3rd Army (Star League)
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|Unit Profile (as of 2765)|
|Parent Formation||Star League Defense Force|
The Third Army was responsible for the second of the SLDF's three military region in the Federated Suns, tasked with garrisoning and defending the Suns Periphery border from outside attack as well as maintaining the status quo along the Federated Suns-Draconis Combine border. The Third Army's Headquarters was located on Sullivan. The Third's four corps were highly mobile due to the large number of sparsely populated worlds within the Davion Outback and the lack of common independent regiments attached to its corps. Compared to many other armies, the Third saw only limited action prior to the majority of First Lord Richard Cameron, playing only a limited and peripheral role during Operation SMOTHER, the SLDF operation that ended the War of Davion Succession. The Third served as the primary SLDF army defending the FedSuns against the "bandits" whose raiding formed a large part of the Third Hidden War, but the vast area under its responsibility made it difficult to intercept the "bandits" before they could flee, souring its reputation with the Davion public.  
Periphery Uprisings to Operation CHIEFTAIN
As with many of the other Armies stationed within the Federated Suns, the Third Army was deployed into the Taurian Concordat in response to the Periphery Uprising. The corps of the Third would push through the most spinward portions of the Concordat, arcing around the Badlands Cluster towards Serenity before linking up with its fellow FedSun-based Fourth Army to isolate the spinward worlds from Taurus. The Third would ultimately lose ten Divisions worth of troops - more than a third of its combat strength - over the course of the two years of campaigning within the Concordat. After the Amaris Coup, the Third joined with its fellows in sacking the Rim Worlds Republic, serving as one of the primary assault units of Task Force Kerensky alongside the Twelfth and Sixteenth Armies.  
The surviving elements of the Third Army would assigned to Task Force Sun's Fourth Army Group HQ during Operation CHIEFTAIN, launching strikes in 2772 against New Florence, Ozawa, New Rhodes III and Ronel. While Ozawa and its heavily defended 'Mech factories was seen as the hardest target of the four worlds, leading General Jack Lucas to assign two complete Corps to the task, the Third Army would instead find the New Florence and New Rhodes its toughest nuts to crack thanks to Castles Brian and Republican terrorist strikes on New Rhodes causing wide-scale ecological disasters which would delay their defeat by months. The Third Army then continued on to target Towne and Errai in early 2773, easily capturing Towne within a few months but finding itself in a stalemate on Errai after the arrival additional Republican ground and WarShip forces, delaying its fall until early 2774.  
By first quarter of 2775, the Third Army bypassed the Space Defense System-defended Lockdale as it pushed inexorably towards the embattled and heavily anti-Amaris world of Northwind. As soon as the Third Army arrived in-system, the Northwind Covenanters resistance movement struck hard at the Amaris government, allowing the LXIX Corps to land April 12th with minimal losses. Third Army's superior numbers and the heavy sacrifice of the Covenanters pushed the Amaris forces on-world to the planet's Castle Brian by June, but thanks to the arrival of additional Amaris reinforcements, the Amaris-held Castle Brian would not fall until January 2776.
With Northwind for the most part bottled up, the rest of the Third Army were finally assigned to ground battle for Lockdale once the NIKE equipped Fourth Fleet defeated the system's Caspar and ground-to-orbit defenses, with General Lucas and the XXXIII and LXVI Corps landing on 25 September 2775. By this time Amaris-forces had withdrawn into the planet's cities and attempted to use the civilian population as a shield, and when this did not slow the Third Army, making heavy use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that inflicted more civilian than military losses. Pushing the Amaris troops out of the cities by February 2776, the fighting on the now dying world would drag on for another year until the bulk of the Third Army on-world pulled out in June 2777 to take part in invasion of Terra, the handful of troops left behind eventually completing the eradication of the last Amaris defenders in the months after. 
The Third Army's last major action during CHIEFTAIN would be the recapture of the extremely important and heavily defended world of Caph, arguably the second most valuable world in the Hegemony after Terra itself. After the Fourth and Fifth Fleet's secured the system and softened up the four Castles Brian and SDS bases on-world, the newly reinforced Third Army landed in late July 2776 right into the teeth of numerous WMD strikes by the Armais defenders. Rather than rooting out the dug-in Amaris forces willing to fight to the death, in many cases the Third Army simply levelled and rolled over them, but had much harder time dealing with the massive volume of HSF and OPD operatives hidden among the civilian population engaging in terrorist style strikes and halting the AEAF's incessant WMD attacks. With Caph's resistance forces providing tremendous aid in uncovering Amaris' hidden agents, the Third Army eventually succeeded trapping and isolating the Castles Brian after months of brutal fighting that left both its troops and Caph itself battered beyond belief. 
From 2766 until 2779, the Commanding Officer of the Third Army was General Jack Lucas. With Lucas at helm, the reinvigorated Third quickly earned the distinction of the SLDF's most aggressive army during both Operations CHIEFTAIN and LIBERATION, suffering heavy losses but also inflicting even more on Amaris' troops. Desensitised by nearly twenty years of brutal war and increasingly outspoken on his views that the Republicans were less than human, an exhausted Lucas was relieved from command as the Third finished securing Australia.  
From 2779 until ????, the Third's Commanding Officer was Major General Bart Gaffey. Previously serving as Lucas's Chief of Staff during the Rim Worlds campaign before becoming deputy commander of the Fourth Army, Gaffey was selected by General Kerensky to replace Lucas for the North America campaign of Operation Liberation after hard evidence of the Third's role in atrocities against Republican troops came to light. 
Corps of the 3rd Army
- 3 BattleMech Divisions
- 11 Infantry Divisions
- The Star League, p. 151, "Third Army"
- Field Manual: SLDF p. 57 "Federated Suns Military Region - Third Army"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 42, "Third Army"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 94, "The Taurian Campaign - Troops involved in the Taurian Uprising"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 105, "The Rim Worlds Campaign - The Gathering Storm - Task Force Kerensky"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 121, "Return to the Hegemony - Operation CHIEFTAIN - Star League Defense Forces Order of Battle"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, pp. 134-137, "Return to the Hegemony - Operation CHEIFTAIN - Heavy Metal - Federated Suns Front - Follow-On Actions"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp. 37-39 "Tightening the Noose - Get the Show on the Road - Task Force Sun - Northwind"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp. 44-45 "Tightening the Noose - Get the Show on the Road - Task Force Sun - Additional Operations - Lockdale"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp. 49-50 "Ring of Steel - On Fire"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp. 18-19, "Personalities - Star League - Jack Lucas"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp. 93-95, "Endgame - Australasia (January 2779-June 2779) - Australia - Gold Coast - Confession"