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A Social General is an officer of the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces who is more concerned with political and social skills than military skills. The title "Social General" was created by the Lyran Commonwealth shortly after the nation formed as a strictly honorary title to identify powerful and influential people who held no other official title but still possessed a great deal of power or influence. Prior to the title's introduction, there were a massive number of unintentional insults and social gaffes as people from distant regions first met each other.
After receiving the title, the Social Generals received the right to pass the title down to their children. They also demanded that they be allowed to wear uniforms and ceremonial regalia of real soldiers. At the same time they started to meet with actual serving members of the military. This encounter encouraged LCAF officers to take an interest in high culture and participate in high society. The Social Generals occupied their time designing overly elaborate uniforms or parades, while professional officers were forced to compete in the arena of high society just to insure they could hold their positions. This resulted in an officer corps that was more interested in rewarding friends and handing out empty promotions instead of fighting. Many good officers who were passed over for promotion or sick of the constant gamesmanship left the LCAF and started their own mercenary commands. Frequently they would take their best soldiers with them, resulting in more problems for the LCAF. The influence of the Social Generals resulted in several elite formations being reduced to formation marching duties for special occasions.
Eventually the Social General title was abolished by the Lyran Commonwealth in the twenty-ninth century, but the term remained part of the LCAF's lexicon. It came to mean an officer who held their position due to political acumen or holding an honorary military title who thought they could command troops in battle. The term was later introduced to the AFFS during the 3024 Alliance Games on New Earth. There several LCAF and AFFS units engaged in wargames, and the LCAF was humiliated.
The influence of the AFFS built on the reforms started by Katrina Steiner to reduce the number of Social Generals in the LCAF during the Federated Commonwealth alliance. Between the Fourth Succession War and the Clan Invasion the LCAF had fewer Social Generals than any other time in its history. After the formation of the Lyran Alliance however, the Social General returned in force. Thomas Hogarth is one of these latter-day Social Generals.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 19
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 14
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 109
- Handbook House Steiner, p. 57
- Handbook House Steiner, p. 45
- Handbook House Steiner, p. 105
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 92