to ensure the loyalty of his troops so that the same would not occur against him. So he formed the Imperial Commissariat, also known as the Commissar Corps.
The Commissariat was given the power to execute any who showed signs of disloyalty or weakness. To begin with this new branch of the army the Emperor appointed many of his most loyal officers. A strict training regime was then created which concentrated in the brain-washing and total loyalty to the Emperor.
With the creation of the Commissariat a rigorous training regime was planned which consisted of blind loyalty to the Emperor. Once this was achieved the training included military exercises, weapons proficiency, hand-to-hand combat and is directed at ensuring the total dedication of the student, and developing the ability for them to deliver the Emperor's Justice without hesitation or remorse.
Many Commissars die during this training regime, however those who do pass and make the rank of a full Commissar tend to become among the most feared individuals of the Empire.
Cadet Commissars are given the standard arms and equipment of a Stormtrooper, although they retain their distinctive uniforms. These uniforms differ from those of a full Commissar by featuring blue trim and a specific Cadet emblem.
Their training has no set duration and a Cadet will be graduated as soon as he is deemed worthy. Part of the training of a Cadet-Commissar emphasizes in gaining experience in situations common to standard Imperial Troops. In order to ensure this, Commissar-Generals may decide to give command of a small unit to a Commissar Cadet.
CommissarThe standard rank of Commissar, at least one is assigned to every Imperial Regiment. Their duty is to oversee the morale of the regiment, enforce discipline, and inspire the men in combat.
Commissars are also in charge of supervising the raising of new regiments, sometimes from primitive worlds whose inhabitants are savage and do not adapt well to Imperial discipline.
Both of these roles require Commissars to lead by example, and demonstrate outstanding personal bravery on the battlefield, as an example to their men.
Lord-Commissars are senior-ranking Commissars, promoted to this esteemed rank after displaying exemplary battlefield service. They are given command of a regiment to themselves without the interference of a commanding officer.
The most senior known rank in the Commissariat, Commissar-Generals are highly experienced Commissars, having the additional responsibilities of assigning Commissars under their command to officers and promoting cadets to full Commissar status. Alongside these duties they gain the command of an entire army and can lead planetary assaults.
The Admiral Commissar is a very rare rank of the Imperial Navy, held usually in only extraordinary cases, and apparently referring to a Commissar who is awarded fleet command rank in the Imperial Navy itself. They may lead assaults on entire systems and extremely few cases of this exist.
Commissarial Duties and Powers
A Commissar is empowered to ensure the moral purity and devotion of the men and women of his platoon, company, or regiment by any means necessary. It is therefore not uncommon to see a Commissar executing any enlisted trooper, non-commissioned officer or officer showing signs of breaking due to overwhelming odds, which serves the dual purpose of reminding the troops of their greater fear for the Commissar's Blaster than the encroaching foe, and "inspiring" adjacent units to avoid the same fate.
Commissars attached to a unit will rarely see their unit break in combat, however, as their own presence is usually enough to ensure that only the weakest and the most stupid will attempt to flee. Commissars unable to demand the fear and respect of a broken unit however often find themselves killed by the deserting unit as they know the Commissar would shoot them all before he let them retreat.
Extended campaigns often call for extra duties to ensure the morale of the troops is kept high. As such, Commissars can requisition the draft of extensive propaganda pieces so long as their superior officer approves. This is a favored tactic during siege campaigns, when Imperial forces can be cut off from reinforcements and supplies, and troop dedication becomes of the utmost priority. All Commissars are trained as excellent orators, and often deliver stirring speeches to their regiment or company prior to battle. During battle, the Commissar is almost always amongst the front lines, and roars a litany of battle cries to inspire his troops to battle.
The 501'st imperial fapcave - bringing you hotties since 50 ABY!
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