In my story, I have an Empire, established on Earth and ruling across the few dozen nearest star systeme to it. This needs to have a fleet of ships manned by an armed service for law enforcement, quelling of resistance, combatting of enemies, etc. But how would this service be structured? In a way similar to the Army, seeing as much of their combat would occur on the ground? In a way similar to the Navy, seeing as starships could be equivocated to waterships, and a lot of the combat would also take place in space? In a way similar to the Air Force, seeing as starships can also be equivocated to airplanes, and some of their uses would far more resemble planes than ships? Or would it arise as a kind of combination of all three, or even something completely different? I ask this mainly for reasons of what the ranks would be called, what their commands would be, and generally for the aesthetics of the organisation.


closed as primarily opinion-based by StephenG, AlexP, Morris The Cat, user535733, Halfthawed Jul 11 at 16:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ We've had similar questions before IIRC and they've been closed as opinion based. Also note we don't generally name things for people. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Jul 11 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ The usual approach (in the space operas I have read) is to have something structured like the Navy plus the Marine Corps, with the ship crews belonging to the Navy side and the ground forces belonging to the Marines. But then I agree with @StephenG, this is at the same time too broad, opinion based and entirely story based. Choosing the structure of the forces is quite important for the plot. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jul 11 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ All militaries are designed around the strategies they use to achieve their goals. The technologies, sizes, and rank structures all depend upon the strategy. Effective militaries are good at discarding the irrelevant or newly-obsolescent quickly and keeping focus on the goal. Your question does not discuss any goals that the Emperor has tasked the military to achieve (exploration? conquest? empire-vs-empire slugfest? defense against a superior foe? internal security?) nor any strategies that the flag officers will use to achieve those goals, so there is no way to gauge an answer. Opinion-based $\endgroup$ – user535733 Jul 11 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ A better question might be 'Here's the scenario by interstellar army is facing, now how might they be organized?' $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Jul 11 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ No idea why this is opinion based... Maybe you can org your navy differently than some real navy? But that isn't what you asked. Only a few star systems so no ftl, meaning months or years of delay in communications. The Navy is structured to operate at sea without orders, so a similar captain is king structure would make sense. Alternatively, each large ship could be like a mobile, stand alone city with its own military forces. As long as it's military was generally short enough range to always be in close communication with command, then army and air force like structures make more sense. $\endgroup$ – MParm Jul 11 at 18:43