Though the bulk of Caesar's soldiers have only improvised or low-tech weapons, their discipline, ferocity, and sheer numbers dampen the impact of the NCR Army's technological advantage. Combined with their skill in infiltration and sabotage, the warriors of Caesar's Legion have managed to score important victories against the NCR and maintain a powerful and feared presence in the Mojave Wasteland.
Caesar is the supreme leader of the Legion and his orders are law. Directly below Caesar is a legate, ensuring that Caesar's orders are followed faithfully. The centurions are responsible for directing the legionaries and coordinating their attacks. A contubernium consists of eight legionaries.
The praetorian guards are an elite group of soldiers who operate as Caesar's personal bodyguards. Though they are not part of the main fighting force, they will accompany their legate in crucial battles and occasionally serve as Caesar's executioners. The praetorians are highly respected and their leader answers to none but the legate and Caesar.
The frumentarii are legionaries trained in the arts of espionage and sabotage. Due to the clandestine nature of their work, they operate as independent units. Thus, only trusted individuals become frumentarii.
Legionaries are drawn into Caesar's service through three methods. The first method involves being born in the Legion. The second method is if a tribe is assimilated into the ranks of the Legion. The third method involves the choosing of physically fit slaves for training. Only males are allowed to serve in a military capacity. Women are forbidden from entering combat.
Once the men or boys are deemed fit to serve as warriors, their training begins. The road to becoming a full-fledged legionary is fraught with hardship and underperforming recruits are threatened with death. If the trainees survive the instructors' trials, they are given the right to join the Legion's ranks. As a result, the Legion's fighters are skilled, tenacious and fearless. In comparison to the NCR's recruits, who are sometimes given as little as two weeks of combat training, legionaries are consummate warriors and may easily overpower NCR soldiers in hand-to-hand combat.
The recruits must now face the most dangerous time of their lives. The most inexperienced warriors in the Legion are given only crude machetes, improvised throwing spears, and antiquated firearms to battle their foes with. To make matters worse for the recruits, they are marched to the front to either overwhelm the enemy or act as human shields for the more experienced legionaries.
Beyond throwing spears and utilizing whatever guns they can get their hands on, recruits must simply wade through enemy fire and hope that they survive long enough to engage their foes up close, when faced with enemies wielding firearms (such as NCR troopers and Rangers). The survival rate for a recruit is appropriately low, and due to their low tech equipment, they are generally deployed on patrols with a higher ranking legionary, or take part in small to medium-sized raids and skirmishes.
Should the recruits survive and even excel through multiple battles, they are granted the right to be promoted to prime legionaries. The prime legionaries are given better equipment and situated further away from the front lines. They are given equipment such as hunting rifles and hunting shotguns. Although all still carry a melee weapon and will use it should they get close enough to the enemy. The ability to adapt to any situation in combat by being able to switch between firearms and melee makes them excellent fighters. If they continue to demonstrate aptitude in battle, they gain the status of veterans. The veterans boast the thickest armor of the common legionaries and are kept even further away from the front lines, only being deployed if the ranks before them should fail their mission. This method of organization is not out of kindness to the Legion's seasoned warriors; it allows the Legion to hold its best soldiers in reserve so they may be unleashed if the lesser legionaries fail to defeat their foes.
If legionaries demonstrate aptitude in essential crafts, they will be assigned to such duties. These jobs can range from training the Legion's hounds to repairing and expanding the Legion's arsenal.
Discipline and advancement
Caesar's army is highly stratified in terms of rank. A low-ranking soldier must defer to the wishes of his superiors, even if that means facing death. The Legion's success comes from the legionaries' fearlessness, cooperation, and loyalty to Caesar. Thus, cowardice and disobedience will earn the wrath of Caesar and his officers.
Advancement is primarily achieved through valorous or ingenious acts on the battlefield. A legionary who demonstrates leadership potential will be rewarded with greater responsibilities and privileges. If a legionary can earn a decisive victory for the Legion, even if it involves disobeying orders, he will be recognized for his efforts. Vulpes Inculta is a notable example, as he managed to defeat a tribe by breaking ranks and exploiting a weakness in their formation. The centurion wished to execute Vulpes for his disobedience, but Caesar elevated Vulpes to the position of frumentarii.
While competence is rewarded with leadership positions, incompetence brings the threat of serious injury or death. The first legate, Joshua Graham, failed to seize Hoover Dam and his forces were routed by the NCR. Though he was the second most powerful man in the Legion and Caesar's life-long friend, Caesar nonetheless ordered his praetorians to immolate Graham and toss him into the Grand Canyon. Other punishments that may be applied for failure range from crucifixion to decimation. Consequently, legionaries will frequently commit suicide when defeated to avoid suffering at the hands of Caesar's executioners.
Caesar is determined to maintain a Roman theme for his army, his underlings are equipped as such, due to his beliefs that technology makes men complacent and weak. The most common armament in the Legion are crude machetes and improvised throwing spears, but the legionaries are relatively free to use whatever weapon is available, so long as they can wield them well. As rank improves, the quality of a legionary's armament also increases. In fact, the centurions can be seen wielding weapons that are technologically advanced, ranging from thermic lances to anti-materiel rifles.
Standard legionary armor is composed of pre-War athletic gear reinforced with metal and leather and worn over versions of the traditional Roman body armor. Again, rank dictates the quality of armor. A recruit will be given armor that is ineffective against even crude bludgeons while centurions are equipped with armor that can resist knives and SMG bullets.
Due to a ban on modern medicine, alcohol, and synthetic chems, the legionaries are provided with medicines derived from the local flora and fauna. Healing powder and bitter drinks are the most common remedies used to heal wounds. In order to restore crippled limbs, the Legion uses a chem called hydra, a potent brew derived from the Mojave Wasteland's wildlife and cave fungus. Legionaries also carry antivenom as a precaution against poisoning from encounters with the venomous creatures of the desert. In addition, many legionaries carry purified water and food gathered from the wasteland for rations.
The legionaries can be divided according to experience as such:
- Recruit legionaries (Latin: legionarius, pl. legionarii) are the lowest ranked members of Caesar's Legion, these legionaries come from the various tribes recently conquered by the Legion. Freshly trained, these legionaries are those who are given only basic equipment. They are the most common type of the legionaries and make up the hastati maniple.
- The hastati maniple, the first rank of heavy (technically medium) infantry in the Legion, are expected to hold the front of the line in the center of the battle. Their lighter armor and position in the front inevitably causes them to suffer the highest casualties in any battle, but good performance (and survival) meant promotion and upward social mobility.
- Prime legionary are the second lowest ranked members of Caesar's Legion and come from the various stock. These legionaries are those who have more experience in battle. Although some are from conquered tribals, most are likely from children trained from childhood to be legionaries. These legionaries are given better equipment and are the most trained common type of legionaries. Due to their increased experience and quality of equipment, they would be akin to the principe maniple.
- Veteran legionary - Veteran legionaries are not only the best equipped among the standard legionaries, but they are the most experienced as well. They are typically held in reserve until the recruit and the prime legionaries are defeated, similar to the Roman triarii maniple. They were almost never used in battle unless dire circumstances demanded it, leading to the Roman phrase, It has come down to the triarii, which meant the situation was so dire one was on their last legs.
- Legionaries are given the position of decanus when they display leadership potential consistently in battle. A legionary decanus has the authority to run small camps as well as act as a deputy for the local centurion. Like standard legionaries, the decani have their own hierarchy. Seniority determines the quality of the decanus' armor; a standard decanus will only have the recruit's armor whereas a seasoned decanus will be given a veteran legionary's armor. They are easily distinguished by their helmets, which are adorned with feathers. The decani ranks are similar to the standard legionary ranks, that being:
- Recruit decanus
- Prime decanus
- Veteran decanus
- Centurion - Centurions serve as field commanders during major operations. They are often appointed to their position through years of dedicated service and their martial prowess reflects the rigors they have endured. They are clad in heavy armor cobbled together from their fallen foes and use various weapons to great effect. They are generally kept away from danger due to the strategic value of each centurion. Outside of battle, centurions act as administrators of Legion camps with the assistance of the decanus.
- Legate - A position above the rank of Centurion that acts as a general or field marshal. A legate, or legatus, is shown to be appointed directly by Caesar, opposed to solely through career advancement. The two explicitly referenced legati have also acted as the second in command to Caesar, that being the Malpais Legate (Joshua Graham) and Legatus Lanius. While Lanius is the only legate in the Mojave, Caesar's Legion has several other Legati in the command structure elsewhere.
- Legion explorer - A veteran scout legionary. They are not intended for combat and will thus only carry basic weaponry. They serve as scouts, messengers, and sentries in various Legion camps.
- Legionary assassin - A specially trained legionary, sent after Caesar's most hated enemies. They are extremely dangerous due to the fact that they travel in packs and utilize powerful firearms and melee weapons. Legionary assassins are typically led into battle by a vexillarius
- Frumentarii - The eyes and ears of Caesar, the frumentarii serve as spies, saboteurs, and assassins. They operate separately from the main Legion forces and are hand-picked by Caesar himself. In 2281, the leader of this unit is Vulpes Inculta.
- Houndmasters - The remnants of the Hangdogs tribes, a tribe assimilated by the Legion. After they were integrated into the Legion, Caesar, seeing how useful the Hangdogs' talent was in taming dogs, made the male members of the tribe into hound masters of the Legion. Caesar also made the hound masters begin training and taming the Legion mongrels.
- Vexillarius - A soldier chosen as a vexillarius is a standard-bearer that carries the vexillum, a military standard (flag or banner) displaying the emblem of the Legion. The vexillarius provide troops with a rallying point and morale during heated exchanges. These soldiers are given luxuries including firearms, superior armor and distinctive helmets in comparison to the standard legionary.
- Praetorian - They are soldiers or officers with the potential to become centurions but operate as members of Caesar's security detail. Prospective praetorians must challenge the praetorian they think is the weakest. The two men will then fight to the death in hand-to-hand combat for the title of praetorian. The praetorians are proficient in unarmed combat and augment their innate fighting abilities with lethal ballistic fists. In 2281, the leader of this section is Lucius.
- Blacksmith - The blacksmiths are responsible for the maintenance of the Legion's weapons and armor. These men are generally found in Legion camps.
- Instructor - The legionary instructor is responsible for the training of future legionaries. They are trusted with turning boys into potent warriors and thus are encouraged to subject their charges to rigorous training. They frequently threaten to kill their students should they not give full attention to improving their skills.
- Speculatores - While little is known about this rank within the Legion, they are featured in the Vault playing cards that came with the Fallout: New Vegas collector's edition. Speculatores are on the 8 of clubs, with the card featuring a blood stained sword stuck into the ground and a quote about Mars. They are also mentioned in the quest Oh My Papa by Melissa. She is told she could become one by a frumentarii agent named Karl. However, it is apparent that Karl is lying to Melissa given the fact that the Legion does not allow women to serve. Ancient Roman speculatores filled scouting roles. It is possible the Legion's speculatores handle mapping and battlefield reconnaissance, as opposed to the covert spy work of the frumentarii, or it may be the official title for another rank.
Military members of Caesar's Legion appear in Fallout: New Vegas.