Look, we’ve all been there. It’s staff call. Your mind wanders. You start imagining the staff primaries wearing silly hats. Now you imagine the XO as an animal – possibly a frog, sitting on a lilypad. Right around the time that the S-4 is briefing how they can’t possibly move a shipping container from one side of the motor pool to the other, it happens: you begin to imagine the staff as characters from Star Wars.
Hell, you’ve always imagined the S-3 as Vader in the first place. It’s not like this is a stretch. So let’s go ahead and get this over with.
Battalion Commander – Yoda
Vague, imprecise, often cannot be found. Like Yoda’s sayings, the battalion commander is often backwards and confusing. Their intent – like Yoda’s – usually has to be searched for through several layers of green slime and past weird flying creatures, aka, HHC personnel. However, is also incredibly powerful and not to be trifled with, lest you be sent running around with a heavy weight on your back. Often speaks in riddles, usually concerning your next assignment.
Command Sergeant Major – Emperor Palpatine
Evil, vindictive, and really hates it when you have friends. They cannot help you if you end up being hauled into the CSM’s office. Obsessed with keeping people off both the grass and the Light Side of the Force. Has a tortured relationship with the battalion commander, where they really want to be in charge but realize that they picked the losing end of the fight. Will try to counsel junior NCO’s into the ways of the Dark Side.
Executive Officer – Obi Wan Kenobi
Calm, clear, and concise. Obi Wan is the perfect XO, always managing people’s feelings and trying to move the organization slowly forward, even though he realizes that it is a doomed endeavor. However, has experienced a field grade lobotomy and so still hoards information as if it were Kyber crystal. Will only release information once it is too late to be of any use, and then will yell at you for making an uninformed decision. Somehow comes out of it all as a sympathetic character. Has that martyr complex on lock.
S-1 – Personnel – C3PO
Is most definitely going to screw up your promotion packet, delete your record brief, and generally complicate your life. Usually seen running around with no purpose, while claiming to be incredibly busy. Relies on everyone else to do their job but complains relentlessly about them. To the unlettered and unwashed, they appear as gods. The S-4 has had enough of them, however, and often tells them as much. Relies on the S-6 to do all of their tech-related business.
S-2 – Intelligence – Leia Organa
Fearless, capable, handy with a blaster, and capable of building relationships with indigenous peoples at the drop of a helmet. Leia is the dream S-2 officer, except that she is too often distracted by the S-4 and has some confusing thoughts about the assistant S-3. Is capable of handling SIGINT as well as HUMINT, and demonstrates that she is not a tool of the S-3.
Assistant – S-2 – Jynn Erso
As an intelligence collector, is unrivaled. Can easily handle herself in a fight. Only disappointment was never seeing her work with the 2 Actual.
S-3 – Operations – Lord Darth Vader
Terrifying, precise, and somehow able to sense your fear. The S-3 does not put up with your nonsense and will exact a terrible retribution if you show up with reports that are incorrect. Has very little sympathy for shortcomings. Has a tortured relationship with the battalion commander as they realize that one is only on top because of time in grade/not getting burned by lava. An expert on all things operations, but can tend to micromanage to the point of killing the staff’s morale/killing the staff. Really wants the assistant S-3 to read his mind.
Assistant S-3 – Luke Skywalker
Has a lot of potential and does most of the actual work for the S-3, although not intentionally. Cannot stand the S-3 but also wants to be the S-3, so is filled with a lot of angst and self-loathing. A tortured individual who survives only by being best friends with the S-4. Has complicated feelings for the S-2 but realizes that staff romantic relationships are too much like incest. Doomed to stay in operations their entire career and follow the same path as the S-3, but are fighting that image and are trying to get back to the line. Will someday master Doctrine.
S-4 – Logistics – Han Solo
Just doesn’t really care about your problems, but is highly effective at their job. Just don’t ask where the supplies came from. Hangs out with the assistant S-3 too much and hits on the S-2 constantly. Sort of a jack of all trades, but is a master of showing up in the nick of time. Gets furious if you damage any equipment. Usually found arguing with the contracting officer and getting drunk with the fires officer. A good S-4 is indispensable.
S-6 – Communications and Network – R2D2
Nothing happens on staff if the S-6 doesn’t do their job. And nothing would happen in Star Wars if R2D2 didn’t make it happen. Often seen swearing loudly while trying to undo glitches caused by the other staff members. Always neglected and overlooked until the time when they’re needed. Have the knowledge of the entire system and all of its users, yet because they’re a vindictive asshole, declines to share it with anyone. Critical to all systems and networks, which is even more important now because the Army operates pretty much only online nowadays. Holds the power to crash the whole thing but somehow doesn’t, thank the Force. Might actually be the Force.
Contracting Officer – Lando Calrissian
Don’t ask where it came from. Don’t ask how he got it. Don’t ask where the money went. Don’t ask where that brand new ride came from. Just don’t ask, okay?
Air Officer – Wedge Antilles
Just wants to be flying right now, so couldn’t really care less what you ground-pounders do. Highly effective officer with amazing hair.
Fires Officer – Chewbacca
Makes loud noises, can hardly be understood, gets irrationally angry, but you need him in a fight, oh boy do you need him.
Strategist – K2SO
So on the nose it hurts. Intelligent, bull-headed, honest, and sarcastic as hell. Always looking ten steps ahead while the rest of the staff is still trying to forecast what they’ll have for lunch. Will be incredibly loyal and patient with lesser beings. Really just wants to be back on the line shooting things. Has the best one-liners.
May the Fourth be with you.
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About the Author: Angry Staff Officer is an Army engineer officer who is adrift in a sea of doctrine and staff operations and uses writing as a means to retain his sanity. He also collaborates on a podcast with Adin Dobkin entitled War Stories, which examines key moments in the history of warfare.
8 Replies to “Galactic Staff Officers: Battle Staff as Star Wars Characters”
Since I have actually been the Contracting officer, I have to say it’s a great place if you want to be popular. Need to spend $40,000 on carpeting before the end of September? No problem! A/C fixed in the middle of an Arkansas summer, will do all we can, and thanks for that nice can of dining all coffee for the office, yay!
Then again, when you have to call Lockheed for $60,000 worth of cable assembles for the Herky Birds with a wing commander breathing down your neck, or try to find parts for a Titan II missile system when the last company who made them went bankrupt ten years ago, or get “Hello, pension plan” when trying to find the very last load of Kaiser truck parts in the entire country…it’s a little more exciting.
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Zero mention of Z-95’s. Excellent use of the XO as THE hero.
Still, I asked for Z-95’s. Negative counseling statement.
I’ve been counseled before.
You forgot the staff NCOs.
They’re all like Maj. Bren Derlin. Only rarely seen, but important.
Frankly more like John Ratzenberger. Seen all over the place, usually in the background. Or sitting on a bar stool telling stories.
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Hard to put in the staff NCOs when Star Wars is terrible about giving NCOs good roles. TBH, Chewie is probably an E7.
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