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Old 08-07-2021, 11:58 AM   #1
DAT
 
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Default Fifth Wave NCOs

Non-Commission Officers (NCOs) are an important core of militaries forces. The experience they bring to units are key to smooth operations and mission success, as well as the proper training/seasoning of junior officers.

A question occurred to me, where will infantry unit NCOs come from for future Fifth Wave militaries?

The “same place they come from now” answer doesn’t quite work.

As per the THS entry on Ground Warfare (p.TS100), “… Fifth Wave powers are now replacing humans and bioroids with cybershells controlled by sapient infomorphs.”

Civilians don’t just enter an “NCO academy” and 2-4 years later come out as an NCO. NCOs are developed over years and years of on-the-job experience, starting when they enter the military as privates/seamen/airmen/etc. Many potential NCOs are weeded out over time. Only the ones who have the perseverance, skills, and leadership ability continue to eventually become junior, middle, and senior NCOs. If the privates and specialists are replaced by sapient infomorphs controlling RATS in infantry units, what feeds the pipeline for future junior, middle, and senior NCOs in a Fifth Wave force?

Extensive slinky interactive simulations?

Humans continue (as in Forth Wave) to teleoperate some RATS?

Some units remain all human and or bioroid? (this sounds like the case of special operations forces, and maybe some US Marines per the vignette on p.TS168).

Something else?

What are your thoughts/ideas?
-Dan
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Old 08-07-2021, 01:34 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

To use a business analogy NCOs are shop floor bosses of basic units of production whereas officers are middle management who co-ordinate production units.

So perhaps you do have training programs for humans who work in field supervision of NAI units. This might have them be starting out as Corporals or at least PFCs rather than basic privates but the human job ladder doesn't go that low any more.

The 5th Wave military probably doesn't have any use for humans who can be replaced by machines anyway.
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Old 08-07-2021, 06:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

The way I ran it in my QRA campaign was to have three separate teams of infomorphs: 3 AKVs, 4 Jump RATs and 4 Microgravity RATS, all of them running LAIs. There was a Royal Marine officer in charge of them, and he managed to keep from needing to supervise all of them at once. The teams did have better coordination than humans would, because they can communicate very quickly, not being limited by speech. So they managed without an NCO level, although in a very small force.
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Old 08-10-2021, 07:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAT View Post
A question occurred to me, where will infantry unit NCOs come from for future Fifth Wave militaries?
As per the THS entry on Ground Warfare (p.TS100), “… Fifth Wave powers are now replacing humans and bioroids with cybershells controlled by sapient infomorphs.”

No reason they can’t make robot NCOs the same way they make other robot soldiers.
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Old 08-11-2021, 12:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
As per the THS entry on Ground Warfare (p.TS100), “… Fifth Wave powers are now replacing humans and bioroids with cybershells controlled by sapient infomorphs.”

No reason they can’t make robot NCOs the same way they make other robot soldiers.
One of the most important jobs of NCOs is to use their long experience to advise their officers (especially junior officers, who are mostly younger than the NCOs). While SAIs can have experience, they would need time to gain it, unless they're just being copied from SAIs that are already experienced.
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Old 08-11-2021, 01:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
One of the most important jobs of NCOs is to use their long experience to advise their officers (especially junior officers, who are mostly younger than the NCOs). While SAIs can have experience, they would need time to gain it, unless they're just being copied from SAIs that are already experienced.
Emphasis added. You can either promote experienced robot soldiers to be robot NCOs as your biosophont NCOs wear out. Or you can make new SAI NCOs incorporating the distilled wisdom of experienced NCOs the same way you make robots with other skills.

When humans are redundant humans will be redundant.
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Old 08-12-2021, 08:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
When humans are redundant humans will be redundant.

Looked at another way, the NCO vs commissioned Officer paradigm is the result of a quirk about how humans learn, and AI's may have different quirks that require different command and promotion structures.
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Old 08-13-2021, 12:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

...are we certain that a fifth wave military needs NCOs?
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Old 08-14-2021, 12:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

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...are we certain that a fifth wave military needs NCOs?
I doubt it very much, but DAT and Prince Charon seem to assume that fifth wave militaries will need biosophont officers and some sort of NCOs to train them.
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Old 08-14-2021, 11:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fifth Wave NCOs

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Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
I doubt it very much, but DAT and Prince Charon seem to assume that fifth wave militaries will need biosophont officers and some sort of NCOs to train them.
How much they are or are not needed in a game depends a heck of a lot on the type of game being played (even within the concepts of THS).
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