Sergeant

The term sergeant in Valyria really refers to two separate but closely related things. On the one hand, it represents a fully trained soldier of commoner status of any skillset. On the other, it represents a sworn vassal of the colonus class who has entered into bondage by means of serjeanty.

Valyria rates enlisted soldiers by skill level and not unit leadership. There are three grades given in Old Valyrian as pedesmiles and serviens, with serviens meaning “sergeant” in Old Valyrian. The term sergeant applies to all types of soldiers of adequate skill level no matter what type of training they specialize in, with variations on the default “sergeant” for melee skilled soldiers such as “archer sergeant,” “marine sergeant” for onboard ships, “battery sergeant” for artillerists, and “hobelar sergeant” for cavalrymen.  Rather than being a non commissioned officer or leadership rank, sergeant describes skill and equipment quality. It is quite possible and even desirable to have a unit composed entirely of sergeants, which means simply that they are fully trained.

Most often, because of the military emphasis of non-chartered settlements, a sergeant is both a sworn soldier in the retinue of a knight or baron as well as a combatant with the requisite skills to be identified as the military rank of sergeant. However, because serjeanty is a type of feudal bond and sergeant is a military rank, it means that technically, a freemann soldier of adequate skills would also be accounted as a sergeant. Soldiers appearing as town guard or in the standing garrisons of chartered settlements are likely burgesses of their towns and not coloni with sworn oaths of serjeanty to a suzerain.

Leadership Appointments as a Sergeant

Being a sergeant does qualify a soldier for a variety of appointed roles, however, including for assistant leadership. When a soldier from a retinue is chosen for appointment to lead that unit while the knight has gone to join a cavalry squadron, he is designated as 'first' sergeant. Variations on the name of this appointed role apply to different unit types. An archer sergeant appointed to lead archers is called a ventenar, a naval appointment over marines is a midshipmann, a sergeant leading artillery is a gynour, and though he doesn’t lead a retinue, but instead a subsection called a lance, one leading hobelars is a corporal of horse, because cavalry feel that “sergeant” sounds too menial (it invokes the concept of bonded serjeanty).

Then, the best of the first sergeants is often on hand to advise the company captain, and to lead the company as third in command when the captain and the lieutenant join the cavalry squadron. In this role, the appointment for the sergeant is sergeant major if the soldier is trained in melee. Sergeant major, the melee type of company-level sergeant, is the term used most often by default when there is a varied composition of a company’s troops. However, this appointment’s name changes to reflect a majority troop composition when there is one. For example, if a company is mostly missile troops, then the sergeant major would instead be called a centenar. He will be a master's mate aboard a vessel, a battery sergeant major for artillery, and a staff corporal in the cavalry squadron, which is a separate company.

Likewise, the best of the company sergeant major advisors can be selected to assist a colonel at the regiment level. The name most often used for this role is regimental sergeant major. If appropriate, it can be millenar for a missile trained sergeant or a predominantly missile based duchy. Because regiments represent the entire military muster of a duchy, it is not at all likely that those forces will be all of the same type, as it was even hardly likely at the company level. It will be impossible that the entire regiment would be artillery or cavalry, so there is no regimental sergeant major equivalent for those unit types.

Finally, the entire Army of Valyria has a sergeant level appointment just below the Lord Constable, and this appointment is called sergeant major general.

All of this can be seen in chart form on the Military Rank page.

Sergeant Appointments by Warrant

Militaries have need of specialists with unique skills, and often will make use of warrants to contract for a specific type of labor from a sergeant. These roles are called warrant officers and do not come with authority per se, but may come with a pay bump, if payment for soldiers is feasible in game. The types of roles might include, for example, “farrier sergeant,” who has special skill with caring for horses, or “boatswain,” which might be a sergeant who maintains a ship. Indeed, the Navy is expected to have the largest need for warrant sergeants because of the many skillsets that go into the care and launch of ships.