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** Lt. Col. Dubois in spades. He lost his arm and both legs in combat, got medical retirement and went to teach Humanity and Moral Philosophy for Johnnie's high school. Johnnie doesn't even learn he is a veteran until he is almost ready to graduate from Basic, whereupon Dubois informs him that he himself was an M.I. trooper. And a lieutenant colonel, which is no mean feat. Even Sergeant Zim idolizes the man.

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** Lt. Col. Dubois in spades. He lost his arm and both legs in combat, got medical retirement and went to teach Humanity History and Moral Philosophy for Johnnie's high school. Johnnie doesn't even learn he is a veteran until he is almost ready to graduate from Basic, whereupon Dubois informs him that he himself was an M.I. trooper. And a lieutenant colonel, which is no mean feat. Even Sergeant Zim idolizes the man.

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* BadassTeacher: Many examples:
** Every single military service instructor is a combat veteran of their given trade, from the lowliest boot sergeant to the commandant of OCS (who is a retired ''general'' that came back to service to foster new generations of young officers during the war). Most of them are fully capable of kicking ass as well as taking recruits to school on a wide variety of subjects.
** Lt. Col. Dubois in spades. He lost his arm and both legs in combat, got medical retirement and went to teach Humanity and Moral Philosophy for Johnnie's high school. Johnnie doesn't even learn he is a veteran until he is almost ready to graduate from Basic, whereupon Dubois informs him that he himself was an M.I. trooper. And a lieutenant colonel, which is no mean feat. Even Sergeant Zim idolizes the man.

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* OrbitalBombardment: Subverted in that the fleet ''could'' just reduce the surfaces of bug planets like Klendathu to a sea of radioactive glass, and this would kill most of the soldier bugs on them to be sure, but it wouldn't reach the queens and brain bugs deep underground who would just rebuild and breed new armies, thus making the entire effort pointless. The war would still be on, and all the Federation would have done is waste resources.


* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Played dead seriously during the execution of a child murderer who deserted from boot camp. While the desertion is an offense ''de jure'' worth fifty lashes and a dishonorable discharge, it's one that would never be followed up, since service is voluntary and a deserter will never make a soldier (or a citizen). But, in every sense of the phrase, the M.I. takes care of its own. The actual ripoff ritual is described. The guilty man is trotted out to the gallows in full dress uniform, then every pin, ribbon, and button is carefully removed until he's standing in what looks like a bad brown suit. ''Then'' he's hanged.

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* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Played dead seriously during the execution of a child murderer who deserted from boot camp. While the desertion is an offense ''de jure'' worth fifty lashes and a dishonorable discharge, it's one that would never be followed up, since service is voluntary and a deserter will never make a soldier (or a citizen). But, in every sense of the phrase, the M.I. takes care of its own. The actual ripoff ritual is described. The guilty man is trotted out to the gallows in full dress uniform, then every pin, ribbon, and button everything that indicates it is infact a uniform is carefully removed removed. Pins, ribbons, insignia and even buttons (which have the M.I. insignia on them) are cut away until he's standing in what looks like a bad brown suit. ''Then'' he's hanged.


* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: {{Discussed}}. One of Rico's fellow recruits complains about having to learn to throw knives in an era of PoweredArmor and starships. Sergeant Zim responds with a detailed lecture on the topic: Knives and hand-to-hand combat are quieter and don't run out of ammunition, and some missions require precision kills rather than carpet-bombing.

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* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: {{Discussed}}. One of Rico's fellow recruits complains about having to learn to throw knives in an era of PoweredArmor and starships. Sergeant Zim responds with a detailed lecture on the topic: Knives and hand-to-hand combat are quieter and don't run out of ammunition, and some missions require precision kills rather than carpet-bombing. And besides, there may come a day when you need to kill a man and all you have is a knife...

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* KangarooCourt: Subverted. Yes, Hendrick faced administrative punishment for striking a superior without a chance to defend himself. But he was dumb enough to appeal, and the court-martial had him slung out of the service. A full general court-martial with all legal protections would have had him executed. Smart soldiers know that when they're assigned summary punishments, the appropriate response is "Thank you, sir," rather than barracks lawyering.


* NewMeat: Freshly graduated troopers are treated with a certain amount of disdain until they complete their first combat drop.



* RealMenWearPink: Johnnie is especially proud of a pair of earrings that he wore on dates and inherited from his mother's grandfather. Earrings for men isn't limited to civilians; part of the uniform for his first regiment is a small gold skull earring with a string of bones under, one for each drop.

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* RealMenWearPink: Johnnie is especially proud of a pair of earrings that he wore on dates and inherited from his mother's grandfather. Earrings for men isn't limited to civilians; part a lot of the uniform for his first regiment is a small troopers wear various styles of gold skull earring with a string of bones under, earrings in one ear. Johnny acquires one for each drop.himself but stops wearing it when he realizes that the Roughnecks don't feel the need to show off in that fashion.


* BadassArmy: The Mobile Infantry. A good example comes from what happened to Rico on a leave from training, when he and two fellow trainees got attacked from behind and by surprise by four sailors of the merchant fleet: Rico executed an OffhandBackhand on the one who attacked him, then realized they were being attacked and turned to help the others but sees that they did the same to their aggressors, with the short and shy 'Kitten' Smith stomping two of the aggressors (Rico's narration then says it's a good thing they are unarmed on leave and trained to fight to disable, as they had acted only through ''reflexes''). If unarmed trainees halfway through training can do this, then the fully trained and equipped M.I. ''rules'' this trope. [[note]]The narrative heavily implies that the merchant marines were all drunk when they jumped Johnny and his friends, who were all sober.[[/note]]

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* BadassArmy: The Mobile Infantry. A good example comes from what happened to Rico on a leave from training, when he and two fellow trainees got attacked from behind and by surprise by four sailors of the merchant fleet: Rico executed an OffhandBackhand on the one who attacked him, then realized they were being attacked and turned to help the others but sees that they did the same to their aggressors, with the short and shy 'Kitten' Smith stomping two of the aggressors (Rico's narration then says it's a good thing they are unarmed on leave and trained to fight to disable, as they had acted only through ''reflexes''). If unarmed trainees halfway through training can do this, then the fully trained and equipped M.I. ''rules'' this trope. [[note]]The narrative heavily implies that the merchant marines were all drunk when they jumped Johnny Johnnie and his friends, who were all sober.[[/note]][[/note]] Johnnie states that a single M.I. private in powered armor could defeat a whole squadron of tanks, if anyone were stupid enough to send tanks against them.



* {{Conscription}}: Averted. Military service in the Terran Federation is ''completely'' voluntary, even during times of war. And even after enlisting the recruit can resign from the military any time they want, even immediately before a battle (unless they're facing military discipline). The justification for this is that people who are forced into military service against their will make poor soldiers.
** This was one of Heinlein's few TakeThat moments at the American military, which in 1959 was still built around the idea of a ZergRush of draftees.

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* {{Conscription}}: Averted. Military service in the Terran Federation is ''completely'' voluntary, even during times of war. And even after enlisting the recruit can resign from the military any time they want, even immediately before a battle (unless they're facing military discipline). The justification for this is that people who are forced into military service against their will make poor soldiers.
**
soldiers. This was one of Heinlein's few TakeThat moments at the American military, which in 1959 was still built around the idea of a ZergRush of draftees.



* CourtMartialed: The Federation forces have "thirty-one ways to crash land", that is, thirty-one military capital felonies, including assault on an officer during emergency or wartime.

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* CourtMartialed: CourtMartialed:
**
The Federation forces have "thirty-one ways to crash land", that is, thirty-one military capital felonies, including assault on an officer during emergency or wartime.



* DuringTheWar

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* DuringTheWarDuringTheWar+


* PosthumousCharacter: Invoked in-universe by Sergeant Jelal after Lt. Rasczak dies in the line of duty. If a Roughneck screwed up or failed to behave properly, he would shake his head and say 'the Lieutenant wouldn't like it'. For the soldiers, who all idolized Rasczak, it's an extremely effective motivator.

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* PosthumousCharacter: Invoked in-universe by Sergeant Jelal after Lt. Rasczak dies in the line of duty.during a combat mission. If a Roughneck screwed up or failed to behave properly, he would shake his head and say 'the Lieutenant wouldn't like it'. For the surviving soldiers, who all idolized Rasczak, it's an extremely effective motivator.

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* PosthumousCharacter: Invoked in-universe by Sergeant Jelal after Lt. Rasczak dies in the line of duty. If a Roughneck screwed up or failed to behave properly, he would shake his head and say 'the Lieutenant wouldn't like it'. For the soldiers, who all idolized Rasczak, it's an extremely effective motivator.

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* DaysOfFuturePast: Downplayed, but present in the generally accepted corporal punishment, classical curriculum and ''fin-du-siècle'' style Social Darwinist ideology of the Federation. There are also some subtle hints that Europe has revived some of its older traditions: for example, the German ''Reich'' is united (and includes its pre-World War II territories), and the German characters at boot camp seem to honor the old aristocratic Prussian ''Korps''.


* BritsWithBattleships: Rico goes through a number of different units within the Mobile Infantry, each with their own uniforms and traditions, very similar in flavor to the Regiments in the British Army.


** The classroom sections fall into this to some extent, although the exposition comes across fairly unobtrusively in Socratic form; the TurkeyCityLexicon would refer to this type of seamless {{expospeak}} as "Heinleining" in Bob's honor.

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** The classroom sections fall into this to some extent, although the exposition comes across fairly unobtrusively in Socratic form; the TurkeyCityLexicon Website/TurkeyCityLexicon would refer to this type of seamless {{expospeak}} as "Heinleining" in Bob's honor.

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* FakeInTheHole: Played with. In the first chapter, during a raid against a race referred to as the Skinnies, the protagonist finds himself in a building full of them. He throws something at random and it turns out to be a Thirty Second Bomb. When thrown it starts saying "I'm a thirty-second bomb! I'm a thirty-second bomb! Twenty-nine! . . . twenty-eight! . . . twenty-seven! ". The book doesn't say if there is an explosion at the end or not. Given the attack was meant as a show of force with the aim of causing maximum material damage with a minimum of casualties it is possible that it is a straight example.


* DeskJockey[=/=]SoldiersAtTheRear: Both doubly subverted; everyone in the MI fights. Any job that is not fighting is undertaken by other branches of the Civil Service. Because all MI officers fight, and they drop first (and therefore sustain a higher casualty rate than enlisted men), officers often find themselves juggling multiple desk jobs along with their combat duty.
** And jobs that can't be handled by either (like instructors at Officer Candidate School) are filled by officers who have been crippled, but refuse to be discharged. One notable example is the Dirty Fighting instructor, who was wheelchair bound and wore a neck brace, [[BadassGrandpa and could still kick your ass]].

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* DeskJockey[=/=]SoldiersAtTheRear: Both doubly subverted; everyone in the MI fights. Any job that is not fighting is undertaken by civilian contractors or other branches of the Civil Service. Service -- unless they "require fighting spirit". Because all MI officers fight, and they drop first (and therefore sustain a higher casualty rate than enlisted men), active-duty officers often find themselves juggling multiple desk jobs along with their combat duty.
duty. Johnnie's officer training school tour as a 3rd Lieutenant with Blackie's Blackguards has him wearing enough hats that Captain Blackstone has to teach him a valuable lesson about time management.
** And jobs Jobs that can't be handled by either civilians or active MI (like instructors at Officer Candidate School) are filled by officers who have been crippled, but refuse to be discharged. One notable example is the Dirty Fighting instructor, who was wheelchair bound and wore a neck brace, [[BadassGrandpa and could still kick your ass]].

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