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Literature / Dirigent Mercenary Corps

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The Dirigent Mercenary Corps is a series of Military Science-Fiction novels by Rick Shelley that follows the career of Lon Nolan, an officer in the eponymous PMC.
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Having been washed out of Earth's Military Academy on purpose so that he wouldn't have to go into State Sec, Lon winds up on Dirigent, a planet whose primary business is supplying weapons and mercenary armies to the galaxy at large. He's granted a commission as an officer cadet, but the DMC does not allow you to command until you've seen a tour of duty. It's a waiting game until the DMC gets a contract for a battalion-strength job to put down a rebellion on some rock in the middle of nowhere.

Things get complicated, fast.

The books cover a broad span of years, following Lon as he rises from an Ensign Newbie to a Colonel Badass. They've received critical praise for their realistic depictions of life in a military unit (Shelley was a US Army veteran).


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This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • One-Product Planet: Dirigent's industries are built around the DMC, and their primary exports are soldiers and guns.
  • Private Military Contractors: The DMC has strict limits on what jobs it will take and the soldiers pride themselves on professionalism, but they're in it for the money.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Army: The DMC provides mainly light infantry, although they also use their drop ships for close air support.
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  • Universal Universe Time: Dealt with on Dirigent by lengthening the second to make a Dirigentian day 24 hours.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: One of Lon's fellow cadets is engaged to a prostitute at a brothel, and recommends her to all his friends. The implication is that on Dirigent it's a legal, regulated profession. Lon still isn't comfortable with it, although it's more having a hangup about not sleeping with another man's fiancee.

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