Prince's Own Corps of Guards
The Prince's Own Corps of Guards is the royal guard force of the Caledonian monarchy. It is the only Caledonian ground force that traces its lineage to the monarchy itself (as opposed to the Navy, which is raised and maintained by the Monarchy, hence the name "Royal Navy").
While the Parliament and the nobility raise, "own" and maintain the Army, the Prince's Own Corps of Guards (POCG) serves as both a ceremonial guard and an elite operational unit.
- 1 History
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Duties
- 4 Units
- 4.1 Combat Units
- 4.2 Support Units
- 4.3 Other Units
The existence of the POCG is the result of the negotiated settlement between Prince Ian X, the sitting Parliament, and the nobility during the negotiations that led to the Second Constitution. While the monarchy had "owned" various units, including mercenaries, in the past to serve as a personal strike force and bulwark against the nobles' private armies, the POCG was a specific grant of military power for that purpose.
The POCG is made up of 15 battalions of elite light infantry, one from each of the 14 largest worlds and one made up of troops from the Principality's eight smaller systems. Notwithstanding the different tech levels on each of the worlds, the POCG is a Tech Level 12 unit.
Men (women are excluded from combat roles in the Guards) may apply to the Guards after serving a term in a regular Army or Marine unit. The selection course is grueling and higly competitive; about half of the applicants are returned to their original units. The remainder - screened for strength, intelligence and endurance - are a "Commando" unit, trained in small-unit actions, counter-terror action, patrolling, and raiding as well as skills useful for guarding the seat of power - crowd control, executive protection and survillance.
This duty alternates between ceremonial guard duty in full dress uniform at the various royal, Parliamentary and judicial offices, being on "alert" at the Guards barracks ready to react to threats to the government, and various executive protection, surveillance (plainclothes and otherwise) and police-assistance duties pursuant to protecting the government.
Duties and Compensations
While Guardsmen get the same pay as any other soldier in the Principality (with hazardous-duty and hardship pay when applicable), their pension plan is in line with the Navy's pension, after 20 years' service.
Service in any part of the Guards is a prime jumping-off point for a post-service career in private security work, mercenary employment or work with the Caledonian Special Service's various off-the-books subsidiaries.
The POCG includes the following battalion-sized units, organized into the following brigades. Each brigade includes a small headquarters.
One brigade is always on duty in Selkirk; four months of the year, another brigade is training to take over guard duty.
The other brigades are based around the Principality.
First Brigade, POCG
- The Royal Guard Regiment of Cuillin
- The Selkirk Guards (Caledon)
- The Royal Stuart Highland Guards
Second Brigade, POCG
- Princess Karen's Royal Stirling Regiment of Guards
- The Guards of Dunbarton
- The Royal Regiment of Guards And Retainers (including guards from the small systems of Knoydart, Annan, Pentland, Firth, Scotia, Lanark and Culloden).
Third Brigade, POCG
- The Iron Guard of Victory
- The Budwick Royal Guards
- The Gray Patrol - Royal Claverse Guards
Fourth Brigade, POCG
- The Royal Guards of Douglass
- The Rob Roy Royal Highland Guards
- The Princes Own Royal Glenelg Guards
Fifth Brigade, POCG
- The Caithness Guards
- The Royal Highland Guards Of Macbeth
- The Guard Regiment of Rutherglen
The following units support the Guards' operations.
Guards Support Brigade
The Guards Support brigade is not actually composed of Guards; it's a regular army unit, although owned by the Prince; it supports the Guards' peacetime guard and training duties, and up to two brigades of Guards' operations in wartime.
Guards Training Establishment
Located at Achmagarvey, on Stirling, the Guards Training establishment runs the selection course that weeds out the already-experienced applicants by about 50% in twice-annual selection sessions, and then runs the remainder through the 60-week training course to create an operational Guardsman.
The POCG is the source of personnel and training for a number of units outside the Guards' traditional role. Most of these units are staffed by invitation only, from among Guardsmen who are seen to be ideal for the units.
The Selkirk Custodial Detachment
An elite, company-sized counterterrorist and hostage-rescue unit of about 80 men stationed in Selkirk. This unit trains constantly with the Phantom Regiment, and frequently operates in close conjunction with that unit.
The Prince's personal security detail - 40-50 of the best executive-protection operators in the entire POCG.
The Foreign Ministry Stenography Pool
The "Steno Pool" is part code-phrase, part internal joke; it's small, secretive, plainclothes unit of about 200 guardsmen, augmented by female operators from the Caledonian Special Service, who serve as the Principality's diplomatic security group. "Stenos" work with embassies, consulates and legations abroad to keep security up to standards; parties of 2-8 "Stenos" also accompany diplomatic missions abroad.
Former "Stenos", with their rich experience in a wide variety of cultures and societies as well as peerless close-combat, security and surveillance skills, are highly sought-after in the corporate security, executive-security and mercenary industries. In addition, many "Stenos" have been invited to attempt selection for the Phantom Regiment - "Stenos" success rate is close to 60%, as versus 8-15% for most applicants. The "Phantoms" frequently operate with the "Stenos" on particularly difficult diplomatic security missions. The relationship between the "Stenos" and "Phantoms" is rough-and-tumble but close and professional.