During the first Great Galactic War, the republic experimented with a new form of infantry soldier: The Drop Trooper. Orbital insertions were nothing new on the battlefield. However, drop ships always presented a large target for orbital defence platforms and anti-air emplacements. Thus, the drop pod was developed. A small, single person pod dropped almost vertically from orbit presented an almost impossible target for defence platforms, automated or otherwise, to accurately engage. To staff these, thirty three companies of drop troopers were formed from volunteers across the republic and attached to various Army and Navy brigades.
They were known as Mechanized Orbital Drop Infantry, jokingly referred to as "MADI's" because of their extremely short life expectancy. After the Treaty of Coruscant, what was left of the companies were formally merged to form The Orbital Drop Regiment, commanded by the Navy, in order to deliver a specialised operational capability; To be able to operate at reach, with a light logistic footprint, often beyond traditional lines of support. Special qualities were therefore demanded of these soldiers, whether launched into battle by drop-ship or drop-pod.
Due to the unique task of the Regiment, each of the nine battalions are light by design, because this confers speed of reaction, and are experts at orbital deployments and ship-to-ship boarding action. Their unique composition and battle doctrine make them an ideal strike force for the Republic's expeditionary fleets.
The Orbital Drop Regiment is one of many Special Operations Forces in the Republic Military. The regiment is under the exclusive operational authority of the Republic Naval Warfare Command. Their methods of operation allow them to conduct missions against targets that more conventional forces cannot approach undetected. Orbital Drop Marine Commandos are recruited from every planet of the republic and are a strictly all volunteer fighting force. Potential Candidates are selected because of their performance. There are no age or gender restrictions — as long as the candidate meets the physical and mental requirements they are guaranteed the opportunity to try out for the marines.
The Orbital Drop Regiment employs just over 200,000 personnel, divided into sixteen battalions, whom provide the capability to deploy an infantry force at short notice, in the vanguard of operations and in the most demanding circumstances. As such, it is trained and ready to form the spearhead for the Navy's rapid intervention capability.
It is trained to conduct a range of missions, from prevention and pre-emption tasks, to complex, high intensity war fighting and even riot control. It is also trained to provide direct support to Republic Special Forces, with whom it maintains close links to.
The Orbital Drop Regiment's approach to the training and selection of its soldiers continues to foster those qualities of resilience and versatility recognised by its founding fathers as the rock on which its particular value is built.
A Way Of Life
The Orbital Drop Marine Commando is required to be physically fit and mentally robust. He has to demonstrate motivation, self-reliance, initiative and intelligence. Through rigorous selection and hard training the soldier is expected to develop resilience, self-confidence and a fierce determination to succeed, whatever the difficulties. These qualities have proven to be a winning factor time and again on operations.
The Marine Commando Values