What to call space soldiers?

sciwriterPark

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Should soldiers in space be called space marines or should they be called space rangers? I welcome any other suggestions and thanks for answering.
 

Foxbat

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My thoughts on the subject:

Marines normally work closely with the navy so, I’d guess that if they are disembarking from a battle fleet to conduct ground or ship boarding operations, they’d be Space Marines.

If the soldiers were primarily ground operations only, then they’d be straight forward infantry soldiers (or troopers).

I’ve always pondered a space equivalent of our modern airborne forces used as a rapid reaction force (go in, do the job and get out using their own fast attack craft).

I think I’d call these Space Cav:)
 

LostCosmonaut

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Starship Troopers
Service guarantees citizenship!

I've always been partial to "troopers." As Foxbat pointed out, "space marines" is a great term for elite ship-to-ship or ship-to-surface troops, but then Games Workshop might try to sue you, LOL.

I can spitball some other suggestions:
- Stellar Infantry.
- Spaceborne Forces.
- Star Guard.
 

Toby Frost

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I think it depends hugely on the society they come from. The Democratic People's Space Militia are obviously going to come from a different society than the King's Imperial Offworld Hussars. Since most military SF seems to be the USA in space, I'd use whatever they use with a space word on the front. The soldiers in Aliens were the US Colonial Marine Corps, after all. For what it's worth, "Rangers" makes me think of scouts and cowboys, while "marines" sounds more like troops who deploy from spaceships.
 
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paranoid marvin

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I think that the classifications for troops on Earth seem to come via whichever force (army, navy, airforce) they are attached to. Spaceships and their crew in fiction tend to be referred to as navy-related; so it's the Imperial Navy in Star Wars, and it's Captain/Admiral Kirk on a starship in Star Trek. Having said that it seems that the US Space Force is being run by the Air Force, so who knows?

I think that I would avoid the word 'space', and perhaps opt for a more generalised title. Perhaps if they operate from spacecraft they are marines, whereas if they are transported by spacecraft they are 'infantry', or (as in the case of Starship Troopers) having jumpsuits they are 'mobile infantry'.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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What's wrong with soldiers.

Here's my argument.

Would there be any other form of armed forces in a galactic setting. To acheive interplanetary war we have to assume the career choice is either a mundane planet based job or out in space in the army.

To differentiate between a land based "fight against another country" type millitary force would be facile because if any one country had forces in space and other countries didn't, then the war betwen them would be short and would have happened long ago.

So we have planet against planet - and they would have an army/navy depending on how they named them, but in effect they would be one force.

Other space tasks might be exploration, but they wouldn't be called space explorers so why have a space army.

These are just my musings obviously.
 

Elckerlyc

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How much fighting in space are these space soldiers expected to perform? When boarding another spacecraft? How much actual fighting in a spacecraft is realistic? Or wise?
I would suspect that most of the fighting will be done on solid ground, as in invasion of another planet. And in such a case we're back with common infantry, artillery and perhaps some futuristic form of cavalry.
 

Swank

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Are we talking about infantry soldiers, or people that pilot or staff vehicles? You wouldn't call crewmembers of planes or ships "soldier" accept in the most general way.

If these are individual combatants, than names like ranger, marine, trooper are traditional for soldiers that are delivered to the ground somehow to fight on the ground. But if we are talking about individuals who fight in outer space, that might call for some very different terminology - if it even makes sense to have people in suits floating around shooting at each other.

Ship boarding is traditionally a role for marines or sailors.
 

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