Ok, well having been a former Reserve Officer (actually, Army National Guard), I can somewhat relate to this story. You initially join the Guard or Reserves for some reason whether it be for the money or to do something different without losing everything in your civilian life. It was an opportunity to be part of the military once again as I did serve on Active Duty, but that was in the US Navy, so this Army stuff was totally different. Still, I joined to see what it was like.
Our main character, Legionnaire Lieutenant Benjie Ocampo was a chef in real life! Yeah, and he was called “Fetch” by Legion friends. He has a Masters in Hotel and Restaurant Management and general culinary arts. Still, he enlisted in the New Caledonian Reserve Corps just to prove something to himself. He figured he’d stick around awhile to see this side of life before giving it up and going back to his full-time civilian career. He knew that unless everything was going to heck with the Republic, his chance of getting called up for Active Duty were pretty slim, until it actually happened!
The Mid-Core Rebellion was getting more and more active. Then one day his unit began to receive additional funds for training and he was volunteering for everyone of these training events. Pretty soon his “one weekend a month” deal was out the window and his reserve time was taking up more than his civi time. Then his unit got THE CALL!
Fetch really wasn’t expecting this, but he thought he was ready. The active Legion didn’t really consider a reserve Legion unit actually Legionnaires. They didn’t have sufficient training and most of their equipment was outdated. Plus most reserve units were undermanned. That was the condition of Rage Company, 9th Legion, was typical upon activation, but the Legion sent some active duty training Legionnaires to whip them into shape. That they did as much as could be done in a short time. It wasn’t long before the 9th Legion found itself deploying to Rhyssis Wan, a Republic planet that was having a rebellion problem.
Now, Fetch had by this time made Sergeant and was in charge of Berserker Squad. At one time, with his degree, the had thought about going to OCS (Officer Candidate School) and getting his commission, but after seeing so many “Point” officers entering the Legion and knowning they didn’t know a thing, he decided to stay with his men. So now he’s going to do something for real. What he doesn’t know is that his life is going to get very intense, very quickly and the Legion doesn’t always support you like it should. Too much going on and being over extended can cause a lot of problems. Also, having Point officers planning your missions just wasn’t going to cut it because they barely knew how to do anything, but the ops plans they put out had to be executed. And then, Rage Company got a Point for a commanding officer!
So you’ll read about this reserve unit doing what every other Legion unit has always done, KTF! They got in to a real mess on Rhyssis Wan going from one impossible mission to another. In-between all this, Fetch’s friends were dying. Guys he knew for a long time, knew who their Mothers and Fathers were, fed their families at his restaurants were now dying while he was trying to keep them alive along with himself. He soon got his battlefield commission since all the leadership in Rage Company got taken out during their short time about their Navy transport. It was supposed to be a leadership meeting, but he was running a little bit late and the ship was hit. The new Point Captain had no recourse but to appoint Fetch as a new Lieutenant in charge of 1st Platoon. That would eventually balloon to a much larger responsibility.
The story was very good, but a little too much I think for the average Reservist I knew. Sure we always thought we were ready for combat, but I’m not so sure we were. And the thing about being within a unit in your home town. You knew the guys around you very, very well so their deaths can hit very hard. I think it’s harder on a unit like this to overcome massive casualties and still remain effective. Still, this story was very well written as were all five of the ebooks in this collection.