|Died||30 March 3060|
|Affiliation||Eridani Light Horse|
|Parents||Charles Winston (father)|
Brevet General Ariana Winston was a member of the Eridani Light Horse, one of the most famous mercenary units in the Inner Sphere. Born into and raised by the Horsemen, Ariana quickly rose through the ranks to become the commanding officer first of the 21st Striker Regiment and then the entire brigade in 3045. She was chosen by Marshal Morgan Hasek-Davion to be the second-in-command of Task Force Serpent, a clandestine operation to capture and raze the Clan Smoke Jaguar homeworld of Huntress. When he was assassinated en route, General Winston became overall commander of the Task Force and oversaw the successful invasion and fought alongside her troops as the Smoke Jaguars launched a desperate counterinvasion. She died on Huntress leading from the cockpit of her Cyclops, just minutes before a message was received that relief forces under the command of Victor Steiner-Davion had arrived. As per Light Horse tradition, she was buried on Huntress along with those Horsemen who had also fallen during the course of the battle.
Ariana Winson was the daughter of Colonel Charles Winston, the commander of the 21st Striker Regiment. Absorbed in the history and traditions of the Eridani Light Horse, Ariana chose to follow in her father's footsteps and enlist in the Light Horse on her nineteen birthday, though Colonel Winston made sure that she would not receive any special treatment. Though struggling through basic training on account of her poor study habits, Ariana's sheer willpower eventually earned her a place at the top of her class. After she graduated, Ariana was assigned to a strike lance in her father's unit and quickly began to advance through the ranks.
War of 3039
During the War of 3039, Major Ariana Winston was commander of the 21st Striker's 7th Striker Battalion when the 21st and 71st Light Horse Regiment were assigned to capture Fellanin II in April. In the battle against the elite 4th Proserpina Hussars, Major Winston conducting a long flanking march to seize key bridges across Alba and Ithos rivers, cutting off DCMS forces defending the city of Gomand. When they attempted to escape from their position, the 7th Striker inflicted heavy losses on the Kuritan forces, but were eventually forced to retreat when Hussar 'Mechs with jump jets crossed the river and flanked their position.
In 3045, she assumed command of the Eridani Light Horse following the retirement of William Erik Peterson. When the Clan Invasion began five years later, General Winston and the Light Horse were defending the Sarna March from Capellan aggression and did not take part in the early battles. However, the eventual discovery that the Clans were actually the descendants of the original Star League Defense Force was an especially traumatic revelation to the Light Horse; the secret hope that one day the SLDF would return had now become the Inner Sphere's nightmare. With morale at an all-time low, General Winston requested that the Light Horse not be made to fight the invaders until their internal issues could be worked out, a request that was granted by the Federated Commonwealth High Command. When she informed High Command that the Light Horse were ready again in late 3052, the Horsemen were deployed to Kikuyu Command area of the Tamar March to defend against Clan Jade Falcon. When the Jade Falcons launched their first incursion in 3058, General Winston led the Light Horse forces assembled to defeat them at Coventry.
Task Force Serpent
Battle of Huntress
Personality and Traits
Ariana was known for her talented leadership skills and battlefield knowledge, as well as for her determination and adherence to the high moral codes of the Eridani Light Horse. She was never willing to send her troops into a situation where she herself would not go. Ariana also had a close relationship with her father. Possessing a tall, well-muscled athletic build, Ariana shared a strong resemblance to Charles Winston, with the exception of her darker shade of mahogany skin.
Marriage and Family
Besides her father, Ariana's mother was a physician in one of the Light Horse's MASH units. Ariana had one sibling, a sister, who would become a historian.
General Winston piloted a CP-11-A Cyclops modified with a Cockpit Command Console. Warrant Officer Ian "Kip" Douglass would act as her communications officer.
The MechWarrior Online game features Winson's personal Cyclops as one of its Hero 'Mechs and suggests it was named Sleipnir, giving its alphanumerical designation as CP-S and describing its custom configuration.
|“||...I must remind you that we are an army, and the purpose of an army is to kill people and break things. If we kill enough of the enemy's people, and break enough of his things, we just might be able to convince him that we'll kill and break whatever he has left if he ever bothers us again.||”|
|— General Ariana Winston|
- Field Manual: ComStar
- Historical: War of 3039
- The Hunters (novel)
- Shadows of War (novel)
- Sword and Fire (novel)
- Twilight of the Clans (scenario pack)