An infantry squad of the Cadian Shock Troopers faces the enemies of the Emperor.

An Infantry Squad is the most basic unit of soldiers within the Astra Militarum's standard order of battle. Astra Militarum infantry platoons are made up of several ten-man squads, led into battle by a low-ranking non-commissioned officer such as a Sergeant.

A standard Imperial Guard infantry platoon may consist of 2-5 Infantry Squads, 0-5 Heavy Weapons Squads, 0-3 Special Weapons Squads or 0-1 squads of Conscripts.

Infantry Squads form the backbone of the Astra Militarum, and countless billions of infantry soldiers fight and die for the Imperium of Man. They are the footsloggers, the dogfaces, the poor bloody infantry. Guardsmen are used for every conceivable action the Imperial Guard may undertake, from holding ground to forlorn charges against enemy positions.

Role

The armies of the Astra Militarum are made from billions of regiments, recruited from every world in the Imperium. There is no universal uniform for these Guardsmen; warriors don the armour and wargear native to their homeworlds.

The only piece of armament common to all Guardsmen is the Lasgun, and even then some regiments from more technologically primitive worlds have been trained with only black powder muskets, crossbows, or even spears. The fighting ability of each regiment reflects the human world and society it comes from. Some planets breed cunning gang fighters whilst others raise savage and barbaric warriors.

Guardsmen are disciplined troops indoctrinated to follow orders to the letter. In the face of the enemy the serried ranks of the Astra Militarum are trained to stand firm and respond with a steady aim. When sergeants bellow, the rank-and-file obey; backs stiffen and Lasguns level at the foe. Opponents charging at Imperial Guard positions must first survive a blazing hail of las-fire, a fusillade that can stem the tide of all but the most determined assault.

The fate of battles is often decided upon the courage and mettle of Imperial Guard Infantry Squads -- but, they are still only Human. On equal terms they are no match for the many alien and Chaos-tainted horrors they must face. Should such enemies close the distance between themselves and an Infantry Squad, the Guardsmen, more often than not, are slaughtered.

Although some Guardsmen are equipped with a variety of powerful and specialised weaponry, the primary strength of the Astra Militarum's infantry regiments remains their huge and expendable mass of manpower. It is the combined firepower of Astra Militarum regiments that ultimately makes them a deadly opponent, capable of out-shooting almost any enemy. The thundering charge of a thousand Guardsmen can overwhelm the most elite and dangerous of opponents, crushing them underfoot and running them through with a wall of bayonet points.

Conscripts

In dire situations an Imperial world may be required to increase its tithe and raise additional regiments to match some overwhelming threat. A planet may be forced to bring forward its annual conscription, recruiting troops who would otherwise be deemed too young, or have not had the time to complete basic training. These youths are officially designated as "probitors."

In practice, they are given a variety of nicknames, but the most common moniker is "Whiteshield." This name stems from the fact that they show no regimental, company or platoon markings until they have earned the right to do so on the battlefield.

The only insignia these recruits display are white helmet stripes, a custom that first developed among the regiments of the Cadian Shock Troops, the Militarum Regimentum that serves as a template for much of the rest of the Imperial Guard.

Eager to prove their courage, these reckless cadets enter the fray. Those few that survive might one day be lucky enough to call themselves "Guardsmen" -- far more than a simple promotion, this is a rite of passage amongst the probitors that marks their entry into adulthood...and the service of the God-Emperor.

Unit Composition

  • 1 Sergeant
  • 9 Guardsmen or 20-30 Conscripts

Wargear

Sergeant

Infantry Squad

Conscripts

See Also

Sources

  • Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 39, 93
  • Codex: Astra Militarum' (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Infantry Platoons - Infantry Squad," "Troops - Infantry Platoon"
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