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September 3rd 2014

OP.NET Merc News

Always Forward Interview


Hey there, operators. Welcome to the new, the revamped, the thrilling yet familiar OP.NET. That’s right. We’re live and back to cutting you in on the hard feed. My name’s Conva Maynard and I will be your new guide on all the latest merc news, tips, products … you name it. If it somehow involves someone standing around looking intimidating, I’m sure it’ll probably come across my desk. Definitely if they’re armed. So some of you probably were hoping that Mixer was going to be back. Sadly, she did not have a change of heart after she walked out of her last broadcast, so it looks like you’re stuck with me.

I know she pissed a lot of the producers off, which I get, but I’d like to wish her luck in whatever or whoever she’s pursuing. Mainly because I need the gig. I’m kidding. Well, not really.

Anyway, moving on to the big show. We got some great bits for you all today: Skiv’s going to give you a breakdown on some sweet new tech that’s not even out yet, we’ve got the latest gigs and leads on the Job Board and a few surprise guests.

Before we get started, I just have to get some legal stuff out of the way. OP.NET and the information presented are not affiliated with Crosshair or the Mercenary Guild. Tips we pass along are vetted to the best of our ability, but that does not guarantee accuracy. In short, check your facts before you open fire. Usually a good way to go.

All right. My producer’s smiling and giving me a thumb’s up, so I’m guessing we haven’t been swamped with angry comms and I haven’t been fired yet.

Let’s get this show on the road.

My first guest was a pilot for the UEE Navy for ten years before getting tapped by the Marines where he served with distinction for another twenty-three years. Now he’s written a book entitled Always Forward, probably one of the more comprehensive tomes about the history of the Marines in general. We’re very excited to have him. Please welcome Lt. Col. Marcus Estes.

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: Good afternoon. Thank you for the invitation.

Thanks for being here, Colonel. So, your book takes its title from one of the oldest active mantras in the Marines: “Always forward –”

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: Never back.

When did that first come into common usage?

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: It’s tough to say exactly, but it started appearing on comm transcripts in 2605 during the Second Tevarin War.

Now, it’s really no question why you would want to write a book about the Marines. They’re pretty consistently one of the more evasive and fascinating branches of the military, but my question is, for that exact reason, how were you able to write such a full book? Were they resistant to releasing this information to the public?

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: Well, I assure you, they are aware of every word in my book. I had a consistent review process with the Admin Office to make sure of it. The last thing I wanted to do was distort any of the facts. I wanted it to be a clear and unflinching historical account.

I have to admit; I was stunned to find such detail about the training regimens throughout the various ages of the Marines. I knew a handful of Marines when I served and none of them would ever talk about their training. No matter how many drinks I got them.

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: I think it’s important to distinguish that I was extremely mindful not to delve too deeply into modern training techniques; those being still classified. Instead I talk about how they used to train Marines, and how that process changed over the centuries.

Could you give us an example?

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: The easiest two are the differences between Messer Era training and Post-Messer. After the end of the Second Tevarin War, Imperator Messer II completely re-imagined the marine training experience from the ground up. The system he built focused on planetary invasion combat techniques, but also designed a psychological conditioning system, emphasizing a warrior code that fell in line with Messer II’s social and political idealized vision of the Empire. Ignoring for the moment the horrible atrocities of that era, from a strictly clinical and academic perspective, the technique proved to be rather effective in transforming Marines into unquestioning weapons. But it was ineffective in many other ways.

How so?

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: The Messers deprived the Marines of their most fundamental tool and weapon: their brains. After the fall of the Messers, the newly appointed Legatus Marinuum redesigned the system to cultivate a smarter, more adaptable Marine who has the knowledge and confidence to make judgment calls in the field. In order to pull that off, the Marines minimum requirement and vetting procedures for potential recruits became much more strict. While this quickly dwindled the number of qualified applicants, it maximized the chances of finding Marines that could live up to this new standard.

My DI always said my brain was my biggest problem.

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: Well …

We have to take a quick break and play some messages from our outstanding sponsors. Can you stick around and talk a bit more?

Lt. Col. Marcus Estes: Of course.

Great. So we’ll be back with Lt Col. Marcus Estes. His new book Always Forward will be available next week. My name’s Conva Maynard and you’re tapped into OP.NET.


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