Grelfarl Trench Troopers
That Grelfarl, a multi-system mining company, should possess a large army on Caldoom is an accident of history. The two mining companies, Grelfarl and Bretag, had concessions separated by the Iron River. The river valley itself was initially marshy but was drained by early settlers and became a flourishing agricultural area.
The companies managed to rub along reasonably well with no more than minor irritations, such as when they poached each other’s engineers and labourers. The problem lay in the Iron River. In the valley itself it is an obvious boundary, but in the mountains from which it rises, which particular spring is the original source? Given that the answer would tell you just who had the rights to mine vast quantities of excellent ore, you can see why matters became tense and eventually fighting broke out.
In the ten years of war that followed, there was fighting in the mountains, but this soon bogged down in the treacherous terrain. So campaigns shifted south into the Valley of the Iron River as both sides sought to capture the mountains by cutting them off from communications with Liberty. In this fighting, the river bunds were destroyed and the valley returned to marshland. Now the conscript armies of both sides glare across the marshes at each other from their entrenched positions.
The average Gerlfarl Trench Trooper is a conscript. Born in one of the mining or agricultural communities under Gerlfarl control, he or she will normally serve at least five years. Their numbers are supplemented by occasional volunteers from the rest of the planet (After five years you get a new name and identity) and even some from off world. Officers are sometimes recruited from other Gerlfarl security forces on other worlds.
The Trench Troopers are organised into squads of five under a hand-leader who is the junior NCO, with a hand of hands under an officer and a sergeant. The uniform is the same throughout the force, but conscripts are recognisable by the fact that their uniforms take on browner hue from the trenches they live in.
There are elite formations of trench troopers, these are picked from the conscripts and volunteers, paid better and can be distinguished by their newer and cleaner uniforms. Some of them even wear uniforms cut from camouflage pattern material. These formations tend to be held behind the lines in normal times, to provide a counter-attacking force. They will also be used as the spearhead in offensives.
A final word about the Military Police. These are recruited from Grelfarl security troops off-world, and from those conscripts who show promise. They are rarely seen in combat, normally forming patrols behind the lines checking up on their own infantry. They too wear the same uniform but technically should have black collar flashing. Also they are even more likely to wear camouflage than ordinary soldiers.