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Barrayaran military traditions are the specific set of practices associated with the military on Barrayar: this concept describes the styles of military uniform, drill, or the music of a military unit. The military tradition also refers to a ancestors-long line: Vors, as military caste, as a whole have a military tradition, which is represented in the much higher representation of Vors in the military.
Barrayaran military originates from a variety of cavalry-based forces, a feature somewhat justified by the vast plains and by the relative scarcity of soldiers. The Vor caste was for centuries the only source of officers and a significant source of troops: therefore, their cultural values were and still are today both influencing and influenced by military traditions, which are based on Earth-European Middle Age Chivalry, Earth-Russian warrior ethics and Earth-Japanese Bushido.
Unlike British and British-descended military traditions, quite spread in the Nexus, Barrayar relies on its own history as a state rather than as a regiment and Barrayaran ideas of military discipline reflect rigid hierarchy perspectives. Military honour code is Emperor-centred and places great value on the virtues

Victory at all costs Edit

Above all, even above the individual honour code which otherwise is the very fundamental principle for all the Barrayaran military culture, and deeply contrasting on it, the First Cetagandan War planted the seed of the most complete ruthlessness within the deep roots of the Barrayaran people: the war is to be won, no matter of the means employed. This includes to butcher children just to to send a message, to dismember them and to put bombs in their corpses to tear apart enemies. The Barrayaran fighter - from the hardened veteran to the newly enrolled partisan - intends to win, and puts aside all moral speculations or scruples. The war sets aside any moral standard of right and wrong: winning is what is right and losing is wrong. A soldier has to realize his job is to win, once he has won then he can go back to being gentle and affectionate.
This ruthlessness is both caused by and causing the relatively small size of the Barrayaran military. The official Barrayaran military doctrine refuses the cannon-fodder approach, emphasizing the elite army approach: an elite army of highly trained soldiers and turned lose on the enemy is more useful than a mass army. However, this is paired with the conscription, in order to obtain the line units and formations made up of highly trained soldiers, with other support units.

Individual honour code Edit

Military honour code is Emperor-centred and places great value on the virtues of loyalty and self-sacrifice. It is to note that the interpretations offered during Time of Isolation suggested a slightly minor role of the self-sacrifice, not to mention of the Emperor's role. The idea of "military honour" is often used as a propaganda tool by both the government and military. The Barrayaran military honour sees war as purifying, and death a duty: this provides a spiritual shield to let soldiers fight to the end. The final battle of the Escobaran War, the Battle of Jump-Point Six, involved the large majority if the space forces of the invasion fleet and would exposed Barrayar to serious danger if they failed. Cautions were countered with the plea that the Navy be permitted to "bloom as flowers of death in the Space".

Military virtues Edit

The Military honour code is typified by ten virtues, which also constitute the very core of the whole Barrayaran traditional stance:

  • Courage
  • Benevolence
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Honour
  • Loyalty
  • Filial piety
  • Wisdom
  • Care for the aged

Soldier Emperor Edit

The concept of the Soldier Emperor is a central concept in many Barrayaran cultural aspect. First of all, the Barrayaran Emperor is that because he is the Supreme Commander. During military campaigns, it is customary that the Emperor assume supreme command of operations; if this is not possible for various reasons, the Crown Prince takes the supreme ommand of operations (at least formally) and the Sovereign moves his official residence as close as possible to the front, to be able to personally follow the events of war. In both cases, the Emperor often visits front-line units, military hospitals, combat and Staff units.

Esprit de Corps Edit

Esprit de corps is the capacity of a group's members to maintain belief in an institution or goal, particularly in the face of opposition or hardship. Morale is often referenced by authority figures as a generic value judgement of the willpower, obedience, and self-discipline of a group tasked with performing duties assigned by a superior. Discipline is fierce and training harsh, all intended to instill a group cohesion or esprit de corps that could bind the men together into effective fighting units. Barrayaran military training concentrates on instilling teamwork and maintaining a level head over individual bravery; however, though discipline and its enforcement is notdesigned to blunt the soldier's individual initiative, because intelligent, independent-minded soldiers who work together as a unit pose a significantly greater threat to an enemy, than blindly obedient men.
Within the Imperial Service, the Esprit-de-Corps takes a very sensitive part: on one hand, units and formations (especially ground line units, but also other military organizations) are organized on a regional and ethnic basis, in order to avoid possible widespread ethnic issues; on the other hand, the Imperial Service is tightly centralized, in order to prevent and easily crack down separatist insurrections. Loyalty is to the Imperium but pride is based in the soldier's unit, to which is attached a military standard. Successful units are awarded with official accolades, medals, citations and other awards. Therefore, Unit pride is carefully cultivated and managed in order to focus beneficial rivalries on fields other than ethnic or linguistic differences.

Officer and a Gentleman Edit

The model military officer is a direct consequence of the individual military honour code. The Barrayaran military tradition requires that Vors must be officers; the idealized Officer-and-Gentleman attended the Imperial Military Academy. Besides typically being a member of the Vor class, an officer and gentleman is personified by his behaviour: he will remain polite, and even in the worst of situations he will always retain his sense of propriety. For example, an officer and a gentleman will rarely if ever cuss, and never knowingly in the presence of a lady. He would never take advantage of a lady, and will be very protective of women, both of their persons and their sensibilities. All Barrayaran officers are expected to be an officer and gentleman and this is emphasized very well during the officer training courses and "Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman" is a listed and well enforced court-martial offence.
Whether good or bad, a perfect Officer-and-Gentleman will always keep his Word he gave. What distinguishes the model is a set of "gentlemanly" principles, which include good manners and etiquette.
Being a real "honorary Vor", an high-ranking officer is expected to bear same Vor attitudes towards civilians and bourgeoisies. The typical high-ranking officer or the typical Vor officer regularly wears both a sword and a monocle, and when he receives orders from a civilian who is also a bourgeois his left hand rests casually on his sabre, bearing the monocle in his eye and hesitating to salute and to give a slight bow. This constitutes a multiple outrage: the officer comes armed in front to a senior civilian official, he bears an item not included into military equipment and the slight bow implies the slight seniority or even the condescension towards a person junior to him. This is an accepted behaviour only if the civilian official did not previously hold a senior military appointment.

Ethical issues of the command Edit

The military and militarized world form a fine structure, a point of reference, which necessarily the community draws on, especially when, in times of difficulty, it needs to counter effectively anyone able to jeopardize the values ​​of the Fatherland and of the ordained living.
The distinguishing feature of the military world is the human component, and to this we must look carefully to ensure that the negative effects of change produce the least possible impact.
Especially young people end up being more attracted by innovations and are generally more recalcitrant in keeping the traditions. And it is precisely for this reason that is necessary to invest primarily on them to make them less permeable to deleterious aspects of change. It is therefore necessary to strengthen the military ethic: it has always contains harmoniously in its womb "rules of conduct" inspired by the sense of duty, honour, loyalty, selflessness, esprit de corps. These stances are additional values ​​that characterize the Imperial Service and the Imperial Police Force, becoming a real ingrained asset. Ethics also retrieves values ​​from this example and work away from the spotlight, the pursuit of innovation in the wake of traditions and inner motivation.
This is a heritage that the military team absolutely can not dissipate, but rather must implement: namely within the exercising of command.
The command action is a matter of the utmost importance, which invests every organized structure, but in the military structure must also refer to the ethical values​​.
There are leaders who cannot command because they do not listen and others who can not command because they do not decide, leaders who wish to be feared and do not allow to be contradicted, and others, pettifogging bureaucrats, terrified to take initiative and responsibility that end up delegating. These trends unfold adverse effects: the ability to lead is made even more important by the aware discipline and by the end of the discipline "ready, blind and absolute".
The imperatives that define leadership are, first of all, affinity, that is, the need for a leader reliance on subordinates loyal and with similar views, to ensure the response to the needs. The relationship of affinity is supported by the reward or punishment, according to a system of values ​​accepted by all; reward and punishment are strengthened by the example with which the authority, who asks subordinates to take the risk on its order, it shows itself to accept it personally;,the example is amplified by the word, that is the explanation of the leader in a speech directed his men; Finally, the word is expressed in action, the translation of the leadership in actual act of success. These imperatives are stored and transmitted by the military academies: the purpose of the officer training is to produce young men who observe the rules of ethics and good society and obey their superiors even and especially in times of severe stress and difficulties.
The approach in the personnel management is to be "individualized" because each soldier has its own personal and family life that the Commander must consider if he has to rely on each subordinate in every circumstance. The Commander cannot command without example, equanimity, involvement of people, without "knowing how to listen" before deciding. It should be understood according to two main aspects: the more specifically pertaining to the Commander's sphere of decision and the equally important sphere that concerns the knowledge of their men. And the men employed "know" each other if the Commander talks with them, and he becomes the valid points of reference, not only to the aspects directly related to the service, but also for those who were essentially private and emotional sphere of each soldier.
A command action is serene and balanced if it is able to improve, in accordance with the "rule", the harmony and the harmony of the unit, applying ethical values​​. The correct command action is based on the example, feeding the subordinates of valid patterns of behaviour, motivation, comradeship and ideal fellowship, and guarding against excessive arrogance and detachment.
The Commander, being a point of reference for subordinates, within its field of competence must be happy to fulfil the wishes of employees when they do not conflict with the requirements of the service and discipline.

The personality of the Commander Edit

The first requirement is that the Commander of the charm of moral conqueror and leader of souls. Character and intelligence, courage and determination, energy and self-confidence, form the substrate of the ascendant staff. The quality of the charm plays a very important role for the success of the operations and then to success. The age, culture, the spirit of sacrifice, the strength of character and firmness of purpose must create a moral charm, with which to conquer the minds of subordinates and encourage them to devout obedience. All this requires constant effort, the power of discernment, insight, common sense and above all self-control.
The professional capacity is an essential requirement which contributes to the formation of personality. It is not possible to get that unity of purpose and intent when the master's authority is not supported by the ability. The ability to think clearly and solve problems in a humanly logical way must be the first ability of the Commander. The commander must pursue the goal proposed with inflexible constancy and go straight to the goal, without fear of obstacles. Once a decision is the man of action does not think that the success and whether there are obstacles, you will plunges into it with pleasure psychic, because overcoming them is always a joyful victory of the spirit.
The command action is the complex of acts which the commander tends to reach with, through his subordinates, the purpose of the service. In a system of relations between men, it is imperative that persons who have powers of command has physical skills, intellectual and moral qualities of the first order. If it is impossible to hide a physical deformity or a marked intellectual deficiency, which would be unacceptable moral flaws go unnoticed, to emerge later.
A commander must necessarily be sincere and fair with everyone, because a commander loses insincere, sooner or later, the estimate of superiors, colleagues, subordinates; driven by a deep sense of justice, in order to always be able to judge with fairness and balance, avoiding much to dislikes, grudges, personalities, which would lead to factions, envy, distrust of the unit; equipped with calm, weighting, serenity, firm but courteous modes, without excessive intransigence and harshness, but without excessive mildness. He must also be supported by loftiness of thought and intent emerge in which a scrupulous honesty, a sense of dignity, worship careful of customs and traditions, institutions, of patriotism.
The conduct of the Commander must, in all circumstances, be based on incontrovertible hinges, so that the subordinates feel that disciplinary action is sovereign, untouchable and impersonal. He must be first and foremost a "moral leader" of his men.

Sense of responsibility Edit

The characteristic trait of the Officer must be a strong "moral courage", understood as the natural propensity of a person to commit his life to in working choices and decisions that do not affect the private sphere, but the interest of the Imperial Service and of the Imperium. The Officer of the Imperial Service, therefore, motivated by similar intent, can only base its actions on a strong sense of responsibility, both in private life, as in the professional one. Within its private citizen life, the sense of responsibility is used to guide choices and behaviours in order not to damage the image of the Service. In the professional sphere, however, the sense of responsibility must accompany all decisions relating to the operations and personnel management.
At the base of the sense of responsibility, there must be first the full awareness of their role and their duties: this, in turn, requires a solid basic preparation. The basic preparation allows the commander to be able to take any decision with due deliberation, firmly and with the serenity that comes from the knowledge of available tools.
This sense of responsibility could be translated as a parameter of "firm equilibrium" that guides the officer to assume, in the most serene feeling, choices and decisions that are always in line with the laws and regulations and with military values​​. The sense of responsibility is a guide to the Officer in relations with subordinates and in those circumstances where it is necessary to the exercise of the disciplinary action.
Every decision of the Commander must try to reconcile the subordinates' needs with the institutional interest, if that is possible. If this can not be implemented instead, Commander proceeds in the manner most appropriate to safeguard the interests in the field, always taking as a benchmark the higher needs of the Imperial Service. The sense of responsibility in the management of staff is to have cognizance of the problems of subordinates and try to resolve them within the limits and regulatory tools that you have, never fail to interest institutional care. In the exercise of the disciplinary action, the sense of responsibility requires it to impose a proportionate, balanced and free from any vexatious intent, doing well understand the reasons for the recipient that are at the foundation.

Military Oath Edit

The military oath is a solemn act by which the military devotes all his energies to the service at the Emperor and to the defence of the Empire.
With the oath, the military at all levels vows to act always animated by high ideals of duty, in a spirit of self-denial and sacrifice as to withstand the hardships and privations, courageously face the dangers and proving to be generous in every contingency. The military must have a high sense of military honour which is the most valuable asset of the Imperial Service.
He in the cult of duty, in fidelity to the Emperor and to the country, in the memory of military traditions, lives righteously military life. The loyalty determines the maximum clarity in the relationship between the military at all levels, in the midst of it the discipline is strengthened. The oath is celebrated in a solemn manner by the corps commander, with the participation of the paintings of the department and for the collective oath ceremonies, authority and invited by those who take the oath.

Officers Edit

All officers of the Imperial Service swear an oath of office upon commissioning. It differs slightly from that of the oath of enlistment that enlisted members recite when they enter the service. It is traditional for officers to recite the oath upon promotion. One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by oath to obey orders, officers in the Imperial Service are bound by this oath to disobey any order that puts in danger the Emperor or his will. The oath is for an indeterminate period; no duration is specifically defined.
Officers and Warrant officers take the oath individually, placing their hands between those of the Corps Commander or, in case of commissioning from the Imperial Military Academy, between the Emperor's hands.

«I, [name], do solemnly swear to be faithful to His Majesty the Emperor and His legitimate successors, to observe faithfully the laws of the Empire and to fulfil all the duties of my State, with the sole purpose of inseparable good of the Emperor and Fatherland.
I, [name], do solemnly swear that I want to offer unconditional obedience to the Emperor, Serg Vorbarra, the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Service, and be prepared as a brave soldier to risk my life for this oath at any time.
I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Imperial orders; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.»

Enlisted personnel Edit

The troops take the oath before serving. The entire detachment of recruits goes to the Parade Ground framed in separate platoons. The formation is to be taken in "line of columns", each platoon to the right of each respective company.
The corps commander, in front of the troops deployed in arms and the flag on the right, is present arms, draws his sword, reads the formula, and with his voice vibrated questions "Do you swear?".
The recruits raise their right hand and cry aloud, "I swear!"
The band sings the national anthem, then the troop parades in front of the commander and flag, earning the exit from the parade ground. Outside the parade ground, is given the "break ranks" and returned their weapons, after a new gathering, and usually a refreshment to the barracks, you put the troops in freedom with obligation to release in uniform.
The troops swear on foot.
The formula read by the Corps commander is the following:

«I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty Emperor Serg Vorbarra, his heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend His Majesty, his heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of His Majesty, his heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me

Flag Raising Ceremony Edit

The Flag Raising Ceremony is an important ceremony, held each early morning. The parade ground is full, the companies are each perfectly framed the front door of their dorm rooms. The National Anthem is sung loudly mandatory, it runs the flag-raising, and the acting is done in memory of the motivation of the decorations conferred on the War Flag of the unit, all the companies march within the yard to the martial beat of the drums, with songs and salute the flag.
The speech of the commander of the regiment is aimed at military glory, the love of country and loyalty to the Emperor. They are then given the lecture, practical lesson in self-defence, the provisions for the training activities of the day.

Military salute Edit

In the Barrayaran military only officers are saluted, and the salute is both to the commission they carry from the Emperor and to the officers themselves. The right hand, palm down, is brought to the right temple, almost, but not quite, touching; the head has to be covered. Hand salutes are only given when a cover is worn. Except where a protocol dictates otherwise, the duration of the salute is timed at three beats of the quick-time march (approximately 1.5 seconds), timed from the moment the senior member first returns it.
When the presence of enemy snipers is suspected or presumed, military salutes are generally forbidden, since the enemy may use them to recognize officers as valuable targets.

Small arms salute Edit

When carrying a sword, the Imperial Service uses a two-step gesture. The sword is first raised, in the right hand, to the level of and close to the front of the neck. The blade is inclined forward and up 30 degrees from the vertical; the true edge is to the left. Then the sword is slashed downward to a position with the point close to the ground in front of the right foot. The blade is inclined down and forward with the true edge to the left.
When armed with a rifle, the method used is "present arms"; the rifle is brought to the vertical, muzzle up, in front of centre of the chest with the trigger away from the body. The hands hold the stock close to the positions they would have if the rifle were being fired, though the trigger is not touched.

Military personality construction Edit

The barracks life is a total institution in which a system of practices, rules of conduct and specific reference values ​​of a military culture is developed. The military socialization is characterized by different rites of passage that accompany the transition from the civilian life, made ​​of values, status and roles, to the military life. The move follows three phases: separation, transition and aggregation.

Separation phase Edit

In the preliminary separation phase, a person leaves the position and the shapes of the previous behaviour. All this is done with a series of ritual acts that, in the case of military service, include the reception at the train station, the entrance to the barracks, the first days of life in the barracks by the recruit.
At the monorail there are soldiers in uniform waiting. Conscripts are grouped frame are made by the coach. Soldiers explain what the recruit can bring and what he cannot bring to the barracks and then search conscripts. The arrival at the barracks is greeted by a group of soldiers shouting in unison, "Welcome to hell!"
The first few days are crossed by a series of rituals that aim to delete values​​, status and roles of the "civilian life." The verbal, physical and psychological violence of the early days in the barracks consists of shouted orders, cancellation of individuality, actions imposed by his superiors in an apparently illogical and incomprehensible reasons.
The haircut and dressing are actions that permanently enshrine the separation of young recruits from the old status and the previous culture. The haircut is strictly "light bulb" and the same for everyone, while the dressing is made with the distribution of military clothing and delivery of items of wrong size.

Transition phase Edit

In the transition or edge phase, the recruit is neither one side nor the other: it is located in an intermediate space between the state of departure and arrival. In the barracks, he gets into that stage where recruits are called "monsters", "spine", "toads", and so on. This phase lasts as long as the recruits does not get the combat qualification and until he finish the first period of training.
The name most commonly used to indicate the recruit at this stage is that of "monster".
It is a very tough phase from the physical, psychological, social points of view and the first two months are hard, very hard. The formal training is severe, sometimes ruthless. This hardness is applied to condition the recruit and obtain a fighter mentality.
In the first training phase relations between comrades are not governed by clear rules. The only clear point of reference is the corporal instructor. For each pair of corporals instructor a team of 24 recruits is assigned. Services and licenses depend on the instructors. Those who rebel instructors are ill-treated services, are likely not to go out in "off duty" and, above all, are likely to be isolated. Who does not rely on the protection of the instructors is considered a "dead dog", and is likely to remain just an absolute uncertainty of the relationships of the group. Only those who most rely on the control and protection of the instructors get through unscathed. They are those who are considered "the best", "the strongest", those who obtain the assignment.

Aggregation phase Edit

Through the aggregation phase of a person is reintroduced into society. The aggregation phase of a conscript is the one that starts with the obtaining of the combat qualification and lasts for the rest of his military service, marked by several stages, each highly ritualized.

Moustache and beard Edit

Within the Imperial Service, enlisted personnel does not carry a moustache or beard. Sideburns must not cross the line of the lower ear on the corner of the mouth, the hair must not cross the face or cover your ears, and be in line of the collar of his tunic. The hair is styled straight, and should be cut short so that the forehead and ears are uncovered, and the collar of the tunic is not touched by them.
Officers can carry a moustache and sideburns, but the remainder beard must be constantly shaved. The moustache can not go past the lip, nor therefore join with sideburns. The sideburns can not go over the line between the lower end of the ear and the corner of the mouth.

Sabre Arch Edit

A Sabre Arch is a wedding tradition in which sabres or swords are used to salute a newly married couple. The bride and groom pass under an honorary arch of sabres, typically when exiting the building in which the wedding ceremony took place. The tradition is often performed at the weddings of Imperial Service members. The tradition varies slightly among the different branches of the Service and is considered a privilege. Usually, an honour guard composed of officers or non commissioned officers, often from the same unit as the service member, form the arch with sabres or swords.
Officers and enlisted personnel in the bridal party wear dress uniforms. Black gloves are required for all sabre or sword bearers and military guests usually attend the wedding in uniform.
Immediately after the marriage ceremony is officiated, the sabre team positions itself in formation just outside the doorway, with typically six or eight sabre bearers taking part. The guests of the wedding are afforded the opportunity to assemble outside to view the event before it begins. On the command, the sabre team raises their sabres into a high arch, with tips touching and the blades facing up and away from the bride and groom. As the newly married couple exits the building, the senior usher announces, "Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honour to present to you (Rank) and Mrs. (insert name)".
The bride and groom proceed into the arch, and as the couple passes through, the last two sabre bearers usually lower the sabres in front of the couple, detaining them momentarily. Before releasing the couple, the sabre bearer to the couple's left announces "Welcome to the Service Ma'am!" After the couple leaves the arch, the sabre team recovers on command and dissolves formation.
Only the bride and groom pass under the arch. It is also traditional at the wedding reception for the wedding cake to be cut with a sabre or sword.

Degradation ceremony Edit

Degradation ceremony is the ritual dishonourable discharge of a soldier from some position of responsibility for a breach of discipline. The ceremony could involve public degradation, with the public destruction of symbols of status: rank insignia ripped off collar, badges and insignia stripped, swords broken, caps knocked away, and medals torn out and dashed upon the ground before being sent off to military prison.
In case of mass degradations, the commander has the entire unit form up, and then drums out one soldier from every company, complete with a lieutenant tearing off their rank insignias and badges, before being all sent off to the regular army with their uniform shredded.

Military funeral Edit

A military funeral is a memorial or burial rite given by the military for a soldier who died in battle, a veteran, or other prominent military figures. A military funeral feature guards of honour, the firing of volley shots as a salute, drumming and other military elements, with a flag draping over the coffin.
The Military Personnel Command is responsible for providing military funerals.

Eligibility and nature of the honours Edit

The Imperial Service renders honours in a military funeral for any eligible veteran if requested by his family. An honour guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran shall consist of no less than two members of the Imperial Service: one member of the detail is a representative of the parent unit of the deceased veteran. The honour guard detail performs a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the Imperial flag to the next of kin and the playing of Funeral March which is played by a lone trumpet or bugle.
Law allows for military funeral honours for all veterans who were discharged under circumstances "other than dishonourable". Those who are eligible for military funerals and full honours are:

  • Active duty in the Imperial Service;
  • Former active duty who departed under conditions other than dishonourable in the Imperial Service;
  • Former servicemen who were discharged due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Ceremony Edit

Funeral ceremonies are based on three cumulative layers, varying according the rank and the position of the buried. However, the presenting of the flag is one of most touching moments and is included in all funerals. The flag of the Empire, draped over the casket, is meticulously folded fifteen times by a total of six honour guards, three on each side of the casket. An honour guard presents the flag to the next of kin. The presenter kneels while presenting the folded flag, with a point of the square-folded flag facing the recipient. The presenter then recites the following wording:
"On behalf of the Emperor, the Imperial Service, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's honourable and faithful service."
Standard honour military funerals include the following:

  • A casket draped in the flag of the Empire of Barrayar and as a pall;
  • A casket team serving as honour guards in a ceremonial role over the remains and as pallbearers;
  • For funerals for an Officer, the casket is transported via a horse-drawn limbers and caissons. For all other funerals, the casket is transported using a hearse;
  • The formation of a rifle party consisting of an odd number of soldiers, between 3 to 7, fires a three-volley salute (size varies according to the rank of the deceased);
  • The playing of Funeral March is performed by a lone bugler or or trumpeter, at a distance of 40 yards from the grave site.

Full honour military funerals include all standard honours in addition to the following:

  • For funerals of commanding officers of Colonel/Captain(Naval) rank and above, a riderless horse, symbolizing a fallen leader, follows the limbers and caissons. If the officer was a Vor, a standard carrying his proper House colours is added alongside the Barrayaran flag.
  • For funerals of fourth level general/flag officers, a 17 gun salute is fired; for third-level general/flag officers, a 15 gun salute is fired; for second-level general flag/officers, a 13 gun salute is fired; for Brigadier General/Commodore, a 11 gun salute is fired.

National military funerals are reserved for the Emperor, the Prime Minister, the Minister of War, the Chief of General Staff and officers granted multiple-service command. This class includes all standard and full honours in addition to participation of Escort Companies. For Imperial Funerals, a 51 gun salute using artillery and battery pieces is fired, while all other high state officials receive 19 gun salutes.

Retired soldiers Edit

File:Retired soldier Barrayar 01.jpg

The highly considered position reserved to soldiers involves also those who formerly served in the Imperial Service. The ethos that "Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier" has led to several consequences, including the right to wear the military uniform, as well as a number of forms of address for those no longer on active duty:

  • "Veteran Soldier" or simply "Veteran" can refer to anyone who has been discharged honourably from the Service;
  • "Retired Soldier" refers to those who have completed at least 20 years of service and formally retired, or have been medically retired after less than 20 years service;
  • "Sir" is appropriate out of respect.

Referring to a retired soldier by his last earned rank is deemed an appropriate and polite way.

  • For soldiers who have left service with a less than full honourable discharge, might still be considered in active duty, although that title is also in keeping with a stigma; and many avoid the issue altogether by addressing the individual by name with no other title.

Veterans who have been wounded while on service usually do not use rank insignia when they are retired although they are fully entitled to wear them, insisting on the Wounded Brotherhood.
The rite of discharge of military and civilian high offices involves greetings to His Majesty. Generals in full uniform are presented to the Emperor and end the greeting address with gratitude for the trust granted and the hope to be able to continue to serve His Majesty. The Emperor then asks what the general would do, and he responds by expressing the desire for an assignment previously agreed upon.

Posthumous promotion Edit

A Posthumous promotion is an advancement in rank or position in the case of a person who is dead. The granting of posthumous promotion and promotions in rank are quite common for soldiers who are killed in combat if certain criteria are met. This include:

  • Military personnel that would have been promoted in rank in the month following their death or disappearance;
  • Personnel that had been recommended for promotion in rank by the proper authorities before their death or disappearance;
  • As a recognition for meritorious service by the relevant Command head, on his recommendation, or with his approval;
  • In those cases where the promotion was delayed for reasons not in the responsibility of the person to be promoted.

Personnel that committed suicide are not be considered for posthumous promotion, except in special cases with approval of the relevant Command head concerned. In general, the posthumous promotion is active as of the first of the month of the death or disappearance, except in cases where the promotion would have been effective from an earlier date.

Related voices Edit

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