Star League Defense Force Royal Divisions
The Star League Defense Force Royal Divisions were the elite of the original Star League Defense Force. When the SLDF was founded, it was decided that while the soldiers would come from throughout all the six member states of the Star League, troops from the Terran Hegemony would form the central core of the new defense force.
When the SLDF was divided into six separate regions, General Shandra Noruff-Cameron, wife of First Lord Ian Cameron, decided that the core of each region's forces would be divisions from the Hegemony Armed Forces. Every member of the Royal units had to be a native to a world of the Hegemony. In addition to the Royal Divisions, Royal Regiments and Battalions would be dispersed throughout the rest of the regular army. This also included Royal units among those elements of the SDLF Marines permanently or otherwise attached to the regular army, one example being the 8th Royal CAAN Marine Regiment, another the marine elements of the Royal Black Watch Regiment. There were also Royal units among those marine forces under the direct operational as well as administrative control of the SLDF Marine Corps, including a number of independently operating (as were the bulk of the 'standard' CAAN Regiments) Royal CAAN Regiments.
Officers of the Royal Guards wore ceremonial swords.
Generally the Royal Divisions were given the newest weapon technologies first, the rest of the SLDF second, and only then to the armies of the member states. During the military buildup under First Lord Jonathan Cameron this policy was reemphasized.
The Royal Divisions included exclusive variations of many BattleMech designs as well as tanks (e.g. the SLDF Royal variant of the Fury command tank) and aerospace fighters. These variants used the latest Star League technology, giving the Royal Divisions an undeniable edge in combat. Most notable among these variants was the exclusive Atlas II, released just prior to the Periphery Uprising, which led to the Amaris Civil War. The Royal Divisions were also intended to receive the Nighthawk Mk. XXII PA(L), but this was frustrated by the civil war and the eventual fall of the Star League.
- Also see: Category:SLDF Royal BattleMechs, Category:SLDF Royal Combat Vehicles, and Category:SLDF Royal Aerospace Fighter classes
Alternate command structure
The Royal Command was one of the SLDF's most important Military Departments. Formerly the High Command of the Hegemony Armed Forces, the Royal Command had two roles. The first was overseeing any issues or conflicts regarding Royal units within the army. The second, and less well-known role, was to act as a "shadow" High Command, issuing secret orders for Royal units to carry out.
The Amaris Civil War
The Royal troops of the SLDF were emotionally the hardest hit by Stefan Amaris' coup, knowing their families were now living under the aegis of a tyrannical despot and murderer. The Amaris Civil War would devastate the worlds of the Terran Hegemony during ten long years of fighting, with General Aleksandr Kerensky's forces emerging triumphant despite suffering heavy casualties.
- SLDF Advanced Combat and Maneuvering Skills Project (AKA the Gunslinger Program)
- 328th Royal BattleMech Division
- Striker (BattleMech) - Early SLDF assault BattleMech reserved for non-Royal SLDF units
- Talon (BattleMech) - At least prior to the Amaris-Kerensky Civil War the TLN-5W was reserved for Royal units only, as was initially the wartime TLN-5V
- Snub-Nose PPC
- Headhunter Missile
Examples of SLDF Royal Division-exclusive BattleMech designs/variants:
- Marauder MAD-1R & MAD-2R fire support and frontline attack heavy BattleMech
- Warhammer WHM-7A heavy BattleMech
- Galahad GLH-2D heavy fire support BattleMech
- Royal Griffin GRF-2N long range fire support medium BattleMech
- STN-3Lb Sentinel infantry support and installation defense medium BattleMech
- MON-66b Mongoose light command BattleMech
- Thorn THE-Nb light BattleMech
- STG-3Gb Royal Stinger recon BattleMech
- Wyvern WVE-5Nb military police/gendarmerie and urban combat medium BattleMech
- Exterminator EXT-4Db infiltration BattleMech (heavy)
- Spector RPS-4F infiltration BattleMech (light)
- Shootist ST-8A heavy command / close-assault BattleMech
- BattleMaster BLR-1C & BLR-1Gb heavy command BattleMechs
- Black Knight BL-6b-KNT command and heavy assault BattleMech
- King Crab KGC-000b heavy assault BattleMech
- Emperor EMP-6A assault BattleMech
- Excalibur EXC-B2b long range engagement BattleMech
- Note: While it is likely that the relatively few examples of the GOL-1H Goliath assault BattleMech procured by the SLDF were issued solely to the heavy assault BattleMech regiments of the Royal Divisions, this has not been confirmed.
Examples of SLDF Royal Division-exclusive combat vehicles designs/variants (including VTOLs):
- Cyrano (Royal variant) attack/reconnaissance heavy VTOL
- Ripper (Royal variant) quick response troop transport VTOL
- Nightshade (Royal variant) reconnaissance/electronic warfare light VTOL
- Von Luckner (Royal variant) heavy tank [Note: the Royal Divisions also used the standard version as well]
- Burke (Royal variant) heavy fire support/garrison tank
- Rhino (Royal variant) heavy fire support vehicle
- Zephyr (Royal variant) medium hovertank
- Demon (Royal variant) wheeled armored fighting vehicle
- Lightning (Royal variant) reconnaissance hovercraft
- Note: It has not been confirmed whether or not the "fusion" version of the Maultier hover APC is actually a Royal variant.
- The Star League, p. 41: "Organizing the Military"
- The Star League, p. 140: "First"
- Field Manual: SLDF, p. 39
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 82: "The Marines of Carver V"
- Field Manual: SLDF
- The Star League, pp. 140–158
- The Star League, p. 110
- The Star League, p. 61
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 184
- The Star League, pp. 129–130
- The Star League, p. 85
- The Star League, p. 93
- Field Manual: SLDF, p. 14
- Field Manual: SLDF, p. 241
- Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged (Clan & Star League), p. 232