Capellan Confederation Armed Forces

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The Capellan Confederation Armed Forces (CCAF) is the military of the Capellan Confederation. It evolved from the Capellan Defense Force created by the first Capellan Chancellor Franco Liao. A professional and competent fighting force, the CCAF throughout most of its history has found itself on the defensive, forced to fight against nearly impossible odds whilst being hamstrung by its own government.

Besides the regular and militia forces, the Capellan Confederation also maintains Warrior Houses, semi-religious military orders, and the Death Commandos, an elite special forces group, which exist entirely separate from the CCAF and answer directly to the Chancellor whom they swear personal loyalty. They are not covered in this article.



Ostensibly, the High Command of the CCAF - the Strategios - is responsible for all strategic operational planning, both offensive and defensive, and the general day-to-day running the of the military. Its membership includes the Chancellor in their capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the CCAF, various representatives of the Capellan government, the six Senior Colonels, and the Strategic Military Director. In truth, how well the Strategios operates in this capacity depends entirely on the good will of the Chancellor. Many times in Capellan history the Chancellor and other civilian officials have sidelined the Command Council and taken a personal role in running the military, down to micromanaging even the smallest units, with foreseeable results. When allowed to do its job with minimal oversight from the Chancellor though, the Strategios and the military as a whole operates in a streamlined, efficient manner.[1][2][3]

Strategic Military Director[edit]

In the absence of the Chancellor, the Strategic Military Director serves as the commander of the CCAF and regent of Sian, and has full authority over the Ministry of the Military. When the Chancellor is present, the SMD serves as their chief military adviser.[1][3] Given the power of the position, trust between the Chancellor and the SMD is important, as is steadfast loyalty. After the betrayal of Pavel Ridzik during the Fourth Succession War, it became official policy for the SMD to relinquish in perpetuity all Sheng titles and landholdings. Additionally, the Chancellor retains personal control over the Warrior Houses and Death Commandos, both as a check on the Director's powers and to carry out tasks which don't have their unwavering support.[2][3]

Senior Colonels/Jiang-Jun[edit]

After Jasmine Liao abolished the rank of General, the responsibilities of that title were given over to a new rank, Senior Colonel. There were six senior colonels, one for each of the founding commonalities of the Confederation (including Chesterton-in-Exile). Each senior colonel was responsible for all military planning, logistics and unit readiness within their assigned commonality. On the Command Council, the senior colonels answered to the Strategic Military Director.[1]

After Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao came to power, he reinstated the rank of general or Jiang-jun. In place of six senior colonels are ten jian-jun, two each for the five existing commonalities. One is given responsibility for all line regiments assigned to their commonality, the other with all Home Guard and planetary militia.[4][3]

Ministry of the Military[edit]

The Ministry of the Military is one of the most important bureaus in the Ministerial, responsible for all aspects of supporting the armed forces. When not being meddled with by the Chancellor or other officials, it typically operates in a highly efficient manner. Composed of six departments, with each head answering to the Minister of the Military and the Strategios. After the ascension of Sun-Tzu Lioa, the department heads of the Ministry were all given the rank of jiang-jun, making them equal in authority to those in the Strategios both to force better cooperation and provide a break on any officer getting too ambitious.[4][3]

Administration and Finance[edit]

Responsible for all record-keeping and payroll functions, including disability and death benefits, as well as maintaining promotion lists. Unfortunately, corruption and graft are widespread within this department, requiring a permanent team of Maskirovka auditors on the look-out for illegal activity.[1][3]

Acquisitions and Training[edit]

Responsible for the recruitment and training of new CCAF soldiers. Oversees all Duchy Regional Training Centers and other training academies within the Confederation, as well as many of the smaller boot camps and other training facilities located on every world. With the Strategios' approval, it also oversees the creation of new CCAF units.[1][3]

Capellan Medical Corps[edit]

Responsible for all health and medical care in the CCAF. Provides medics and corpsmen to line and Home Guard regiments, and maintains standing emergency medical battalions with their own transports, surgical and intensive-care facilities (ten battalions in 3025, increasing to fourteen by 3067). Notably, the CMC is not obligated to provide medical care to "enemies of the state" excepting prisoners (and only until they can be turned over to the proper authorities), leaving such decisions at the discretion of unit commanders.[1][3]

Capellan Navy[edit]

Responsible for the transportation of ground forces and their protection whilst in transit. Includes all WarShips (both before they became extinct and after their reintroduction in the Inner Sphere), JumpShips and DropShips. Aerospace Fighters not integrated as part of a regiment or grouped together as aerospace regiments also fall under this department.[1][3]

Procurement Division[edit]

Responsible for all logistical concerns, including the purchase, transportation and storage of all equipment and munitions, for every unit (including the Warrior Houses and Death Commandos). Also oversees all civilian production of military equipment.[1][3]

Research and Development[edit]

Responsible for conducting all scientific research into martial technologies and testing of new equipment for quality control. Frequently partners with civilian research firms (often temporarily nationalized for security purposes). Notable success have included the Raven, Cataphract, Sha Yu and Stealth Armor.[1][3]


The CCAF has practiced combined-arms warfare throughout its existence, to varying degrees and results, with the BattleMech taking a preeminent place on the battlefield. Traditionally, each 'Mech regiment will include an independent command company and be assigned numerous supporting units which answer to the regiment's commanding officer. On average this will include two flights of aerospace fighters, at least a battalion of armor, and between a company to a full regiment of infantry.[5]

However, the armed forces have also historically suffered from a lack of initiative, especially during times when to show initiative might be construed as being anti-government, and a need for commanders to prove their political reliability with success on the battlefield.[1][6] Many officers would defer to their superiors, who themselves would be reluctant to utilize the proper forces for a battle whose outcome was uncertain, out of fear for their lives.[7] Indeed, during the latter part of the Succession Wars, many officers would became paralyzed when cut off from central command, leaving it to mercenary units to take charge.[8] Others, when faced with a situation where even victory could lead to a court-martial and execution, suffered what became known as "hopeless battle syndrome": better to die right now in a heroic last stand than live with the uncertainty of suffering a worst fate afterwards. Although the Xin Sheng movement did much to reverse this trend, the CMC has continued to monitor CCAF officers for signs of the syndrome[7]

For many reasons House Liao has relied on medium and lightweight heavy 'Mechs which could perform multiple roles, putting it at a disadvantage against units using heavier or more specialized 'Mechs.[9] During the latter part of the Succession Wars, as the number of 'Mechs and sources of replenishment dwindled, it became standing orders for 'Mech units to be withdrawn from losing battles, often at the expense of conventional forces.[10] After Sun-Tzu Liao came to power the military began to address some of these deficiencies and expanded its inventory, including an increase use in 'Mechs from the Free Worlds League and Word of Blake.[9]


Beset on all sides, soldiers of the CCAF fight on.

Several divisions exist among CCAF units. The first are the line regiments, regular forces who generally receive the best training and equipment available. Among these units is a further division between front-line forces and reserve forces. The former, including storied units like the Capellan Hussars, spearhead assaults and garrison critical worlds of the Confederation. Reserve units take on a more defensive role and tend to be staffed with greener recruits, but are no less potent a fighting force.[11][12]

Home Guard regiments serve as a national militia force, operating within their assigned commonality to defend worlds under attack and hinder the enemy's advance until reinforcements can arrive. Each is composed of three battalions plus support units, typically using combat vehicles although the usage of 'Mechs became prevalent in the 31st century. They are generally garrisoned on major worlds but can relocate quickly to any endangered planet within their area of operations.[13][12]

Each planet also maintains their own militia, drawn from the local population and used solely for its defense. The size and equipment of a planet's militia depends very much on how wealthy it is and how much it's noble is willing to spend on defending it. At one end a particularly poor world will have just a single understrength regiment of two battalions, foot infantry equipped with small arms and heavy support weapons. At the other end, a prosperous and important world like Capella will have dozens upon dozens of militia regiments, some even equipped with 'Mechs. Historically these militia units were separate from the CCAF command structure, but as part of the Xin Sheng reforms they have since come under the control of the Home Guard.[12][14]

Finally, the CCAF has made prodigious use of mercenary troops, categorizing them one of two ways. Chartered mercenaries pledge to serve House Liao for specific lengths of time and under direct military control in exchange for better pay and special access to CCAF military stores. Unchartered mercenaries sign with local governments instead, and while not receiving the same state support they have greater freedom to contract their services. Notably loyal mercenary units like McCarron's Armored Cavalry have been rewarded with their continued service to the state by being made full units of the CCAF and given citizenship in the Confederation.[13][12]

Deployment Status[edit]

In 2750 the CCAF had a strength of 42 BattleMech regiments and 30 WarShips. By 2765 they were well equipped with 92 'Mech regiments, and a naval fleet of 37 vessels.[15] At the start of the Succession Wars the CCAF had nearly doubled with a standing force of 192 front-line 'Mech regiments.[9] That number was drastically decreased down to 45 regiments by the end of the Third Succession War though,[16] and after the end of the Fourth the CCAF could must just 30 'Mech regiments.[17] By 3062 though the CCAF had managed to rebuild some of its lost strength and could muster the equivalent of 45 'Mech regiments.[18]

Active Units

(As of 3067)[19]

Capellan Hussars
Capellanhussars.png The elite of the CCAF, the Capellan Hussars are the oldest and most prestigious brigade in the armed forces. Traditionally, the Red Lancers serve as the Chancellor's bodyguard, while the Holdfast Guard and Prefectorate Guard serve similar functions for the Protectorate and House of Scions.
McCarron's Armored Cavalry
Mac.png McCarron's Armored Cavalry is a celebrated mercenary brigade with centuries of loyal service to House Liao. As a reward, the Big MAC was formally adopted into the CCAF and its members given full Capellan citizenship by Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao.
St. Ives Armored Cavalry
Stivesamoredcav.png The St. Ives Armored Cavalry brigade was the elite unit of the St. Ives Commonality before it joined with the breakaway St. Ives Compact during the Fourth Succession War. The unit was later reintegrated into the CCAF after the Capellan-St. Ives War, and although their loyalty was suspect the Cavalrymen have proven themselves to be one of the best CCAF brigades.
Capellan Brigade
Capbrig.png The Capellan Brigade was created in 3061 out of mercenary units deserving of being adopted by the CCAF, although they were not given formal citizenship like the Big MAC. Notable for their looser standards of discipline.
St. Ives Sentinels
Stivesamoredcav.png The St. Ives Sentinels have their origin in CCAF regiments who agreed to become mercenaries for the St. Ives Compact during its brief independence. When the Compact was reintegrated into the Confederation, so too were the Sentinels, becoming reserve units for the St. Ives Commonality.
St. Ives Janissaries
Crc.png The St. Ives Janissaries were adopted by the CCAF after the reintegration of the St. Ives Compact. Created during the Compact's independence, their units practice a unique form of combined-arms warfare.
Victoria Commonality Ranges
Crc.png Created to protect the recently formed Victoria Commonality, the Victoria Commonality Rangers has its origins in former units of the Chesterton Reserves.
Confederation Reserve Cavalry
Crc.png A reserve brigade originally charged with defending the Sian Commonality, the Confederation Reserve Cavalry's role is expanded to the entire Confederation after the numerous losses during the Fourth Succession War.
Capellan Defense Force
Crc.png Originally the Capellan Reserves, the Capellan Defense Force was reformed after the losses of the Fourth Succession War placed the Capellan Commonality on the front lines.
Liao Cháng-Chéng
Crc.png The Liao Cháng-Chéng reserve brigade was created to defend the expanding Liao Commonality along the borders of the Chaos March.
Citizens' Honored
Ch.png The Citizens' Honored brigade are former mercenaries, such as the 4th Tau Ceti Rangers, who were adopted into the CCAF in a manner similar to the MAC.

Former Units
Northwind Highlanders
NorthwindHighlanders.gif Formerly an elite force of the CCAF, the Northwind Highlanders notably betrayed the Confederation during the Fourth Succession War when Hanse Davion promised them their ancestral home Northwind in exchange for their services.
McCrimmon's Light Cavalry
Ccafmccrimmsonslightcavalry.png McCrimmon's Light Cavalry was an independent regiment stationed along the Tikonov Commonality's borders. It was destroyed in the Fourth Succession War.
MacGregor's Armored Scouts
Ccafmacgregorsarmoredscouts.png MacGregor's Armored Scouts was an independent regiment stationed along the Tikonov Commonality's borders. It was destroyed in the Fourth Succession War.
Blackwind Lancers
Freecapblackwindlancers.png The Blackwind Lancers were an independent regiment charged with defending and raiding across the Davion border. They defected along with the St. Ives Compact, but rather than reintegrate after the Capellan-St. Ives war they joined the Free Capella anti-Confederation movement.
Chesterton Reserves
Chesterton Regulars.png One of the reserve brigades charged with protecting the Chesterton Commonality, the Chesterton Reserves were largely destroyed by the Fourth Succession War. The few surviving units were eventually rolled into the Victoria Commonality Rangers.
Liao Reserves
Ccafliaoreserves.png The Liao Reserves were one of the reserve brigades charged with protecting the Liao Commonality. It was wiped out during the Fourth Succession War.
Sarna Reserves
Ccafsarnareserve.png The Sarna Reserves were a reserve brigade protecting the Sarna Commonality until it's absorption during the Fourth Succession Wars. Survivors were later transferred to the Liao Cháng-Chéng brigade.
Sian Reserves
Ccafsianreservs.png The Sian Reserves were a reserve brigade which protected the Sian Commonality. It was eventually disbanded and its units transferred to the Sarna Reserves.
Tikonov Reserves
Ccaftikonovreserves.png The Tikonov Reserves were a reserve brigade charged with protecting the Tikonov Commonality. It's units were later transfered to the Periphery Guard before eventually being absorbed into the Liao Cháng-Chéng.





Military Academies[edit]

Duchy RTC[edit]

Every Duchy provides at least one training facility that allows for common citizens to serve in the Confederation's armed forces.

Capella War College[edit]


The Capella War College is the most prestigious of all the academies in the Capellan Confederation. The War College is the source of many of the most important leaders of the CCAF. Historically, the Capellan Hussars have been given "first pick" among graduates.

Liao Conservatory of Military Arts[edit]


The Liao Conservatory of Military Arts was formed in 3058 in part to ameliorate the gap caused by the loss of several academies during the Fourth Succession War. It is famous for its heavy influence on meditation and intellectual pursuits.

Sarna Martial Academy[edit]


The Sarna Martial Academy (SMA) was an important part of the Capellan Confederation's training program. During the Fourth Succession War, the world of Sarna was conquered by the Federated Suns and was briefly integrated into the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth. After the collapse of authority in the Sarna March and the re-emergence of the Sarna Supremacy, the academy opened its doors to all and became known as an independent school for mercenaries. After its reintegration into the Confederation the academy still remained independent for a time and was considered the least prestigious of the major Capellan military academies.

Sian Center for Martial Disciplines[edit]


Sian Center for Martial Disciplines (SCMD) cadets must be outwardly perfect and maintain philosophically correct views when training on the capital world of the Confederation. All cadets are very closely scrutinized by some of the best instructors in the CCAF, and recruiters for the Warrior Houses and Death Commandos are common sights on-campus.

Sian University[edit]

Sian University.jpg

The prestigious Sian University offers an Officer Cadet Program known as Hen gao Xiao-lu or the High Path. The program frequently takes applicants from the SCMD and other academies from across the Confederation.

St. Ives Academy of Martial Sciences[edit]


SIAMS was the principal academy for the St. Ives Compact during that nation's brief life span. Attached to the St. Ives Institute of Science, SIAMS has its own officer training program. Following its reintegration into the Confederation, SIAMS once more began political indoctrination classes.

Victoria Academy of Arms and Technology[edit]

Victoria Academy of Arms and Technology.jpg

The Victoria Academy is the newest military academy, and thanks to its location next to a refurbished Star League factory trains more technicians than cadets. Also used to help train the Confederation's Trinity Alliance allies.


During the Age of War, CCAF generals attempted to engineer a coup. In retaliation after the coup was put down, the incumbent Chancellor (Jasmine Liao) removed all officer ranks above Colonel, instituting instead the title "Senior-Colonel" as the rough equivalent of a general officer.[24] During the Xin Sheng reorganization, Sun-Tzu Liao reinstituted the ranks, denoting the two military commanders of each commonality and the CCAF fleet commander.

Immediately prior to the invasion of the St. Ives Compact, the Chancellor reformed and streamlined the rank system of the Capellan military to try and reduce confusion and to further remind and enhance the renewal of the Capellan Chinese culture.

Old Rank New Rank Insignia
Commissioned Officers
Chancellor Unchanged N/A
Sang-jiang-jun (Senior General) Brass triangle with green center
Senior Colonel Jiang-jun (General) Brass triangle with open center
Colonel Sang-shao (Colonel) Silver triangle with open center
Major Zhong-shao (Lieutenant Colonel) Brass bar with three silver pips
Captain Sao-shao (Major) Brass bar with two silver pips
Commander Sang-wei (Captain) Brass bar with one silver pip
Subcommander Sao-wei (Lieutenant) Brass bar
Enlisted Ranks
Force Leader Yi-si-ben-bing (Master Sergeant) Brass bar with two green diagonal stripes
Lance Sergeant Si-ben-bing (Sergeant) Brass bar with one wide green diagonal stripe in center
Lance Corporal San-ben-bing (Corporal) Green bar with two diagonal brass stripes cutting along the corners
Recruit Shia-ben-bing (Recruit) Green bar

See Also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 67-68
  2. 2.0 2.1 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 24
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Handbook House Liao, p. 101
  4. 4.0 4.1 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 25
  5. Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 36
  6. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 5
  7. 7.0 7.1 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 31
  8. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 50
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 32
  10. Handbook House Liao, p. 43
  11. Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 28
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Handbook House Liao, p. 107
  13. 13.0 13.1 House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 67
  14. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 72
  15. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 49, "Member State Troop Strengh"
  16. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 5
  17. 20 Year Update, p. 62
  18. Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 23
  19. Handbook House Liao, p. 103-104
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.9 Field Report 2765: Capellan Confederation, p.7-16
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 Field Report: CCAF, pages 8-19
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 Field Manual: 3085, pages 23-32
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 23.14 Field Manual: 3145, pp. 30-43
  24. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 34