"No soldier here has permission to die. Not until you have given these heretic scum a Cadian welcome. First rank, fire! Second rank, fire!"
- —Galen Bale, 4th Company Commander of the Cadian 111th, during the last Battle of Cadia
A Company Commander is an officer of the Astra Militarum who commands a single company of an Imperial Guard regiment. Standing proud amid the blood and thunder of the front lines, the Company Commander sets an unfaltering example to the men he leads. The titles held by these officers are as wildly varying as the worlds from whence they hail; an Imperial army on campaign may contain companies led by Majors, Captains, Hetmen, Demiconsuls, Knights Militant, Chieftains and dozens more.
However their soldiers address them, Company Commanders all bear the same responsibilities. In the face of nightmarish foes, they must provide their men with a bulwark of unwavering courage and decisive leadership. Most are hard-bitten heroes, skilled combatants and pragmatic strategists whose first loyalty is to the Emperor of Mankind. Some rare men of rank may be ineffective fops with commissions awarded through inheritance or politicking, but the hour is too dark for the Departmento Munitorum to now suffer fools for long. Those who cannot discharge their duties soon discover that being the Planetary Governor's son means little to a merciless Commissar.
Astra Militarum Company Command Squads
Typically, each Astra Militarum Company Commander is escorted in battle by a retinue of battle-scarred Veterans who support their leader in the field. These squads are often provided with specialist equipment and additional training. Expert Voxmen relay the Company Commander's orders to the men on the front lines. Talented Field Chirurgeons stand a tense vigil over their comrades, ready to staunch wounds or administer doses of whatever chemical stimulants are required. Should a rank-and-file trooper display exceptional valour and dedication, they may be given the honour of bearing the Regimental Standard. To earn such a position a man must have performed above and beyond the call of duty, such as gunning down a swathe of rampaging foes in defence of a field hospital or felling a ravening Daemon Engine with a well-placed grenade.
Many Company Command Squads include grizzled special weapons operators or Veteran Heavy Weapons Teams. These soldiers are proven crack-shots to a man, and the presence of such potent weapons close at hand allows Company Commanders personally to oversee the destruction of vital targets, such as lumbering Heretic tanks or monstrous xenos beasts. Equally, should the situation deteriorate and the Company Command Squad find themselves threatened by bellowing mobs of Greenskins or a looming Traitor Helbrute, these same lethal firearms can mean the difference between life and death.
Whether the Company Commander is a cynical career officer, a cold tactician, or a bellowing, barrel-chested Imperial hero, he and his Company Command Squad form the strategic nexus of the Imperial Guard army. The Company Commander's orders crackle across the Vox network, bolstering the courage of his men and ensuring that his army functions with precise coordination. By his authority soldiers are instructed to charge to their own deaths so that victory may be achieved, or ordered to hold the line against overwhelming odds. It is the duty of the Company Command Squad to protect their leader in battle, shielding him from incoming enemy assaults so that he may continue to exert his tactical acumen. They also form an offensive core around him, inspiring the rank-and-file troops with their skill and experience. Depending on the battle, they can either lead the charge into the enemy or form the immovable centre of the Astra Militarum line.
- 1 Company Commander
- 4 Veterans as Company Command Squad
- Flak Armour
- Frag Grenade
- Refractor Field
- Power Sword (Optional replacement for Chainsword)
- Power Fist (Optional replacement for Chainsword)
- Bolt Pistol (Optional replacement for Laspistol)
- Bolter (Optional replacement for Laspistol)
- Plasma Pistol (Optional replacement for Laspistol)
Company Command Squad
- Flak Armour
- Frag Grenades
- Laspistol (Optional replacement for Lasgun)
- Chainsword (For any Veteran who also takes a Laspistol)
- Vox-caster (For one Veteran)
- Heavy Flamer (Optional replacement for 1 Veteran's Lasgun)
- Regimental Standard (For one Veteran)
- Medi-pack (For one Veteran)
- Mortar, Autocannon, Heavy Bolter, Missile Launcher, Lascannon (Any two Veterans can take one of these weapons and form a Heavy Weapons Team on the Command Squad)
- Sniper Rifle, Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Meltagun, Plasma Gun (One of these special weapons is an optional replacement for 1 Veteran's Lasgun)
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 36, 87, 96
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Company Command Squads," "HQ-Company Command Squads"