The Dominion military is a vast organization that spans the entirety of the empire. Its organizational structure is based on the legion, a fighting unit which consists of a variable number of troops.
There is a military presence in most Dominion towns and missions, and it falls upon the loyal soldiers of the Dominion's legions to defend citizens and prosecute wars against the hated Exiles.
The Dominion Legions are the empire's military force. On average a legion consists of 50,000 troops, including officers, legionnaires, auxiliary troops, armored cavalry, and airmobile units. Legions can be expanded to include as many as 100,000 troops, but the ranks are rarely inflated to such a degree unless great need demands it.
The number of legions in the Dominion's vast military has never been disclosed, but estimates place the total somewhere in the vicinity of 500, including those legions that are currently inactive. Inactive legions are kept in reserve until such time as they are mobilized, which can be done at a moment's notice. Legions are generally deactivated as a cost-saving measure or, rarely, when their numbers have been reduced below effective levels (10-15%).
It should be noted that imperial conscripts are assigned to legions comprised almost entirely of other draftees. Conscript legions, as they are referred, also draw membership from legitimate soldiers who have underperformed or somehow run afoul of the Dominion’s strict military justice system. Officers who lead such forces are often just as unskilled as the troops under their commands, and disgraced highborn have been known to lead conscript legions as a form of punishment.
Most legions receive their names upon formation and retain them until such time as they are dissolved. In addition, a handful of existing legions can trace their unit histories back over 1,600 years to the Dominion's formation. Such legions bear the distinction of being referred to as "Heritage Legions," and their troops take great pride in carrying on their units' long tradition of bravery and service in arms.
The Nexus Legions
Four full-strength legions accompanied the Dominion mission to Nexus, and each one bears a name based on the empire's national colors – Black, Crimson, Gold, and White. These legions were formed specifically with the colonization of Nexus in mind, and the troops that fill their ranks were selected from the very best the Dominion military had to offer.
The Crimson Legion
The most frequently seen and iconic Legion, the Crimson Legion is the Dominion's go-to force for any offensives.
The Gold Legion
The defensive counterpart of the Crimson Legion, the Gold Legion ensures the safety of the Dominion's settlements.
The White Legion
The Black Legion
The Black Legion are the Luminai's personal guard. They are seen on board Destiny with Governor Aluviel.
The Radiant Legion
The Vigilant Church's military arm, the Radiant Legion encompasses the best of the best; the courageous, the bold, and the virtuous. Soldiers who have proven their combat prowess and unshakable character. Although frequently seen defending any settlements of the Vigilant Church like Lightreach Mission, they are also called for the highest priority missions; incursions where failure is not an option.
The Lost Legions
Only two legions in Dominion history – the Bone Legion and the Tartarus Legion – have ever been dissolved.
The Bone Legion
The Bone Legion was an all-Draken legion that fought to the last against the Granok on Gnox in 1221 AE. The names of the 30,000 troops that comprised the Bone Legion are worked into a monument on Cassus, and many Draken make a pilgrimage to the site to pay their respects to their ancestors.
The Tartarus Legion
The Tartarus Legion was part of an expedition to locate and pacify potentially habitable systems beyond the Fringe. Though the expedition experienced some initial success, all contact was lost with them in 1492 AE. It is expected that the Tartarus Legion was lost along with the rest of the expedition. Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding their fate, the legionnaires are remembered as pioneers and heroes.
The Order of Swordmaidens is an elite, all-female fighting force that originated in the days of the Cassian Commonwealth - once led by the famed Tresayne Toria herself. Unlike most of the Dominion military, Swordmaidens are trained in advanced sword-fighting techniques, along with the comprehensive military training given to their counterparts in the Dominion Legions.
In addition to the best-trained infantry in the galaxy and armies of military-grade warbots, the Dominion employs a variety of armored vehicles and flying craft in their war against the Exiles. Warbreaker tanks are considered among the most effective pieces of ground-based armor. Relatively recent inventions of Mondo Zax's DRED division, these floating vehicles are mounted on twin cozmotronic generators that provide energy for propulsion, shielding and basic energy weapons. Warbreakers can also carry a variety of weapons loadouts, including ballistic weapons, guided missiles, and non-lethal espionage packages.
Military service in the Dominion, at least among Cassians, is considered an honorable pursuit for all citizens to undertake, should they so wish it. While enlistment is not compulsory, conscriptions—especially of lowborn—do take place when there is a shortage of able-bodied soldiers. The Dominion understands that conscripts and draftees don’t make the best fighters, so these methods of recruitment are only used when absolutely necessary.
So strong is the typical Cassian’s commitment to the Dominion that the vast majority of recruits enlist in the legions of their own free will. This, accompanied with careful advertising (propaganda) and an offer of valuable veteran’s benefits, results in a highly motivated fighting force. A typical tour with the legions calls for five years of service in peacetime, though this time period can be extended indefinitely during times of conflict. The average Dominion soldier reenlists at least once and serves in the legions for at least ten years.
All titled highborn are automatically granted an officer’s rank in the Dominion military, depending on their civilian standing. Highborn without titles are eligible to join the officer corps, should they wish to join the military at all, and for many, serving in the legions is a convenient way to gain influence once they return to civilian life. It is exceedingly rare for a highborn of any quality to serve in the rank and file as an enlistee.
Lowborn officers are not unheard of in the Dominion military. Citizens of common birth who are able to qualify for leadership positions may apply for the officer corps prior to their enlistment, but they are required to have a highborn patron representing them during the application process. Additionally, battlefield commissions are bestowed upon enlisted personnel who are particularly adept or deserving of recognition.
Due to unique societal pressures, Draken, regardless of gender or social standing, are expected to serve for some time in a military capacity. Such service is commonly performed within the Dominion military or with one of the Draken “Homeguard” legions on Mikros. It is a rare Draken who chooses not to serve militarily. The majority of those who do not enlist are physically unable to do so for one reason or another. A tiny fraction, however, consist of Draken who have no desire to follow a warrior’s path. Regardless of the reasons, Draken who choose not perform military service are shunned and considered the lowliest of their people.
Mechari, like Cassians, are free to choose whether or not they wish to join the Dominion military. Should they do so, Mechari serve in roles that are aided by their unique physical attributes. They also find it a simple matter to qualify for the officer corps due to their inherent mental acuity and logical thought processes, and Mechari officers are a common sight in the Imperial legions.
Chua, on the other hand, often eschew military service, as they feel it detracts from their mechanical, engineering, and creative pursuits. That said, the Dominion military has a need for tech savvy Chua, and offers of enlistment have been devised to appeal to their unique cultural ambitions. Those Chua that do serve act in technical roles much of the time, though Chua eager to blow things up find themselves welcomed among the Dominion’s combat troops.