|Unit Profile (as of 3145)|
Led by Clan Stuart, a group of Scots that included the last vestiges of Scotland's military, the Highlanders colonized the planet of Northwind, largely due to its agreeable climate. Throughout the centuries, the Highlanders earned a reputation as an elite unit with high standards and morals that were not for sale. During the Third Succession War they signed on with the Capellan Confederation, in what was essentially an exclusive contract, after the Federated Suns invaded Northwind and destroyed two Highlander regiments. The situation changed, however, when Prince Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns decided to invade the Capellan Confederation in what would become known as the Fourth Succession War.
A turning point in Highlanders history was when Davion contacted them and promised them a home on their ancestral homeworld, Northwind. The vast majority of the Highlanders chose to abandon the Capellan Confederation and took up station on Northwind. Some Highlanders chose to stay, however, creating rifts in some families. The Highlanders ably served the Federated Commonwealth, including service along the Clan front.
Clan Invasion Era and FedCom Civil War Era
Another turning point occurred in 3057, when Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao sent Loren Jaffray, a Death Commando whose grandfather was a Highlander who remained in the Confederation, to Northwind to offer the Highlanders their independence. Coinciding with the Marik-Liao invasion, the Highlanders were tied up as they fought a minor civil war, then debated whether or not to accept the Chancellor's proposal. Colonel William McLeod, the ranking Highlander on planet, was able to reunite his troops and ultimately they chose to fight for their independence, and with the arrival of Stirling's Fusiliers sent the Lyran 3rd Royal Guards packing. Though Jaffray's mission was supposedly to destroy the Highlanders for their betrayal of Sun-Tzu's grandfather, Liao seemed content to have deprived the Federated Commonwealth of them and accepted the Death Commando's defection to the Highlanders with nary a second thought.
Jaffray proved his loyalty to the Highlanders soon enough in a raid against Clan Smoke Jaguar. In the aftermath of this operation, Jaffray was put in command of the Northwind Hussars, a new unit formed specifically to counter Clan tactics. (Interestingly, the same concept had been proposed much earlier to the Highlanders by Jeremiah Rose, who was rebuffed due to the objections of his own father.)
The sudden, consecutive deaths of four Clan Elders forced the Highlanders to activate escape clauses in their contracts to return to Northwind, so they could participate in emergency elections. The Word of Blake seized the opportunity to blockade the system on 15 December, 3067, and keep all of the Highlanders regiments isolated on Northwind.
Northwind was liberated on the 8th of December 3077; allied coalition forces expected a battle, but instead found no Blakist presence in the system. The population of Northwind claimed to believe that the Word of Blake had an impenetrable blockade over the system; all of the local AeroSpace assets were missing, and the local satellite communications network had been destroyed. The planetary HPG had also been destroyed, but the Highlanders were otherwise intact after ten years of isolation.
The Highlanders later joined the Coalition forces as part of Operation SCOUR. Assigned to the Draconis Combine front, the Highlanders mopped up resistance on Dieron after the Ghost Bears tore through the defenders. Though many were unsure of their loyalty, the Highlanders joined the assault on Terra, assigned to take Sydney. The combat drop went awry and the Sydney force took serious losses. The Seventh and Twenty-Sixth Divisions fought the mercenaries for every centimeter of land.
Early Republic Era
By 3081 the Northwind Highlanders' programme to rebuild was well-advanced; the factories on Northwind assisted in bringing the strength of the Highlanders up quickly, and the Highlanders had already recruited enough replacements to man all of their equipment. The few Dispossessed within the Highlanders' ranks were used to teach within the Northwind Military Academy on the key subjects of combined arms warfare and what limited defences existed for protection against WMDs. The view among the Highlanders was that the nascent Republic Armed Forces may present a viable means to ensure that Northwind remained safe in the future, and it was widely anticipated that the Highlanders would join the Republic of the Sphere.
When the Northwind Highlanders officially joined the Republic's Armed Forces, through negotiations, the entire brigade would end up being absorbed and mixed in with new born regiments of the Republic, with the exception of the First Kearny. The First Kearny would be allow to soldier on as a continuing legacy of the Northwind Highlanders history. Four of the Regiments would fight in the Republic's first military action, Operation Golden Dawn, where they would fight the Free Worlds League and be later absorbed into the Republic Auxiliaries as they became too damaged function on their own. Elements of the Highlanders would be noted later becoming the Ninth and Tenth Hastati Sentinels. The First Kearny's rebuilding process would be hampered for years due actions taken during Operation Golden Dawn, where one of it's battalions would be used to rebuild the Third Republic Auxiliaries.
In the early years of the Republic, after the Brigade was reduced to the First Kearny, the regiment served as a garrison force defending the Northwind Military Academy. As time went on, the Highlander's last regiment would soon deploy offworld in a new role as a troubleshooting force for the Republic.
Black Out and Chaos
By 3132, the Highlander's leader, Countess Tara Campbell, Prefect of Prefecture III, had taken charge of the entire brigade. With the crash of the HPG Network, the Northwind Highlanders came to be perhaps one of the only Republic loyal military forces left to ward off rebellion and invasions, including Campbell's former mentor and predecessor Katana Tormark, leading her own splinter group for House Kurita. Campbell dispatched and dispersed the 1st Kearny across Prefecture III to quell rebellions and uprisings. To mitigate thinning of her lone regiment, Campbell put out a call to arms to loyal Republicans to aid her efforts fighting threats to the nation. In doing so, the Northwind Highlanders once again became a multi-regimental brigade and gained two additional regiments of troops, the Northwind Fusiliers and Republic Guards. The new brigade was made from memorial groups of the Northwind Highlanders past regiments and volunteers from across the Republic and beyond. Still, coverage ran thin trying to put off the Republic's troubles.
In 3133, over the course of nine months, elements of the Highlanders would face multiple invasions of Northwind by the Steel Wolves, which left Northwind with a considerable amount of damage. Despite this, Campbell redeployed the Northwind Highlanders to search for the Steel Wolves. By April, intelligence reports lead the regiment to Terra, where they would face off and repel the Clan force with the aid of the Tenth Principes Guards. In addition, the Highlanders sent a detachment of troops to Irian to oppose Bannson's Raiders on the world, but after two weeks of fighting they were ordered to leave.
Prefect Campbell became a media darling and turned down a position as Paladin after her successful defense of Terra. The Highlanders were used within the Republic as a sort of troubleshooting unit, constantly heading to hotspots. 3134 saw them garrisoning Addicks and Small World in addition to their home world .
Within two months of repelling the Steel Wolves, the Northwind Highlanders were called to Skye, where they would end up mounting defenses against Clan Jade Falcon's invasion of Prefecture IX, which would lead to the Highlanders beeing allied with the remaining Prefecture forces and splinter groups, including the Stormhammers and Steel Wolves. The Jade Falcons Expedition would ultimately succeed in taking Skye in the second battle.
Absorption of the Northwind Highlanders and their Legacy
The First Kearny was within Prefecture X, when the Fortress's Walls came down in October 3135. The RAF was ordered to organize its combat-units within Prefecture X, including the First Kearny, into other newly raised line regiments. This did not sit well with the people of Northwind, and to appease the population the newly formed Twelfth Hastatis Sentinels would be raised with a large percentage of soldiers who had ancestral links to the Highlander´s regiments. The newly formed regiment maintained a close relationship with the Northwind Military Academy, rotating officers as instructors to the school and exercising with cadets as part of their training.
Units of the Northwind Highlanders
These are the listings for all the regimental formations that have served or are currently serving Highlanders:
- 1st Kearny Highlanders
- 2nd Kearny Highlanders
- 3rd Kearny Highlanders - (destroyed in 2841)
- Northwind Fusiliers
- Northwind Hussars
- MacLeod's Regiment
- Marion's Highlanders
- McCormack's Fusiliers - (Renamed Sterling's Fusiliers)
- Republican Guards
- Stirling's Fusiliers
- Stuart's Highlanders - (destroyed in 2841)
- The current publishers state, that in many of the earlier publications based in the 3025 era, the Highlanders had apparently been serving House Liao for so long they were no longer considered mercenary, but closer to regular House troops. CCAF Regular army recruits and academy graduates were frequently assigned to Highlander regiments, including a young Wayne Waco. Actually, this is not correct, since several of the original Highlander regiments originated in the Capellan Confederation even before the Star League era. Marion's Highlanders originated from St. Ives Militia units, and McCormack's Fusiliers were bloodied in the defense of the Capellan planet Tikonov. The 1st Kearny Highlanders fought for House Liao during the First Andurien War. 
- The Northwind Highlanders appear in the MechWarrior IV: Mercenaries computer game as a possible sponsor. Units sponsored by the Highlanders gain additional C-Bills per mission completed.
- Field Manual: 3145 notes the First Kearny Highlander regiment being absorbed by the Republic Armed Forces behind the Republic wall. However, there is no mentions of the fates of the newly raised Northwind Fusiliers and Republic Guard regiments. Also, listed among the Armed Forces of the Republic Remnents, is a single Battalion listed simply as the "Highlander Battalion". It is not clear in the text of the Field Manual if this unit is related to the Northwind Highlanders.
- Northwind Highlanders, p. 6
- Northwind Highlanders
- Main Event
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 44, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 11, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Blake Ascending, p. 171, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 198
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58, "The Jihad in Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 69
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 96
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, pp. 104-105
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 120, "Northwind Highlanders"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 180, 183 Hastati Sentinels & Independent Units - 1st Kearny survival and fate of the other regiments of the Northwind highlanders.
- Era Digest: Dark Age, pp. 15-16 - Northwind Highlanders - Info on intermediate years before Dark Age.
- Era Digest: Dark Age, p. 8-9 "Brief information of the Highlanders and Tara Campbell's efforts to fight off Steel Wolves on Northwind and Terra.
- Turning Points: Irian, p. 8
- Truth and Shadows, p. 108
- Era Report: 3145, p. 15 Falcon's Descent "Brief details of the Highlanders efforts to defense Prefecture IX in the two battle for Skye."
- Era Digest: Dark Age, p. 8-9 brief information of the Northwind Highlanders efforts to defended against the Falcons with unlikely allies.
- Field Manual: 3145, pp. 135, 140 - Hastatis Sentinels "Fate of the First Kearny Highlanders and perhaps the entire brigade and RAF response to appease unhappiness with newly raised Twelfth Hastatis Sentinels.".
- Mercenary's Handbook, p. 86
- Succession Wars
- House Liao: The Capellan Conferation, p. 81 - 83
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 145 Republic Remnents - Highlanders Battalion "Unit listed by Highlanders Battalion, not clear if these are related to the Northwind Highlanders."
- 20 Year Update
- Blake Ascending
- Era Digest: Dark Age
- Era Report: 3145
- Field Manual: Update
- Field Manual: 3085
- Field Manual: 3145
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Main Event (Novel)
- Mercenaries Supplemental
- Mercenary's Handbook
- Mercenary's Handbook 3055
- Northwind Highlanders - Tara Bishop's Dossier
- Northwind Highlanders
- Succession Wars
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade
- Turning Points: Irian
- Truth and Shadows (Novel)