- This article is about the profession. For other meanings, see MechWarrior (disambiguation).
With the creation of the first BattleMech in the twenty-fifth century the face of battle in the Inner Sphere changed. In the centuries that followed these awesome machines and the men and women that piloted them came to be viewed as the modern incarnation of the Knight-Errant. These masters of the modern battlefield were given honors, and some were even raised to the nobility on the merit of their accomplishments. Over time a social class of MechWarriors formed and a series of traditions became established. During the long years of the Succession Wars, as the Great Houses battled each other for control of the Inner Sphere, many MechWarriors owned their own BattleMechs and a tradition of passing the 'Mech and their responsibilities from one generation to the next within a family line started. These 'Mechs became a treasured resource for those lucky enough to have them and were coveted and repaired again and again over the centuries.
This changed with the end of the Fourth Succession War. With the discovery, development and rapid adoption of many new and old technologies, the ancient 'Mechs that had held the field for so many years became hopelessly outclassed by newer generations of BattleMechs leaving factory lines throughout the Inner Sphere. The average independent MechWarrior could not keep up with the House-sponsored armies in keeping their systems and components up to date and soon fell hopelessly behind. With the coming of the Clans this became even more evident. The change in culture has had grave consequences for the private ownership of BattleMechs. Most of the newer Inner Sphere produced 'Mechs are owned by the various House Militaries, while amongst the Clans all property is owned by the Clan itself and a Clan MechWarrior never owns his own equipment.
- Classic BattleTech Universe, p. 45