The Com Guards, formally referred to as the ComStar Guards and Militia, is the military arm of ComStar. Kept hidden by the supposedly politically neutral organization until after the Fourth Succession War, the Guards are a force on par with the militaries of the Successor States. Originally serving as garrison troops for ComStar's HPG compounds, they have shifted towards a role as defenders of the Inner Sphere, most famously their victory against the Clans in the Battle of Tukayyid. The Guards suffered heavy losses combating the Word of Blake during their fanatical former brothers' Jihad and publicly disbanded after that conflict.
Origins and HistoryEdit
The Com Guards were founded in the wake of the collapse of the Star League by Jerome Blake, who created them as a source of order for the Inner Sphere should the Successor States attempt to attack Terra or any HPG stations across the Sphere. The Com Guards were kept hidden by Blake and his successors far from the prying eyes of the Successor State militaries, and, due to this, escaped much of the technological downgrades that said militaries suffered over the course of four Succession Wars.
ComStar Guards and MilitiaEdit
Settling with five regiments worth of full-time troops as part of a compromise with liberal elements on the First Circuit, Hollings York placed the new ComStar Guards and Militia under the shared control of the Primus and First Circuit. Building his military around the core of the now disbanded Bandersnatches and outfitted from ComStar's SLDF stockpiles, York tapped the vast resources of ROM to fund its creation as well as convincing the First Circuit to approve millions of C-Bills to transform the Sandhurst Royal Military College from a ROM training school back into a full military academy again. Upon publicly announcing the formation of the branch to the stunned House Lords, York took great pains to convince them the ComStar Guards would be a light infantry force trained only for defensive purposes and stationed strictly on Terra.  In truth York set in motion the creation of the most powerful military since the collapse of the Star League, featuring extensive BattleMech, Combat Vehicle and AeroSpace Fighter support bolstered by the construction and refurbishment of WarShips, by that point extinct in all Successor State navies. 
However the large volume of funding required for York's dream drew heavy criticism from both members on the First Circuit such as Adrienne Sims and ROM, whose overall funding was reduced to pay for the Guards expansion. While York would attempt to soothe tensions with Sims by naming her his successor as Primus, he increasingly antagonized the Order's intelligence agency, ultimately proposing in the spring of 2947 to formally disband ROM to a full gathering of all Precentors on Terra, with its intelligence-gathering and security role to be re-assigned to the ComStar Guards.  
The ComStar Guards and Militia would lose its patron two months after this history-making speech when Hollings York was assassinated at the corner-stone-laying ceremony for the refurbished Sandhurst Royal Military College.  One of the most strident critics of both York and the Guards and Militia, his successor Adrienne Sims reversed plans to disband ROM, restoring its funding and transforming his ComStar Guards and Militia into a mere division of the Order's intelligence agency as she focused on her own pet project, the Explorer Corps. 
The fortunes of the ComStar Guards and Militia would improve under Sim's successor Yin Takami with the successful completion of their first combat action in 2979 during the so-called Tripitz Affair. After ROM learned that the Taurian Concordat had discovered an ancient Black Lion-class battlecruiser, the SLS Tripitz, in orbit around New Vandenburg, Primus Takami ordered the 1st Division to destroy the ship before the Taurian Concordat could recover it. Takami ordering them to paint their equipment stark white to prevent any link to the Order, despite their lack of practical combat experience, the 1st's advanced Star League-era equipment allowed them to defeat the Taurian forces in under an hour with only three deaths, before obliterating the WarShip.  
Despite reservations in the First Circuit that an offensive response was against the neutrality professed by Jerome Blake, Takami countered that as long as the identity of ComStar's forces had been not discovered he had not breached the divine will of Blake. The 1st's success earned them new respect from the Order and Primus Takami specifically, who authorized an expansion of the Militia's 'Mech element based on their actions. Takami's order to paint ComStar Guard fighters white would later become the standard parade scheme for ComStar's military after their public unveiling.  
The ComStar Guards and Militia's next combat action in 3004, though ultimately successful, was very nearly a disaster. When ComStar's Jolly Roger plan to provide material support to pirate bands to inflame the fighting along the Periphery borders of the Draconis Combine and Lyran Commonwealth went sour after the pirates struck out on their own, then Primus Allen Rusenstein dispatched the 1st Division CO to negotiate with the renegades to bring them back into line, only to make matters worse.  
After the enraged pirates struck the ComStar HPG compounds on Lost and Canal, Primus Rusenstein ordered the 1st Division to wipe out "Black" Jack McGirk's forces. Tracking the pirates to the unmapped world of Trisha eight jumps into the Periphery, the 1st fought against McGirk's band for the better part of three days. While the 1st successfully completed their mission, the greater combat experience of the pirates gave them a 2.3 to 1 kill ratio against the numerically superior but still relatively untested ComStar forces.  
Myndo Waterly and the Com GuardsEdit
Anastasius Focht and Expansion YearsEdit
Selected by Waterly to replace Nicholas Cassnew, Focht was named Precentor ROM primarily to command the Com Guards, focusing the bulk of his attention on making a number of organization changes to the Guards as he began to take over from the mercenary commanders formerly directing the Com Guard deployment. Focht's service as head of ROM proved relatively smooth until First Prince Hanse Davion launched Operation Flush, a mass purge of ROM elements in the Federated Commonwealth in 3034. Displeased with Focht's "soft-handed" response to Flush, Waterly proposed the Readjustment Act of 3035 which saw ROM and the Com Guards separated, naming the aggressive Charles Seneca as the new Precentor ROM and creating the position of Precentor Martial for Focht, placing him purely in direct command of the Com Guards.   
Precentor Martial Focht was kept busy as Primus Waterly set about adopting a carrot and stick approach to get the other Successor States to agree to accept Com Guard forces within their borders. Thanks to Thomas Marik's previous service in the order and the offer of ROM aid in the capture of Dame Catherine Humpherys, the new Captain-General readily agreed to allow Focht to post troops at the Free Worlds League's HPG stations. The Capellan Confederation and the Lyran Commonwealth were much harder, but a 3038 agreement to waive a threatened 25 percent increase in transmission costs for Capellan HPG traffic and a unsanctioned "terrorist" action by the Free Skye movement, in return for Waterly's secret offer of favored-user status to the group, in 3041 finally forced their hands. 
It was during the 3040's that Focht would instigate sweeping changes to the deployment and organization of the Com Guards, assigning the component elements of each battalion, division and army to positions that would allow them rapidly reform into their larger functional units as required and further enhance their mix of infantry, Combat Vehicles and AeroSpace Fighters. Cementing the combined arms focus of his troops via extensive training for any contingency both at Sandhurst Royal Military College and frequent training drills, Focht would tour the worlds upon which the Com Guards were stationed for two months every year.
With the Guards now posted across the length and breadth of the Inner Sphere, Focht expanded on efforts to promote the Com Guards' neutral and pacifistic stance by deploying his troops to assist with relief efforts for natural disasters, hostage rescues, political unrest and search and rescue operations. The most notable of these was Focht's deployments of the Com Guards to defend Periphery border worlds against pirate raiders, a propaganda boon and recruitment tool for the Order, with the public unaware that many were bandits who'd received a measure of support from ComStar during the Jolly Roger Affair. 
Battle of TukayyidEdit
The presence of the Com Guards was revealed to the Inner Sphere during the Clan Invasion, when the then-Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht struck a deal with the Clans to fight his Com Guards on the planet of Tukayyid for control of the Inner Sphere. The Com Guards won, and bound the Clans to a 15-year truce. In the aftermath of the battle of Tukayyid, the Com Guards were deployed extensively throughout the remnants of the Free Rasalhague Republic as a safeguard should the Clans break their truce.
Under the leadership of Precentor Martial Victor Steiner-Davion, the Com Guards began to take a much more active role across the Inner Sphere. Com Guard units were deployed on trouble worlds and throughout the St. Ives Compact during the latter's war with the Capellan Confederation, alongside other Star League peacekeepers, including the Eridani Light Horse. At least one Com Guard unit served in Prince Victor's armies during the FedCom Civil War, while others fought against him.
During the Word of Blake Jihad the Com Guards took heavy casualties from almost the opening salvos of the conflict. Casualties became heavy enough that Precentor Martial Victor Steiner-Davion instituted an Inner Sphere-wide recruitment program, but despite the recruitment efforts the losses due to retirement and combat were so high that it wasn't until May 3075 that recruitment outstripped casualties and natural wastage for the first time.
After the end of the Jihad, ComStar was forced to divest itself of the Com Guards. The many soldiers who were Com Guards either retired or in many cases went on to join the armed forces of The Republic of the Sphere. Several higher ranking officers went on to serve as instructors at various military academies.
Technology of the Com GuardsEdit
Thanks to the large volume of Star League Defense Force hardware carefully and meticulously stockpiled, lack of military adventurism and ROM's efforts to cripple the Great House's overall level of technology, the Com Guards maintained the most technically advanced military in the Inner Sphere prior to the arrival of the Clans. The Com Guards have many vintage Star League-era 'Mechs not normally found in the armies of the Successor States, due to massive Terran stockpiles left behind by the Star League Defense Force. The Com Guards also were the only Inner Sphere entity to maintain a fleet of WarShips up until the recovery of the Helm Memory Core, as the respective Successor State navies had destroyed theirs in the Second Succession War.
Because the Com Guards use mainly Star League-era 'Mechs, they had access to much lostech that the rest of the Inner Sphere had forgotten. This served the Guards well during the Tukayyid battles, as their more advanced weapons proved to work better against the Clanners.
Recovering from terrible material losses suffered on Tukayyid drained the Order's stockpiles dry, however Jerome Blake had ordered ComStar to rebuild and mothball numerous military factories in the Terran system for just such an occurrence. The secular order set about reactivating them, both to manufacture existing Star League era designs but also new ones like the Grim Reaper, Nexus and Raijin BattleMechs and the Suffren-class destroyer, but these efforts had only really begun when Terra fell to the Blakists, who proceeded to reap the bulk of the benefits.
Cut off from Terran production, the Com Guards reached out to Great House manufacturers in realms with which it maintained good relations such as the Davion Federated Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine even as they bolstered expanded factories within the Free Rasalhague Republic for the use of the Guards and KungsArmé, purchasing both classic Star League designs and modern Successor State Battle and OmniMechs, as well as co-developing new designs such as the Beowulf, Helios, Tessen and Viking BattleMechs, Huscarl OmniFighter and Kobold Battle Armor. Unfortunately just when the Guards needed them the most as losses from the Jihad mounted, the conclusion of the alliance between the Ghost Bears and the Republic denied them access to these new factories and the Great Houses' own need to rebuild their equally shattered forces restricted sales to the Order. By the last years of the Jihad, while still funding co-production agreements that resulted in designs like the Mongoose II 'Mech, the Com Guards relied heavily on Succession War style battlefield salvage just to remain combat viable.
The Com Guards use a ranking system roughly similar to the civilian branch of ComStar, with Acolytes equivalent to enlisted ranks, Adepts equivalent to junior officers, Demi-Precentors and Precentors the senior officers, with the sole exception being the rank of Precentor Martial. Created by Primus Waterly with the reorganization and public unveiling of the Com Guards, the Precentor Martial is the overall commander of ComStar military forces.
Like the civilian ComStar, seniority is indicated by a Roman numeral equal to one year at that rank, with the lowest being I, their first year at current rank and the highest XXV, or twenty-five years at current rank, while the branch is designated by a Greek letter. After an individual has attained a seniority level of XXV they are automatically promoted to the next rank and their seniority level reset back to I. The Com Guard/ROM maintain the following unique branch designations:
|Greek Letter||Branch Designation|
|Ground Armor Crew/Pilot|
|Rank||Com Guards Insignia||Word of Blake Militia Insignia|
ComStar Acolytes use a ComStar logo with a gray halo to show their rank.
Word of Blake Acolytes use a brass medallion.
ComStar Adepts use a ComStar logo with a blue halo to show their rank.
Word of Blake Adepts use a silver medallion.
Formalized by Comstar as a rank after the Schism, ComStar's Demi-Precentor features the ComStar logo with a blue-yellow-red halo to show their rank "midway" position between Adepts and Precentors.
While the Word of Blake still uses the Demi-Precentors in its original "unofficial" form, they use a gold medallion with their branch insignia in silver to show their "midway" position between Adepts and Precentors.
ComStar Precentors use a ComStar logo with a red halo to show their rank.
Word of Blake Precentors use a gold medallion.
Due to the hidden nature of the Guards for most of their existence and their peace-keeper role in public life, the Com Guards had little need for awards to commemorate battles. This has changed since the Battle of Tukayyid, with an increasing number of decorations and medals coming into use.
Tukayyid Campaign Ribbon: Every member of the Com Guards who fought in the Battle of Tukayyid is entitled to wear a two-centimeter campaign ribbon indicating which Clan they faced. A number of divisions faced multiple Clans and thus a few warriors wear multiple ribbons. Those colors are:
- Smoke Jaguar: Gray
- Nova Cat: Midnight Blue
- Ghost Bear: Sky blue with white horizontal stripe
- Wolf: Scarlet
- Diamond Shark: White
- Jade Falcon: Green
A black star on the ribbon indicates the wearer defeated a Clan BattleMech or fighter, while a silver star shows that the wearer was injured during the battle. Many veterans wear multiple stars.
Star League Awards: Awarded to Com Guard troops who have served as part of the modern SLDF, take the form of two centimeter silver Cameron Star hung from variously colored campaign ribbons. Like the Tukayyid Campaign Ribbons, each action has a unique color:
- Operation Bulldog: White, with silver bars baring the name of each planet fought on.
- Task Force Serpent: Blood Red, with silver bar listing the name of each battle fought.
- Great Refusal: Black bar added to either the Bulldog or Serpent ribbons.
- Chaos March/St. Ives Compact: Two-tone Green.
Precentor's Sword: Considered a medal of honor in the Com Guards, this dagger shaped pin is personally awarded by the Primus or Precentor Martial.
The Focht Star of Honor: A silver, twelve pointed star mounted on a red and white ribbon, the Star of Honor is awarded for acts of extreme valor. The award automatically grants the receiver a promotion to the next rank in ComStar, or five years seniority if the receiver is already a Precentor.
Sinclair Wings: An award specifically for AeroSpace pilots who have demonstrated bravery above and beyond the call of duty, the Sinclair Wings commemorates Adept Charles Sinclair valiant sacrifice in battle on Tukayyid.
Structure and CompositionEdit
Unlike Successor States' 4-unit and Clan 5-unit groupings, the Com Guards base their forces on multiples of six. The Com Guard's equivalent of a Lance or Star is a Level II, made up of six Level I units. In many cases a Level II is made up of all one unit type, though given the Guards use of combined arms tactics it can also frequently consist of mixed unit types. Six Level IIs make up a Level III, which is usually referred to as a Battalion, almost always a combined-arms formation and usually the largest formation to operate together on a regular basis. A Level IV, made of up of six Level III units, is called a Division and equivalent to two Regiments. Forming the backbone of the administrative network they are the largest permanent formations in the Com Guards. A Level V formation, known as an Army, consists of six Level IV formations. Outside of such rare instances as the Battle of Tukayyid, Level Vs are primarily administrative groupings.
|Acolyte/Adept||Level I|| 1 'Mech or armored vehicle or aerospace fighter, |
or single infantry unit (28 standard or 4 Battle Armor).
|Adept||Level II||Six Level I units, often referred to as a Demi-Company.|
|Adept/Demi-Precentor||Level III||Six Level II units, 36 elements, referred to as a Battalion.|
|Precentor||Level IV||Six Level III units, 216 elements, alternately referred to as a Division.|
|Level V||Six Level IV units, between 846-1,296 elements, alternately referred to as an Army.|
Units of the Com GuardEdit
The basic ComStar military unit is the Division or Level IV, roughly parallel to two SLDF-era regiments or a single Regimental Combat Team (RCT). Normally each Division is assigned to an Army or Level V. Upon their formation the Com Guards were arranged in thirteen armies, twelve assigned throughout the Successor States and with the thirteenth serving as the Terran Defense Force. Prior to the ComStar Schism each Army was assigned an "hour" on the Inner Sphere Clock, but the ejection of ComStar from the Free Worlds League and Guards changed focus on the Clans led to larger volumes being assigned "north" of Terra. Continuing losses after the FedCom Civil War, Case White and the early years in the Jihad led Guards to reorganize and reduce the twelve armies down to six, one of each of the five Great Houses and sixth for the Periphery and minor states. Upon the Guard's public unveiling each Army consisted of six Divisions, the heavy losses of Tukayyid and the Schism led to this number has been reduced to four, expanding back to six after the reduction in the total number of armies.
While the Division is the most commonly encountered field unit, unlike a Successor State regiment due to the Com Guards role in defending the numerous ComStar HPG compounds throughout the Inner Sphere, they are commonly split into Level III, II, or I groups depending on the importance or level of risk attack of the worlds within their assigned Theater.
1st Army – Level V-Kappa (The Bear Maulers)Edit
2nd Army – Level V-Mu (The Iron Warriors)Edit
Assigned to the Fomalhaut Theater, from 2 to 3 on the Inner Sphere Clock, elements of the Com Guards 2nd Army faced all the Clans save the Ghost Bears during the Battle of Tukayyid, adopting the name of The Iron Warriors.
3rd Army – Level V-Lambda (The Emerald Falconeers)Edit
Assigned to the Caph Theater, from 3 to 4 on the Inner Sphere Clock, the ComGuard 3rd Armys performance against Clan Jade Falcon during the Battle of Tukayyid was only enhanced by its participation in Operations Bulldog and Serpent, leading it to adopt the nickname The Emerald Falconeers.
4th Army – Level V-Iota (The Defenders of Honor)Edit
Assigned to the Bryant Theater, from 4 to 5 on the Inner Sphere Clock, the Com Guard 4th Army served as a reserve force during the Battle of Tukayyid facing multiple Clans, and as the primary SLDF peacekeeping force in St. Ives Compact, being known as The Defenders of Honor.
5th Army – Level V-Omicron (The Mountaineers)Edit
Assigned to the New Home Theater, from 5 to 6 on the Inner Sphere Clock, the ComStar 5th Army faced multiple Clans during the Battle of Tukayyid and extensive action in the Chaos March, being known as The Mountaineers.
6th Army – Level V-Kappa (Grim Defiance)Edit
Nominally assigned to the Procyon Theater, 6 to 7 on Inner Sphere Clock, after the collapse of the Sarna March the ComGuard 6th Army were assigned to the Draconis Combine theaters, calling themselves Grim Defiance.
7th Army – Level V-Iota (The Dark Wave)Edit
8th Army – Level V-Pi (Stern Defiance)Edit
Assigned to the Castor Theater, 7 to 8 on the Inner Sphere Clock, the ComGuard 8th Army is located on the border of Lyran and Marik space, making it a prime target for Blakist terrorist attacks, being known as Stern Defense.
9th Army – Level V-Lambda (The Rag Tags)Edit
Assigned to the New Earth Theater, from 9 to 10 on the Inner Sphere Clock, the ComGuard 9th Army faced multiple Clans during the Battle of Tukayyid before being disbanded to reinforce other armies during the Word of Blake Jihad.
10th Army – Level V-Nu (The Red Legion)Edit
Assigned to the Rigil Kentarus Theater, 10 to 11 on the Inner Sphere Clock, the ComGuard 10th Army took a battering against Clan Wolf during the Battle of Tukayyid before serving along side Clan Wolf-in-Exile in the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon, calling themselves The Red Legion.
11th Army – Level V-Eta (The Honorable)Edit
12th Army – Level V-Beta (The Broadsword and Shield)Edit
Assigned to the Tukayyid Theater, the renamed pre-Clan Invasion Asta theater or 12 to 1 on the Inner Sphere Clock, after the Battle of Tukayyid, the elite ComGuard Twelfth Army was stationed in the remains of the Free Rasalhague Republic, placing them in the direct path between a renewed Clan offensive.
Terran Defense Force – Level V-BetaEdit
Due to their retention of Star League era technology and relative lack of military adventurism in the Succession Wars, prior to the Jihad ComStar boasted the largest active WarShip fleet in Inner Sphere. Consisting of a mixture of both SLDF ships left behind by the Exodus Fleet and limited construction of new designs during the Com Guard's foundation, these ships are primarily divided into the two fleets, the Com Guard 1st and 2nd Fleets are stationed in the uninhabited Luyten 68-28 and Ross 248 systems. The bulk of Comstar's WarShip fleet was destroyed during the disastrous Case White assault on Blakist Terra.
When Terra fell to ComStar, so did control of the SLDF's so-called "War Triad" of Sandhurst, the War Academy of Mars and the Military Academy of Aphros. All save the prestigious Sandhurst were mothballed, until the Word of Blake's capture of the Sol system, which also forced the Com Guards to expand their training grounds on Tukayyid to become the Focht War College.
Sandhurst Royal Military CollegeEdit
Located in Berkshire, England on Terra, the Sandhurst Royal Military College is one of the longest continually active military academies in human history. After Michael Cameron graduated from the college, Sandhurst became to be considered the best and most prestigious military academy in the Terran Hegemony and later the Star League. After ComStar took control of Terra in 2788, the academy was converted to serve as a training facility for ROM, until the formation of the Com Guards which saw its revitalization and expansion back to a full military academy in 2933. Sandhurst served as the primary training facility and headquarters for ComStar's military forces, with the bulk of both the secular Com Guard and Word of Blake Militia receiving their training here.
War Academy of MarsEdit
Focht War CollegeEdit
Even before the loss of Terra, the Com Guards long sought to expand and formalize the ad-hoc training fields on Tukayyid created after the climatic battle into a true military academy, but even being denied access to Terran facilities it took the new SLDF to co-finance the Focht War College and the Eridani Light Horse's training personnel to make it a reality. Opened in October 3060, the first class graduating in 3062.
- ComStar (sourcebook), p. 42 "Age of Enlightenment"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 12 "The New Dawn"
- ComStar (sourcebook), p. 43 "Age of Enlightenment"
- ComStar (sourcebook), p. 44 "Calm before the Storm"
- ComStar, p. 46 "The Tripitz Affair"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 13 "The Com Guards - Bait and Switch"
- ComStar, p. 49 "The Jolly Roger Affair"
- ComStar, p. 60 "Rosebud"
- ComStar, pp. 61-62 "Flush"
- Historical: War of 3039, p.66 "Shadow Wars - The ROM War"
- ComStar, pp. 62-63 "Spread of the Com Guards"
- ComStar, p. 64 "War of 3039 - Aftermath"
- 20 Year Update, p. 70
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 33, "New Com Guard Recruitment Drive A Success"
- Field Manual: 3085, pp. 32, 166, 176
- Field Manual: 3085, pp. 172-173
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 10
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 8
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 98-99
- Field Manual: ComStar, pp. 20-21, "1st Army (ComStar) Profile"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 30, "6th Army (ComStar) Profile"