The Rechian Army Agoge is the largest such institution, which contains children, men and women from the ages of 8 to the age of 18. It is designed to be brutal, intense, and effective to the maximum degree, producing the ultimate soldiers, or at least as close to the ultimate soldier as is possible. While the Agoge is largely optional, every Rechian citizen must attend the Agoge from the ages of 10 to 12, and then once again from the ages of 18 to 20.
The Agoge's earliest and youngest institutes are contained in the Royal Rechian Cadet Agoge, which accepts applicants from the ages of 8 to 10, and then runs the mandatory training program for ages 10 to 12. Those who attend from 8 to 10 receive a standard education but within a military framework learning drill, discipline, loyalty, leadership and other basic military competencies. During the mandatory training period, when all Rechian students attend the Agoge, these experienced Cadets become NCOs, while select officers in later stages of the Agoge become commissioned officers. During this period in the RRCA, all Rechian children are given their standard education but are exposed to military training and discipline, taught as much about life lessons and responsibility as they are about military subjects. The goal of the RRCA is to create an educated, disciplined, competent and responsible population, aware of the Rechian context and of what is expected of each and every citizen.
Following this education, children can either elect to continue their Agoge education, or leave to attend Middle School. Every student is evaluated during their graduation and assigned a potential location within the military, recommended for a branch and for a role. They are graded in their courses and in several other categories including Leadership, Discipline, Initiative and others These grades are assigned by their peers, their officers and by their instructors, ensuring that every perspective is reflected in reports. Training is not focused upon modern tactics and strategy, but largely involves contextual education and strict performance drill, with the equipment designed based upon older 19th Century Nordic-Rechian uniforms, and the rifles designed for the Agoge based upon 19th Century rifles, utilizing black powder cartridges. This training is not supposed to build up military knowledge, but rather a military mindset.
Those who remain in the Agoge begin their practical military education at 13 with the Royal Rechian Army Second Agoge, the RRASA. While their conventional education remains the focus, more and more attention is granted to modern warfare competency, and all students receive promotions based upon their merits, recommended by their peers but appointed by their officers and instructors. The issue of promotions is extremely rigid, and requires extensive input from various sources in order to proceed. Every student starts as a Private, but by the end of training, a clear hierarchy has typically emerged. As they continue their education, units are created and students are transferred between Agoges, while instructors writing evaluations begin to get a proper grasp of their students' talents and competencies. By the time Rechian students are 14, they have usually been assigned a rank, a recommended branch, and a recommended subunit classification, such as the following: Corporal, Army, Fusilier, Machine Gunner/Loader.
At the age of 14, the Air Force, Navy and Artillery Agoges begin fielding applications and accepting students. Often these students are referred by their instructors or officers, though non-Agoge students can still apply, and often are accepted based upon their merits. For those that remain in the Army Agoge, their education continues, and they are graduated from the RRASA to the Royal Rechian Army First Agoge, the RRAFA. They received two more years of accelerated education, and are sorted into various subjects based upon their competencies. For just two years these students remain with their earlier peers and receive few promotions, and by this point have usually become talented infantry. At 16, they are removed from their units and are reassigned to a unit in keeping with their talents, which in the majority of cases remains their unit through their military career. It is with these men that they will finish their education. There are two final years in the RRAFA, and upon its conclusion, the now 18-year old soldiers are formally enlisted into the military and begin to receive pay.
It is at this point that the second conscription period begins. The conscripts are given formal military and political education in a loose format, free to enter into intellectual circles, but are also required to regularly train and serve within the military. The enlisted graduates of the RRAFA are integrated, though as the conscripts cannot serve as NCOs or officers, most of these experienced graduates fill these roles. Promotions are scarce during the next few years as the men get used to their roles within the new force, the enlistees receiving accelerated education while the conscripts receive a more general degree, and are encouraged to interact with the military as a blended General Arts (BA) and Physical Health (BPh) education rather than as a military education. In times of conflict, these conscripts are very rarely deployed, and instead are used as manual labor. In return they are granted room and board for two years and receive a formal education, with History, Politics and Languages being mandatory. By the end, every Rechian is expected to be competent in at least two languages, and at least somewhat knowledgeable about basic political and philosophical concepts.
Following this period of conscription, the 20 year olds are entered directly into military education in full, trained psychologically and physically to perform their duties to the absolute best of their abilities. They are trained in units and at this time are typically deployed to various conflicts as reserves. For the next two years, their lives will be difficult and brutal. The goal of the Agoge, throughout the earlier years and during this period especially, is to create soldiers who have faced such adversity through training that they will never be shocked by combat. During this period most of the men will kill, and will lose comrades. They will learn valuable lessons and will be hardened, both in body and in mind. They will be trained not just how to survive in battle, but how to survive in between battles, and long after their last battle has been fought. They are soldiers, not machines, and while they are made to be strong, they cannot be made to be inhuman.
By the completion of their Agoge education, the men are 22 years of age, as talented a fighting force as Recheve has ever produced. These men are tough, skilled and determined, excellent at what they do and capable of commanding respect from any other national military, and of fighting on an equal footing with even some elite units. The graduates of the Agoge are grouped into four of the six Rechian Armies, with the best going to the 5th Army, followed by the 3rd Army, then the 2nd, and finally the 1st. The 4th and 6th Armies are made up of volunteers and Nordic infantry, some of them conscripts and some of them dedicated career soldiers.
While the Nordic Agoge was abandoned by the Armed Forces as a whole early in the 18th Century, the Air Force adopted it with its creation in the early 20th Century. Referring to both a physical location as the well as the program of training implemented there, the Agoge is credited for turning Rechian pilots into the incredible killing machines they have become. In the earliest days, pilots were recruited at the age of 16, and were trained rigorously. They would endure incredible tests, their bodies would be built up through extensive exercise, and they would be educated in everything from Experimental Physics to Philosophical Morality. As time progressed the training grew more advanced; VR and VI were introduced, simulations were run, and physical augmentation became a staple of crew enhancement. Flight time increased, the age of recruitment was dropped, and the age of graduation was raised.
Currently, this Agoge recruits pilots at the age of 14. Instead of the typical Secondary Educational System, volunteering children can apply to the Rechian Air Force Agoge Institute, with an average of 100 million applications every year. The oldest age accepted is 18, though past the age of 16 is it extremely rare for applicants to be accepted. The children applying are divided into three groups, ranked Gold, Silver and Bronze. Recruits then take physical, psychological, moral and intellectual tests, all designed to weed out those lacking the determination, mental capacity and loyalty required. Only 10 000 recruits are selected each year, and are immediately taken to the Agoge. By the end of their Cadet Phase, which lasts four years and is largely study-oriented,
only 5000 will remain, the rest either having quit or expelled. No physical or psychological augmentation takes place during the Cadet Phase, and beyond the training which teaches certain skills and behaviours, no changes are made to the children. They all proceed to live normal civilian lives, or will otherwise become officers in different areas of the military.
Once the Cadet Phase is over, the Warrior Phase begins. Cadets are assigned a role whether that's as a Pilot, a Weapon's Officer or a Support Crewmember, and are assigned a type of aircraft. They are divided into "courses" which are designed to turn them into ultimate warriors. They are immediately given their physical augmentations, which will turn them into virtual cyborgs, MSI or "Mixed Source Intelligence." The training is secretive and brutal, with a 10% casualty rate across the board, 15% for fighter pilots. By the end, the 4500 pilots remaining are hardened, skilled, and hardened. They are also by this time experts with their craft, and have completed their studies. This period lasts four years, with the recruits usually about 22 years of age when it is completed.
The final phase, the Elite Phase, is a series of challenges that will attempt to enforce doctrine and cooperation within squadrons. Air Force Squadrons destined to retire are duplicated, with one active Squadron sidelined with Transition status, and one Squadron based out of the Agoge awaiting activation. This period lasts two years, with the veteran Squadron used far less than it had previously, and with the Agoge Squadron being rotated into any existing combat zones. After those two years, with the Agoge Squadron gradually embedded into the combat Squadron, it entirely replaces the Veterans who are either given jobs training, commanding, or piloting an AWACS. The combat lifespan of a fighter pilot lasts from the age of 24 to the age of 38.
Squadrons are trained, built and deployed together, and often live together from the age of 14 until the age of 38. If a member of a Squadron is lost he is not replaced, but rather the other members are promoted to fill the spot, with the lowest rank previously held eliminated altogether. For this reason, Squadrons do not have any specific size, with some Squadrons containing the initial 80 pilots and some containing the minimum 8. As every pilot requires a wingman, Squadrons with odd numbers of pilots rotate their pilots to provide a spare, who either deploys when a fighter is shot down, or who pilots a specialized fighter (anti-jamming, jamming, LRAAM, etc.). Squadrons with fewer than 8 fighters are formed into "Provisional Air Force Detachments," used tactically and not listed as Squadrons. Usually, a Squadron will finish its life cycle with between 40 to 60 pilots remaining. The average is 56.3.