23rd Guard's Battalion - Ravens Organisation Picture
23rd Guard’s Battalion - Ravens Organisation
Ravens fall into three categories:
Operator – Operators form the bulk of the Raven forces, assembled into Teams of seven, with five teams per Platoon. Alpha through Delta Troops contain three Platoons, with 105 Operators per Troop, while Echo Troop contains two Platoons of 35 Operators per, totalling 490 personnel. Operators handle the vast majority of combat operations.
Master – Masters are Ravens chosen to train the next generation of Operators, promoted to the rank of Major and assigned to the Training Troop, which contains 10 Masters at any given time. While primarily geared toward training, Masters not currently assigned a student are frequently seconded to Escean intelligence agencies, such as the NIS, to act as field agents. When assigned a student, the Master will train them for a period of five years, providing the student does not fail assessments, sustain injury or die in that time.
Commander – Commanders are Ravens assigned control over various elements of the Battalion. The Battalion Commander, a Brigadier General, oversees a staff of six Troop Commanders holding the rank of Colonel. Troop Commanders also comprise the Battalion Board, headed by the Battalion Commander. Troop Commanders in turn oversee Platoon Commanders, ranked as Captains, who supervise the individual Teams of their Platoon. Commanders, while fully capable of combat operations and expected to maintain their skills, are not included in the listing of 500 ‘active’ personnel.
Although the 23rd Guard’s Battalion has over 4000 ‘Guardsmen’ in total, only 500 of these are deemed ‘Operators’, the special forces troops that define it. These Operators, better known as ‘Ravens’, are the most elite soldiers in the Escean military.
Ravens acquired their nickname from Neküt, a mythical raven frequently depicted alighted on the shoulder of Torul, the God of War. In ancient Escean Mythology, Neküt was Torul’s guide, aiding him combat. Ravens were also seen as a mark of the Reckoning, a month-long period of destruction wrought by the gods against the insolent and evil. Although the official unit names and roles have changed many times, ravens became synonymous with a class of soldier above all others.
In the heyday of Escean religious practice, warriors of unmatched skill and ferocity were honoured with armour adorned with the symbol of a raven, and were marked by banners depicting the animal. While such symbols are no longer prominently displayed, the mere utterance of the title garners incredible respect from those endowed with the knowledge of its meaning. In the modern Escean military, the name is solely reserved for the Operators of the Guard’s Battalion.