Tales of the Solar Patrol: Class of 2058
The Solar Patrol
Fifty years ago, during the First Solar War, in what seemed at the time to be a symbolic gesture, the Earth Patrol was renamed the Solar Patrol. Since that time, the name has become synonymous with courage, dedication, competence, and honor.
The Solar Patrol is not a meatgrinder, taking earnest-but-foolish young men and women and turning them into fodder for an insatiable war machine. It is not an employer of last resort, an opportunity for those who can find no other employment to slip into the cracks of a bureaucratic machine until they can collect a pension. It’s not a short-term commitment, a way to pad a resume, or a means of launching a political career. It represents the best humanity has, the concretization of the highest ideals of the Earth League.
The Patrol accepts all into its ranks, male and female alike, but it does not make special allowances in the name of equality. Because of the harsh physical demands, more men than women join the Patrol, with a male/female ratio of 3:2. No discrimination exists in terms of assignments or ranks, and there are no special Women’s Corps or Ladies Auxiliaries, as exist in other branches of the Earth League military. Those good enough to get into the Patrol are good enough to do anything the Patrol might require, and that is that.
By tradition, an officer must attain lieutenant first class to be granted command of a ship. If a Patrolman of lesser rank takes command in an emergency and distinguishes himself, a review board grants (depending on the circumstances) a retroactive promotion to LFC once the situation has been resolved. Such individuals are informally addressed as “LFC Pending (name)” while the senior officers do the (expected) paperwork. This is considered to be a great honor and compliment, especially if it comes from a captain or above – it is a sign the individual has shown himself fully worthy of command, even if his uniform does not reflect that fact just yet.