2
$\begingroup$

I'm working with the idea of a futuristic society spread out across the galaxy. This society is rather warlike, and doing well in battle earns prestige and money. Thus, anyone can rise up to the highest ranks. Of course, there need to be people at the bottom for there to be people at the top; how do you make a position appeal to someone, no matter how disadvantaged the position may be?

For example, maybe in this society there are cool mechas that are expensive, comprising the top of the army hierarchy. At the bottom are infantry, which are still useful and necessary. How do you convince a person that they want to be an infantry rather than the pilot of a mech?

Note: Everything is rather transparent; there are no propaganda campaigns that disillusion the masses while the elite get better things.

$\endgroup$
4
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your story sounds like reality. What's the difference between this world and ours? $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    May 17, 2017 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ I'm a bit unclear on why standard answers like "pay more money" or "give them a job at all" won't apply. Why do people go to community college? Perhaps because Harvard turned them down. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    May 17, 2017 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ In the future I have been theorizing, there is less disparity between the more and less skilled. In today's military, there is a very big difference between scoring high on the ASVAB versus scoring low on it. In this society, most people score high on the futuristic ASVAB; how do they convince people to be expendable infantry, or is there a way to have a non-expendable foot soldier? $\endgroup$
    – VeganJoy
    May 17, 2017 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ @VeganJoy - ah, less disparity is not none. If they all score high on the ASVAB, then that military won't use that test, they'll find a harder/more specialized one. If everyone has equal education, they will lean on native abilities to make the difference - intelligence, hand-eye perception, reaction speed, tactical thinking, creativity for out-of-box solutions, social skills for cooperation or coordination, luck. $\endgroup$
    – Megha
    May 19, 2017 at 3:03

4 Answers 4

4
$\begingroup$

Easy- make the lower-level positions easier to get into. Or, more precisely, make the lowest-level positions the only ones available to new recruits that don't already have experience from elsewhere. Of course many people will want to pilot the mechas, but there are only so many of them to go around. Anyone who wants to eventually pilot a mech will first have to get a job in the infantry, then once they prove their capability, loyalty, and so forth, if they are in the top 10% of all infantrymen, they could get to drive their own truck; the best truck drivers could graduate to humvees, the best humvee drivers could move up to tanks, the best tank drivers could ascend to bigger vehicles, and so on and so forth, until the very few best pilots of land vehicles in the entire military finally gain the privilege to pilot the mechas.

There's no convincing anyone that they want to be in the infantry; the structure of the whole system makes it transparently clear to everyone that if they want to reach the top (and pilot the coolest vehicles), they've got to start at the bottom, with the understanding that if they truly are better at what they do than their comrades, they'll eventually rise through the ranks and get to where they belong.

The "elite" in this system are just those who put in the work to rise to the top and/or got lucky and were naturally gifted with the exact qualities needed to rise through the ranks.

If you want more details, I'd recommend looking at how real-life militaries work. While I am no expert on that subject myself, your system will most likely come out looking similar.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Appeal is based on a variety of things, so some might strive to become a pilot of a mecha in the same way entry level employees may strive to reach management level positions. There doesn't appear to be any convincing for the most part because some people prefer a lower position.

Think of it like this. If you're a pilot of a mecha, you have far more responsibilities than your typical infantry because you are handling very expensive machinery. You might get paid more, but some don't mind minimum wage because their job is easier and the higher echelon will be on those pilots like a supervisor on shift managers.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

I think your idea isn't really thought through - there are so many examples of how this was done through the ages, military (of civilized people) always depended on some kind of hierarchy and a strong chain of command, did you do your research? As for one part of the question, how do you make it appealing? Well, check out history. There are so many ways from conscription over good marketing over to patriotism or even the only chance to make your life better, the celts even had people gladly fighting naked for cultural reasons (a lot is possible if you are crazy) - just to name a few.

But one being allowed to fly a machine and the other one having to join the infantry because he is poor isn't a good system that makes any sense unless you have to pay for your own stuff.

If you want a system like that, the easiest way is to make your soldiers buy their own stuff. This is how it worked for large parts of history but it is rather impractical now since machinery is way too expensive now even for the wealthiest sons and daughters. Maybe in your future it won't be anymore.

Are you set on your particular hierarchy? Military has always offered better jobs to those who where better off from the beginning of history until now. Depending on your background (for example education) you start with a higher rank than other people even in a democracy like the one I live in. But this is the point of the ranks system. You don't move up from infantry to the airforce, you move up within the infantry, from foot soldier to some kind of commander. Your approach seems completely counter-intuitive to me. So here is my advice: Read a bit and rethink your idea

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ I like the "soldiers pay for their own stuff" idea. That works and would be fun to write. Certainly the knights did it this way and you can bet that there were rivalries between them as regards who had the coolest stuff. Even today soldiers use their own money to buy weapons and other things. Not so much mechas, but that is what makes your world cool. The mecha is the plate armor of its time. You know some rich kid is going to have supersweet weapons and barely be able to use them. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    May 17, 2017 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Will But please be aware how expensive today's equipment is. Not just the buying price (well, buy used stuff maybe?), but also maintenance, shipping it somewhere, maybe a place upon some kind of carrier. Given how complicated and fragile high-tech military equipment is, I don't think it is a good idea to let people look after their own stuff with their own money (you have to be on the top 100 richest list of humans today to even consider it) - or have a very small fleet. As I said, I would change the premise itself to make it more believable - at least form today's point of view. $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    May 17, 2017 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ your key line /Maybe in your future it won't be anymore./ That future is not far. It is no surprise if a rich person today owns a helicopter, a speedboat, and a car that can go 50 mph across a tilled field. High scifi is meant to explore concepts and exploring "have and have not" in the context of war is excellent stuff. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    May 17, 2017 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the idea of soldiers paying for their own equipment! That would be a great thing to incorporate into this... I've done a bit of research, I'll probably start delving further into historical militaries to see their inner workings. $\endgroup$
    – VeganJoy
    May 17, 2017 at 22:47
0
$\begingroup$

If you want volunteer army, it is relatively easy:

  At the bottom of society are those who don't participate, non-combatants. They have restricted rights, political and otherwise. Next level are grunts, basic level infantry for those with least aptitude, but still better then non-combatants on social scale. Those with better "qualities" (intelligence, dexterity, strength) could be selected to become pilots or squad leaders etc ... Of course, at the top you would have generals and admirals, most senior members of society with largest privileges . Btw, similar idea has already been explored in some works of fiction like Starship Troopers, or even in real life (Spartan and to extent Roman society).

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .