This article is the first in a series of three regarding issues facing the military community, to find the others go to The Primary Issues Facing Modern Militaries, by Zearos D. S'ahlesius.
I know I have been absent from the game for the past few months, and will continue to be absent with the exception of some activity over in late December/early January and a bit over the Summer. I do however still occasionally check on the wiki, and have been troubled by the reports of what has happened to the community. While the issues plaguing the militaries number far too many to count, I believe there are three main problems. I intend to write a piece on each of them, they’ll probably be a bit spread out though. I will begin with this piece discussing the problem of ranks and rank chasing.
It seems nowadays that everyone who has been in militaries for at least a month feels they deserve to be an officer. Part of this is the problem of entitlement which I will touch in the next piece. The deeper problem lies within the ranking system and rank stigma itself. Current militaries have far too many ranks, and by extension, far too many officers. In most recent militaries I've joined, at any given moment, the online players are always mostly officers, oftentimes by ratios of 2 to 1 or greater. It got to a point where an officer would see there were 15+ people online, call a training, and end up having 3 or 4 privates show up while 10 officers sat in the river or on the sidelines. This should never be the case. The amount of soldiers online should always outnumber the amount of officers, and it shouldn't even be close. So to solve this, I propose something simple, Trim back the amount of officers, the number of ranks, and make it so whatever the base rank is is still respectable. I have an example of how this could play out below, but first I'd like to add another note that is only slightly off topic: expand guilds slowly, and only add new branches when absolutely needed, too many militaries go right off the bat with 5 infantries, spreading themselves too thin and ensuring failure.
I have drafted up an example, there are no guarantees this would work, but things such as this have worked in the past under the right leaders.
- At the top of the chain is the King/general, the general overseer of everything within the guild.
- (Optional) Below the King in the central guild is a Cabinet of sorts. 4/5 people who don’t directly command soldiers, but each is in charge of a certain aspect of the guild’s prosperity. For example, you could have a Head of State in charge of external relations, a Head of Training, a Head of Recruiting, a Head of Internal Affairs dealing with the petty conflicts and shit that happens in every guild.
- Branching beyond the central guild, each guild is led by a captain/commander/something. This person is in charge of running their guild and their guild alone.
- Each captain should have two/three (no more than three) lieutenants to assist them in running the guild. The lieutenants help with training, recruiting, and all that shit.
- Below the Lieutenants is the Knight/Soldier/Private/Whatever rank, this is the base rank, and ideally a majority of the guild’s population (especially active population) should be at this level, rather than past guilds where a majority of people online at any given point is an officer. An important thing is that this is not a rank that someone should be ashamed of, it should be one which is respectable to have, and one that is earned. People should only hold this if they’ve proven themselves to be a competent soldier in many categories, otherwise they should remain at the lowest rank until they do.
- Any new recruit to the military should start at the Squire/Cadet/Recruit/Trainee rank. The people here should undergo trainings and teachings to be a competent soldier. Trainings should not be what they are right now, they need to actually help improve soldiers rather than just having them make shapes and free spar. (I’ll touch on that in another piece.) Someone at this rank should not be upgraded until they’ve fully proven themselves to be a competent soldier and excel in discipline, combat, and other important qualifications.
It is important to note that this ranking system can work, and has worked extraordinarily well in the past, but only under competent leadership. The guilds must be expanded slowly, Start out with the central guild, and one infantry/whatever. Do not add a second until it is absolutely necessary, and choose the people who lead the guilds very carefully.
A functional ranking system alone isn’t enough to solve the problems plaguing the militaries. I will touch on some of the problems causing entitlement in my next piece, and the massive training and activities flaw in a much later one when I find the time.