Star League Defense Force Uniforms are fictional part of the Battletech Universe.
The Star League Defense Forces were uniforms that plainly identified the branch of service, rank, and unit. The uniforms also foster an esprit de corps and had great symbolic importance. Since soldiers have to put themselves in danger to protect the people and the Star League carry portable clothes cleaning machines so their uniforms would stay clean as possible.
Star League citizens give soldiers in uniform great respect gladly giving soldiers their seats, allowing them to walk to the head of lines, and freely offering them the best they have, so great is the public's awe of soldiers that a historian of the noed that rather scornfully called the uniform "that khaki halo that makes it obvious to all that the wearer was someone who could do no wrong." In general, the soldiers live up to the people's expectations; committing a crime while in uniform is perhaps the most shameful thing a trooper could ever do. Civilians of the time show their admiration by copying the style of the uniforms. For almost the entire life of the Star League, fashion designers created and refined what was called the "Trooper Look," which incorporated elements of the soldiers uniforms into business suits, dresses, and jackets. Children collecting military memorabilia and watching holo-shows about the noble defense forces.
Bits of the SLDF uniforms survive in the uniforms of the five Houses today. Examples are the School Rag of the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces and the knitted cap worn by JumpShip crewmen in the Free Worlds League. Even ComStar apparel owes portions of its appearance to the uniforms worn by the magistrates in the administration section of the SLDF. The following are some typical examples of Star League dress. There were variations over the years. For example, the ceremonial swords worn by officers of the Loyal Guards began as blunted daggers when the Star League was created but grew longer over the years until they became rapiers and cutlasses during the League's final days. The half-jacket worn by soldiers of the Regular Army and the cummerbund of naval personnel come in many colors and patterns to indicate the wearer's world of origin or military academy.
Dress Uniform (Army)Edit
Against military tradition that the dress uniforms of officers be grander than those of enlisted personnel, the Star League Defense Forces designed formal uniforms that accentuated the wearer's branch of service rather than his rank.
The basic color of the dress uniform worn by members of the Regular Army was olive drab. On the right shoulder was the rank patch, on the left were campaign ribbons and service stripes. Knee-high leather boots covered the pant legs. Gloves, usually matching the boots, were worn outdoors. A standard cap was also part of the uniform. An olive drab half jacket was worn over the thick shirt of the uniform. Running from the right shoulder down to the left hip was a World Sash. Each Star League member world designed a pattern of colors to be worn by natives of their world who entered the Regular Army. Officers sometimes replaced the World Sash with a School Rag that signified a certain military academy. Unit insignia appeared near the top of the sash. Completing the uniform was a Cameron Star on the left chest. Officers from Royal units, divisions from the Terran Hegemony that formed the core of the SLDF, were allowed to wear ceremonial swords. At first, the sword was nothing more than an ornately carved blunt dagger. As the years passed, the types of swords changed and gradually became more lethal and even more ornate. Marines were uniforms that were dark blue with red highlights, but otherwise identical to the ones worn by the Regular Army.
The dress uniform of the Star League Navy was substantially different from that of the Regular Army. A knee-length white coat with gold piping was worn over purple pants and shirt. On the high collar of the coat were two purple Cameron Stars, and the standard naval cap was also in purple. Naval Honor Cords, which were awarded for actions and for years in service, were worn on the left shoulder and draped across the chest. Cuff stripes on a naval officer's jacket denoted an admiral, with each stripe equivalent to a general's star in the Regular Army. A lower officer wore his rank on his left shoulder. The School Rag, a cloth cummerbund, wrapped around the waist. Its color showed the officer's naval academy. Officers from the Terran Hegemony wore a sword belt over the cummerbund. The naval ceremonial sword remained the same length throughout the Star League era, but the style of the hilt changed often. For outdoors ceremonies, naval officers wore gray gloves.
The duty uniforms of the sailors of the Star League navy were designed for safety and efficiency. A khaki jumpsuit covered a warm gray flannel shirt. Rank patches appeared on the right shoulder strap, front and back. Naval personnel wore thick purple boots to prevent foot and leg injuries. A sailor weres a Communication Device, called a CD, on the left wrist. The CD allowed the wearer to communicate with sailors in different sections of the ship and served as a small audio computer that allowed the wearer to load programs that offered step-by-step instruction for complex tasks. The CD also collected medical information, gathered by sensors woven into the sailor's suit, that could be transferred into a medic's computer in an emergency. Officers had similar CDs that allowed them to talk with other officers on the secured command channels of the ship. A thick knitted gray and purple cap, affectionately known as the "Cameron Dome Warmer," completed the uniform.
The duty uniform of Star League naval officers was very similar to that of the sailors. A high-collar shirt replaced the collar-less one worn by the enlisted personnel. An officer's jumpsuit was white along the right side and had the Cameron Star stitched on to the left shoulder strap. A white knitted cap bore the rank patch.
The uniform worn by a MechWarrior of the Regular Army was a marvel of electronic sophistication. MechWarriors were tan long-sleeved shirts and shorts made of a synthetic, heat-resistant cloth woven around a network of tubes of varying diameters. Hookups at the cuff allowed the warrior to connect his gloves to the shirt and cool his hands. Covering the shirt and shorts was a cooling jumpsuit in camouflage colors. Unlike today's jackets, the Star League cooling jumpsuit extended down the front and backs of the warrior's legs and around the feet, preventing MechWarrior Hotfoot, the common modern problem of gradual loss of feeling in the feet caused by repeated exposure to excessive heat. The cooling systems used a synthetic coolant that was three times more efficient than water in removing heat from a person's body. The formula for the liquid has long since been lost. Though the cooling system plugged into the 'Mech as today's cooling jackets do, a warrior of the Regular Army had a pump and heat exchanger on his belt for emergency use. A Star League warrior's neurohelmet can perform many more functions than today's helmet even though it was smaller and lighter. The neural feedback apparatus was much more sensitive and did not require contact with the wearer's scalp as they do today. The feedback was so sharp and powerful that a warrior could actually fight with his visor and windows blackened, relying on the sensors that feed information directly into the brain. When properly worn, the uniform was airtight and had its own air supply. This gave the warrior much greater confidence when fighting on a world that had no atmosphere or one that was poisonous. The rank patch appeared near the throat on the helmet pad, though this changed over the years. A warrior kept only small personal weapons, usually only a dagger and what the warriors called their "persuader," a palm-sized laser that had the range and power of today's laser pistols.
A Star League fighter pilot wore a flight suit that was far superior to what pilots wear today. Sewn into the coolant suit, which also doubled as a G-suit to prevent pilots from blacking out during high-speed maneuvers, was a unique semi-exoskeleton. Made of a plastic steel alloy that has been lost, the exoskeleton protected the pilot's chest, back, arms, and legs. The exoskeleton could absorb the shock of a blast without inhibiting a pilot's movement. In fact, the pilot could use small motors in the exoskeleton to act as a power assist when the pilot needed extra strength during high-speed maneuvering. The fighter pilot's neurohelmet was large and cumbersome, but its capabilities were amazing. When in combat against multiple foes, the fighter lowered the steel visor of his helmet and went into the CTNA mode. CTNA stood for Complete Tactical Neuro Presentation. Fighter pilots in the SLDF said CTNA made its wearer feel as though he were flying through space without a fighter. A pilot could turn around in his seat and look to the rear as if the fighter were not even there and see if any enemy fighters were approaching from behind. This was accomplished with sophisticated sensors embedded in the fuselage of Star League fighters. The sensors fed their information to the CTNA, giving the pilot a convincing depiction of space around them in a variety of modes, such as infrared, ultraviolet, and simple color vision. Multiple backup systems, particularly in the environmental controls, help fighters survive longer than modern ones can. Most pilots were unconcerned about ranks. When a pilot wore the rank patch at all, it was affixed to the exoskeleton near the shoulder.
Crews of military combat vehicles in the Regular Army had similar protection to that of MechWarriors. A crewmember wore an olive drab cooling suit that was similar, though not as extensive, to that of a 'Mech pilot. Crewmembers of tanks, hovercraft, armored personnel vehicles, and self-propelled artillery wore standard field jackets over the suits. Some armored crews, particularly those that operated in rough terrain, wore shoulder pads that protected both the shoulders and the neck. Star League technology was so advanced that the helmets worn by vehicle crews performed almost all of the functions of the neurohelmets worn by MechWarriors today. The cameras and sensors on their vehicles helped the armored crew navigate and take advantage of the terrain far better than the tank crews of today, who have only optical periscopes. The helmet also contained a communication system that allowed the wearer to talk to his crew. Rank patches and unit insignia are worn on the left shoulder. Half gloves, standard issue boots, a holster for a sidearm and a pouch to carry ammunition, batteries for a laser pistol, and other effects completed the uniform.
Troopers in the Regular Army wore uniforms that seemed too light and thin for the battlefield. Gloves and standard-issue boots covered the cuffs of olive drab pants and shirt. A legless step-through jacket in standard camouflage fit over the shirt. The trooper's rank patch and unit insignia appeared on the shoulders of the jacket. A trooper wore a small backpack that carried a powerful battery for the soldier's laser weapon and the trooper's personal items. When the unit was traveling, the soldier's sleeping bag was tied to the bottom of the pack. The most obvious difference between the trooper of the Regular Army and the foot solder of today is the full helmet worn in the SLDF. From the few surviving specimens and from research, engineers have leaned that the helmet was a marvel of electronics and strength. The design provided an excellent field of vision for the soldier. The three panes of the visor were made of a secret polarizing, clear polymer that provided excellent protection against bullets and that turned to silver tone the instant it was hit with the light of a laser. Through voice commands to the internal computer, the trooper could switch to several modes of vision. Infrared allowed the soldier to see hidden heat sources, and EE (Electronic Emission) vision showed him the source of manmade electronics. The trooper also had sighting screens that projected on the visor of the helmet to help him aim.
Technical and Support Personnel (Army)Edit
The uniforms worn by technicians, those who maintained and repaired military hardware, and support personnel, those responsible for logistics and bureaucracy, were very similar to those worn by the infantry. Rear-echelon soldiers did not wear a camouflage jacket and wore a simple cloth cap instead of a helmet. Technicians' uniforms were embedded with strands of lead to help protect them from radiation, which is a common hazard near vehicles. Their jackets had a number of hooks for tools.
Engineers aboard warships, DropShips, and JumpShips wore a uniform that could double as a space suit for occasions when the technician had to leave the ship or enter a damaged section. The white suit was made of several layers of insulating fabrics and tubes that carried fluid to keep the engineer warm. Despite the suit's complexity, it was only a few kilograms heavier than other uniforms. The high collar hid the helmet ring, which connected a large helmet that had lights and a camera. On the belt was a portable air supply and hook up points for a larger air supply called a maneuver unit, which gave the wearer more mobility outside the ship.