In times of peace, the Mobile Infantry Trooper goes through the most rigorous and demanding training ever asked of any soldier in the history of humanity. He is pushed to his limits and beyond, undergoing not just physical and emotional hardship, but is also the subject of extensive psychological screening. The training regimen of the SICON Mobile Infantry Trooper, from his first day at boot until the day he cashiers out or breathes his last on some distant rock, is deliberately brutal and relentless. Particularly in boot, every peacetime Trooper is given every opportunity, indeed is encouraged, to give it up and, in the words of a particularly infamous drill sergeant, to ‘take a stroll down Washout Lane.’
In times of peace, SICON demands only the very best. In times of war, SICON does not have the luxury of being so discriminating. The proposed invasion of Klendathu prompted an incredible response from the recruitment and training arms of the Mobile Infantry. The Light Trooper concept had been gathering dust, unneeded, in SICON’s files for many years – the Klendathu Invasion saw the idea taken from contingency plan to realisation within a few short months.
The Light Trooper is the infantry produced by SICON during wartime, when the necessity of rushing large numbers of troops to the battlefield trumps any concerns about the thoroughness of their training. Light Troopers are recruited, obviously, from the civilian population, but tend to be older when they enter boot than most Troopers. They are primarily university students, young professionals and tradesmen, even artists and drifters. They are the people who thought about enlisting in Federal Service, but never did, choosing to follow a different course with their lives. They are the people who never gave Federal Service a second thought, until they realised the benefits of citizenship. If war had never come, no doubt most would have lived out their lives as civilians, but there is no finer marching tune than the drums of war, a tune that calls them in droves to Federal Service.
A Light Trooper is not some poor buffoon given a Morita assault rifl e and thrust into combat; he does undergo training. While this training may pale in comparison to what a normal Trooper endures, it is nonetheless sufficient to prepare him for combat and give him at least a chance at survival. Many Light Troopers join Federal Service having already taken a level or two in the Civilian class.
There are two major differences between the Light Trooper and the regular Mobile Infantry. First, the Light Trooper’s training does not prepare him for combat the way a normal Trooper’s training would. For example, while he is deadly with a Morita assault rifle, the Light Trooper receives no training in any manner of vehicle operation, including power armour, normally a staple of Trooper training. Second, he is often considered a liability, at least at first, by ‘true’ Mobile Infantry Troopers.