A volunteer fresh out of a month of basic training, Fire Breather has a large Bowie knife in his backpack that he hopes to use ob the enemy some day. He hates the foe with a passion, is a firm friend of the Hater, despises the Scared and the Mommy's Boy and greatly dislikes the Seditious. Unlike most soldiers he really wants to fight and shoot and kill the foe and is very patriotic. He has been in battle before and enjoyed it despite the danger and the death. He and the Hater often talk to each other off duty in camp, whipping each other's hatred of the enemy up to genocidal levels.
A long term conscript who would have served his full term of service if the war had not broken out just before it ended, the Never Volunteer never volunteer's for anything and has a mild dislike for those who do. He finds the Hater to be unpleasant and the Fire Eater ridiculous, likes the Night Owl for doing his stints of night duty for him, dislikes the sad, despises the Mummy's Boy, and is friends with the Fragger and the Seditious. He is not a patriot and if he is captured he would not try and escape from his prison camp, being happy to sit out the war there.
Taken prisoner by the enemy after a hard fought battle, he and the others were enslaved in an iron mine where the work was hard, the food was foul and the treatment was brutal. He saw friends of his die, and managed to kill a guard, unchain himself and escape and reach his own lines. He hates the enemy as a result, to the point where he cannot be trusted to guard or escort enemy prisoners without killing them. He is close friends with the Fire Breather and would betray the Seditious if he knew who he was. For him, the war should go on until the foe is crushed into the dirt and their country occupied for several years.
Most soldiers travel light and only carry in their backpacks what they really need to, but Books carries a few books with him. None are seditious-there is a history book, a few novels, and a book of porn. Not only does reading give him something to do when off duty in camp, he makes a small amount of extra money to bolster his low pay by renting the books out, particularly the book of porn, to the other soldiers in his platoon. He would be very angry if anything bad happened to his books and would seek a violent revenge, as they mean so much to him.
Preacher is a religious man and a bit of a god botherer in camp, and he has never been known to swear. Despite this, most of his fellow soldiers like him or at least don't mind them, as he helps them with their problems, prays with them before battle, and delivers their letters for them. Just before battle, very few soldiers are atheists as they know that death could only be minutes away for the reckless or the unlucky. He keeps a small statuette of his god (or goddess if you prefer.) His skill on the battlefield is in sniping and he prays silently to himself on the battlefield for success each time he aims at someone.
A military malcontent, he has been in petty trouble often, serious trouble a couple of times, and was once flogged in camp with fifteen lashes of a whip for falling asleep on watch in peacetime. If he had fallen asleep on watch in wartime and on an active campaign in the field, he might well have faced the firing squad. He has a quiet but great hatred for his NCOs and officers and his best friend is the Seditious, who he would never betray as he thinks that only the Seditious really knows the way he is feeling. He has gone AWOL more then once, although he has never deserted.
Fragger has a secret that he would never tell anybody about, not even the Seditious. A volunteer, he was engaged in a long, grinding war with no end in sight, under officers who he thought were glory hunters who needlessly endangered the lives of their men. At first as a young idealist this didn't bother him, but as time went on his resentment and frustration grew until when on watch one night he rolled a primed grenade into the officer's tent. Two died and another was scarred and lost an eye in the explosion. With no witnesses or fingerprints, the military police never found out that it was him behind the attack.
A volunteer and a military "lifer" of the kind that the Fragger hates, he has been in the army for over ten years, earned a medal for bravery and then became a lance-corporal, giving him limited parade ground and command authority. Not wanting to lose all his friends, he generally only uses it in formal or emergency situations, but some of the men will no longer chat off duty with him in the way they used to, thinking him to be an NCO now and no longer one of them. The Perfect and the Ass Kisser are still his firm friends however, hoping to use him to advance their careers.
Both in dally life and especially in battle, the Curser is well know for his foul swearing in a way that would sooner or later get him in trouble in civilian life. As he has never been known to swear at an officer or an NCO (at least within earshot of an officer or NCO) and as the NCOs swear a lot themselves, a deaf ear is turned by his superiors to his peacetime swearing. As for swearing in battle, it is thought that the enemy fully deserves such bad language aimed at them. The Preacher has been quietly trying to get the Curser to give up his rudeness but with no luck.
Night Owl is rather nocturnal, and often sneaks out of bed at night to stand extra terms of sentry duty at which he excels. The others in his platoon who he helps in this way are very pleased with him as they get extra sleep because of this, and cover for him when he is tired in the day, shielding him from the NCOs and officers who would otherwise punish him for his tiredness. Almost every private soldier in the platoon who has ever had night sentry duty is happy to have Night Owl around. In a night attack or commando raid, Night Owl would be a great asset to the army.
He never wanted to join the army, but as he was healthy and unemployed he was conscripted into the army by force. Sullen, he does his duty just well enough to avoid getting into trouble, and bad mouths his officers and NCOs behind their backs with his two firm friends Seditious and Never Volunteer. He despises Perfect, Ass Kisser, and Stripe and thinks what happened to the Ex-Lieutenant to be funny. If there is ever a mutiny in the platoon, he is one who would join it. If he gets a good chance to do so he will desert but he can't for now as he is on the front lines.
He works in the supply and administration side of the army and can provide many things illegally if the right price is paid. Be it something as small as a few extra military rations or as large as a military pass for a whole month's leave, he can provide it, and has over the years has grown secretly as rich as a Lieutenant Colonel despite only being a private soldier. Once he even faked a letter of promotion to Sargent and sent it and a Sargent's stripes to a private who had looted some gold teeth from the enemy dead on a battlefield to pay him with. When he leaves the army he will be a very rich man.
An expert gambler with dice and cards, he has won quite a bit of money from several of his fellow soldiers every payday. The Preacher despises him and privately thinks that his soul is hell-bound, and he has few friends in the platoon, but thinks the extra money to be worth more then friendship. On the night before a major battle, he is too supersitious to gamble. With his extra wealth he buys small things like extra pillows, extra water canteens (he has been known to sell water to thirsty soldiers on the march) and other such things.
Another unwilling conscript, he is very scared of dying in battle or being left badly injured for the rest of his life. Both the Drill Sarge and the Commander have privately taken him aside and told him that if he tries to flee in battle, they will shoot him rather then let him endanger the morale of the entire platoon and possibly loose them the battle. So far he has been lucky enough to avoid combat, but that luck will not last forever. The Perfect and the Fire Breather both deeply despise the Scared and everyone like him and have been known to bully him a bit.
One way that the military gets recruits is to offer bounties of several months pay at once to those who are willing to enlist. The Bounty Jumper has enlisted twice and deserted twice taking the money with him. When he did it a third time, his regiment was sent abroad to the front line before he could desert. As desertion in the face of the enemy is a capital offense, he has settled down and resigned himself to a military career. He is in fact a surprisingly good soldier in and out of battle, and has no disciplinary record as his earlier bounty jumping was never found out about.
Sentenced to death for strangling his wife when he found out she was sleeping with his best friend, he was standing on the gallows with the rope around his neck when a military officer offered a reprieve if he would join the army as a private soldier. If he stayed out of trouble and fought well, his death sentence would be dropped and he would be pardoned at the end of the war. If however he was not a good soldier, he would be taken to a military prison well behind the lines and there hanged for the murder he had committed. He is a good soldier as he wants to avoid the hangman's noose.
Yet another unwilling conscript soldier, the Seditious bitterly hates the army and everything that it stands for although he is careful not to say so in public. He often fantasizes about leading a mutiny and shooting dead his NCOs and officers. He has secretly circulated seditious letters in his platoon calling for a mutiny and the military police are trying to uncover the culprit. He sees the Stripe as a traitor to his class, he and the Perfect have a deep dislike for each other, and his friends are the Fragger, the Scared, the Conscript, and of course the Trouble. One day they might indeed launch their mutiny but not yet.
A volunteer who has wanted to be a soldier since he was ten years old, he enlisted in the army two days after his eighteenth birthday. In basic training, he was not shouted at often by the drill sergeants as he was such a good and obedient soldier. In battle, he has won two medals and is likely to earn a lance-corporal stripe within the next year or so. Unless, that is, he is killed in battle first by the enemy whilst preforming some act of bravery as seems increasingly likely. What awaits him in the next few years is either a battlefield commission or a coffin. He and the Seditious loath each other.
The plunderer is a brave man and a good fighter, but his major fault is that he likes to plunder both the houses of enemy civilians and the bodies of the enemy dead. He has escaped time in military prison or a firing squad because none of the other privates will betray him and his NCOs and officers hate the enemy and have-so far-turned a blind eye to his repeated thefts as long as the thieving is never aimed at his own side. He is in secret talks with the Wheeler Dealer to see if his illegal loot can bring him a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant, as he can then loot far more stuff without getting caught and buy further promotions.
A friend of the Fragger, the Ruthless thinks nothing of shooting prisoners, torturing prisoners for information and other such horrors. He justifies it to himself by considering that he is probably saving his own life and the other lives in his platoon by behaving like that, and has been known in battle to shout "Goodbye" to those beside him when they fall dead in battle. If his country loses the war and is occupied, war crimes investigators are likely to come looking for him. As such, he is no friend of the Seditious, although he has not informed on him.
Because he is so eager to please his NCOs and officers, the Ass Kisser has wangled a place for himself as the Commander's batman in charge of making sure that his uniform is always cleaned and pressed.However, his comfy billet has come at a cost, as not only the Seditious but many of the other soldiers, both conscripts and volunteers, loath him and distrust him and he has no real friends. Even the Trusty and the Reprieved don't think much of him. He hopes to earn a lance-corporal's stripe one day, but that could be a long time in his future.
Apart from the Scared who can understand how he is feeling, he has no friends in the platoon as he sobs into his pillow at night because he misses his mother so much. Sarge, Perfect, the Fire Breather and the Hater like to bully him and make his life a misery, whilst the Seditious has thought of befriending him. He decided not to as he knows that the Mommy's Boy would soon crack and inform on him if questioned harshly by the military police. Besides, he may despise the army and everything that it stands for, but he despises the Mommy's Boy even more.
A newly commissioned second lieutenant from a military family, he seemed to have a gleaming military career in front of him. But after he lent a heavy machine gun to another battalion without permission, played around with a mortar shell in the officer's mess, and then shouted at a Quartermaster-Sergent with many years of military experience in front of the men as if he was a private, he was court-martialed, stripped of his military commission and conscripted as a private soldier since there was a war on. The Seditious is wondering to himself if he should befriend the Ex Lieutenant or not, as he knows the size of the Ex-Lieutenant's grudge against the army.
A born romantic, he chats up girls at every opportunity and often sneaks out of the barracks at night to spend time in their arms, winning them other partly through exaggerated stories of his military prowess and partly just by treating them as equals and not as inferiors. He once sent two love letters to two different women and accidentally put them in the wrong envelope, thus revealing to both of them that he was cheating on them and losing them both. Despite this, he is rarely without at least one girlfriend, and in fact has no need to visit prostitutes.
Whilst not an ass kisser, the Trusty can generally be trusted to get things done and is a message runner for the platoon, delivering messages between the front line and the military HQ. It is a dangerous job, and he was shot at at least once by an enemy sniper, but it is one of the ways to a lance-corporal's stripe, the first step on the NCO rank ladder. He mildly dislikes the Ass Kisser, owes money to the Gambling Man, thinks the Ex-Lieutenant is really stupid, and is friends with the Red Cross. His NCOs and officers consider him to be totally reliable.
Shiver is normally a good soldier but he came down with malaria after a few unpleasant days when the platoon was billeted in a swampy area. Now he can barely stand on parade, let alone do his military duties. The Red Cross is trying to use quinine to heal him but he might have to be evacuated to a military hospital in the rear.
A conscientious objector to military service, Red Cross agreed to be conscripted into the army but as a stretcher bearer and medic who would not carry any weapons. A popular soldier who has saved a score of lives, he was once captured by the enemy but was quickly released as they knew that he would never bear arms against them. He knows that he will never win medals or promotions or battlefield glory. Despite this he is surprisingly satisfied with his life in the army and even the Seditious likes him.He wears a Red Cross armband on his uniform to show his non-combatant status.
A volunteer and an expert in explosives, the Land Mine has a liking for them, especially the Bouncing Betty booby trap that sends a grenade up at groin height and the small mines that blow a hand or a foot off. The Red Cross and Seditious really don't like him, the Hater and Fire Eater deeply approve of what he does, the Perfect thinks what he does is ungentlemanly, and the enemy will kill him on the spot if they ever capture him and find out what he has done. He loves blowing up the foe and carries several hand grenades in the field on campaign.
With over fifteen years in the army, the Sarge understands his men as he too was once a private soldier. Unlike the drill sergeants in basic training, he only shouts at his men on the battlefield or of course if one of them disobeys orders or otherwise messes up. As an NCO, his only real good friends in the platoon are the Stripe, his fellow NCO, and the Perfect which he likes, although he gets on well with the Fire Eater and the Hater too. He delights in bullying the Scared and the Mummy's Boy. If anyone turns and flees in battle, he would happily turn and shoot him in the back.
A second lieutenant fresh out of officer training, the Commander is aware that in an army that leads from the front, his shoulder boards could easily mark him out to the enemy army and get him killed on the battlefield. He is brave and patriotic and he and the Ex-Lieutenant used to be good friends in officer training. Now he can no longer socialize with him as it would not look good for an officer and a disgraced ex-officer busted down to private to still be friends. He hopes to earn promotions and fame and to be a general some day.