Though the civilian government formerly exercised control over the military, the Resource Wars combined with the deteriorating economic situation led to the erosion of civilian authority and gradual transition of a federal republic into a military junta, with the President of the United States exercising dictatorial control over the state.
Following the collapse of the United States in the Great War, surviving USAF military units and servicemen would become a crucial influence on the United States, founding the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave, Junktown, or otherwise influencing entire communities.
The United States military was a crucial tool of the United States foreign policy from the beginning and the formation of the Continental Army. Throughout the 20th century, they participated in numerous wars, including the First World War and the Second World War. The Armed Forces have also worked towards the militarization of space, with the first tentative steps being taken during the Virgo II lunar landing. The first steps were taken with the pioneering flight of Defiance 7 on May 5, 1961, when Captain Carl Bell became the first human in space. However, the claim was widely disputed by the Soviet Union and China. By the end of the decade, the United States had achieved victory in the space race, as the Virgo II lunar lander touched down on the surface of Earth's moon on July 16, 1969. Valiant 11 mission members, Captain Richard Wade, Captain Mark Garris, and Captain Michael Hagen became the first humans to walk on the surface of another celestial body - with weapons drawn. With the gradual exhaustion of resources, the space exploration program would peter out by 2034, when the remaining space exploration vehicles like the Delta IX rocket were converted to military ordnance - foreshadowing the eventual fate of the American state.
The Resource WarsEdit
An increasingly aggressive foreign policy resulted in the Armed Forces being increasingly used to influence foreign entities. One of the first major examples of this occurred in 2051, when the United States began exerting pressure on Mexico to protect their economic interests there, primarily the crude oil supply. The U.S. deliberately destabilized the country through economic pressure, paving the way for a military invasion. American units seized oil refineries and infrastructure to ensure the flow of crude oil did not cease. However, it did little to avert the crisis. As the Texan oil fields ran dry, their withering husks revealed to the American public just how deep the resource and energy crisis was, in a landmark 2052 television documentary. Not long afterward, rising oil prices worldwide bankrupted smaller nations and led to the European Commonwealth declaring war on the Middle East; the United States was severely affected by the skyrocketing prices of oil. The dissolution of the United Nations in July ensured that no international body would mediate between nations, allowing for unrestricted use of military force.
Nuclear exchanges in the Middle East and the devastating Euro-Middle Eastern War, coupled with the New Plague reaping a deadly harvest caused the government to initiate Project Safehouse in 2054. Vault-Tec Industries won the contract to construct massive nuclear shelters for the population, becoming a critical defense contractor. Amidst an increasingly chaotic and violent international situation, the United States began to militarize. One of the first major projects emerged in 2059, as the Anchorage Front Line was established in Alaska to protect the state's natural resources and escalating tensions with Canada, as the United States military units demanded permission to guard the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline by stationing troops on Canadian soil.
The Sino-American WarEdit
A year later, in 2060, available fuel reserves were on the brink of depletion worldwide. Traffic on the streets died as fuel became too valuable to waste on cars. The automotive industry desperately tried to come up with a solution to the problem, but electric and early fusion cars were too little, too late to solve the needs of society. The problem was further emphasized by the collapse of the European Commonwealth and the Middle East oil powers, as the oil fields were exhausted. Together with a deteriorating economy and worsening social climate, the United States began to crack. The federal government used the increasing national paranoia to try and control the situation, by discouraging assemblies, fueling the anti-communist sentiment, and encouraging reporting subversive elements. The Vigilant Citizen's Hotline was even established to allowed hysterical citizens to report neighbors to the government for any behavior that could be construed as in support of communism. The Third Red Scare is a response to the increased hostility of the People's Republic of China and its operations on American soil.
The military was particularly affected by the fuel shortages, as its vehicle fleets, especially tanks, became crippled by a lack of fuel. In response, the United States Armed Forces initiated a research program seeking to develop power armor in 2065. Research, development, and prototyping pave the way for future advances in military, construction, and most importantly, cold fusion technology. The military would continue research in other areas continues as well, including more powerful nuclear weapons.
The breakthroughs in technology and possession of oil reserves would result in the United States clashing with the People's Republic of China. As the economy of the communist state was dependent to a much greater degree on fossil fuels than that of the U.S., China found itself on the border of collapse in the spring of 2066, with oil fields finally drying up globally. With the United States unwilling to export its own reserves of crude oil, China became more aggressive in its negotiations. According to the Sierra Depot GNN transcript, in June 2074, this resulted in a declaration by the U.S. president that the last known supply of petroleum would be used exclusively by the U.S. and the U.S. would not sell or trade any oil to outside parties. Adding further insult was the first crude fusion cell developed for the power armor project, revealed to the public in summer of 2066.
Desperate to avoid collapse, China launched an invasion of Alaska to seize its natural resources. This daring, trans-Pacific military operation began the Sino-American War, the last war the United States would ever fight. It also inadvertently triggers the gradual annexation of Canada, as the United States forces it to grant the right of passage to American military units on the way to the Alaskan theater. As China is fully committed to the Alaskan operation, United States forces find themselves outmatched and pushed back. The T-45 power armor is rapidly prototyped and pressed into production to prevent Chinese tanks and infantry from overrunning Alaska. The first units prove to be incredibly effective in defense, but somewhat lacking in offensive capabilities. As the Chinese military lost the initiative, the situation rapidly deteriorated into trench warfare as neither side was capable of breaking the stalemate and forcing peace terms on the enemy.
The war consumed increasing amounts of resources, material, and manpower, straining the ailing American economy. To counteract this, the United States military began to liberally exploit Canadian resources. Protests from Ottawa are ignored as Canada became little more than a colony of the United States. Canadian riots and protests eventually culminated in a sabotage attempt on an oil pipeline in 2072. The United States military used the incident as a pretext to invade Canada outright and begin annexation. On the domestic front, the United States Army contracted RobCo Industries and General Atomics International to collaborate on an unprecedented joint project: The creation of the most powerful combat robot in the history of warfare, to liberate Anchorage, Alaska from Chinese occupation in a display of power meant to demoralize the enemy and force them into submission. The project was meant to serve both military and propaganda needs. The former dictated the capacity, the latter the design: In the words of General Constantine Chase, initiator of the project, Liberty Prime was to embody the American military: A walking, talking, nuke-tossing hero reminding enemies of the U.S. that they picked a fight with a global superpower. Confident that the project would soon yield result, General Chase publicly confirmed in June 2072 that the U.S. Army was working with General Atomics and RobCo to create a superweapon meant to establish the dominance of the United States on the Alaskan front.
Furthermore, the aggressive use of biological weapons by the Chinese led the government to order West Tek to develop a Pan-Immunity Virion on September 15, 2073. The research would eventually evolve into the Forced Evolution Virus project. Since West Tek was effectively nationalized two years prior (put under military command), the scientists had no other choice but to obey their military masters.
One of the turning points of the War came in 2074, as, despite claims of fighting a defensive war, American infantry and mechanized divisions landed in Asia, in a counter-invasion of Chinese mainland. In the Yangtze Campaign, U.S. Marines rapidly overran Shanghai and Nanjing, securing a major port for bringing in troops and materiel. The economy was stretched to the breaking point as America found itself fighting a war on three fronts: Canada, Alaska, and mainland China. Neither side was willing to yield, despite eight years of constant warfare, and ambitious flanking maneuvers such as the Gobi Campaign.
By 2076, the war had raged for a decade. Both China and the United States teetered on the brink of collapse. In January, a permanent garrison was installed at West Tek, to ensure that the Forced Evolution Virus project remained safe from international espionage, as it entered a new stage of experimentation on dogs and chimpanzees. By the end of the month, the annexation of Canada was completed. Its provinces are put under martial law - all protesters and rioters are shot on sight. Atrocities committed in the name of the Union make their way stateside, fermenting anti-governmental sentiment.
However heinous the annexation, the military gained an advantage to offset the problems with economic strain. The introduction of the T-51 power armor in June helped tip the scales in favor of the U.S. military. The next-generation power armor resolved problems existing in older generations of armor. Mechanized cavalry units outfitted with the T-51bs were sent to the Alaskan and Chinese fronts, carving a swath through Communist forces. The Chinese economy crumbled under the onslaught and supply lines from nations annexed by the Beijing regime started falling apart. However, the American regime did not fare any better. In August, food and energy riots start in urban centers across the United States. A state of emergency and eventually martial law was declared, with U.S. military forces being deployed on the domestic front to fight their own countrymen. The United States became, effectively, a military junta.
The Collapse of AmericaEdit
The counterpoint to this disastrous turn of events came in early 2077, as the Anchorage Reclamation ended with a decisive American victory on January 10, after a final offensive spearheaded by T-51 power armor units adapted to the cold environment penetrated Chinese defenses around Anchorage. Despite the embarrassment of the Liberty Prime project, which failed to produce a working weapon for use in Anchorage, General Constantine Chase was credited with the victory. The Anchorage War Memorial was hastily erected on FDR Island to commemorate the efforts and sacrifices of American soldiers on the Alaskan front, basing on an iconic photograph taken in Anchorage. The victory in Alaska heralded bad news for American and Canadian citizens, as the military junta in control of the United States deployed mechanized cavalry units to Canada and the United States. Veterans of the Chinese and Alaskan fronts found themselves fighting their own countrymen, quelling riots, and enforcing the national quarantine. Mounting civilian casualties tested the loyalty of soldiers and desertions started to occur. Captured deserters were imprisoned or sent to feed the Army's newest Robobrain development program.
The campaign in mainland China was reinvigorated by the victory in Alaska and the deployment of T-51 units. Army troops clad in T-51 regularly witnessed Chinese troops surrendering upon sighting them and their miniguns. However, the effect did not last. As American troops pushed deeper into the mainland, Chinese resistance increased. By October, the situation transitioned from a rout into a stalemate. After a decade of war, there was no end in sight. Billions of dollars and thousands of casualties were spent in vain. To bolster the offensive, bases across the United States were sealed and troops redeployed to provide more men for the meat grinder.
The situation was made worse by the fact that the oligarchs ruling the United States retreated to remote locations around the globe, expecting a last-ditch nuclear strike from China at any moment. The oil rig was claimed by the president and key members of the junta, becoming the foundation of the future Enclave. The United States was leaderless, continuing on simply due through inertia. When the U.S. Army security detail at Mariposa discovered the FEV experiments conducted on their comrades in arms – the very men arrested for refusing to fight their own countrymen – they rebel. However, even as Captain John Maxson declared them in full desertion from the Army and broke all ties with the United States, there was no response – the chain of command ceased to exist.
Nuclear weapons were launched on October 23, 2077. Within two hours, the United States ceased to exist as a nation, its cities vaporized in nuclear fireballs. The former leaders of the country having already retreated to their save havens. Abandoned by their leaders, the survivors began rebuilding on their own.
Although the United States Army ceased to exist alongside the nation it formally served (and actually controlled), it would continue to influence its history directly and indirectly. The most obvious examples are military hardware present in the wasteland, ranging from humble infantry equipment to the high tech T-51 power armor and military robots. More subtle examples include:
- The Brotherhood of Steel formed by Roger Maxson, which became an important player in wasteland politics. The Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel was based on another Army unit, the Rangers (specifically, Taggerdy's Thunder).
- Pre-War veterans and other survivors who came to Appalachia in 2103 and tried to continue their Army duties. One example is Joe Creigh, who took advantage of the automated training regimen at Camp McClintock to join the Army and continue his family tradition. An example of pre-War U.S. Army soldiers that lived in Appalachia are Captain Fields, Sergeant Radcliff and Sergeant Thompson.
- The Enclave, formed by the descendants of the military-industrial complex that ruled America, which almost managed to commit total global genocide.
- Junktown, founded by a former U.S. Army serviceman.
- The Unity, which came into existence as an unintended result of the FEV research project.
- Anchorage Reclamation, an 11-year campaign to liberate Alaska from the Chinese invaders. Ultimately successful, it was the first large-scale deployment of newly developed T-51b power armor units.
- The annexation of Canada was also performed by the United States military, whose units were also dedicated to keeping the peace―by any means necessary.
- Veterans of the Anchorage campaign were also deployed against their fellow countrymen, to contain food riots.
- The Gobi Campaign, where the U.S. attempted to capture Chinese military facilities in the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Campaign scout rifle was designed for this campaign.
- The Yangtze Campaign, during which Nanjing and Shanghai were occupied by Marines equipped with new, high-tech weapons and armor.
- Soldiers of the U.S. Army's mechanized infantry were stationed on the island of Mambajao in the Philippines on the eve of the Great War.
- Fought in by the United States 135 to 132 years preceding the cumulative Great War, World War II saw the extensive utilization of all branches of the United States Armed Forces onwards from the 8th of December, 1941 with the U.S. Declaration of War against Japan, and successively, numerous other Axis nations and its aftermath witnessed the gradual establishment of an independent air force in 1947.
- Soldiers/astronauts appear to have been engaged in combat operations on the Moon at some stage prior to the Great War. This is supported by the mural in the Museum of Freedom, which depicts an astronaut with a weapon and the mentioning of the Sea of Tranquility along with other battles.
The United States Army was one of the principal branches involved in projecting American power throughout the Resource Wars and the principal operator of power armor. It was the Army that held the line in Alaska for over a decade and eventually led the decisive push into Anchorage in 2077. Together with the Air Force, the Army also maintained nuclear forces and was responsible for operating the United States arsenal of nuclear weapons through the Commonwealth Defense Administration, The Army military police was also involved in carrying out Executive Order 99066, the internment of Chinese and Chinese-American persons in concentration camps.
Closely cooperating with the United States Navy for mobility, the Marine Corps acted as the United States force in readiness. In the 21st century, the Marine Corps would spearhead assaults into the Chinese mainland in 2074. Despite claims of fighting a defensive war, American infantry and mechanized divisions landed in Asia, in a counter-invasion of Chinese mainland. In the Yangtze Campaign, U.S. Marines rapidly overran Shanghai and Nanjing, securing a major port for bringing in troops and materiel.
On the domestic front, the Marine Corps would be responsible for protecting Navy facilities, especially black sites such as Sugar Grove in Appalachia, the Mount Desert Island Naval Facility at Mount Desert Island, participating in war games with other military assets, such as United States Army Rangers, and rounding up civilians for internment in accordance with Executive Order 99066. Due to a shortage of manpower, the USMC would hand these contracts to private military contractors.
It is known to have supported U.S. military operations during the Anchorage Reclamation (including the unfortunate sinking of USS Ebon Atoll by USS Interference in December 2066) and participated in the counter-invasion of the Chinese mainland. Naval fighters were responsible for coastal patrols and defense, as well as recovery of enemy vessels captured near American shores. In certain cases, the Navy would also cooperate with intelligence agencies such as the DIA in counter-espionage operations.
Like other branches of the United States military, the Navy was involved in a number of illicit activities. The foremost of these was domestic surveillance, carried out using black sites like Sugar Grove, where Naval analysts and operatives monitored U.S. citizens for seditious activity. Appalachia was a notable example of what defined sedition: Anything that could affect the war effort, including unionization, anti-automation protests, striking, and of course, the Free States. Those who caught the eye of the Navy faced a fate worse than death: Edgar Aarsen, a union activist, was marked for surveillance in March 2075. A year later, he was abducted ("arrested"), murdered, and his children set up for adoption.
The history of the air force is closely intertwined with the general history of the Armed Forces. Together with the Army and the Navy, the Air Force was responsible for maintaining the nuclear arsenal of the United States (primarily bomber-based weapons), as well as aerial warfare in the numerous resource conflicts the United States participated in or outright instigated, including the United States invasion of Mexico of 2052, the Sino-American War (2066–2077), and the United States annexation of Canada.
The United States Coast Guard was established in 1790 by the U.S. Congress, as the Revenue Marine. By the 1860s, it became the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service and arrived at the current designation after it was merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service in 1915, subordinated to the Department of the Treasury. Since then, it became responsible for domestic maritime protection and law enforcement, targeting smugglers, drug traffickers, and aiding other uniformed services of the United States in the course of their duties.
The National Guard was a reserve branch of the Army and primarily served as a domestic defense and disaster relief force during peacetime. However, they could be and often were deployed abroad as front-line troops in wartime.
By 2077 and the Great War, the United States military was the most powerful military in the world, thanks to its overwhelming technological superiority. T-60 power armor, T-51 and their older sibling, the T-45, guaranteed a qualitative advantage over any foe, thanks to their superb protection and ability to carry heavy weapons into combat, including rotary cannons usually mounted on gunships or fighters, and crew-served weapons like anti-tank missile launchers. They were essentially mobile firing positions, filling a similar (but not identical) niche as tanks. Power armor units were usually issued to mechanized cavalry formations operating on critical fronts, although significant numbers were issued to special purpose units assigned to domestic security, such as at the Mariposa Military Base.
Energy weapons were another example of the United States enjoying technological superiority over any potential foe. While Germany has developed infantry fielded railguns in the form of the M72 Gauss rifle and the PPK-12 Gauss pistol (which the United States fielded as well), the United States Armed Forces were entering a stage where laser and plasma weapons were entering limited deployment. While many units continued to be developed and tested, production models like the Wattz 2000 were deployed with units serving in China alongside cutting-edge third generation combat armor. The weapons have not yet managed to eclipse conventional armaments, but provided a significant edge to United States forces, thanks to the interchangeability of power cells: A micro-fusion cell could power anything from a close-range scattergun to a high-precision long-range laser marksman's rifle.
Outside power armor and energy weapons, the Armed Forces deployed advanced, reliable technologies. The standard combat uniform of the military was combat armor, manufactured from advanced defensive polymers, providing excellent protection. Even the first generation, where the armor was manufactured as individual plates affixed to a uniform, was a great combat uniform and was used by light infantry formation well into 2077, with more advanced second and third-generation suits reserved for use in China or sensitive areas on the domestic front. Weapons tended to be more reliable than advanced, with the rugged, reliable M199, and R91 assault rifles, the humble service rifle and/or the MP9 10mm submachine gun being the perfect examples of the philosophy. Although advanced conventional designs (such as bullpup designs and caseless ammunition) were certainly deployed and in number.
Robotics played an important role in Armed Forces operations. Apart from sentry bots, – designed originally for what else, sentry duties – used to carry heavy weapons into combat on a semi-autonomous unit, the Army also employed a variety of other robotic materiel. Among the materiel were Protectrons, the more advanced Mister Gutsy robots (militarized versions of the popular Mister Handy utility robot), which entered service in 2077, and the assaultron. This RobCo design was built as a frontline wartime combatant. Fast and deadly at close range, and employs a devastating laser at a distance. Some units can even employ stealth technology.
With the advancement of cyber-robotics came the development of the robobrain. Developed shortly before the war by GAI, the Robobrain was uniquely designed to accept brains as its central processor. They were intended to be a multipurpose platform, with such duties as to command units of robots, interrogation, and to fill tactically proficient combat roles. While the resource crisis had grounded many vehicles, aircraft remained operational in at least a limited capacity. Fighter jets of the United States Navy were patrolling the coastline, while the new vertibird tiltrotor gunship/transport aircraft was undergoing development and entered limited service by 2077, most notably in the Anchorage Reclamation, Appalachia, and Massachusetts with full-scale adoption planned for 2083. Though they can hardly be considered aircraft, hundreds of orbital micronuclear platforms, satellites, and space stations were also placed in orbit around Earth, to provide tactical fire support for military forces or defend the home front if need be.
Combat drug use was sanctioned by commanders. In fact, to prevent addiction, many bases stockpiled endorphin blockers, allowing soldiers to use drugs freely. New ones were even invented by certain generals to boost their effectiveness, though this lead to a scandal headed by one Dr. Adami and seizing of illicit materiel by the United States Coast Guard.
World War IIEdit
United States mainlandEdit
- United States Armed Forces materiel and installations
- Known United States Armed Forces members
- Enclave facilities
- Federal government
- American soldier
- Strike team