The Roles of the Iren Fyrd in the Calontir Army from the point of view of Duke JoeAngus. Originally Published in the Online Bird of Prey, Volume 6, 4th Quarter, 2002.
IMO, the Iren-Fyrd are the most important part of the army. They are the rank & file soldier, as well as the NCOs. By motivating the Fyrd, a crown or general can dramatically increase the size & experience of the army at a given war. I will try to give examples of the roles I see the fyrd holding in the army, as well as what I would like to see from them.
I do not find it an exaggeration when the fyrd are referred to as the ‘backbone’ of the army. They provide a core of experience that allows the command staff to have confidence in themselves as well as their unit. Above all else a fyrdman should strive to be a good soldier. The basics of this are simple: Follow orders to the best of your ability, echo commands, keep formation, working together with other members of your unit. We try to instill these things into everyone. The fyrd should teach by example. The best way to do this is by being a good soldier & setting the example for our new fighters. I am not suggesting that the fyrd blindly follow orders. Fyrd should always be thinking of how to accomplish orders the best possible way. I think many people will tell you that you can be a good soldier & still have individual initiative.
The fyrd supply most of the army’s NCOs. The fyrd who want to learn how to command & take the sargeant position could someday be the general of the army. I don’t believe that everyone has the drive or ability for command, but if you are interested & feel you have a good grasp of how the army works I encourage you to volunteer to be part of the command structure. Without new blood, the command structure grows sedentary. The fyrd most often provide new & different perspectives that allows our army to grow & adapt. Without these qualities, our army will wither.
Returning to the good soldier theme. The fyrd should be aware of what weapons will be effective for the upcoming battle. If we need more scutums, the fyrd should pick them up instead of letting the same people do the same job over & over. This is the same if we need more spears, less skirmishers, more left-handed can-openers. When a call goes out for more X, the fyrd should be the first ones to step up to the plate.
Also, the fyrd should be aware of who is in there unit. Are they new? Are they a hotdog? Being aware of things like this will help you stay alive & realize where strong & weak points of your units may exist. Sometimes calling fire for another person is very helpful, regardless of rank. Overall, small things like these improve your unit.
In the end, I would just like to say that I am proud to be a fyrdman. I owe the success of most of commands to them. They are the largest part of the machine known as the Calontir army. I would like to thank Halvgrimr for allowing me to write this article. It is my hope that those who read it can find something useful.
–Earl JoeAngus, MSCA, Iren Hirth, Iren Fyrd, OT, AoA, QED(Chivalry)
“Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.” – Mark Twain