Imperial Interstellar Scout Service

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The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service (IISS) is a major service within the Third Imperium, equal in stature to the Imperial Army and the Imperial Navy, although assigned a variety of unique, primarily non-military missions.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

No information yet available.

Image Repository[edit]

Combatant Largecraft & Bigcraft[edit]

  1. TBD

Non-combatant & Paramilitary Largecraft & Bigcraft[edit]

  1. TBD

Combatant & Noncombatant Smallcraft[edit]

  1. TBD

Mission (Goals)[edit]

The duties of the IISS include:

  • Exploration of the Imperial frontiers.
  • On-going mapping and surveying of Imperial territory.
  • The maintenance and operation of interstellar communications through its Express Boat Network.

Doctrine & Strategy (Operations)[edit]

No information yet available.

Rank & Grade (Hierarchy)[edit]

The Bureaucracy is the only division of the IISS that uses formal rank structures. Field Scouts do not have formal rank, but are assigned a temporary rank grade equivalent to their number of terms of service when interacting with bureaucracy, as necessary. Some of the organizational ranks and grades used by the IISS Bureaucracy and Operations Office are included in the Bureaucracy section below.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

In the last century before the end of The Long Night, the Sylean Federation began its coalescence into a powerful Empire. A major force in this move into interstellar space was the Sylean Federation Scout Service. The SFSS was established with two main missions: first, the exploration of neighboring regions for the consequent contact or recontact of their inhabitants; and second, the use of advanced Sylean technology to lure these contacted planets into the growing Federation.

Largely due to the efforts of the Scouts, the Sylean Federation rapidly turned into an Empire, the Third Imperium. The Sylean Federation Scout Service became the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service.

With the passage of time, however, the missions of the Scout Service have evolved into different pursuits. The original assignment of recontact soon turned to one of actual discovery and exploration of unknown worlds. With the maturity of the Imperium, that mission lost importance, and newer ones have taken its place. In any analysis, the Scout Service is a survivor, changing its missions and evolving its structure in order to maintain its numbers and some cynically say its budget.

TO&E (Organization)[edit]

In order to handle the great diversity of missions assigned to it, the Scout Service is organized into a variety of offices. These offices are themselves further divided into branches (or sometimes services), each responsible for a specific mission or duty. The Imperial Scout Service Organization diagram shows the basic structure of the Scout Service with its many offices and branches. Placed in authority over the several offices is a central command structure (called Headquarters) which provides overall control of the Scout Service. Because Headquarters controls the operations of the entire Scout Service throughout the Imperium, it is concerned primarily with policy and administrative detail, rather than the accomplishment of specific missions, and is rarely more than a distant office providing instructions and direction to the service.


The offices of the Scout Service are divided into the Bureaucracy (a standard, structured establishment), and the Field (an informally structured group of individuals who accomplish many of the goals of the service).

The Bureaucracy is strict and governed by regulations; the Field is unconventional and flexible. Because some of the missions of the Scout Service are best handled by the individualistic type of person, the overall structure of the Scouts allows their inclusion in the service. The remainder of the Scout Service is the more traditionally organized Bureaucracy. The offices in the Bureaucracy provide the rigidly controlled supervision and structure that is necessary in any large organization.

The planetary capital of the IISS Bureacracy is Aadkhien (world), also known as Reference.

The organizational hierarchy of the IISS is:

  1. Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Command (Top)
  2. IISS Office
  3. IISS Branch
  4. IISS Section
  5. IISS Unit
  6. IISS Individual (Bottom)

Together, the many parts of the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service create a large, responsible organization within the Imperium capable of many diverse and important missions.

Field Command[edit]

Three offices in the Scout Service (the Exploration Office, the Communications Office, and the Survey Office) comprise the Field, and are loosely organized without formal rank or position for their members. Individuals hold temporary positions (such as ship captain, team leader, project head) based on their record and suitability for the job. These offices make use of the individual Scout without restricting his or her freedom of action. Where necessary, the Operations Office provides control and direction for these three Field offices.

Communications Office[edit]


The Communications Office is responsible for interstellar message and data transmission within the Imperium.

It serves as a large-scale "Imperial Post Office" and consists of the Express Boat Service and the Imperial Courier Service.

Express Boat Service Branch
The Express Boat Service is responsible for operation of the express boats carrying xboat messages over the xboat routes of the Imperium. Service also extends to neighboring Imperial client states to which service and routes exist. The Service also staffs the various express boat tenders along the routes.
Imperial Courier Service Branch
The Imperial Courier Service is responsible for carrying messages, small packages, and important personnel to worlds off the main express boat routes, and operates small courier ships running unscheduled routes as the needs of the Service demand.

Exploration Office[edit]

The Exploration Office or branch is responsible for the exploration of areas previously discovered but not explored, or incompletely charted.

It is divided into the Exploration Branch and the Contact and Liaison Branch.

Exploration Branch
The Exploration Branch undertakes actual exploration of space and planets, compiling data on local flora and fauna, on planetological features, and on hazards to navigation or dangers to individuals.
Contact & Liaison Branch (C&L)
The Contact & Liaison Branch was originally charged with locating, making first contact, and maintaining friendly relations, with non-human intelligent races. As the Imperium expanded, the C&L Branch was given the additional duty of acquainting the various races of the Imperium with each others cultures, and with smoothing over the inevitable conflicts that arise between cultures. Another function of the C&L Branch is the controlled dissemination of technological information to backward worlds within the Imperium, with a goal of bringing them up to Imperial standards slowly enough to minimize cultural shock effects.
Spatial Phenomema Investigation Branch.[1]

Survey Office (Grand Survey Branch)[edit]

The Imperial Grand Survey prefers to retain its original name rather than taking its proper name - the Survey Office. Regardless of what it is called, it is responsible for producing and maintaining maps and charts of the Imperium, and of areas outside the Imperium which are of importance to it.

The office is divided into Internal and External Mapping Branches.

Internal Mapping Branch
The Internal Mapping Branch is responsible for resurveying and updating the basic navigational charts of the Imperium, and for mapping world surfaces when necessary. These System surveys are published on a regular basis.
External Mapping Branch
The External Mapping Branch is responsible for mapping areas outside the Imperium.

Such maps may be used for navigation, settlement, or planning, and are essential in time of war. Generally, external mapping takes place in areas already explored by the Exploration Office.

Bureaucracy Command[edit]

IISS Bureaucracy Ranks
Administrator Rank
IS-18 (O9) » Sector Scout Leader
IS-17 (O8) » Senior Scout Leader
IS-16 (O7) » Scout Leader
IS-15 (O6) » Scout Commander
IS-14 (O5) » Senior Administrator
IS-13 (O4) » Group Administrator
IS-12 (O3) » Administrator
IS-11 (O2) » Junior Administrator
IS-10 (O1) » Administrator Trainee
Ordinary Rank
IS-9 (E9) » Senior Supervisor
IS-8 (E8) » Supervisor
IS-7 (E7) » Asst. Supervisor
IS-6 (E6) » Team Leader
IS-5 (E5) » Asst. Team Leader
IS-4 (E4) » Skilled Worker
IS-3 (E3) » Journeyman
IS-2 (E2) » Clerk / Apprentice
IS-1 (E1) » Scout Recruit

Within the various offices of the Scout Service, the branches are responsible for specific duties which accomplish the missions of the office. The Bureaucracy is the only division of the IISS that uses formal rank structures. Field Scouts do not have formal rank, but are assigned a temporary rank grade equivalent to their number of terms of service when interacting with bureaucracy, as necessary. Some of the organizational ranks and grades used by the IISS bureaucracy are included in the table to the right, as well as in the accompanying tables associated with individual offices below.

Administration Office[edit]

The Administration Office contains the bureaucracy that keeps the IISS functioning smoothly. Its three branches are: Personnel, Finance, and Procurement.

Personnel Branch
Personnel Branch is responsible for the service records of Scouts and ex-Scouts, for recruiting, hiring, and retirement, and for personnel transfers between branches. It manages the careers of the members of the Scout Service.
Finance Branch
Finance Branch is responsible for all fiscal matters, including payroll for Scouts (salaries, pensions, bonuses, and other rewards) and payment for goods and services procured for the service.
Procurement Branch
Procurement Branch is responsible for purchasing the goods and services which the service requires. It establishes standards for material to be used by the service, and lets contracts to suppliers for material and equipment - everything from uniforms and microfilm readers to starships.

Detached Duty Office[edit]

The Detached Duty Office was created to keep track of all retired and detached Scout personnel in order to be able to swiftly recontact them and return them to active service in an emergency. In addition, the Detached Duty Office controls all surplus IISS craft (scout ships and courier vessels), making them available to some ex-Scouts if that will help the IISS in its missions, The office is divided into two branches- Records and Intelligence.

Records Branch
The Records Branch maintains documentation on all Scouts serving on detached duty. Virtually all former Scouts fit this classification and are subject to recall for military service or for specific scout missions. Normally, however, only those Scouts with surplus scout vessels on loan to them are actively monitored.
Imperial Intelligence Branch
The Intelligence Branch is an information gathering agency for the Scouts. Its primary function is to debrief detached duty Scouts when they visit scout bases for refueling or maintenance on their vessels. The Intelligence Branch also maintains active agents (spies) in areas where information is vitally needed.

Operations Office[edit]

IISS Ranks
(Security Branch)
IS-16 (O7) » Scout Leader
IS-15 (O6) » Colonel (Scout Commander)
IS-14 (O5) » Lieutenant Colonel
IS-13 (O4) » Major
IS-12 (O3) » Captain
IS-11 (O2) » First Lieutenant
IS-10 (O1) » Second Lieutenant
Ordinary Rank (Enlisted)
IS-9 (E9) » Chief Warrant Officer (Chief MSgt)
IS-8 (E8) » Warrant Officer (Master Sgt.)
IS-7 (E7) » Technical / Leading Sergeant
IS-6 (E6) » Staff Sergeant
IS-5 (E5) » Sergeant
IS-4 (E4) » Lance Sergeant
IS-3 (E3) » Corporal
IS-2 (E2) » Lance Corporal
IS-1 (E1) » Scout Guardsman (Private)
IS-1 (E1) » Scout Recruit
Rank List Non-Canonical
IISS Ranks
(Scout Fleet - Field Operations)
IS-16 (O7) » Scout Leader
IS-15 (O6) » Scout Commander
IS-14 (O5) » Senior Commander
IS-13 (O4) » Commander / 1st Officer
IS-12 (O3) » 1st Lieutenant / 2nd Officer
IS-11 (O2) » 2nd Lieutenant / 3rd Officer
IS-10 (O1) » 3rd Lieutenant / 4th Officer
Ordinary Rank (Enlisted)
IS-9 (E9) » Chief Warrant Officer
IS-8 (E8) » Warrant Officer
IS-7 (E7) » Chief Petty Officer
IS-6 (E6) » Petty Officer
IS-5 (E5) » Leading Scout
IS-4 (E4) » Scout 1st Class
IS-3 (E3) » Scout
IS-2 (E2) » Scout Apprentice
IS-1 (E1) » Scout Recruit
IS-1 (E1) » Scout Recruit
Rank List Non-Canonical

The Operations Office is responsible for the activities of the Service in the establishment, maintenance, and operation of its bases and fleets.

It is divided into Maintenance, Security, Bases, and Scout Fleet branches.

Maintenance Branch
The Maintenance Branch is charged with preventive maintenance of the equipment used by the Scout Service and with repairs as necessary. Maintenance is capable of repairing many Imperial Navy vessels as well.
Security Branch
The Security Branch is charged with providing security and law enforcement for the Scout Service. Security Branch Scouts serve as police enforcers on Scout property, as commandos or shipboard light troops, for special Scout activities, and as clandestine agents for Intelligence Branch. Agents of the IISS Security Branch have great authority to arrest, detain, or question individuals suspected of violations of Imperial law, and can demand cooperation from local authorities as the need arises. Unlike the majority of the IISS, Security Branch is organized similar to a military unit with formal ranks and a chain of command. Members of Security Branch usually remain in Security for the majority of their careers. A few members of this branch are recruited for the Special Security Service ("SSS" or "S-3"), which acts as an elite commando unit to recover IISS personnel and equipment that have fallen under hostile control. S-3 was founded in the earliest days of the Scout Service.
Base & Facilties Branch (B&F)
The Base & Facilties Branch is responsible for the operation of the Scout Service's bases, way stations, and other establishments.
Scout Fleet Branch
The Scout Fleet consists of all of the vessels used by the Scout Service. Because the operation of space vessels requires a great deal of supervision, training, and control, the Scout Fleet is organized similar to a naval unit. Vessels used in the Field (for exploration or communications, for example) belong to the Scout Fleet, even if operated by individuals not specifically assigned to that office. The Scout Fleet supports the Communications Office and Exploration Office activities, and provides ships (as well as some personnel to crew them) to those offices.

Technical Services Office[edit]

The Technical Services Office is responsible for scientific and technical activity within the service.

It is divided into the Education Branch and the Research & Development Branch.

Education & Training Branch (E&T)
The Education & Training Branch provides information and data to offices, branches, and individual Scouts who need it. It maintains education and intelligence enhancement courses and treatments necessary for individuals to accomplish their missions. It is responsible for the development and dissemination of library data programs for Scout Service vessels. In addition, the Education Branch maintains and administers standards for skills learned In the Service, and provides educational courses to Scouts in order to fill their time when on duty or on long voyages.
Research & Development Branch (R&D)
The Research & Development Branch is responsible for scientific inquiry into data obtained by the Scout Service, and is responsible for the development of equipment needed by the Service to accomplish its mission. This R&D Branch is also responsible for the design of specialized scout vessels used by the IISS.
The R&D Branch is responsible for the creation, implementation and maintenance of the IISS encrypted communication system code named TapDance. TapDance utilizes a one time pad system which is believed to be completely secure. [2]

Scout Service Survey Arm[edit]

The Scout Service Survey Arm performs astronomical and planetological surveys of unexplored subsectors.

If Lost Colonies or alien lifeforms are discovered in the course of these surveys, the Service makes recommendations as to the advisability of contact, exploitation, and trade. Suitable planets are recommended for colonization, in which case the Service provides liaison personnel to advise and protect new colonists.

Due to their intimate knowledge of certain systems and superior sensor equipment, Scout personnel are often seconded to the Navy as pathfinders, guides, or interpreters; particularly if aliens or ecology-disrupting modes of assault are to be involved.

Retired Scouts are much in demand by the smaller governments and larger corporations of the Galaxy for their own exploration/exploitation projects. Such projects tend to be less fastidious than the Imperium about possible effects on local ecologies and populations.

The six Specialties of the Survey Arm are

  1. Security Specialists are charged with protecting the personnel of the other five groups from hostile life-forms and other hazards;
  2. Support Specialists ensure the continued functioning of the many and varied items of high technology equipment used by the Service;
  3. Flight Specialists have the responsibility of delivering the other groups to their destination intact. Flight Specialists are also concerned with Remote Sensing of systems and the construction of astrogation charts.
  4. Geology Specialists are charged with mineral resources surveys
  5. Ecology Specialists are charged with and of current and potential flora and fauna
  6. Contact Specialists are charged with liaison with local cultures. [3]

Long-term Surveys & Expeditions[edit]

A number of expeditions and surveys have been conducted, primarily limited by resource availability. These scouting missions have been known to range as far as fifteen to twenty sectors or more from Imperial-held territories.

Selected Ship Types[edit]

Some ship Types widely used within Charted Space include:

  1. Type EDSV class Extended Duration Survey Vessel
  2. Type S class Scout/Courier AKA Type S class Multimission Scout
    1. Sulieman class Scout/Courier
  3. Type X class Express Boat AKA X-boat
  4. Type XT class Express Boat Tender
    1. Lirshala class Express Boat Tender
    2. Purcell class Express Boat Tender

Selected Ship Classes[edit]

Some Ship classes widely used within the systems and worlds of this force include:

  1. Alahir class Heavy Scout
  2. Baso Rita class Small Survey Ship
  3. Columbus class Fleet Courier
  4. Donosev class Survey Scout
  5. Khadumir class Fast Courier
  6. Lightning class Frontier Cruiser
  7. Lintula class Survey Vessel
  8. Lirshala class Express Boat Tender
  9. Nostrii class Science Scout
  10. Phidippides class Fast Courier
  11. Purcell class Express Boat Tender
  12. Pytheas class Exploratory Cruiser
  13. Serpent class Scout
  14. Sulieman class Scout/Courier
  15. Qasar class Scout Cruiser
  16. Talon class Survey Cruiser
  17. Victrix class Courier

Extended Exploration Scout Vessels[edit]

Some of the more common vessels used by the IISS include:

IISS Extended Exploration Scout Vessels
Type TL Tonnage J-Class Remarks
TL–13 IISS Nostrii Class Science Scout 100 tons J-3 101 Starships
TL–12 IISS Type S Scout/Courier 100 tons J-4 Scouts (book)
TL–15 IISS Donosev class Survey Scout 400 tons J-3 Supplement 9 Fighting Ships
TL–12 IISS Alahir class Heavy Scout 1,000 tons J-3 Secret of the Ancients
TL–13 IISS Qasar class Scout Cruiser 1,000 tons J-4 Scout Cruiser
TL–15 IISS Talon class Survey Cruiser 40,000 tons J-6 Agent of the Imperium
TL–15 IISS Lightning class Frontier Cruiser 60,000 tons J-5 Lightning Class Cruisers

Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)[edit]

The IISS operates facilities across the Third Imperium and in many Client States around the Imperial Fringe.

World Listing: 1105[edit]

The IISS is known to operate in the following systems and on the following worlds:

200 of 980 of worlds with a Scout Base
Aadkhien  •  Aanshi  •  Aarkhiin  •  Aashrikan  •  Abaelou  •  Abalakova  •  Abarre  •  Abir  •  Adep 5  •  Aeradposa  •  Agagir  •  Agi  •  Aisteaya  •  Ake (Vl 1736)  •  Akin Akun  •  Akkunat  •  Aknam  •  Akussanja  •  Akuu  •  Alanidon  •  Albach  •  Aldaya (Re 0212)  •  Alejako  •  Aleta  •  Alfu Onna  •  Algenib  •  Alkhaas  •  Allamu  •  Alliance  •  Allis  •  Alumgin  •  Alzenei  •  Ambemshan  •  Amdas  •  Amelbar  •  Amgend  •  Ami  •  Amisku  •  Amnuum  •  Amshaaku  •  An Najaf  •  Ances  •  Anech Issan  •  Anga (Li 1909)  •  Angi  •  Anging  •  Ann  •  Anniversary  •  Annor Raiz  •  Anokpad  •  Anossed  •  Ansin  •  Antares (An 2421)  •  Antezeno  •  Antler  •  Apay Maru  •  Appomma  •  Aquella  •  Arailiur  •  Arash  •  Arashi  •  Arga (Vl 3106)  •  Argus  •  Argusap  •  Arirumkhar  •  Arka (Li 2032)  •  Arkadkhi  •  Arlir Im  •  Arron  •  Ars  •  Arsuch  •  Aruga  •  Ashaagukhu  •  Ashmaze  •  Ashsha  •  Ashuush  •  Asli  •  Aspiar  •  Astira  •  Aswa  •  Ata  •  Athane  •  Atista  •  Atudew  •  Auritaurus  •  Aursis  •  Avuzatudh  •  Aying  •  Azwhew  •  Bacelbron  •  Bagaskaa  •  Bail 4  •  Baituu  •  Bakog  •  Balpan  •  Banjul  •  Bantral  •  Bard's Fort  •  Barden  •  Barimagu  •  Barren  •  Base Two  •  Bayn  •  Beangub  •  Bearnagh  •  Bellham  •  Berall  •  Berengaria  •  Beta (Ma 3128)  •  Beta Regilis  •  Bethany  •  Betras  •  Biaz Ven  •  Bifirs  •  Bima Apgu  •  Bincia  •  Bisks Planet  •  Bivaud  •  Bleak (TR 2902)  •  Blevins  •  Blullaygh  •  Bogustin  •  Boiwth  •  Booce  •  Braldini  •  Bruyrkna  •  Brygella  •  Budwick  •  Buggar  •  Burle's Point  •  Bushma  •  C're  •  Caithness  •  Canback  •  Capula Raiz  •  Cemloch  •  Center  •  Ceoth  •  Cerell  •  Champa  •  Chanad  •  Chayn  •  Chitete  •  Choltonrul  •  Chrysantheum  •  Colehco  •  Colfax  •  Conlyte  •  Conn  •  Coriolanus  •  Coxe  •  Creca  •  Croesus  •  Crystalan  •  Curast  •  Cyril  •  Daalurge  •  Daash  •  Daaud Urle  •  Daelan  •  Dagi  •  Dakkre  •  Daku  •  Dale  •  Dalsam  •  Danla  •  Danmer  •  Daras  •  Darkishar  •  Darkling  •  Darnii Kimi  •  Dartmuth  •  Datarkt  •  Dax (Ma 0436)  •  Dekilari  •  Delaag  •  Denlaar  •  Depsorn  •  Derbly  •  Dibnah  •  Didraga  •  Diinagar  •  Dikaash  •  Dilub Rou  •  Dimadkha  •  Dimkodrarn  •  Dimple  •  Dingus (Co 1223)  •  Dinvoo  •  Diro  •  Ditcham  •  Divad  •  Divkar  •  Dnak'kritz  •  Doradon  •  Doucttru  •  Doyaterfit  •  Drag  •  Dral  •  Drayne  •  
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See also[edit]

Third Imperium[edit]

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. Bob McWilliams. Leviathan (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 23.
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Trouble in the Spinward Marches (CT) Play By Email Campaign
  3. Andy Slack. "Star Patrol" White Dwarf 20 (1980): 12-13