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Mars Boys Militia: Maintaining a Culture of Civil Defence | Red Eden Codex

ME2007VigilDec 30, 2018, 4:59:38 PM

Political dissidents, refugees, and rebels on-the-run made up the bulk of the early Martian pioneers who fled from Earth. Following the Exodus, the tyrannical Eden Directorate imposed an embargo on Mars and subsequently ordered the destruction of the Martian space-fleet, a tactic meant to starve the young colony into submission. Unbeknownst to the Directorate, the Martian colony had already achieved self-sufficiency and had access to all the resources it needed via its vast underground network of tunnels.

During the decade-long embargo, the Martian pioneers lived in constant fear of an imminent land invasion, a fear further compounded by the constant threats made by the Directorate. To prepare for such an event, the pioneers developed a culture of civil defence, requiring all boys aged twelve and up to join a militia to train for war.

Although mandatory participation was never enforced by any centralized authority, families that did not enrol at least one male member in a militia were severely ostracized by the rest of society. These so-called ‘freeloading’ families would be charged higher premiums on their insurance and would usually not be invited to social events. Furthermore, boys who did not join a militia were seen as weak and thus would more likely be targeted by bullies.

During the early years of the embargo, parents could select from a variety of militia organizations in which to enrol their sons. These organizations did not answer to any centralized authority, and each competed with one another to produce the best, the brightest and the toughest troopers. The Mars Boys Militia would eventually dominate this industry with upwards of eighty percent of the market share.

Several factors contributed to their success, the primary factor being their founder, Rick Sanders, a charismatic ex-general of the United States Armed Forces. Leveraging his knowledge of military know-how, combined with his credentials and personal charm, he was able to position himself as a leader of Martian colonial defence. He projected strength, confidence and supreme competence in everything he did, and when he won the Top Chef title during the fifth annual Martian Culinary Competition, he cemented his image as a master of all disciplines. Memes would later be made about him wherein he would be portrayed as a guru of all things.

After the Directorate lifted the embargo, the Martian colonists continued their tradition of enrolling their sons in the militia. Although the social pressure to enrol had lessened, the Martians saw it as a necessary rite of passage. Furthermore, security agencies continued to offer discounts on insurance premiums for members of a recognized militia because militiamen were statistically less likely to become victims of crime.

Militia members to this day are expected to provide their own equipment and pay for their own upkeep. Those unable to afford the equipment can volunteer in non-combat roles instead, for example, fundraising, administration, or managing the various side-businesses run by the militia.

Basic training includes physical conditioning, firearm operation and safety, martial arts, unit discipline, and basic combat tactics. Advanced training includes more complex tactics involving multiple units, military strategy, logistics and leadership. Leadership is seen as the most important skill a commander should have. As membership in a militia, like in any other Martian organization, is entirely voluntary, militia commanders are expected to be well-versed in the art of persuasion. Additionally, he would need to have excellent business acumen in order to keep his unit’s finances in order. Failure in leadership would result in lacklustre enrolment, low morale, and an inability to generate revenue via donations or side-businesses.

Girls who wish to join the militia can enrol with the Mars Girls Militia, a sister organization to the Mars Boys Militia, though there is no social obligation for girls to join.

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