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Retirement Age in the Honorverse

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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:40 am

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Fireflair wrote:I'm not sure that anyone would want to do something for 70 plus years. Doldrums and such.

A reason that the RMN cycles senior officers from place to place after a few years, even teaching, is so that they don't get stale and they maintain an appreciation of operational realities. That's very important.

I don't think we want to end up with a bunch of arm chair intellectuals who are coasting on past glories when the modern world of the military is vastly different from what they experienced. Honor enjoys teaching a great deal and some things might be able to be taught the same but in order to remain a valid teacher I think she'd have to stay on active duty, moving in and out of active commands deployed around the empire.

We only have to consider that no "elderly" officers were spoke of at the beginning of the series or anywhere within. How old would Saganami have been? He would have been on his last legs when Honor got Hawkwing. But surely there should have been other younger officers around who served with Saganami still involved with the navy in some capacity.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:07 am

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cthia wrote:We only have to consider that no "elderly" officers were spoke of at the beginning of the series or anywhere within.


The Admiral in charge of GRAM in House of Steel was the last, or one of the last pre-prolong Manticoran Admirals.

cthia wrote:How old would Saganami have been? He would have been on his last legs when Honor got Hawkwing. But surely there should have been other younger officers around who served with Saganami still involved with the navy in some capacity.


Doubtful since Prolong was relatively recent in Manticore. Even if Saganami lived to see Prolong, he (and any contemporaries) would be far too old to be treated.

c1826 ?      The Prolong Process is introduced to the Star Kingdom of Manticore. (HHA2.4) Worlds of Honor "The Hard Way Home"

(The Long Way Home states that Prolong has been available for sixty-four T-years prior to the Attica Avalanche of 275 A.L.)

Chapter One of The Shadow of Saganami clearly states that Saganami's Final Action took place during the reign of Queen Adrienne, which rather specifically places The Battle of Carson during the time frame of 1669 P.D to 1681 P.D. (August 11, 1672 P.D.).
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by ldwechsler   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:19 am

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cthia wrote:
Fireflair wrote:I'm not sure that anyone would want to do something for 70 plus years. Doldrums and such.

A reason that the RMN cycles senior officers from place to place after a few years, even teaching, is so that they don't get stale and they maintain an appreciation of operational realities. That's very important.

I don't think we want to end up with a bunch of arm chair intellectuals who are coasting on past glories when the modern world of the military is vastly different from what they experienced. Honor enjoys teaching a great deal and some things might be able to be taught the same but in order to remain a valid teacher I think she'd have to stay on active duty, moving in and out of active commands deployed around the empire.

We only have to consider that no "elderly" officers were spoke of at the beginning of the series or anywhere within. How old would Saganami have been? He would have been on his last legs when Honor got Hawkwing. But surely there should have been other younger officers around who served with Saganami still involved with the navy in some capacity.


It goes far beyond that. Who would want to be a ranker for 70 years? Shipboard life is not wildly interesting unless you're in battle,,, where it's terrifying.

So you move up and after 25 years you're a petty officer and later a chief. All of your subordinates are waiting for you to retire so they can move up. After a time, promotions will probably barely exist.

Imagine having a "sergeant from hell" in the Marines for twenty years. Or fifty years.

The system would collapse on itself.

Chances are the average career might be forty years in. Those who still like space probably are really well-trained at this point and join a merchant fleet.
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by Theemile   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:27 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
cthia wrote:We only have to consider that no "elderly" officers were spoke of at the beginning of the series or anywhere within.


The Admiral in charge of GRAM in House of Steel was the last, or one of the last pre-prolong Manticoran Admirals.

cthia wrote:How old would Saganami have been? He would have been on his last legs when Honor got Hawkwing. But surely there should have been other younger officers around who served with Saganami still involved with the navy in some capacity.


Doubtful since Prolong was relatively recent in Manticore. Even if Saganami lived to see Prolong, he (and any contemporaries) would be far too old to be treated.

c1826 ?      The Prolong Process is introduced to the Star Kingdom of Manticore. (HHA2.4) Worlds of Honor "The Hard Way Home"

(The Long Way Home states that Prolong has been available for sixty-four T-years prior to the Attica Avalanche of 275 A.L.)

Chapter One of The Shadow of Saganami clearly states that Saganami's Final Action took place during the reign of Queen Adrienne, which rather specifically places The Battle of Carson during the time frame of 1669 P.D to 1681 P.D. (August 11, 1672 P.D.).


Rampajet, the Solarian Admiral was only in his low 120s and he was amongst the oldest individuals to receive prolong. RMN Admiral Adcock, just missed receiving prolong, and died at the age of 116 during the first war, and was only working because of modern medicine and his niece's influence.

There would have been a wave of officers who retired in the years just prior to the series starting (in 1900) in their mid 80s to 90s, and everyone coming after them would have seemed obscenely young.

Geriatric care JUST died in Manticore as a profession - fortunately, Grayson is probably paying any remaining Manticorian specialists handsomely to relocate to assist with their elderly for the next 75 years.

So this whole life extension is relatively new, and only in the last 30 years are societies truly sorting out the long term societal effects beyond the eternal youth thing, and expanded child bearing years.
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RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:04 pm

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When it is all that you've known for decades, many may not want to do anything else. That happens now to make people reenlist. They put the gung in ho.

At any rate, shouldn't there be officers just entering the service at, say 100+ - having gotten sick of the private sector and wanting to see the galaxy? I'm sure Uncle Sam is still promising civilians an opportunity to see the galaxy.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by ldwechsler   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:17 pm

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cthia wrote:When it is all that you've known for decades, many may not want to do anything else. That happens now to make people reenlist. They put the gung in ho.

At any rate, shouldn't there be officers just entering the service at, say 100+ - having gotten sick of the private sector and wanting to see the galaxy? I'm sure Uncle Sam is still promising civilians an opportunity to see the galaxy.


We have seen no evidence of all of this. Keep in mind that particularly in a space navy, things can get VERY boring. Look at the disaster in the Solarian League.

And, as I have noted before, really long careers destroy chances of promotion. My nephew joined the Marines and was a corporal before the end of his first term of enlistment. He was promised a sergeant's job if he reentlisted. After eight years, he was recently promoted to a First Sergeant spot.

He will probably retire as Master Sergeant but since he is a few credits from graduating from college now, he might become a warrant officer.

If people serve for a century, there would be no space for young spacers to move up.

And we have seen little evidence of really old people in the navy. We have seen a real lot of them in several navies and except for Honor's servant (who is not really in the navy anyway), no one is old.
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by tlb   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:27 pm

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Maybe this is a bit off topic, but I was just skimming The Honor of the Queen. Benjamin Mayhew did not receive prolong treatment; but his Grandfather had him educated off world, so why would he not get it then (like Benardus van Dort)?
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by drothgery   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:45 pm

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tlb wrote:Maybe this is a bit off topic, but I was just skimming The Honor of the Queen. Benjamin Mayhew did not receive prolong treatment; but his Grandfather had him educated off world, so why would he not get it then (like Benardus van Dort)?

Mostly because when not even the .01% on Grayson could afford prolong, it really would have looked very bad for the monarch to have it (the same logic kept even the most outward-looking steadholders from getting prolong for themselves or their heirs). The elder Van Dort was a private citizen, and so didn't worry about that sort of thing.
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by phillies   » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 pm

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Long careers and promotions?
There can still be lots of promotions.
You just need more ranks.

Senior Sergeant, 17th Class
Junior Vice Commodore, Second Class

The SLN really needd a lot more different flag ranks than it had. After all, how many promotion bribes can you collect if there are no promotions?
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Re: Retirement Age in the Honorverse
Post by Fireflair   » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:18 am

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Now we're back to one of the original comments: going back to being a ranker. Be it in the merchant marine or some other aspect of the private sector. If military careers are capped, low promotion rates not withstanding, than your average spacer gets out and goes into the merchant marine or some job. He's either going to be starting at the bottom and no one's happy about that. Or he takes the job of an experienced spacer, who has no where up to go and should he become a ship's captain some day will be doing the same thing for hundreds of years.
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