Greater Baddow – The Imperial Essexian Military: an institute of Essexia not often seen in public, and shrouded in mystery due to a lack of public recruitment and organisation, it is understood by only the few within it that have been involved from the very beginning. That is all due to change.
Over the past few years the progress, future, and internal workings of the Armed Forces have attempted to be laid down in reforms and reviews as a way to make a roadmap forward and codify what is already assumed and in practice. More often than not these documents are a complicated mess of promises and ideas that are rarely acted on, due to a mixture of inaction and inability in the past year due to the ongoing Pandemic. In the past 2 weeks senior members of the armed forces have worked on the new Strategic Defence Review 2021.
The SDR 2021 is a landmark document that begins by ensuring that the procedures of the Armed Forces are to be kept visibly different to those of any real world armed forces, and then moves on to make clear the ranks and structure in such a way that is understandable to anyone. The two most significant sections of the Review concern recruitment and future activities of the armed forces, these sections address the largest failings of the military in recent times.
The recruitment section lays out a plan to increase the manpower of both the Army and Navy through the use of videos, posters, and news articles that raise the profile of the Military and encourage enlistment, not as a means of defending the nation, but as a means of self interest and development in the hope that members will be able to learn from and enjoy their time as a member.
The activities section’s main aim is to make it such that being a member of the Armed Forces comes with benefits and activities that will further the members in military knowledge and interest. There are a range of proposed activities, from online events using ARMA 3 and DCS: World, with basic mods in order to provide an Essexian reskin to the base characters, to activity and talk evenings with subjects ranging from history to equipment based on the interest at the time.
When it comes to in person activities the plans include “Expeditions”, events ranging from a single night used as a chance for training, to multi day expeditions. This is in addition to training meet ups for drill, orienteering, basic bushcraft skills, and expedition skills with which the participants might be able to do their own hikes and short expeditions if they wished. The most significant of these planned expeditions is the Boots In Mersea 2021 initiative being spearheaded by the Navy. The plan involves 6 personnel of a joint Army and Navy task force making their way to Mersea and claiming it for Essexia, fulfilling a long-standing military objective.
The final section of the Strategic Defence Review addresses the uncertainties felt by all those involved as life begins to inevitably move on and more things start to get in the way. It addresses concerns regarding the changing life events of senior Essexians, striking a hopeful tone that in what they are doing now they may be able to pave the way for those who come in the future and make it such that there will be something to come back to if they ever decide to move on.
Matt G is a Member of Parliament, and previous Minister of the Interior.