Just For Fun: Ponies With Pikes
Royal Guard Recruitment Posternote
The Equestrian Royal 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 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 subsidised government investments
, especially compared to the Crown's expenditures for education and welfare. Its primary goals are the protection of the Royal Family, the defence of the nation's sovereignity and its borders, and to enforce the rule of harmony in times of peril.
For more information about this page,click here
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 colours. All uniforms are closely based on the traditional ancient armour worn by the Pegasi Tribes of the Pre-Discordian Era. Here are some branches of the Royal Guard and their respective uniforms.
- The Celestial Guard: A 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 armour 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.
- The Night Guard: A 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. Though they resemble pegasi, they are actually of a different race, and are native to mountainous regions. 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 wings visually resemble bat wings. Their unit insignia is a blue eye.
- The Royal Unicorn Detachment: An exclusive unicorn Hoof Guard regiment whose members have grey coats, and golden iron and cotton armour and helmets with white manes. Their unit insignia is a blue star. Their current Colonel-In-Chief is Blueblood, Prince of Canterlot.
- The Royal Household Detachment: Usually pegasi or unicorns, those soldiers guard royal and governmental institutions in major cities. 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.
- The Royal 4th Wing Section A.K.A. The Wonderbolts: 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.
- The Imperial Crystal Guard: 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 comanding officer is Lieutenant Flash Sentry.
- The Border Guard: A term referring to all the regiments of Royal Guards stationed on the various borders of Equestria. They tend to be often stationed hostile spots, far away from major cities and frequently undersupplied. The large part of the rank is made of criminals, foreign soldiers seeking Equestrian citizenship, and misbehaving/incompetent Royal Guards. Due to the limited budget, even within 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.
- The Royal Mustangia Cavalry AKA the Royal Lance-Canids: 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 of Earth Pony regiment out there. Wear woolen harnishes under their silver armour and Nice plumed Caps. Their unit insignia is a red phoenix.
- The 1st Light Anti-Parasprite Field Band, while occasionally deployed to the Everfree Forest, is better-known as a public-relations unit that can be seen playing on many occasions, particularly the popular Canterlot Tattoo. It is responsible for playing the Royal Fanfare when the princesses are present.
The following ranks are placed in ascending order:
- Officer Ranks
- Commander-In-Chief (Princess Celestia and Princess Luna) - There is no higher authority in the country.
- Commander (archaic) - Outdated branch commander rank. Now the title has been replaced by General, but has largely fallen out of use.
- Captain - Has command over all military units in a particular region or two - usually one brigade or division; de facto the highest rank below that of CIC.
- Lieutenant, Wing Commander (Air Force only) - Commands a regiment at best, a company at worst.
- Cornet, Acting Lieutenant, Sheriff (doubles as political office) - A broad assortment of equal ranks without command, tasked with the sub-command (or temporary command) of a unit or command over irregular units (such as Militias and Border Guards).
- Officer Cadet - Officer in training.
- 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: 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: 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: The Equestrian Unification Wars.
- 1006: 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. 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: 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: 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: 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 an entire Million was displaced.
- 1899 - 1902: 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: 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, 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: The Foallands 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: The Yugryphonian Intervention.
- 1992: Zebran Civil War.
- 2012: The Battle of Canterlot.
- 2012 - Ongoing: The Wuvy-Dovey Land Relief Mission.
In recent times, the Royal Guard 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.
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.
Naturally, 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 Royal 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 Royal 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, as Princess Celestia took control of all the country’s troops under her banner. Under her thousand-year sole reign, 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 in 1914. 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 Wing Section, better known as The Wonderbolts. Originally your run-of-the-mill air wing of the Royal Equestrian Air Force, they soon gained fame by outperforming all other air wings in dangerous and difficult situations, most notably during both of the Germaney campaigns and the Foalland Islands intervention. It has been a traditionally small detachment, holding seldomly more than ten ponies. They are easily distinguishable by their unconventional uniform design of blue bodysuits and goggles.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Corps 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Stalliongrad; infamous for hostile weather, dangerous wildlife, long distance from any major cities, and worst of all, bad food. Less than 10% of personnel 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 due to the Seize of Canterlot incident briefly.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wooden Ships And Iron Mares: Averted, surprisingly enough. The Royal Guard, contrary to many other of the world's armed forces, never had a separate naval branch. There are almost no bodies of water in Equestria that couldn't be traversed by Pegasi in the air, and the only ponies with any crucial interest in seafaring are merchants and diplomats (again, airships are popular in the former case), and the latter is usually handled by the Royal Equestrian Diplomatic Service (which also directly responds to the Crown, but wholly separately from the Guard).
- Not that the Guard didn't already have enough dung to manage onshore - most of the dangers to Equestria proper are land-based, so it really a matter of priority anyway.