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Military Officers ranks + RFC essay re chanTesh & Jasek

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Military Officers ranks + RFC essay re chanTesh & Jasek
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
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Complete Military Table,
with Officers, Enlisted Men, and with Causalties, is at

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3227

I have now added this table to that one.
IMNSHO, This thread is still worth reading for the sake
of essays about Jasek Olderham and Balkar chan Tesh
by David Weber, and by others including myself.
===========================================
In June 2012 I had wrote:

The recent activity in Multiverse might
make this a good time to post this
Table of Ranks, and People Holding Them.

I extracted all of this data from the books.
c2006, 2007 by David Weber and Linda Evans
Any data not given by Weber and Evans is vacant here.
Al erors an other omisions are mine,
including any mispelings.
==================================
Sharona first, then Arcana
PAAF = Portal Authority Armed Forces (Sharona)
TA = Ternath Army
TN = Ternath Navy
UA = Uromath Army
AM = Arcanan Military
AMAF = Arcana Military Air Force
Ranks start with the lowest, and then go higher.
===============================
NAVIES:
-----------
SHARONA - one named
Master-Captain Farsal chan MORTHAIN, TN
.. commands Calirath escort to Tajvana:
.. two Armored Cruisers
-----------
ARCANA - none named, one mentioned
a Navy coxwain, in diplomats' boat
================================
ARMIES:
------------------------------
Enlisted (in separate thread)
SHARONA
All Non-Comissioned Officers mentioned in the books
are called ....-Armsman
Trooper, Under-Armsman, Petty-Armsman, Junior Armsman
Senior Armsman, Chief Armsman, Master Armsman
ARCANA
All NCO grades are named after a hand-held shock weapon
Trooper 2nd class, Trooper, Lance, Shield,
Javelin, Sword, Senior Sword, Chief Sword
-------------------
Warrant Officers
SHARONA
[I noticed none in the books.]
***It now (Oct 1, 2012) occurs to me that
"UNDER-Captain" might be a Warrant Officer.
The only example we are given,
Trekar chan Rothag, Sifter, PAAF
is a Specialist, not a Line Officer***edited 10/5
------
ARCANA
SQUIRE - Air Force only. [Pilot of Transport Dragon]
Muthok Salmeer, tactical transport Windclaw AMAF
-------------------
Commissioned Officers
(I try to group equal ranks together, Sharonans first)
Each named officer commands the unit listed after his
name, unless I specify another position
SHARONA
All Ternath, PAAF, and some other jurisdictions
are called "Captains" of *a type of* unit.
This includes staff officers, seconds-in-command,
and officers with other assignments.
Uromath officers have different titles,
including "Lord of Horse" = "Brigade Captain"
ARCANA
All officers are "Commanders of (a number [of people])"
Sharonan officer rank \ Arcanan officer rank
-------
PETTY-Captain, Under-Captain \ Commander of 25
Hulmok Arthag (until promoted Platoon Captain)
Rokan Traygan, Voice, chanTesh Force, PAAF
Delokahn Yar, Talented Healer chanTeshForce PAAF
??? chan Shermayr, Infantry Officer, Ft Shaylar
...not in Glossary; page 134 HG
Shansair Baulwan, Voice, Ft Shaylar, PAAF Arpathian
Waird chan Lyrosk, Voice, Fort Brithik, PAAF
Esalk chan Rodair, Talented Healer, Ft Brithik PAAF
Kaliya chan Darma, Voice, Fort Salby, PAAF
"UNDER-Captain" Trekar chan Rothag, Sifter,
...chanTesh Force, Negotiators, PAAF, Narhathan
....Glossary says "Rothag" without a "chan"
.....might be a Warrant Officer***edited 10/5/12
------\COM-25
Talos Berhala, a Flight Leader, 3012 Strike, AMAF
....red dragon Skyfire
Lairys Urkora, 3012, red Cloudtiger AMAF
unnamed, BerhalaFlight 3012, red Daggerclaw AMAF
unnamed, BerhalaFlight 3012, red Deathstar AMAF
Sherlahk Mankahr, 3012, yellow Skykill AMAF
-----------------
PLATOON-Captain \ Commander of Fifty
Hulmok Arthag, 2nd platoon, Argent Company,
.92 Independent Cavalry Battalion PAAF Arpathian
Morek chan Talmarha, a Mortar Co, chanTesh Force
Parai chan Dersal, a Marine Platoon, chanTesh Force
Gerail chan Harthu, a Marine Platoon, chanTeshForce
Janaki chan Calirath, 3rd platoon, Copper Company,
.2/177 Regiment, Ternath Marines, TA
...heir to the Ternath Throne
Dorzon chan Baskay, Viscount Simrath, with chan Tesh
.. he had a 'batman' backed at his base,
.. who packed his trunk for him,
.. including the civilian suit from his sister.
... We don't know if all platoon-captains have batmen,
... or only those who are also nobles.
Tobis Makaree, Gifted Healer\Assistant Surgeon
... Ft. Ghartoun, PAAF
Selan Vuras, an infantry platoon, Ft. Salby,
... Limathian, PAAF
Tarkel chan Noth, an infantry platoon, Ft Salby, PAAF
Harek chan Morak, an engineer officer, Ft Salby, PAAF
-------\COM-50
*??? Thaylar, 1/C, 1/1, 2AnTS, On Medical Leave* AM
..(not in Glossary)
Shevan Garlath, 1st platoon, Charlie Company,
1/1, 2nd Andaran Temporal Scouts, AM
Therman Ulthar, 3rd/C Co, 1/1, 2nd AnTScts, AM
Iftar Halesak, ??/Able Co, (?/?) 2nd AnTScts, AM
...HHNFp159=Second, CastList=First platoon
.....(battalion and regiment not given)
Jaralt Sarma, 2nd/Alpha\Able Co, 5/306th Reg, AM
(not proven whether that bat. has Alpha or Able co)
Imal Rahndar, gifted combat engineer, 7 Zydor H D
Tharian Narshu, special ops, Escort C/O,
... Fallen Timbers negotiators AM
Delthy Fahrlo, Black Deathclaw, special assignments,
... First Provisional Talon, AMAF
Nairdag Yorhan, Flight 3012, yellow Windslasher AMAF
Jolika Larshal, AMAF, command dragon, 1000 Toralk
Daris Varkal, transport dragon Skyfang, Ft. Wyvern
-----------------
COMPANY-Captain \ Commander of One Hundred
Balkar chan Tesh, Copper Company, 1/9th Cav, PAAF
.. Also Senior Officer at Hell's Gate
Grafin Halifu, Fort Shalar, PAAF (Uromathan)
Feryal chan Rorarik, Fort Brithak, PAAF
Golvar Silkash, Senior Surgeon, Ft. Ghartoun PAAF
Orkam Vargan, XO, Fort Salby, PAAF (Shurkali)
Lorvam Mesarion, Sr Arty Off, Ft Salby, PAAF (New Farnal)
Gairion Krilar, Senior Medical Off, Ft Salby, PAAF
Meris Nalkher, Senior Engineer Off, Ft Salby, PAAF
Lisar chan Korthar, Staff Voice, 3rd Drg Div.
Foram chan Eris, engineer (retired)
... railroad construction engineer, Karys TTE
-------\COM-100
JASAK OLDERHAN, Charlie Company,
..First Battalion, First Regiment,
..2nd Andoran Temporal Scouts AM, (detached)
*a hero of the books*
Hadrign Thalmayr, Charlie Com, 1/1, 2ndAnTS AM
Sylair Worka, Bravo Com, 901 Lt Cav (Unicorn) AM
Orkal Kiliron, Charlie Com., 7th Zydor H D, AEF, AM
Sahlis Desmar, 2029th Strike, black Thunderclap AMAF
Horban Geyrsof, 3012th Strike, yellow Graycloud AMAF
[C/O not named], 4016th Strike, AMAF
Faryx Helika, 5001st Strike, red Firefang AMAF
.. There must also be two other Strikes, no data
Surtel Kormas, Senior Gryphon-Handler, AF, AM
------------------
[vacancy where battle-line-captain might be]\
.................\ COMMANDER of 500
Saar Klian, Fort Rycharn, AM
.. (on p HG245 Jasek tells Gadrial that Klian also
.. commands a battalion, who's units are scattered
.. over three universes.)
Waysal Grantyl, Fort Wyvern, AM
Cerlos Myr, First Provisional Talon,
... black Razorwing, AMAF
.. There is also a Second Prov. Talon, no data
Gyras Urlan, 7th Zydor Heavy Dragoons, AM
Chalbos Isrian, an infantry battalion, AEF, AM
Pahkrys Eswayr, an infantry battalion, AEF, AM
.. Also senior battalion CO, Carthos sub-force, AM
Karth Mala, Senior AF Officer, Carthos sub-force
Herak Mahrkrai, Chief of Staff to 2000 Harshu, AM
Dayr Vaynair, Senior Gifted Healer, AEF, AM
Alivar Neshok, Senior Intel Officer, AEF, AM
-------------------------
[no hint of equal given] \ COMMANDER of 1000
Klayrman Toralk, Senior AF Officer, Arcanan Exp. Force
Tayrgal Carthos, Senior Ground Officer, AEF.
both are Arcanan Military
-------------------------
REGIMENT-Captain, 2nd Lord of Horse\Commander of 2000
Namir Velvelig, Ft Raylthar/Ghartoun, PAAF (Arpathia)
Rof chan Skrithik, Fort Salby, PAAF
Merken chan Isail, Chief of Staff, 3rd Drg Div, TA
Tarnal Garsal, Windlord Garsal, 2nd in command,
... Markan Cavalry Brigade, UA
-------\COMMANDER of 2000
Nith (vos and) mul Gurthak, Fort Talon, Senior Officer
in the nine most distant worlds known in this chain AM
Maynkos Harshu, Second-ranking Officer, same 9 outworlds,
... CO of Expeditionary Force AM (Andaran)
-------------------------
BRIGADE-Captain, Lord of Horse \ Commander of 5000
Renyl chan Quay, First Brigade, 3rd Drg Div
Jukan Darshu, Sunlord Markan, a Cavalry Brigade, UA
-------\COMMANDER of 5000
Sir Thankhar Olderhan, Duke of Garth Showma,
ex-CO & founder, 2nd Andaran Temporal Scouts, AM (ret)
-------------------------
DIVISION-Captain \ Commander of Ten Thousand
Arlos chan Geraith, 3rd Dragoon Division, TA
Yarkowan chan Manthau, 9th Infantry Division, TA
Ustace chan Jassian, 21st Infantry Division, TA
Thersahl Raynor, Commandant, PAAF
(from Tathswir Republic, New Farnal)
Inar Alvaru, Commandant-designate, PAAF (Arpathia)
...(Not in Glossary)
-------\COMMANDER of 10,000
.....None Named
-------------------------
CORPS-Captain \ [vacancy]
Fairlain chan Rowlan, Fifth Corps, TA
---------------------------
No higher grades given for any armed forces until
Captain-of-the-Army \ Commander of Armies
Thalyar chan Gristhane, TA
???? chan Baraeg, TA, 3000 years ago
..............\Commander of Armies (Andara)
Housip Kellaria, centuries ago, made Kellarian Accords
==---------------------------
(Sharona's version of High Command not founded yet)
-----------
Commandery, High Commandery, AM
each listed in Glossary; maybe 2 names for same group

1000 Toralk thinks of it as the "Commandery;"
2000 mul Gurthik as the "High Commandery."
Arcanan version of Joint Chiefs/Pentagon
None of its members are named
==================================

Howard True Map-addict
Last edited by Howard T. Map-addict on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:24 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: Military ranks - Military people
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:52 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
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Posts: 1392
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editing to delete redundant post - HTM
Last edited by Howard T. Map-addict on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Military ranks - Military people
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:24 pm

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Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
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edited to delete redundant data

HTM
Last edited by Howard T. Map-addict on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Warrant Officers re: Military ranks -(Officers only)
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:09 am

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Posts: 1392
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Changed to Add my speculation that "Under-Captain"
might be a Warrant-Officer grade.

In addition to a Sifter being a Specialist, not Line,
he deals with people, and their minds, not things.
A Distance-Viewer, Tracer, Whiffer, Plotter, and
all of the Flickers are NCOs.
One Voice (chan Tergis) is a Senior-Armsman, but all
of the other Voices are Petty-Captains at least.
So with Telepaths being Officers,
and Clairvoyants being Enlisted,
it seems logical for a
Truth-Reader to be a Warrant-Officer.

I found no other Under-Captains,
nor any data about Under-Captains,
in either of the books.

HTM

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:
I extracted all of this data from the books.
c2006, 2007 by David Weber and Linda Evans
Any data not given by Weber and Evans is vacant here.
Al erors an other omisions are mine,
including any mispelings.
==================================
Sharona first, then Arcana
PAAF = Portal Authority Armed Forces (Sharona)
TA = Ternath Army
UA = Uromath Army
AM = Arcanan Military
Ranks start with the lowest, and then go higher.
------------------------------
[snip - htm - 10/5]
-------------------
Warrant Officers
SHARONA
[I noticed none in the books.]
***It now (Oct 1, 2012) occurs to me that
"Under-Captain" might be a Warrant Officer.
The only example we are given,
Trekar chan Rothag, Sifter, PAAF
is a Specialist, not a Line Officer***edited 10/5
ARCANA
Squire - Air Force only. [Pilot of Transport Dragon]
Muthok Salmeer, tactical transport Windclaw AM
-------------------
[snip to oet]
==================================
Howard True Map-addict
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Re: Military ranks -(Officers only)
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:33 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
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Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
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Edited to remove redundant material.

HTM
Last edited by Howard T. Map-addict on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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How chan Tesh leads re: Military (Officers only)
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:31 pm

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Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
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In contrast to complaints about other leaders,
here is how Balkar chan Tesh leads so well!

While assembling the force, page 305-8.
**First, to control *himself!!***: page 305
"Watch yourself ... You're not ... out ... for vengeance
[and] all-out war with another ... civilization ...!"

P 308, to Arthag, Kinlafia, and some soldiers:
"If we just charge in shooting ... any possibility of ...
real contact [will be] even more difficult. Our first
responsibility ... get survivors back alive ...
without additional harm ..."

P 316, While approaching the Portal, to Kinlafia:
"... if they have Sharonans, they want them healthy"
and "... none of us can afford to let anger swamp our
thinking." [this alludes to the swamp beyond the Portal]

P 318, just before making the Contact, to Kinlafia, Arthag, both Marine Platoon-Captains, and some soldiers:
"Much as I'd prefer otherwise, this isn't a punitive
expedition. These are not portal pirates or claim-
jumpers. [They are ] representatives of another ...
civilization ... I don't want any shooting."

What he tells them three times, is Policy!
They all already know the ethics behind this policy.
Chan Tesh still finds it necessary to "tell them three
times" that those ethics govern, and that policy is
in effect and must govern their actions.
Thus chan Tesh's Leadership keeps his men on policy.
Arthag and Kinlafia are both shown to be affected by it.

Besides that, chan Tesh had been doing Excellent
Leadership in general thoughout the sections he's in.

HTM

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:[snip]
-----------------
COMPANY-Captain \ Commander of One Hundred
Balkar chan Tesh, Copper Company, 1/9th Cav, PAAF
.. Also Senior Officer at Hell's Gate
[snip]
Howard True Map-addict
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Re: How chan Tesh leads re: Military (Officers only)
Post by runsforcelery   » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:57 pm

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Posts: 1987
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:In contrast to complaints about other leaders,
here is how Balkar chan Tesh leads so well!

While assembling the force, page 305-8.
**First, to control *himself!!***: page 305
"Watch yourself ... You're not ... out ... for vengeance
[and] all-out war with another ... civilization ...!"

P 308, to Arthag, Kinlafia, and some soldiers:
"If we just charge in shooting ... any possibility of ...
real contact [will be] even more difficult. Our first
responsibility ... get survivors back alive ...
without additional harm ..."

P 316, While approaching the Portal, to Kinlafia:
"... if they have Sharonans, they want them healthy"
and "... none of us can afford to let anger swamp our
thinking." [this alludes to the swamp beyond the Portal]

P 318, just before making the Contact, to Kinlafia, Arthag, both Marine Platoon-Captains, and some soldiers:
"Much as I'd prefer otherwise, this isn't a punitive
expedition. These are not portal pirates or claim-
jumpers. [They are ] representatives of another ...
civilization ... I don't want any shooting."

What he tells them three times, is Policy!
They all already know the ethics behind this policy.
Chan Tesh still finds it necessary to "tell them three
times" that those ethics govern, and that policy is
in effect and must govern their actions.
Thus chan Tesh's Leadership keeps his men on policy.
Arthag and Kinlafia are both shown to be affected by it.

Besides that, chan Tesh had been doing Excellent
Leadership in general thoughout the sections he's in.

HTM

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:[snip]
-----------------
COMPANY-Captain \ Commander of One Hundred
Balkar chan Tesh, Copper Company, 1/9th Cav, PAAF
.. Also Senior Officer at Hell's Gate
[snip]
Howard True Map-addict



Howard, I don't disagree with a single thing you said about chan Tesh, who is one of my own favorite characters. However, you are comparing apples to oranges when you compare him and his orders/reactions to Jasak and his orders/reactions.

To some extent, in my opinion, in criticizing Jasak, you are Monday morning quarterbacking. You already know all kinds of things that he didn't know at the time he made his decisions, and you knew them while he was making those decisions. He was operating on very scanty/nonexistent information about the other side; he'd been forced to draw certain conclusions on the basis of the extraordinarily fragmentary and alien evidence he'd seen in a very, very tight time frame, and he had to decide — immediately — how to pursue and what to do — within the context of his standing orders — when/if he overtook the other side. Moreover, it was his duty as the officer on the spot to assume the worst while hoping for the best. Without knowing who shot first in the original confrontation or whose actions prior to the exchange of fire were responsible for it, he had to operate on the assumption that the other side was at least as likely as his side to have fired the first shot. That is, he had to assume at least the possibility that the Sharonians had deliberately killed the first Arcanan they encountered as part of a calculated policy. The fact that they appeared to be fleeing back towards the universe from which they'd come didn't say anything one way or the other about who'd initiated hostilities, who they were, or what their orders in the event of first contact might have been. You, as the reader, were inside the heads of people on both sides. As such, you knew what was happening while the participants all had to guess and extrapolate. Jasak was not out for revenge, he wasn't trying to start a war, and unlike chan Tesh, he was acting within a very long-established policy and a set structure of objectives and standing orders which had been laid out for his guidance in exactly this contingency.

Chan Tesh, on the other hand, is responding to a situation in which he knows shots have been fired, he knows a hell of a lot more about the other side's frightening and different technology than Jasak knew before Fallen Timbers blew up in everyone's face, he knows how far from home he and his men are, and he's been given the orders from above which establish his mission hierarchy, which is exactly the one he details to his men. Moreover, he thinks he knows exactly what happened at Fallen Timbers because he has Shaylar's Voice transmission of all of it, starting from the time chan Hagrahyl's wounded scout arrived back at their encampment. He's had days to think about what he's going to do and how he's going to prepare his men for it. Jasak had — at best — hours, and the men under his command knew what the standing orders were as well as he did. His emphasis was on the nuts and bolts of how he carried those orders out rather than on telling his people what they already knew about what the orders were.

I'm not attempting to take anything away from chan Tesh's actions. I deliberately created his character and his personality to be a deliberative, calm, effective officer, who also demonstrated his personal courage pretty conclusively in the opening stage of the Arcanan offensive. In other words, I'm saying that I really like this character and I think he did well. What I'm also saying, however, is that he was in Hadrign Thalmayr's position, not Sir Jasak Olderhan's position, in dealing with a situation at a much greater remove in time from the original "hot contact" and with the advantage of being able to think about it literally for days before the moment to commit to action actually arrived. He also had immensely more information, even though — like Shaylar herself — he had drawn some very inaccurate conclusions about the other side's intentions before it all went to hell.

I realize that you don't seem to like Jasak very much, but I don't think you're being very fair to him in looking at the constraints he faced, the time window in which he had to deal with them, the obligations placed upon him by his standing orders, and his total ignorance of the other side's attitude, objectives, capabilities, or standing orders. One of the problems with being a military officer is that you have to make decisions, often based on mere fragments of information and virtually never with all the information you need. It's virtually impossible under those circumstances to make the best possible decision; you have to settle for making the best one you possibly can, and those are all almost guaranteed to be imperfect. Jasak would agree with you that what happened at Fallen Timbers — for which he was (and for which he feels) personally responsible as the commander on the spot — was a disaster. It's possible that if he'd been chan Tesh's age (chan Tesh was a good 20 years older than Jasak) he might have reacted differently even in the uninformed, very narrow time window he possessed. It's also possible that if chan Tesh had found himself in Jasak's position, he would have reacted in exactly the same way Jasak did. One of the often tragic realities of the military is that the officer in command virtually never makes the perfect decision and all too often makes the wrong decision, yet he still has to decide.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: How chan Tesh leads
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:38 am

Howard T. Map-addict
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Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
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Monday morning quarterbacking? I must plead Guilty. :(
Even Worse, it is Six Years Worth of Mondays later,
and I have read the books many times, and analyzed
them from several different directions.

I am annoyed at Jasek as a result of my current reading.
I have spent six years liking him, yes, "very much."
Perhaps I am exagerating my annoyance a bit, to emphasize
the contrast between my new and somewhat different
judgement and my previous feeling. Still I am trying to
not be extravagant. (Perhaps I failed in that.)
I do recognize, and hereby stipulate, that he has many
virtues, and you show us that he uses them.

My annoyance is aimed at all of the Arcanan officers,
not J O alone, but also Klian, Thalmayr, Garlath,
Ulthar and the others present who are not shown giving
advice or being consulted, v&m Gurthak, and even
500 Grantyl, who has so far contributed nothing, not
even reconnaisance gryphons. :D

I am also annoyed at the Arcanan First Contact Plan,
and the Standing Orders based upon it. In this case
my opinion is not new. I have been expressing my dislike
and disdain of it for all six years now. My Complaint is
that it is *so* protective of Arcana, that it can become
an Attack, indeed an Act Of War, against the other
civilization that it expects to find. And I argue that
the Other Civilization will likely see and resent this.

I also found some annoyance to spare for Hulmok Arthag,
whose demands I found less than perfectly diplomatic,
as I said in the "Who's At Fault" Thread.
(I look forward to scenes with Arthag and chan Baskay
talking to each other, in the Next Book!)

If I choose one to be most annoyed at *at this point*
as Jasek & Co are leaving Rycharn towards Arcana, and
*before Gurthak's warmongering really kicks in,*
it is Klian to whom I now send the plurality of it.
I deem that he did not supervise his juniors properly,
did not consult enough of them often enough,
did not send sufficient orders to Thalmayr,
(who might have been known to need them very much),
and did not even plan to visit the "front."
It seems possible that he did not attend to Jasek's First
Report, which was sent from the Chalgyn Stockade before
the pursuit and the battle. Klian's shock at the Battle
Report, allows the inference that it was the only Report
that he had seen.
(Am I being particularly careful in my wording, or what?)

Howard T. Map-addict

runsforcelery wrote:
Howard, I don't disagree with a single thing you said about chan Tesh, who is one of my own favorite characters. However, you are comparing apples to oranges when you compare him and his orders/reactions to Jasak and his orders/reactions.

To some extent, in my opinion, in criticizing Jasak, you are Monday morning quarterbacking. You already know all kinds of things that he didn't know at the time he made his decisions, and you knew them while he was making those decisions. He was operating on very scanty/nonexistent information about the other side; he'd been forced to draw certain conclusions on the basis of the extraordinarily fragmentary and alien evidence he'd seen in a very, very tight time frame, and he had to decide — immediately — how to pursue and what to do — within the context of his standing orders — when/if he overtook the other side. Moreover, it was his duty as the officer on the spot to assume the worst while hoping for the best. Without knowing who shot first in the original confrontation or whose actions prior to the exchange of fire were responsible for it, he had to operate on the assumption that the other side was at least as likely as his side to have fired the first shot. That is, he had to assume at least the possibility that the Sharonians had deliberately killed the first Arcanan they encountered as part of a calculated policy. The fact that they appeared to be fleeing back towards the universe from which they'd come didn't say anything one way or the other about who'd initiated hostilities, who they were, or what their orders in the event of first contact might have been. You, as the reader, were inside the heads of people on both sides. As such, you knew what was happening while the participants all had to guess and extrapolate. Jasak was not out for revenge, he wasn't trying to start a war, and unlike chan Tesh, he was acting within a very long-established policy and a set structure of objectives and standing orders which had been laid out for his guidance in exactly this contingency.

Chan Tesh, on the other hand, is responding to a situation in which he knows shots have been fired, he knows a hell of a lot more about the other side's frightening and different technology than Jasak knew before Fallen Timbers blew up in everyone's face, he knows how far from home he and his men are, and he's been given the orders from above which establish his mission hierarchy, which is exactly the one he details to his men. Moreover, he thinks he knows exactly what happened at Fallen Timbers because he has Shaylar's Voice transmission of all of it, starting from the time chan Hagrahyl's wounded scout arrived back at their encampment. He's had days to think about what he's going to do and how he's going to prepare his men for it. Jasak had — at best — hours, and the men under his command knew what the standing orders were as well as he did. His emphasis was on the nuts and bolts of how he carried those orders out rather than on telling his people what they already knew about what the orders were.

I'm not attempting to take anything away from chan Tesh's actions. I deliberately created his character and his personality to be a deliberative, calm, effective officer, who also demonstrated his personal courage pretty conclusively in the opening stage of the Arcanan offensive. In other words, I'm saying that I really like this character and I think he did well. What I'm also saying, however, is that he was in Hadrign Thalmayr's position, not Sir Jasak Olderhan's position, in dealing with a situation at a much greater remove in time from the original "hot contact" and with the advantage of being able to think about it literally for days before the moment to commit to action actually arrived. He also had immensely more information, even though — like Shaylar herself — he had drawn some very inaccurate conclusions about the other side's intentions before it all went to hell.

I realize that you don't seem to like Jasak very much, but I don't think you're being very fair to him in looking at the constraints he faced, the time window in which he had to deal with them, the obligations placed upon him by his standing orders, and his total ignorance of the other side's attitude, objectives, capabilities, or standing orders. One of the problems with being a military officer is that you have to make decisions, often based on mere fragments of information and virtually never with all the information you need. It's virtually impossible under those circumstances to make the best possible decision; you have to settle for making the best one you possibly can, and those are all almost guaranteed to be imperfect. Jasak would agree with you that what happened at Fallen Timbers — for which he was (and for which he feels) personally responsible as the commander on the spot — was a disaster. It's possible that if he'd been chan Tesh's age (chan Tesh was a good 20 years older than Jasak) he might have reacted differently even in the uninformed, very narrow time window he possessed. It's also possible that if chan Tesh had found himself in Jasak's position, he would have reacted in exactly the same way Jasak did. One of the often tragic realities of the military is that the officer in command virtually never makes the perfect decision and all too often makes the wrong decision, yet he still has to decide.
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Re: How chan Tesh leads
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:04 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

I've been wondering:
Since you love Balkar chan Tesh so much,
why didn't you promote him to Battalion-Captain?

HTM

runsforcelery wrote:
-----------------
COMPANY-Captain \ Commander of One Hundred
Balkar chan Tesh, Copper Company, 1/9th Cav, PAAF
.. Also Senior Officer at Hell's Gate
[snip]
Howard True Map-addict
[/quote]


Howard, I don't disagree with a single thing you said about chan Tesh, who is one of my own favorite characters.
[snip - htm]
[/quote]
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old DW post re: How chan Tesh leads
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:51 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Repost of old David Weber essay,
which concerns some things we recently discussed here.

HTM

runsforcelery wrote:(snip my post that elicited this essay - htm)

Howard, I don't disagree with a single thing you said about chan Tesh, who is one of my own favorite characters. However, you are comparing apples to oranges when you compare him and his orders/reactions to Jasak and his orders/reactions.

To some extent, in my opinion, in criticizing Jasak, you are Monday morning quarterbacking. You already know all kinds of things that he didn't know at the time he made his decisions, and you knew them while he was making those decisions. He was operating on very scanty/nonexistent information about the other side; he'd been forced to draw certain conclusions on the basis of the extraordinarily fragmentary and alien evidence he'd seen in a very, very tight time frame, and he had to decide — immediately — how to pursue and what to do — within the context of his standing orders — when/if he overtook the other side. Moreover, it was his duty as the officer on the spot to assume the worst while hoping for the best. Without knowing who shot first in the original confrontation or whose actions prior to the exchange of fire were responsible for it, he had to operate on the assumption that the other side was at least as likely as his side to have fired the first shot. That is, he had to assume at least the possibility that the Sharonians had deliberately killed the first Arcanan they encountered as part of a calculated policy. The fact that they appeared to be fleeing back towards the universe from which they'd come didn't say anything one way or the other about who'd initiated hostilities, who they were, or what their orders in the event of first contact might have been. You, as the reader, were inside the heads of people on both sides. As such, you knew what was happening while the participants all had to guess and extrapolate. Jasak was not out for revenge, he wasn't trying to start a war, and unlike chan Tesh, he was acting within a very long-established policy and a set structure of objectives and standing orders which had been laid out for his guidance in exactly this contingency.

Chan Tesh, on the other hand, is responding to a situation in which he knows shots have been fired, he knows a hell of a lot more about the other side's frightening and different technology than Jasak knew before Fallen Timbers blew up in everyone's face, he knows how far from home he and his men are, and he's been given the orders from above which establish his mission hierarchy, which is exactly the one he details to his men. Moreover, he thinks he knows exactly what happened at Fallen Timbers because he has Shaylar's Voice transmission of all of it, starting from the time chan Hagrahyl's wounded scout arrived back at their encampment. He's had days to think about what he's going to do and how he's going to prepare his men for it. Jasak had — at best — hours, and the men under his command knew what the standing orders were as well as he did. His emphasis was on the nuts and bolts of how he carried those orders out rather than on telling his people what they already knew about what the orders were.

I'm not attempting to take anything away from chan Tesh's actions. I deliberately created his character and his personality to be a deliberative, calm, effective officer, who also demonstrated his personal courage pretty conclusively in the opening stage of the Arcanan offensive. In other words, I'm saying that I really like this character and I think he did well. What I'm also saying, however, is that he was in Hadrign Thalmayr's position, not Sir Jasak Olderhan's position, in dealing with a situation at a much greater remove in time from the original "hot contact" and with the advantage of being able to think about it literally for days before the moment to commit to action actually arrived. He also had immensely more information, even though — like Shaylar herself — he had drawn some very inaccurate conclusions about the other side's intentions before it all went to hell.

I realize that you don't seem to like Jasak very much, but I don't think you're being very fair to him in looking at the constraints he faced, the time window in which he had to deal with them, the obligations placed upon him by his standing orders, and his total ignorance of the other side's attitude, objectives, capabilities, or standing orders. One of the problems with being a military officer is that you have to make decisions, often based on mere fragments of information and virtually never with all the information you need. It's virtually impossible under those circumstances to make the best possible decision; you have to settle for making the best one you possibly can, and those are all almost guaranteed to be imperfect. Jasak would agree with you that what happened at Fallen Timbers — for which he was (and for which he feels) personally responsible as the commander on the spot — was a disaster. It's possible that if he'd been chan Tesh's age (chan Tesh was a good 20 years older than Jasak) he might have reacted differently even in the uninformed, very narrow time window he possessed. It's also possible that if chan Tesh had found himself in Jasak's position, he would have reacted in exactly the same way Jasak did. One of the often tragic realities of the military is that the officer in command virtually never makes the perfect decision and all too often makes the wrong decision, yet he still has to decide.
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