Just For Fun: Ponies With Pikes
Royal Guard Recruitment Posternote
No, it has nothing to do with Ponies fishing and catching Pikes
. And neither it is a tasteless pun on Ponies riding Bikes
The Equestrian Royal Guard
(alternate spelling: Royal Equestrian Guard), sometimes also known by the historical term E.U.P. Guardnote
, is the main defence and police force
of the Principality of Equestria
The Royal Guard boasts more than 45,000 personnelnote
, 30,000 of them active and 15,000 as reserves, and includes members of all of the three major Pony races (Earth Ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi), but admissions from minorities, including gryphons and mules, are generally accepted. Thus, the Royal Guard makes up a typical 0.5% of Equestria's entire population, and that doesn't even include the various militias and foreign mercenaries that have fought alongside the them from time to time.
Its primary roles are the protection of the Royal Family, the defense of the nation's sovereignty and its borders, and to enforce the rule of harmony in times of peril. The latter, as well as the policing of the public and upholding the law, is left to each regiment's Gendarmerie detachments - soldiers who are tasked with law enforcement duty. They typically make up two thirds of the unit, and involve every soldier at least once in the course of his time served.
Its current Commanders-In-Chief are the Equestrian Heads of State, Her Royal Highnesses Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, in a unique case of dual command.
Its current annual budget consists of 800 Million bits, which sadly makes it one of the least subsidized government investments
, especially compared to the Crown's expenditures for education and welfare.
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Notable Units and Dress Code
The Royal Guard enforces a strict dress code, which not only requires uniform clothing hairdo, but also uniform coat and mane colors (the latter does not apply to Commanding Officers (COs), who can refuse dye). All uniforms are closely based on the traditional ancient armor worn by the Pegasi Tribes of the Pre-Discordian Era. Each unit has its own coat of arms and motto. Some units have Colonels-In-Chief and Ceremonial Chiefs, and all units have a commanding officer. Here are some branches of the Royal Guard and their respective uniforms.
- The Celestian Guard: (Like The Sun, Powerful And Eternal) A Heavy Hoof Guard regiment and the personal security detail of Princess Celestia, who is also their Ceremonial Chief. They are generally male Pegasi, and all have white coats (usually bleached or dyed), and blue manes (ditto). They carry golden armor and helmets. Their unit insignia is a blue star, and in dress uniform a distinctive shamrock collar flash is worn. Their most recent known Colonel-In-Chief was Captain Shining Armor, who stepped down after marrying Princess Cadence and becoming Prince of the Crystal Empire. His replacement has not been publicly named. Their headquarters are in Canterlot.
- The Night Guard: (From The Night We Come, Into The Night We Go) A Light Hoof Guard regiment and the personal security detail of Princess Luna, who is also their Ceremonial Chief. They are perhaps the most distinguishable of the military branches, seeing how they sport the most detailed and original uniform dress. Often mistaken for pegasi, they are actually bat-ponies, native to the mountainous regions in the north-east. They have dark blue or purple coats and manes, and carry dark blue armour and Cool Helmets with so-called fishbone manes. However, they also have slitted, yellow feline eyes, which greatly enhance their night vision. Their unit insignia is a blue eye. Their headquarters are in Canterlot.
- The Royal Unicorn Brigade "Prince Blueblood": (Kudos, Fidelity, Victory) An exclusive unicorn Heavy Hoof Guard regiment from Canterlot whose members have grey coats, and golden iron and cotton armor and helmets with white manes. Also known as the "Toff Brigade" by those not from Canterlot. Their unit insignia is a blue star. Their current Colonel-In-Chief is Blueblood, Prince of Canterlot. Their HQ also is, appropriately, in Canterlot.
- The Royal Household Detachment: (Fortune To The Vigilant) Usually pegasi or unicorns, those soldiers guard royal and governmental institutions in major cities, and also take care of Equestrian embassies around the world. Often the butt of cheap jokes from other soldiers who tend to forget that, while their major purpose is indeed guarding buildings and military installations, they have actually absolved a special lengthy combat training committed to capturing and holding buildings as well. They have grey fur and light black iron and cotton armour and black helmets with great white manes. Their unit insignia is a golden star badge. Their headquarters is in Hoofington.
- The 4th Pony Protection Platoon A.K.A. The Wonderbolts: (Fly Like Lightning, Strike Like Thunder) In-keeping with their status as elite soldiers, they have the least standardised uniforms, and do not require dyed manes or dyed coats. Their standard issue uniform consists of blue nylon body suits and wind goggles. Their unit insignia is a yellow thunderbolt with white wings. Their headquarters are in Winsome Falls, Neighgara.
- The Imperial Crystal Guard: (Between Stone And Gem We Last) The newest addition to the Royal Guard, having only joined in 2013. A Hoof Guard regiment that exclusively features Earth Ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi native to the Crystal Empire. They have wearing purple coats, silver armour and helmets with white manes over their naturally sparkly and glass-like physical forms. Their unit insignia is a silver, moon-shaped gorget. Their current Ceremonial Chief is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, Empress of the Crystal Empire. Their current commanding officer is Lieutenant Flash Sentry. Their HQ is in the Crystal Empire.
- The King's Girthka Spears: (Paragon of Brotherhood, Predator of Fear) A Royal Neighpalese Cavalry unit serving the Equestrian Crown. In Equestrian-Neighpalese War of 1815, fought between Equestria and the Girthka Kingdom of Neighpal, Princess Celestia saw the potential of Girthka soldiers as well-trained and sturdy light cavalry with the bonus of an ancient military tradition. Their Equestrian HQ is in Fillydelphia.
- The Equestrian Gryphons' Armed Battalion: (These Rocks Rule None But Harmony) An independent national guard regiment under local administration, tasked with defending the Free City of Rostrum, an Equestrian fortress exclave and port inside the Gryphon Republic. Made up entirely by Gryphons from both Equestria and the Republic, it's the only unit with the authority to traverse Gryphon teritory, following the 1963 Treaty of Rostrum that regulated the territory's special 'inter-border' status that effectively made it a very neutral Truce Zone and buffer between the two great powers. They wear silver Gryphon armour (most notably with cabassets with yellow feather plumage), and their unit insignia mirrors the coat-of-arms of the town - a bird's claw grasping a thunderbolt. Their HQ is in Rostrum.
- The Border Guard: (We Are The Moats, We Are The Walls) A term referring to all the regiments of the Royal Guard stationed on the various borders of Equestria. They tend to be often stationed hostile spots, far away from major cities, and thus is frequently undersupplied. A large part of the ranks is made up of criminals, foreign soldiers seeking Equestrian citizenship, and misbehaving/incompetent Royal Guards. Due to the limited budget, even by Royal Guards standards, they are the only non-militia guardponies without any uniform. The biggest regiment, the one in Stalliongrad which is also known as The Northern Guards, is particularly (in)famous. Their headquarters are in Vanhoover, Northern Equestria and Dodge Junction, Appleloosa.
- The Ducal Mustangia Cavalry AKA the Ducal Lance-Canids: (If Not Us, Then No One Does) A strictily Mustangian earth pony force "on indefinite lease" to the Royal Crown in Canterlot note since the formal peace of the Thirteen Years' War in 1631. The Lance-Canids started out as mercenary companies employed by the local Mustangian dukes, and united in the chaos of the 13 war years as a national guard to the seceding Duchy of Mustangia. Evidently, none of it lasted. Probably one of the most ferocious Earth Pony regiments out there. Wear woolen harnesses under their silver armour and Nice plumed Caps. Their unit insignia is a red phoenix. Their headquarters are in Kiger, Mustangia.
- The 1st Light Anti-Parasprite Field Orchestra: (Beautiful Is The Melody Of Victory) While occasionally deployed into action, most recently to Fillydelphia under Celestia's personal command, they are better known as a public-relations unit that may be seen playing on many occasions, particularly the popular Canterlot Tattoo. They are responsible for playing the Royal Fanfare when the princesses are present. As a pan-regimental institution, each member keeps the insignia of his unit, though they all have uniform similar to that of the Celestian Guard. Their headquarters is also in Canterlot.
- The Royal Provost Battalion: (Harmony Through Justice, Justice Through Wisdom, Wisdom Through Harmony) The 1200 pony-strong military police of the Guard (not to be confused with Gendarmerie detachs), who seem to dispach in indefinite amount of zealous, but hopelessly inept Inquisitors General to cause trouble in the ranks. Annoying at best and harrowing at worst, they have garnered a universal Hatedom and - just as often as they seek to find things wrong with REG soldiers - they serve as the common soldier's showcase of everything wrong with the Royal Guard* . Wear golden armour and helmets with red manes, which has led to the desultory nickname of "redcaps." Have a silver star badge as their unit insignia. Their HQ is in Hoofington.
- The Royal Signals and Reconnaisance Regiment: (attributed: To Know The Unknown Is To Win The Unwinnable) Does not exist. But if it did, it would actually be the Royal Guard's military intelligence wing. As nopony is willing to officially confirm its existence, the scope of its activities is dubious note . They have their own task force though - the Security Assistance Squadron, whose existence, surprisingly and quite ironically, has indeed been confirmed. Of course, they have no coat of arms or uniforms of their own. Thanks to their direct links to the Princely Offices, there is confusion whether they can even be assumed part of the Guard proper. Their HQ is, of course, unknown. Canterlot would be a good guess, though.
- The 7th (Air) Cavalry Regiment: (Pay the Reckoning) Raised in 1866 as an Earth Pony unit; converted to a Pegasus unit in 1963. Best known for the time when an arrogant officer named Custard led it into an ambush during the Buffalo Wars. Its uniform consists of a blue tunic and a blue broad-rimmed campaign hat, and its unit insignia is two crossed sabres on brown cloth. Its headquarters are in Dodge Junction.
- The Foalini: (Nobody passes here!) Specialist mountain troops, originally raised among the donkeys residing in the Foal and Crystal Mountain ranges as militia and raised in status to permanent regiment in 1872. Composed by a vast majority of donkeys and mules with smaller numbers of Cowstrian immigrants and Earth Ponies, they distinguished themselves in the Great Changeling War, in which they led the local militias in stopping dead the initial Changeling push into Neighgara County and were able to stifle typical Changeling infiltration tactics thanks to the latters' ignorance of the local cultural peculiarities. The same conflict made them somewhat infamous for their propensity to blow up pieces of mountains on the head of the enemy, as exemplified by the demolition of the Changeling Tooth with an immense amount of explosives (incidentally preventing the Changelings from using an even larger amount of explosive to blow up the Equestrian Tooth occupied by the Foalini). They have a friendly rivalry with the Night Guard (that, before the Civil War, served also as mountain troops). Their uniform is a gray-green light armour with a single black feather (white for officers) on the left side of the helmet instead of a plume, and their insignia (also worn on the helmet) is an eagle in a slightly different gradation of green. Their headquarter are in Neighgara Falls.
The following ranks are placed in descending order:
- Officer Ranks
- Non-Commissioned Officer Ranks
- Warrant Major - Leads the platoon.
- Sergeant - Leads one whole section.
- Lance Corporal, Wing Leader (Air Force only) - Leads one combat team/one maneouvre team respectively.
- Enlisted Ranks
Notable Conflicts Involving The Royal Guard*
- app. 250 bd - 251 bd (Pegasus Army): The Eternal Winter Scramble: As the disastrous winters of the 200s bd destroyed most of the crops and reserves of the three Pony Tribes, and the 250 Conference failed, the three tribes scrambled for the last hoofful of fertile lands of the modern-day Canterlot area. Often, it resulted in occasional fights, territorial clashes and raids in the Hoofington, Cloudsdale and Everfree provinces, especially perpetrated by Pegasi. The animosity continued and grew worse until the three leaders ended up seeking refuge in the same cave...
- app. 100 bd - ? bd (Pegasus Army): The beginning of the Discordian Era. According to a letter of commission, one of the few historical artifacts that has remained from this time, the Pegasopolis Guard tried to fight the Discordian influence by order of the Equestrian Commonwealth in Canterlot. It is unknown how far it was successful, but the entire Commonwealth eventually succumbed to the Chaos in the next few decades.
- 10 - 1415 (EUP Guard): The Equestrian Unification Wars.
- 1006 (EUP Guard): The Crystal War: Everything began when the Crystal Empire, led by the rebellious Unicorn King Sombra, tried to expand its border into surrounding (Equestrian) Seaddle territory and enslave the local population. In the next two weeks, the Princess Sisters ammassed an 7500 strong-army and marched against the city state, eventually pushing back an avid, yet undersupplied and unprepared Crystal Guard in the Battle of Horstings. King Sombra famously ordered to raze the conquered land as they retreated. The Crystal State itself was overrun very easily, and the most spectacular event of the entire campaign was perhaps the Alicorn Sisters personally tracking down King Sombra during the retreat and sealing him under the Sir-Ascot-Glacier. Only about 400 ponies were lost on Equestria’s side, half of them civilian ponies of the surrounding lands. note That said, relationships with the Gryphons soured as part of the fallout of this campaign. The Gryphons had close ties to the region, and when the Crystal Empire was lost in time, they blamed the Royal Sisters for this failure, particularly Princess Luna.
- 1007 - 1009 (EUP Guard): The Equestrian Civil War. With the help of the Night Guard, Princess Luna rose up against Princess Celestia. Cities like Canterlot, Hoofington and Manehattan declared allegiance to Princess Celestia, while cities like Fillydelphia and Cloudsdale joined Princess Luna’s rebellion. The first months it was mostly showing fangs and individual skirmishes taking place all across the historical heartland, but open revolution had broken out by early 1009. The eclat was the Battle of Everfree Hall the same year, where the Night Guard, after trying to come to their leader's aid and take the princely citadel by storm, were surrounded and smashed by the Celestian Guard. Princess Luna was exiled to the Moon. The Night Guard surrendered in droves following this defeat. The overall toll of this conflict is largely unknown, but is estimated at around 6,000.
- 1248 – 1254 (EUP Guard): The Saddle Arabian Campaign: Because the Saddle Arabian Sultanate, as an outspoken friend of Princess Luna and still enraged about her banishment, was refusing to recognise Celestia’s status as Equestria's true Princess, he had all trade ties between the two nations severed and expelled numerous ponies from the Horse nation. Celestia decided to make him recognise her rule by force, and called note for the nobleponies of Equestria to march into Saddle Arabia occupy their cities and trade posts in her name. All counties of Equestria complied, and soon a force of nearly a hundred thousand ventured to the horse nation, and captured some major metropolises like Mareusalem and Coltstaninople. The Sultan followed suit, and turned to the Khalifs and Emirs of Saddle Arabia for defence. The captured cities switched owners several times as more noble equines from both sides headed into the battle for their respective nation's honour. Eight years and 65.000 lives later, all Royal Guard companies had been beaten back and the Saddle Arabian borders restored, with the Sultan's begrudging recognition following suit. Thankfully, the relations between the nations had been mild and positive ever since this very humbling conflict.
- 1618 – 1631 (EUP Guard): Thirteen Years’ War: The escalation of tensions between the Equestrian Crown and the Gryphon Union after Princess Celestia threw a misbehaving Gryphon envoy out a Throne Room window. note Seeing this as an act of diplomatic impiety (and appreciating an opportunity to utilise some cutting-edge magic and technology), the Gryphon Union declared war and poured over Northern borders, venturing deep into Equestrian and Changeling lands. The Changelings, who themselves had been at edge with Equestria at the time, suddenly found themselves sandwiched and participating in a vicious Mêlée à Trois with the Ponies and Gryphons. The Gryphons managed to capture the young colony of Northern Equestria, using Vanhoover as a rally point for mercenariesnote . While the Royal Guard scrambled to the Frozen North to (futilely) prevent the Gryphons advancing further south to Mustangia, the Changelings resorted to irregular warfare, dealing a lot of physical and psychological damage to both sides. The situation only grew worse when the Royal Guard retreated, Mustangia tried to secede from Equestria and Gryphon mercenaries began to defect and go rogue in the region. It took an entire decade for the fighting to die down and the respective sides to regroup behind their respective borders. Officially, the war was a draw, but cost all sides about 200,000 lives and a million ponies displaced.
- 1815 (EUP Guard): The Equestrian-Neighpalese War
- 1862 - 1891 (EUP Guard): The Buffalo Wars: A desultory series of actions during the Southwestward Expansion of Equestrian settlers into traditional buffalo lands.
- 1899 - 1902 (Equestrian Royal Guard): The Boors’ War: The last great attempt of Equestria to tame the Badlands. Setting up the colonies of Equitoria, the settlers soon found their biggest problem to be the native Diamond Dogs who lived under the earth and robbed towns, plundered supply routes and occcasionally even abducted ponies as bounty. The Royal Guard was called in to safeguard the Pony settlers, but was quickly overwhelmed with the Diamond Dogs’ presence, who at that point had already resorted to irregular warfare (against the painfully rigid, outdated and unflexible tactics of the Guard) to great effect. Even though the Guard proceded to increase their presence constantly over the months, the Badlands remained to be dangerous and utterly uninhabitable regions, last not but least because of such 'neutral' threats like dragons and hydras. Even though the casulaties were minimal (less than 200), Princess Celestia basically declared the cause not to be worth the trouble, sacked the responsible commanding officers and beat the retreat. Until this day, there is some sort of unspoken note agreement between the Diamond Dogs and Equestria that keeps Ponies (especially the Royal Guard) out and the Diamond Dogs in. The colonies are still there as well, but are destroyed beyond recognition.
- 1914 - 1945 (Equestrian Royal Guard): The Great Changeling War: Under the directions of their new Queen, Chrysalis I, the Changeling empire made repeated, but fairly subtle attempts to expand into Equestrian territory. When Princess Celestia chose not to react note , Chrysalis saw this as an allowance to swallow several whole counties. She invaded Northern Equestria, Mustangia, Germaneigh, Cowstria, as well as the Southern Gryphon Republic’s Yugryphonia and all of the Foallands from the air, and even had a jab at Gryphon-occupied Saddle Arabia, making the entire continent her enemy in record time note . It was perhaps the most world-spanning conflict that Equestria took part in. Royal Guards from all over Equestria were ordered to march up north and fend off the Changelings' "thunder and lightening", as they themselves called this new, swift form of conquering land. Chrysalis made heavy use of terror and mind control to make the captured states her puppet countries, and managed to put the Guard under constant pressure over years in a row. However, thanks to the Guard making up in fervour and technology what the Changelings had in flexibility and numbers, the stalemate between the two sides was upheld. Soon, neither side could advance even a mere dozen miles. It was not until the Gryphon Republic launched an offensive from the north and successfully thinned out the Changelings’ ranks that the stalemate ended. Those Changeling colonies that didn’t retreat were retaken by the Guard in a matter of weeks. The Changelings ended up with less land than before the war, and were utterly humiliated by the winning powers. This built-up animosity still persists in present times. More than a 500.000 ponies were taken out, and more than three Million lost their homes.
- 1982 (Equestrian Royal Guard): The Foallands War (referred to in griffon territories as the Falcons' War). In the latest of Equestrian-Gryphonian tensions, the part-Equestrian part-Gryphon Foalland Archipelago (a tiny island group plagued by constant border struggles and unease between Gyphon and Equestrian citizens) was invaded by Gryphon troops (under the command of the new, radical Gryphon administration) with the intent to claim all of the territory and expel all (126) Equestrian citizens. Princess Celestia (nicknamed 'The Equestrian Empress' by the Gryphon President in the wake of the war) responded harshly, sending in a completely air-based armada of Celestian Guards to push the Gryphons back and retake the Equestrian parts. The operation, taking only about a month, was a big success, with the Gryphon invasion force twice the size falling back almost without dealing resistance. The Royal Guard only had abou 200 losses, and the Gryphons more than thrice that much. As this was a conflict more about honour rather than substance (Gryphon fishing rights in the area notwithstanding) the Status Quo between both nations was enforced after the end of the conflict, but the Gryphons are still particularly sore because of those islands.
- 1991 - 1999 (Equestrian Royal Guard): The Yugryphonian Intervention: In 1990, Yugryphonia, an apostate south-eastern region of the Gryphon Republic, used the country's precarious political climate (read; the the Gryphon Civil Wars, which began in the wake of Foallands debacle) to declare independence and began drawing up paramilitary forces. Equestria, which had been at odds with the Gryphon Republic ever since '82 and were deeply worried that the war's violence may sweep over the borders, hastily hatched a treaty of mutual respect with Yugryphonia. When the Gryphon National Guard marched into Yugryphonia and the Yugryphonian armed forces opened fire, Equestria warily abstained, but filed an international plight for Yugryphonia in the NEIGHTO. It was only when the Yugryphonian conflict got so thoroughly out of claw that the Princesses (and by extension, Equestria's allies as well) felt that the harmony of the entire theatre was too far in peril to be ignored, and organised a peacekeeping mission that deployed 500 Equestrians, 380 Saddle Arabians and 115 Zebricans to Yugryphonia. This peacekeeping force was officially neutral, and served mainly as a deterrent for both sides, interfering only in the wake of unjustifiably unharmonious actions perpetrated by the combatants. Naturally, the Gryphon Republic did not approve, but ultimately retreated from Yugryphonia. Peacekeepers are still stationed in the region as observers, and even though Yugryphonia is largely free, it has yet to be recognised as an independent state by about everyone.
- 1992 (Equestrian Royal Guard): Zebran Civil War.
- 2009 (Equestrian Royal Guard): The Battle of Appleloosa.
- 2012 (Equestrian Royal Guard): The Siege of Canterlot.
- 2012 - Ongoing (Equestrian Royal Huard): The Wuvy-Dovey Land Relief Mission.
In recent times, the Royal Guard, and to alesser extent it's EUP predecessor, has received a rather negative portrayal from media. They are often generalised as being incompetent, cowardly, or plain stupid. While those portrayals do the actual Guard no real justice and are grossly simplifying the reality of things
, the Royal Guard did manage to get a lot of bad press after a decade-long cavalcade of embarrassing incidents.
For example, there was the return of the exiled Princess Luna in 2009, during she not only managed to overpower Celestia and crash a reception intended for her, but afterwards also managed to evade arrest by the Guard almost single-hoovedly
. Later, the Royal Guard were involved in the so-called "Phoenix-gate
" and "Portal-gate
, which sparked a debate that drew the overall competence of the Guard into question
. Most recently, they completely failed to prevent the abduction of both Alicorn Sisters from Canterlot
, at which point they also proved to have no crisis-management plan whatsoever.
Next to such minor slip-ups there were also a ton of much more massive slip-ups
, such as the 2012 Siege of Canterlot
, if it could even be called a 'siege'; despite the Royal Guard being put on full alert, they were overrun by a small army of Changelings
in a fight that lasted less than 15 minutes
. This incident pretty much codified
the bad reputation of the Guard, revealing their under-supplied situation and bad strategic foresight for all the world to see.
Furthermore, cynics point out how the Applaloochian militias held its own against the physically imposing buffalo
while the Royal Guard couldn't even hold the line long enough for orders to be relayed, with many claiming the training regime is wholly ineffective. They question why they even had the wedding during such a chaotic time, and how the capital of the country of all places could let their soldiers be under-supplied when they knew something was up. Some go so far as to accuse the Captain of the Guard of only getting his position as a commander instead of a Shield-Casting special operative because he was the fiancé of Princess Celestia's favorite niece and his sister was her personal student.
Many have argued that the Guard's golden age had come to an end as Princess Celestia and Luna seemed to have decided to give it a more of a symbolic, ceremonial role rather than a seriously military one. The were tremendous budget cuts on military expenditure, the amount of Guards was heavily reduced, and new recruits were given inferior training compared to that of their senior comrades. It is not an uncommon thought that the reason behind this decline in focus can be attributed to Princess Celestia outsourcing her royal magic power, in the form of the Elements Of Harmony, to six members of the public (one of whom is a Wonderbolt cadet and another one is a close relative of an important Guard commander
) who had participated in the capture of Princess Luna, and later became known as the Royal Element Bearers. This is somewhat equivalent to the "Honorable Artillery Companies" of other lands which, at times, have tasked civilian technicians with operating their heaviest firepower.
Nonetheless, this decision caused a lot of derision among many guardsponies, as these element bearers were allowed to wield a power equal only to that of Discord, but effectively had little to no military training whatsoever. That many of those Element Bearers had been indicted with criminal charges
in the recent past and had regularly been the sources of scandalous headlines
and many catastrophes
on their own accord, only served to turn the knife in the wound a bit more.
And this is all that will be said about this matter.
Big Horseshoes To Fill
Historically, the Guard can directly trace its roots back all the way to the Pegasus Tribes of the Pre-Discordian Era. As the Earth Pony tribes were mainly a culture of farmers and workers, and the unicorns generally paid the other races for protection, the militaristic and war-like Pegasi were quick to become the
dominant military power of their time. They gained both historical fame and infamy for their attempts to lay sole claim to the weather in the Equestrian skies, trying to expand their borders, stirring up trouble with neighbouring tribes, and their rather legendary racism
against their earth-bound contemporaries. One of the most infamous Pegasus chieftains was Commander Hurricane
, who ironically went on to become a member of the founding trifecta of the modern Equestrian nation in the year 251 bdnote
, as featured in the award-winning 2012 play The Three Tribes
The general historical consensus is that the point of the downfall of the Pegasus tribes as an independent military power came alongside that of the other tribes with the start of the Discordian Era, as their bravery and fighting prowess proved to be useless against the powers of Chaos and discontent.
It was only after Discord’s defeat at the horns of Celestia of the Sun and Luna of the Moon that the Pegasus warrior culture recovered from being nearly swept away by the Discordian influence. After their coronation as the Princesses of Equestria in 1 adnote
, Celestia and Luna recognised the potential of the Pegasus legacy, and began recruiting male Pegasi into a Praetorian Guard
to defend the young Equestrian royal court from competing forces. In the years following its formation, the aptly named the EUP Guard - or E
arth Pony, U
nicorn and P
egasus Guard - grew into an army, originally split into two branches in 690 ad – the Celestian Guard, commanded by Princess Celestia, and the Night Guard, led by Princess Luna. For the sake of balancing the power between the two, each army took turns acting as the national defence force alongside their commander every sunrise and sunset.
Needless to say, this overly complicated system lasted only as long as the good relationship between the two sisters. When Princess Luna began demanding the right to her sister’s throne in 1007, her branch of the EUP Guard declared allegiance to her cause. With their aid, Luna rose up against Celestia, and the country was soon plunged into a fully fledged civil war, with Royal Guards fighting Royal Guards in the streets of small provincial city of Canterlot.
While Princess Celestia managed to summon the Elements of Harmony to defeat and ban her sister from Equestria in 1009, the Night Guard was defeated in battle within a year, surrounded and forced to capitulate by the Celestian Guard. Even though all its members were pardoned by Princess Celestia, The Remnant
of the Night Guard was dissolved or usurped into the ranks of the Celestians soon after. It was at that time that the terms “Royal Guard” and “Celestian Guard” became synonymous - Princess Celestia took control of all the country’s troops under her banner, reshuffling the EUP Guard's command structure to form specialised task groups called the PPP's - the P
latoons, under the command of the former Celestian Guard officer Firefly. Under Celestia's thousand-year single rule, she expanded the Guard further, splitting it yet again into two branches in 1415, but differentiated by purpose rather than allegiance. In the spirit of the ancient Pegasus Warriors, the Royal Equestrian Air Force was formed as an extended hoof of the ground-based Royal Guard and the Royal Equestrian Navy (thus reverting to its original post-Discordian designation) in 1899. This gave birth to the Wonderbolts two years later, a legendary brigade of crack flyers who were routinely tasked with high-risk missions, and garnered nearly unprecedented pop-cultural fame, becoming the poster children of the Royal Guard's glory for a long time.
The next major change the Royal Guard would experience was the formal reinstallation of the Night Guard after Princess Luna was pardoned by her sister decades later in 2009.
In 2013, the ranks of the Guard were bolstered by the Imperial Crystal Guard, the army of the Crystal Empire, following the country's annexation through Equestria and Princess Mi Amore Cadenza's accession to the throne earlier that year. The Crystal Guard, who had always been a miniscule force tasked with the protection of the Crystal City State and the safeguarding of its assets in the region, were originally formed by King Sombra in a vain attempt to tighten his power over his lands and those of his neighbours, shortly before being effortlessly toppled
by the Equestrian Princesses
in 1006 ad. The ICG then went missing along with the rest of the Crystal Empire for one thousand years, under the effects of King Sombra's last spell, in 1013 ad before being rediscovered and formed anew.
Is It A Bird? Is It A Dragon?
No, it's the Royal 4th Pony Protection Platoon, better known as The Wonderbolts. Originally your run-of-the-mill PPP air wing, they soon gained fame by outperforming all other air wings in dangerous and difficult situations. During a 1901 First Celestial Year of Peace celebration, they were asked by then-General Firefly to perform training moves for Princess Celestia - she and her guests were so impressed by the 4th PPP's display (later known as the infamous Icarean Sun Salutation) that she tasked Firefly and the REAF Colonel Purple Dart to place the unit under her direct command, thus detaching the unit from the Pony Protection Platoons and making them an independent regiment.
It has been a traditionally small detachment, starting with only seven members and seldomly holding more than ten ponies ever since. They are easily distinguishable by their unconventional uniform design of blue bodysuits and goggles, though they had a variety of historical custom uniforms.
Since their foundation, the Wonderbolts have been the absolute epitome of Memetic Mutation
in the Royal Guard, gaining so much fame that their capability as a combat unit was soon overshadowed by their propaganda potential. Some may argue they haven't aged well
, as they are nowadays regularly featured in air shows and races, and have come closer to becoming a sports team than a military unit in recent years. They even have their own Instant Fan Club
In fact, their fame has enabled them to open their own aeronautical academy
, where they supply military-grade training to both civilian and military pegasi bent on improving their flying skills or on a fat promotion.
The current Commanding Officer is Wing Commander Spitfire.
Since modern ponies (unlike their evolutionary predecessors in the distant past) lack toes, it is impossible for them to hold weapons in the same manner as creatures with opposable thumbs. This has led to a number of interesting modifications. But in general, most guardsponies go unarmed, relying on physical strength and their hardened hooves and teeth in the event of combat. Even the Celestian Guard relies more on its reputation and stern demeanor (not to mention that of its charge
) than on its armament.
- Spears: Largely ceremonial, as they must be held in the foreleg and cannot be carried at the gallop. Therefore they are regularly used on guard duty by all units, when leaving the post is not an option (since casting away one's weapon in the face of the enemy is a court martial offense), it also motivates guards to stay put in all circumstances, and instead use the lance to keep enemies at tip-point.
- Lances: Bigger and entirely wooden counterparts of the spear which, on the other hoof, can be carried on the move - affixed to a guardspony's armor and pointed directly to his front. They come in different weights and sizes, but are primarily the heavy cavalry's aggressive weapons, meant for charges on the battlefield to punch through the enemy's lines. Thick bulky ones are traditional weapons of the Crystal Empire, where it has since also become a national sport in traditional jousting tournaments.
- Bows: Far less mobile than those of other lands, Equestrian archers rely on a standup bow, reinforced and weighted at the bottom; however, the bow can be easily pivoted for aiming. Due to this, archers are always delegated as support units and never maker up a primary front line, being dependent on regular cavalry protection. There are varieties of ammunition, such as ice arrows for use against dragons.
- Cannons: Many would be surprised to hear that cannons - large cast-iron tubes on wheels that use black powder cartridges to propel loads forward really fast - have their roots on the battlefield. While they do have chiefly civilian uses nowadays (like propelling confetti, fireworks or stuntponies), artillery was once designed to hurl cast iron and carved stone projectiles into the enemy ranks with devastating results. Nowadays, artillery has been abandoned by the Guard in favor of the much more effective and cheaply available detonation spells. But the concept of firearms itself has not yet been entirely disused...
- Howitzers: The main artillery of the Equestrian military. There are two model currently in use: the 6-inch 26 cwt howitzer made by Royal Armament, who can fire a 6 inch shell up to 10,400 yards (with longer-ranged munitions being currentlu in developement), is the main model, used by Unicorn and Earth Pony regiments; and the smaller Mod. 56, a 'pack' howitzer (so called due the ability to be easily broken down in packages for easier transport) made by the OTO company, firing a 4.13 inch up to 10,900 yards, in use with the Foalini regiment (who originally requested its development, as the cwt 26, unable to be broken down, was nearly impossible to move in mountain terrain) and Pegasus regiments (who can move the lighter piece with superior ease compared to the cwt 26).
- Mortar: A "Mortar" is a smaller version of the howitzers already in service. Unlike other experimental designs listed here, this on is expected to be finished in less than a few months but they will not replace howitzers on the battlefield.
- Rockets: Another obsolete weapon designed to carry explosives to great heights and distances, these are now better known as firework carriers - though in some cases military and police ordnance - ponies are tasked with safely launching them over public events, their only function is to create colorful displays of light and sound. It has been theorized that these might one day be improved to carry larger payloads, or even carry ordinary ponies to the Moon. It is thought that this last is why Princess Luna has blocked any further development. Though, rockets in combat haven't left researcher's minds completely.
- Grenades: A grenade is a thrown explosive that can be used by the common infantrypony and thrown up to 40 yards. The grenade is stick shaped with a explosive ordinance up on top. The grenade is activated by a pull cord at the bottom of the stick and explodes after a five second delay. Infantryponies have occasionally tied up to six of these grenades together for a bigger explosion.
- Smoke Grenades: A grenade that releases smoke instead of an explosion. Used for escape, flanking enemy positions, and disorienting enemies.
- Magic Canceling Grenades: A grenade that releases a blast that cancels out all unicorn magic in a room. Unicorn guards are advised to be extra cautious with these grenades, for fear of accidental incapacitation.
- Crossbow: Standard issue to every gaurdspony out on the front lines. Has a range of 500-600 yards and can accept various forms of ammunition. Traditional one shot crossbows have been phased out in favor of repeating crossbows that fire four arrows before having to reload.
- Standard Arrow: Standard arrow with average penetration. Good for anti-infantry roles and against lightly armored targets, but ineffective against dragons and heavily armored fortifications.
- Explosive Arrow: Arrow with a tip designed to explode with the assistance of chemicals after either instant contact of a five second delay. Used against dragons.
- Ice Arrow: Ice tipped arrow allowing for extra penetration of target. Used against dragons.
- Poison Arrow: Poison tippednote arrow designed for use in assassination missions. This type of ammunition is usually issued to Night Guards when sent on stealthy assassination missions.
- Ballista: Formerly standard anti-infantry and anti-dragon projectile launching weapon. The arrows the weapon launches can reach up to 500 yards and can launch varying types of ammunition. No longer issued to front line units but are still issued to rear guard units.
- Standard Arrow
- Explosive Arrow: Used additionally against armored fortifications.
- Ice Arrow
- Scorpio: A modified crossbow designed for killing targets at far distance, usually up to 1200 yards. Is able to launch varying types of ammunition
- Standard Arrow
- Explosive Arrow
- Ice Arrow
- Poison Arrow
- Small Firearms: Rumored to be a new type of weapon under development in the Royal Research and Development labs for at least a decade. note According to unconfirmed reports, a "firearm" is a smaller, thinner and portable version of the cannon, firing pellets of any type 200 yards at the pull of a trigger similar to those seen on crossbows. Due to their bulk, they might only be used by Pegasus guardsnote .
- Tank: Based on the designs of a wood-plated, earth pony-drawn chariot by the popular Earth Pony leader Jan Horse, a tank would be an armored military vehicle armed with a high powered canon and maned by a crew of at least five ponies. Leading "tank" scientist Desert Fox boastfully proclaimed that these vehicles would be the future of warfare and Equestria had to keep up with the times in terms of military prowess, despite Princess Celestia's hesitance to do so.
- Rocket Launcher: A "Rocket Launcher" would be a weapon that launches a 2.36-inch Rocket from a tube like object designed to take out multiple groups of enemies, garrisoned buildings, or artillery positions. The main reason that the weapon is not on the a battlefield as of this writing is due to problems with getting to rocket to launch reliably.
Her Royal Highnesses' Navy
The Royal Equestrian Navy is perhaps the most funded and the most traditional part of the military, currently being the largest navy in the worldnote
. The exact amount of ships currently in Royal Navy use is unknown, but is speculated to be around 400 ships (including airships). Prince Blueblood of Canterlot is known to be one of the more prominent supporters of the navy.
- Clipper: A Clipper is a swift ship designed more for quick sneak attacks than taking hits from enemies, leaving it woefully under armored.
- Galleon: The standard ship of the Royal Navy, able to carry 200-400 sailors and comes equipped with three ballistas on the port and starboard and one ballista on the bow and stern.
- Ironclad: A new type of vessel that was created in response to the GRS note Von Beaksmarck. The class ship HMS Warrior is currently the only ship in the entire Royal Navy to use a cannon.
- Ship of the Line: A huge and heavily armored ship that is able to carry 410 sailors comes equipped with four ballistas on the port and starboard and one ballista on the bow and stern. A Ship of the Line is designed to take multiple hits from either cannon or ballista fire and partake in line battling.
- Airship: Built by the Goodyear-Zeppony Corporation as pleasure and passenger craft, dirigible airships are garnering an ever-greater share of Equestria's travel industry. The Pegasus Weather Service makes airships (otherwise vulnerable to storms) surprisingly reliable. Militarized versions have become a major asset to the Navy, as they have greater endurance than pegasi and can be operated by unwinged ponies. There is significant Inter-Service Rivalry over the role of aircraft, and the Navy is also known to be experimenting with helicopter carriers. Two major types of airships exist - the large and rigid ''Los Pegasus'' class and the smaller, non-rigid blimps. Airships are lightly armed and used for maritime patrol, often with a few pegasus scouts to extend their range.
Contrary to popular belief, Equestria has
a substantial amount of chemical weapons in stock but whether or not to safely dispose of them remains a hot issue in Equestrian politics and should be treated with extreme caution
Pink Cloud is what has been classified as a "chemical weapon of mass destruction" that was created and used during The Great Changeling War against the mass armies
of Changelings charging at entrenched positions and usually overran them. When Pink Cloud was first authorized for use on the battlefield, it worked a little too well
. The gas instantly made the Changeling armies halt as they were either put down instantly or found an end by asphyxiation, all while horrified Equestrian troops watched.
The chemical would be launched by howitzer or cannonnote
and would come in the form of a warhead that looked no different from a conventional one. The warhead would land in the ground unexploded, making it appear to be a dud. The "dud" however was anything but, as the gas would begin to leak, catching the unsuspecting victim by surprise, ending them.
The Griffon Kaiser Imperious Steelclaw I, who thought the gas could be used against his armies if Equestria chose to resume hostilities in the future, and Queen Chrysalis I, angered that many of her changelings were taken out from a distance "in a cowardly act", ordered the creation their own chemical weapons which became known as Mustard Gas and Green Mistnote
What happened next is best described by modern Equestrian historians as "a Celestia damned nightmare
". By 1918, thousands on all sides were lost due to the chemicals. Military commanders on all sides were horrified at the catastrophic losses. Princess Celestia, Kaiser Imperious Steelclaw I, and Queen Chrysalis I agreed to send diplomats to neutral Geneighva to discuss taking the weapons off the battlefields.
In what became known the "Geneighva Convention", all sides had agreed to never launch the first chemical strike but retaliation with chemicals is only
authorized when attacked first and all stockpiles shall be destroyed post-war. When the Equestrian diplomat tried to turn the talk into ending the war altogether, the meeting quickly degraded into a shouting match which ended with the Changeling diplomat storming out of the meeting.
When the war finally ended, thousands of gas stockpiles were left over, awaiting use. The gas has remained in all three power's arsenals, but have not been used since. The gas is slowly becoming outdated thanks to better shield and filtering spells for unicorns and changelings, better quality gas masks
, and the Griffon made CPS note
. The Equestrian government has remained divided on the issue of disposing of the gas, with Celestia and her supporters wanting to get rid of the gas once and for all and Luna's side wanting to keep the gas due to it providing a useful buffer to prevent another war
. To date, a decision has not been made.
Also contrarily to common belief, there were survivors of these chemical attack, though they were usually either horribly disfigurednote
, disabled for the rest of their lives, or afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(with severe cases being afflicted with all three
). One of these survivors, an Earth Pony named Sergeant Hammer Downnote
starred in a movie titled Personal Circle in Tartarus: Tales from The Great Changeling War
that was released in 1966.
Conscription (aka "The Draft") is the required military service required from those 18 or older note
, was not gender exclusive, nor were minorities such as Donkeys, Griffons, and Mustangs excluded. The only way you can be excused from the draft is if you have a medical condition (such as asthma or blindness), were an amputee, or had a war critical job (such as a factory worker or a farmer).
During the early years of of Royal Guard, the draft was a necessity to keep the numbers of the Guard up to counter mass numbers of enemy troops or overrun those more advanced than them. As the years passed and opinions changed, the usefulness of conscription became questioned more constantly, with critics commonly citing The Great Changeling War
, where conscripts were heavily utilized by all three sides and were often sent to the front lines with the bare minimal trainingnote
was also common in Equestrian society despite it being punishable by either life-long prison or hard (and usually extremely dangerous) labor under the grounds of treason. Draftees would often flee to Saddle Arabia and be granted political asylum or (depending on the war) The Griffon Empire, whose strained relationship with Equestria would make them more than happy to hide Equestrian draft dodgers. During times of conscription, factories and farms across the country see a large increase of job applications, due to workers of those occupations being excused from the draft.note
In 1948, Princess Celestia released that the amount of trained Guards currently in service and in reserve would be plentiful enough to defend Equestria from attack. Later that year, she approved a law that would ban the use of conscription except for cases of dire emergencies (such as Equestria on the verge of falling to enemy forces).
It has been recently demonstrated, under actual combat conditions, that the magical power of all four Princesses together is roughly equivalent to that of all ordinary ponies in Equestria, plus one draconequus.
It has also been recently demonstrated, under actual combat conditions, that both
of these combined
pale before the simple friendship
of six magic-deprived ponies.
The nations around Equestria are naturally expressing grave concern about this development. A promising Griffon scientist promptly constructed a thesis on counteracting the power the princesses have, only stating that "Even the tiniest of things in existence can make two enemies see eye to eye".
The Griffon Republican government is expected to hear this thesis in full sometime within the year.
The Royal Guard Featured In Media
- Daring Do tends to come across members of the Royal Guard once and a while on her travels. Unfortunately, most of them tend to be either obstructively stuffy about her snooping around everywhere or are simply dumb as bricks.
- The Three Tribes features Commander Hurricane and his Pegasus Tribes in a significant role.
- Personal Circle in Tartarus: Tales from The Great Changeling War is a biographical epic about the Great Changeling War, and was notable for portraying the Guard in an increasingly bleak light, and thus is accredited with setting the mood for how the Guard is seen today.
Tropes popularly associated with the Royal Guard:
- Appeal to Force: Commander Hurricane was very fond of this trope. She even brought armed soldiers with her into the Grand Summit of the Three Tribes (though she still lost the argument).
- Army Of Thieves And Horses: The Northern Guard
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The Northern Guards officers. Unlike most other branches of Royal Guards, the Nothern Guards' officers are almost exclusively made of senior NCO guardpony who have gotten battlefield commission.
- Badass Decay: Since the formation of the Element Bearers, the Guard has forfeited a lot of their power and influence in Equestria. Moving on.
- Boring, but Practical: How the rest of the Royal Guard views the very underrated Earth Pony Regiments. Although they are almost indispensable in things logistical, They can't fly, they can't do magic, and are hardly if ever seen in media.
- City Guards: Any unit tasked with the protection of a single urban centre, like the Royal Unicorn Brigade for Canterlot and the Equestrian Gryphons' Armed Battalion for Rostrum.
- Historically, the Pegasus Forces were this for ancient Cloudsdale.
- Combat Pragmatist: One of the reputations of The Night Guards; according to the rumors, they have authorization to infringe ROEnote and have pardons for other shadowy actions. Major-General Shadow Stab denies this claim, saying that such behaviors are unbefitting for a guardpony.
- Covert Group with Mundane Front: The Security Assistance Squadron, Equestria's top secret special forces unit.
- Lest we forget her umbrella organisation, the Royal Signals and Reconnaisance Regiment, which sounds like, well, Signals and Recon, but... isn't just that.
- Ensemble Darkpony: Princess Luna's Own Night Guard, which has the unique and dubious honour of having been both an ally and an enemy to their comrades. Their pragmatic, tenacious and borderline-fanatical fighting style has earned them a certain degree of independence as a combat unit, and are rumoured, deep within their hearts, to not be a part of the REG after all.
- Elites Are More Glamorous:
- The Wonderbolts, at least, such is their status. Their actual achievements leave much to be desired.
- The Night Guards have reputation of being one. However, they deny the claim, saying that there is no such thing as "elite" guards, that all the guards in Equestria are professional soldiers who serve Royal Highnesses with all their capacity.
- The Security Assistance Squadron. Nobody knew the unit even existed until they were seen in one photo taken during the Saddle Arabian embassy siege of 1980. They were spotted one more time in 1993 Battle of Somaroia, fighting alongside GIGN. It is speculated that most members of SAS is selected from the Wonderbolts and the Night Guards.
- Enemy Mine: The Security Assistance Squadron has allegedly cooperated with GIGN, National Gryphon Intervention Group, in order to fight insurgents and warlords in several Zebrican countries. Due to their exploits, the number of pirates in the coast of Somaroia has decreased significantly.
- And, as an extension, any time the Equine and Gryphon armed forces had to cooperate in any way in the history of the world. Most of the time, the countries have been at decent terms only on paper, oftentimes officially in rivalry for decades, and at war at least a dozen times. Still, Equestria currently hosts about 180 Gryphon officers in the course of an exchange programme, just as the Gryphon Republic hosts 120 Equine ones.
- Estrogen Brigade: Debatable whether it still is the case nowadays, it has certainly become an active part of their image. Male recruits with deep, baritone voices and prominent muscles are still favoured.
- Equestrian Royal Guards: The Trope Maker. They are the origin of the stoic, not-moving-for-anypony guard archetype as is constantly protrayed in media. Originally practiced by the Celestian Guards, and still done today during royal visits.
- Fragile Speedster: The Pegasi, or more precisely, the Reconnaissance and Scout Companies. Few are armed, even fewer are armoured, and even then only very lightly, and have more than once served as proposed target practice for gryphon bow-creatures and other enemies with ranged capabilities. Not helping is the notion that they are rather dense, even by Pegasus standards.
- Fun with Acronyms: The revolutionary REVAAL (Rapid, Early Verification of Army, Airborne and Logistics) system, which was introduced by the Royal Signals and Reconnaisance Regiment around 1939, allowed the Guard, through an intricate network of outposts, informants, messengers, semaphore towers, lighthouses, musical signals and even firework salutes and the regular postal service to relay often vital intelligence messages across Equestria with unprecedented speed.
- Notable for serving as an early warning system in the days preceding the Siege of Canterlot (hey, at least they tried), alarming the Wonderbolts during the Ponyville Dragon Incident and timely reporting the discovery of the long-lost Crystal Empire. Possibly one of the most successful Royal Guard initiatives.
- Also, it is said that the members of the Security Assistance Squadron have a ridiculous amount of sas.
- And of course, there is the NEIGHTO - Neighbouring Equine Integrity and Geopolitical Harmony Treaty Organisation, a loose defence coalition of several Equine or near-Equine nations, spearheaded by Equestria. Includes, among others, the Crystal Empire, Saddle Arabia and Zebrica as member states.
- It has been a long time since the RPB, the Royal Provost Battalion, has been mentioned by its full name.
- Glass Cannon: The general consensus on many Pegasus and Unicorn brigades. The former are perfect targets and traditionally lightly armored to make flying less of a chore. With the latter ones it's usually subverted, as, unless they are actual wizards, they tend to do (and specialize on) a lot of defensive magic in the form of pioneer and defence expert companies. For one famous example may be none other than former Shield Casting Specialist Prince Shining Armor.
- Home Guard: See Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
- Innate Night Vision: The Night Guards, making them particularly well-suited for night warfare.
- Insistent Terminology: For all you Pegasi - It's a platform, not a cloud. There are many types of clouds, but only the ones that can carry your weight are platforms. Don't mix it up.
- Legion of Lost Souls: Some regiments of The Border Guards, but particularly the Northern Guards. To get an Equestrian citizenship, a foreign soldier needs to serve for six years in the unit. Barely half of them make it all the way.
- Mundane Utility: The Wonderbolts often perform in airshows and many branches of guardponies assist in agriculutural production.
- My Greatest Failure: The Siege of Canterlot is not gladly remembered by most Guardsponies, for obvious reasons.
- Among the more wistful members of the Night Guard, the Battle of Everfree Hall is know as The Humiliation of Everfree.
- No True Equestrian: Just like with their homeland* , the Lance-Canids' allegiance to Canterlot is dubious only on paper; for the past half century, they have diligently served alongside the other Royal Guardsponies as an 'independent' Equestrian regiment, though taking extreme pride in their freelance, mercenary-like image inside Equestria.
- Open Secret: The Royal Signals and Recons exist, and everypony, including the Gryphons, know they exist. Even its task force, Security Assistance Squadron, "exists" (officially, that is), so many wonder who Canterlot is kidding.
- Praetorian Guard: Started out as one for both Princesses, but became a regular army soon after. Nowadays, the original two Praetorian Guard branches are still two independent regiments committing to the same tasks.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Everypony wants to be this guy, most notably the Lance-Canids. Still, the only ones that could actually for the bill are Night Guards (from North East Equestria) and the Neighpalese Girthka Spears.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: In remote places where the Guard is not stationed, its duties are mostly done by city/town/county militia ponies. Usually assembled by local Sheriffs as 'posses', they do their work pro bono and are not officially acknowledged as military by Canterlot, but have oftentimes proven to be capable defenders against surprising odds. As proven by the Appleloosan Militia in 2009. As they usually consist of most adult members of a community and can be mobilised within a single day, they are perhaps effectively an Instant Militia.
- Reassigned to Stalliongrad: The Trope Namer; Stalliongrad is absolutely infamous for hostile weather, dangerous wildlife, relative desolation, and worst of all, bad food. Less than 10% of personnel stationed there are volunteers; the rest Got Volunteered for incompetence, insubordination, or cowardice. The reputation is so horrible that becoming a Northern Guard is sometimes presented as an alternative to prison. There was a rumor that Captain Shining Armor was going to be reassigned to Stalliongrad after his command's failure in Canterlot, but this was promptly squashed when the Crystal Empire returned.
- Rule-Abiding Rebel: The Lance-Canids like to see themselves as the bad boys of the Guard, constantly only a paycheck away from ditching the Equestrian Crown and finding a better bidder. In reality however, they're... just a standard regiment with Mustangian mercenary roots and a slightly higher-than-average cider consumption. Just don't tell them that.
- Sociopathic Soldier: During the early days of the Northern Guards, the Stalliongrad branch of the Royal Guards were absolultely infamous for the sheer varieties of cruel conduct, both to friend and foe. Fortunately, the behavior has substationally improved by now.
- Soldiers at the Rear: One of Earth Pony Regiment's major roles, and it has several battalions devoted exclusive to logistic support.
- The Spook: The Night Guards. There is absolutely NOTHING known about them other than that they serve Luna. This is in stark contrast to their Celestian couterparts, who like to revel in publicity and keep up an active image in the public eye. The Night Guard never had an image to speak of, giving outside speculation much more room.
- The Royal Signals and Recons are this, though inverted and to a lesser extent - officially, they don't even exist, but hints and clues just keep trickling through the facade. And Canterlot has done nothing to shoo these elephants out of the room. And the less said about the Streisandalwood Effect, the better.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: The Northern Guards, especially during under Colonel Snow Sledge during the Battle of Stalliongrad.
- Weather Manipulation: Has been a viable tactic of the Guard and part of the official military doctrine since the legendary battle of Augeron-court in 1415, in which the opposing forces were all but immobilised in thick mud caused by heavy rain, and suffered a defeat at the hooves of less than 8000 Light Unicorns, of all ponies.