"If our enemies are allowed to sink their talons into our motherland, they will kill all of you before they destroy us. Those who oppose us are dangerous creatures, and it is necessary for a few brave souls to yield their lives, if necessary, to prevent them from reaching into our society to destroy you. For even if the soldier dies, the civilians live on, and the body continues to operate at maximum capacity. Likewise, we must penetrate deep into the enemy hives and put them to the torch, and their inhabitants to the sword, to bring our hated foes down and achieve for humanity the grand prize of Emancipation."
~ extract from a speech by OTAN praising the Mecharussian Armed Forces.
The Mecharussian Armed Forces, often abbreviated to MAF, is the collective term for the four branches of the military forces of Mechanocratic Russia - the Red Army, the Aerofleet, the Air Forces and the Cyberforces. Numbering around 2,400,000 personnel strong as of 2152, it is the third largest armed force in the solar system, next to the 8,100,000 of the Frenkish military and lagging far behind the 25,000,000 of the UDAP's military.
However, what it lacks in numbers it more than makes up for with quality: every MAF soldier spends at least two years in intensive training and hyper-realistic combat simulations and strides into battle with a suit of powered armour able to reflect most conventional munitions and sporting a firearm of a much higher-grade than what other armed forces can field. Additionally, it is supplemented by large numbers of expendable combat drones able to function on land, in the air, at sea and in space.
The MAF is represented in the Mechanocracy Government by the Military Council (also referred to as the Military Cabinet), which consists of the general staff and is managed by a quadrumvirate consisting of the four supreme commanders of each branch. Currently, the Military Council is headed by Grand Marshals Gordon Kravchenko, Arkhip Abdulov, Xenia Grigoryeva and General Nicanor Kolesnikov (the commanders for, respectively, the Red Army, Aerofleet, Air Forces and Cyberforces), in addition to their senior staff.
Mecharussian combat forces are categorised via groups, which in turn are divided into smaller and smaller components of the whole. The order of unit size is as follows:
- Unit - used to refer to an individual soldier.
- Section - a composition of five units.
- Squad - a composition of two sections, or 10 units.
- Platoon - a composition of five squads, or 50 units.
- Company - a composition of four platoons, or 200 units.
- Battalion - a composition of five companies, or 1,000 units.
- Brigade - a composition of five battalions, or 5,000 units.
- Regiment - a much more vague term whose composition can vary. Most regiments, however, incorporate at least five brigades, or 25,000 units.
- Legion - typically a composition of four or more regiments, or 100,000 units. Legions are only formed during wartime, and are able to operate independently of higher command.
Ranks are used in the Mecharussian Armed Forces to denote one's command position in the regiment/legion, rather than prowess. As a result, there are far fewer ranks in the MAF than there are in other militaries. However, a soldier who has been awarded the Hero(ine) of the Mechanocracy medal may choose to have the prefix 'Grand' appended to their rank - for example, Grand Colonel or Grand Sergeant. (Grand Marshals who are Heroes or Heroines of the Mechanocracy and choose the title are, instead of being referred to as 'Grand Grand Marshal', given the title 'Supreme Marshal'.)
Below is a comprehensive list of all of the ranks in the Mecharussian Armed Forces:
- Private - denotes a soldier still in training. Privates are very rarely seen in combat scenarios, unless they have been drafted.
- Private First Class - denotes a rank and file soldier who makes up the bulk of a squad.
- Corporal - commands one section of a squad (the Sergeant commanding the other).
- Sergeant - commands the whole squad.
- Lieutenant - commands a platoon. Lieutenants are also typically assigned to base control duty.
- Captain - commands a company. In the Aerofleet, Captains are usually given command of a small ship, or a commanding position aboard a larger ship (for instance, gunnery control aboard a Baikonur-class battlecruiser).
- Colonel - commands a battalion. In the Aerofleet, a Colonel is the first officer of flag rank, entitling him/her to command of a larger vessel.
- Brigadier - commands a brigade. In the Aerofleet, a Brigadier is typically assigned control of a fleet's flagship.
- General - commands a regiment. In the Aerofleet, a General is typically assigned control of an entire fleet.
- Field Marshal - commands a legion. The rank is only assigned during wartime to maximise command and control capabilities across large forces. Field Marshals are typically elected by a council of all generals involved in a theatre of war from said council.
- Grand Marshal - commands an entire branch of the armed forces.
The Mechanocratic Red Army (MAFRA, Mechanocratic Armed Forces - Red Army) consists of the main ground forces of the MAF. Numbering around 800,000 strong, with 32 regiments of varying kinds, it is easily the largest of the four branches, being considered the most important.
Along with the Aerofleet, the MAFRA gets the lion's share of the military's resource allocations, a trait that is universal amongst both the Stahlrim and the Trotskaya Administrations. This is because the MAFRA is the most core component of Mecharussian military doctrine during the Stahlrim administration, which focuses primarily on ground-based power projection and slow-but-steady application of force. In the Trotskaya Administration, however, the doctrine changes to favour the Aerofleet, but ground-based power projection remains a key aspect of it. This reality takes its most obvious shape with the deployment of the ET-60 superheavy turbo-tank, a war machine which greatly swings toward mobility over pure brawn, a radical departure from the slow but nearly-invincible Stalin tanks.
One part of the MAFRA's doctrine that remains universal, however, is its heavy usage of autonomous combat units. Especially during the Trotskaya regime, where the easily-replaceable 1K60 infantry droid begins to outnumber human troops by the time the Third Russo-European War breaks out, drones are seen almost everywhere on the battlefield, whether they be frontline combat units like the SKPT-P walker-tank, hovering patrol machines such as the Ka-355 tricopter, or support units such as the BREM-41 SHEL (Superheavy Engineering and Logistics) vehicle.
In addition to ground-based warfare, the MAFRA is responsible for maintaining the military's surface fleets, which are too small in size and number to be considered for a proper branch. Mecharussian water-based combat craft are a rare sight in the era of aerial and spatial fleets, but they do still exist: one notable example of such is the Zmey-class ekranoplane, the lead vessel of which was attached to the Eighth VDV Regiment and used as Elena Trotskaya's personal command ship until the end of 2150. Ekranoplanes are most typically used in the MAF as rapid response defensive craft. Heavily-armed, carrying plenty of drones aboard as complement and extremely fast, just two can keep an incoming enemy carrier group preoccupied until either an Aerofleet arrives to dispatch them or coastal defences capable of repulsing them can be readied.
Other specialised divisions of the MAFRA include:
- The Special Purpose Guard Brigade (Spetsnaz). Though the special forces of the MAF operate across all four branches, they are technically attached to the MAFRA because they are a component of the Eighth VDV regiment.
- The Psychic Warfare Component (Psy-Corps). This battalion-strong force of psykers is a part of the Second Moscow regiment. Though most regiments will possess at least one combat-capable psyker, the Psy-Corps is the only military force in the entire MAF to consist almost exclusively of them.
- The Desolator Brigades. Attached to the aptly-named 'Desolation Regiment', the official function of this division is chemical weapons control. Their true purpose, however, is the conduct of genocide, and their ranks are composed of psychopaths recruited from the Gulags and armed with radthrowers and other weapons of mass destruction to facilitate their function.