Imperial Armed Forces of Caphiria

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Imperial Armed Forces of Caphiria
Militum Imperialis Vires
Caphiria IAF COA.svg
The coat of arms for the Imperial Armed Forces
MottoFirst wisdom, after the war
Service branches
ImperatorConstantinus I
Prime Minister of DefenseAngarius Milphas
General CommanderVarrus Capelis Pavolcinax
Military age16 with parental consent, 18 for voluntary service. Maximum age for first-time enlistment is 35
ConscriptionCompulsory by law, but in practice people are not forced to serve against their will
Active personnel12,904,200 (ranked 1st)
Reserve personnel11,273,140
Percent of GDP10.5%
Domestic suppliersQuicksilver Industries

The Imperial Armed Forces of Caphiria (Latin: Militum Imperialis Vires) are the military forces of the Imperium of Caphiria. It consists of the Imperial Legion, Imperial Naval Fleet, and Imperial Aerial Defense Force. Despite not being a branch of the armed forces, three additional sub-branches exist: the National Guard (itself a function of the Department of Civilian Defense), the Imperial Police Force, and the Praetorian Guard.

From the time of its inception, the Imperial Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of Caphiria. The Legion has been in continuous operation for well over three centuries, making it one of the world's oldest military units in continuous operation. The military has been an integral part of Caphiria, having played critical roles in domestic affairs such as the First and Second Civil Wars as well as global politics such as the First World War.

The Imperator of Caphiria serves as the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Armed Forces, possessing ultimate authority, but holding no rank and maintaining a civilian status. As the top of the pyramid of command (pyramidis imperia), his orders must be followed without exception. Due to the separation of most Imperators from military life, their orders are typically vague with a great deal of strategic flexibility. The highest civilian leader within the Imperial Armed Forces is the Prime Minister of Defense, who coordinates military action with the highest military officer, the General Commander of the IAF, who oversees every military branch and works with the Legates of each respective branch.

The Imperial Armed Forces is the center-point of a military-industrial complex with immense power and international authority. With military expenditure consuming approximately a tenth of Caphiria's GDP and a mandatory conscription service, the military of Caphiria is the largest in terms of personnel and the largest in terms of the military spending. The IAF has maintains an active military personnel nearing 13 million with its reserve force almost the same, making it the largest and second-largest in personnel respectively.


In the Constitution, the IAF is tasked with two functions: defending the citizens of the Imperium and enforcing the sovereign will of Caphiria on foreign powers. Far from excluding one another, these are perfectly consistent goals and accomplishing one will often entail the success of the other.

Before the emergence of international law, the IAF was free to enforce Caphirian dominance without limitation. Any power that could not stand against its troops was forced to support the ambitions of the Imperium. When Caphiria forged the Western Coalition, it had to sacrifice the liberty to treat other countries as it pleased with the security of an international alliance. It was clear from the first world war that it was dangerous for Caphiria to go alone. The state of its military technology and size of its armies made it possible to stand against an antagonistic world but such a conflict would come with great loss.

Modern military policy is somewhat more reserved and more completely focused on defending the Imperium rather than extending its reach. Although the memory of the Legion's strength is far from gone, foreign powers no longer express absolute disdain for this military force. It is genuinely viewed by some foreigners as being a guardian for their interests as well as those of the Caphirian citizens.


From the time of its inception, the Imperial Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of Caphiria. The Legion has been in continuous operation for well over three centuries, making it one of the world's oldest military units in continuous operation.

During the foundation period, the army was derived from obligatory annual military service levied on the citizenry, as part of their duty to the state. During this period, the Caphirian army would wage seasonal campaigns against largely local adversaries. As the extent of the territories falling under Caphirian control expanded and the size of the forces increased, the soldiery gradually became salaried professionals. As a consequence, military service at the lower (non-salaried) levels became progressively longer-term.

Caphirian military units of the Republic period were largely homogeneous and highly regulated. The army consisted of units of citizen infantry known as legions as well as non-legionary allied troops known as auxilia. The latter were most commonly called upon to provide light infantry, logistical, or cavalry support.

At the height of the Imperium's power during the Principate period, forces were tasked with manning and securing the borders of the vast provinces which had been brought under Caphirian control. Serious strategic threats were less common in this period and emphasis was placed on preserving gained territory. The army underwent changes in response to these new needs and became more dependent on fixed garrisons than on march-camps and continuous field operations. As Caphiria began to struggle to keep control over its sprawling territories, military service continued to be salaried and professional for Caphiria's regular troops. However, the trend of employing allied or mercenary elements was expanded to such an extent that these troops came to represent a substantial proportion of the armed forces. At the same time, the uniformity of structure found in Caphiria's earlier military disappeared. Soldiery of the era ranged from lightly armed mounted archers to heavy infantry, in regiments of varying size and quality.

This was accompanied by a trend in the late Pontificate era of an increasing predominance of cavalry rather than infantry troops, as well as a requirement for more mobile operations. In this period there was more focus (on all frontiers but the south) on smaller units of independently-operating troops, engaging less in set-piece battles and more in low-intensity, guerilla actions.


The IAF has by far the world's largest military budget. As of 2037, the Imperial government allots $6,739,395,000,000 to fund its Ministry of Defense annually. Of this, approximately 80%, or $5.3 trillion directly funds the military through the Department of Military Defense. Military spending in Caphiria is the highest in the world, accounting for roughly 25% of global military spending. Because of this, Caphiria has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful equipment and its widespread deployment of force around the world, including about 700 military bases outside the Imperium.

By military department, $1.5 trillion was allocated for the Legion, $1.2 trillion for the navy, $1.02 trillion for the air force, with $592 billion to the Imperial Police Force, and $484 billion to Praetorian Guard. An additional $161 billion is allocated for 'miscellaneous expenditures'. By function, $884.2 billion was requested for personnel, $1.2 trillion for operations and maintenance, $1.1 trillion for procurement, $602.9 billion for research and development, $136.6 billion for military construction, and $60.2 billion for family housing.


Organization chart of the Ministry of Defense The state confers absolute command over the entire armed forces to the reigning Imperator, Caphiria's chief executive officer and first citizen. As the top of the pyramid of command (pyramidis imperia), his orders must be followed without exception. Due to the separation of most imperators from military life, their orders are typically vague with a great deal of strategic flexibility. Management of military affairs works is split between the two departments of the Ministry of Defense: the Department of Military Defense (DMD) and Department of Civilian Defense (DCD).

Directly below the Imperator on the pyramid of command is the General Commander of the IAF (Generalissimus). It is the highest distinctly military office in Caphiria. He is the commander who formulates the Imperium's military policy and global strategic goals after the Imperator's input. The General Commander of the IAF manages the motion of Caphirian legions around the occupied world. As the Imperator appoints a Generalissimus, he technically may appoint himself, an executive action that in Caphirian tradition equates to declaring martial law. Only 6 Imperators have done this since the civil war, evident in historical books by the distinctly military symbolism of caesarian art from those periods. However, the act seems like mere formality to foreigners since an Imperator's imperium maius during peacetime still gives him ultimate authority over the IAF.

The Department of Military Defense has statutory authority to conduct all the affairs of the uniformed services under the authority, direction and control of its prime minister, the Legate of the Military (Legatus Militum). Despite having civilian status, there is no rank with greater military authority than the Legate of the Military - only the Imperator and General Commander of the Imperial Armed Forces have comparable command and executive power (imperium).

While the Department of Military Defense is responsible for the practical implementation of wartime strategy and resources, the Department of Civilian Defense serves as the administrative and civilian backbone of the Caphirian military-industrial complex. The DCD maintains the static defenses of the Imperium, initiates new defensive installations on land, and is responsible for ordering, coordinating and carrying out the general guidelines of the Government about the defense policy. It determines and oversees: the policies of defense, military alliances, the conduct of war, and most importantly the expenses and budget of the military. The National Guard of the Imperium (Castellanae Imperiae) also falls under the jurisdiction the DCD.

Despite some overlap, access to the Imperium's nuclear arsenal and its satellite defense network are firmly under the jurisdiction of the DMD and the commanding officer of the entire armed forces, the General Commander. There is little natural conflict between the Generalissimus and Legate of the Military. The latter engages himself in paying wages, organizes the legions during peacetime, and communicates military policy to the public, while ensuring that national strategy is in line with national policy. The Generalissimus, by contrast, decides the where, when and how of military operations at the highest level. Of course, often strategy must be planned on a global scale so he tends to decide on strategic goals while his legates and generals flesh out the details.

A military council called the Gathering of Legates (Caetus Legati) carries out large scale decision making in the IAF, assembling the state's finest military minds. Attending gatherings are the Legati, the General Commander, emissaries of other branches, some epistrategos and often the Legate of the Military. During peace, the Caetus assembles on a weekly basis in Venceia's Concilium Res Militias. Positioning of legions, fleets, and squadrons is done to suit present geopolitical relationships. Modernization of military equipment are also implemented by the council.

Conscription and terms of service

Conscription is compulsory by law, but in practice people are not forced to serve against their will. The conscription forces are called Auxilla.

The Auxilia used to be Caphiria's militia, populated by the poor and non-citizens. It was an ancient practice to grant Citizenship to foreigners who had served in the militia but Caesar Sulla abolished this practiced in his Edict of 212. Nevertheless, many non-citizens were drawn to the militia due to the promise of high wages and this force remained a crucial component of the Caphirian military centuries later. Despite this vital role, as technology increased, so did the cost of fielding armies. With the rising cost came an increase in the effectiveness of a single active soldier. Numbers of poorly trained troops started to mean little in comparison to a small group of professionals. Nevertheless, the emperors retained the Auxilia until its abolition in 1934 following World War I.

While the need for a standing militia has long passed into the annals of history, the government maintains a power of conscripting citizens by the law of auxilaria subito. The proportion of males forced into service by this action of state is at the Senate's discretion but cannot exceed 25% of adult males between the ages of 16 and 40.

Although the actual quantity of auxiliaries is a number that changed almost every year, since the Second Marian Reforms, the size of each auxiliary group was made constant.

The largest grouping of the auxiliaries is the regiment (Manipulus). A single manipulus is made up of 20 wings (alari) of 500 Comensati, the base soldier within the Auxilia. This last new word derives from the Latin "comes", meaning companion, as in "companion of the military".

Each manipulus would be led by a veteran soldier of the Imperial Legion, known as an Evocatus. This was meant to provide a cohesive chain of command despite the large number of potentially green recruits. Command over a single wing is given to a Dux or Praefectus Castrorum, depending on whether or not that wing will be mobile. This connects that wing either to that general's own legion or the prefect's own fort. This was another manner in which a legion could be customized and distinguished from other legions. The only legion that was never paired with any comensati was the 101st Legion of the emperor.

None of these methods of organization have changed, only delegated to occasions when conscription is active.

Each member of the IAF must take an oath of service (sacramentum militare), which is the verbal contract that binds a soldier to the Imperator and the Imperium. This oath dates back centuries to the Republic era where the person would directly offer themselves in service of the Imperator in front of the gods, who would bear witness in the event of violation of the oath. In modern times, the oath is used as a way to honor the legacies and traditions of ancient Caphiria as well as reaffirm the strong and direct relationship between a soldier and the Imperium.

The text of the original oath:

Iurant autem milites omnia se strenue facturos quae praeceperit imperator, numquam deserturos militiam nec mortem recusaturos pro imperius! ("But the soldiers swear that they shall faithfully execute all that the Emperor commands, that they shall never desert the service, and that they shall not seek to avoid death for the Imperium!")

See also