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Gilgamesh Free State
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Geographic information



Political information

Government type

  • Insurrectionist secessionist government
    • de jure republic
    • de facto authoritarian (Until 2555)
  • Democratic republic (2567 reincarnation)
Societal and historical information


New Belgrade


Risen From the Ruins



"Unity, Justice, and Freedom"
―National motto of the Gilgamesh Free State

The Gilgamesh Free State was an Insurrectionist secessionist government on the colony of Gilgamesh. Initially established in 2502 as the Gilgamesh Free Army, it was composed mainly of Colonial Military Administration personnel who had been separated from the CMA after the organization's involvement with the Insurrection went public. Quickly incorporating other small rebel groups, by 2524, the organization had control over many of the frontier settlements on the colony, and was rechristened as the Gilgamesh Free State in 2525. With the Human-Covenant War diverting the attention of the United Nations Space Command elsewhere, Gilgamesh became almost completely lawless, and the GFS began expanding, coercing the various criminal syndicates into working to keep order within the Free State's new territory.

In 2535, the GFS joined the United Rebel Front, whose member organizations aided the Free State by supplying equipment and machinery to outfit the Free State Armed Forces, as well as advanced training on various rebel-controlled planets for specialized personnel. This was augmented by cooperation with some the larger criminal syndicates by the GFS, the former helping smuggle equipment to the latter, with the latter in return legitimizing them as local government authorities and permitting them to continue their operations, so long as they stayed within guidelines set by the Free State.

When the UNSC began retaking rebel-held worlds, starting with defeating the Victorian Independent State in 2553, and the Glabetovan People's Republic in 2554, the GFS mobilized its military reserves and militia units to counter an expected invasion. Taking pointers from survivors who had escaped the defeats of the VIS and GPR, the GFS prepared accordingly, and in March 2555, the UNSC attacked. While the UNSC were driven back, a second invasion in September of that same year brought the Free State to an end.



"We were the colony that the UEG forgot. What did we have to lose?"
―One GFA militant on why he joined the rebels

The Gilgamesh Free State had its roots in the secessionist group known as the Gilgamesh Free Army. In 2497, when the Colonial Military Administration's involvement with the Insurrection became public, some higher-ranking CMA officers began a veritable witch hunt began for those involved with rebels or with rebel sympathies in their commands, in order to ensure they would not be held responsible for someone under their command actively aiding the Insurrection. One such garrison in which this occurred was on Gilgamesh. As many citizens of the planet saw it as a forsaken one due to the lack of outside aid during disasters, rampant colonial corruption, and almost total lawlessness in some areas, rebel sympathies pervaded the general population, which extended into the colonial military on the planet. The garrison commander, General Daniel Filov, fearing that he would be held responsible if his units mutinied or were caught aiding the Insurrection, had his unit commanders begin attempting to force out junior officers with rebel sympathies, threatening them with court-martial if they did not resign from the military.

While many accused simply resigned, some took their court martials, and despite a lack of evidence against many besides accounts by witnesses of the defendants allegedly having verbally agreement with the Insurrection's goals, almost all were convicted, and dishonorably discharged from the military.These convictions and discharges led not only to the further radicalization of many of the junior officers who had been court-martialed due to their inability to lead normal lives outside of the CMA thanks to their convictions, but also to the resignation in protest or desertion of many others, both officers and enlisted, from the organization.

In 2499, many of these personnel, along with civilian independence activists, formed into a chapter of the Secessionist Union known as the Gilgamesh Independence Party. However, their protests and constant attempts to put in formal requests for granting of independence to the colony by the UEG yielded no results, leading many to become frustrated with the peaceful path towards independence. While the pro-violence advocates were vocal, they were, for the most part, a minority within the party. However, in 2502, the assassination of Jerald Mulkey Ander led to a massive pro-independence march in the colonial capital of New Belgrade, which ended in a violent clash between GIP activists and local law enforcement. This violence led to the UNSC announcing they were going to station a UNSC Army garrison and UNSC Marine Corps expeditionary force on the colony to maintain order. This only led to further tensions and protests, which came to a head in September of 2502, when, during a mass march on the capital by colonial citizens against the UNSC's presence, an estimated twenty protestors were shot and an equal number wounded when troops were dispatched.

Two insurgents of the Gilgamesh Free Army in 2520

This acted as a catalyst for the more violent elements of the GIP to take hold, and in November of 2502, they formed the armed wing of the party, the Gilgamesh Free Army, with the tacit approval of the leaders of the GIP. Composed initially of former CMA personnel, the GFA's ranks quickly swelled with new recruits, and it became part of the United Rebel Front in 2518. Now the largest group on the planet, smaller colonial independence groups voluntarily joined up with the GFA. While the UNSC's troops on Gilgamesh were able to keep control over the larger cities, large pockets of the frontier and rural areas quickly came under Insurrectionist controls, and any incursions into rebel territory were met with heavy resistance and driven back. Within rebel territory, the criminal syndicates that pervaded some of the areas were given ultimatums: join the rebels as auxiliaries to keep order and help keep the rebel units supplied through black market connections, permitted to conduct criminal activities outside of the area of rebel influence, or be eliminated. Most chose the former, forming into what became known as the Auxiliaries.

By 2524, the Free Army had established control over most of the land on the eastern frontier of settled lands on Gilgamesh, and was preparing to take further territory, and officially declare the existence of a Gilgamesh Free State to force the UNSC to relinquish control over Gilgamesh. While this process was to begin in late 2526 at the earliest, the declaration of the Gilgamesh Free State came on September 24th, a little over a week after news of the capture of Colonel Robert Watts became public. In defiance of the UNSC dealing the rebels a stunning defeat, the GIP, urged on by the GFA, declared the existence of a Gilgamesh Free State. The organization narrowly escaped being destroyed by operatives of the SPARTAN-II Program thanks to the outbreak of the Human-Covenant War. Due to the same, by 2526, the UNSC presence on Gilgamesh was marginal, leaving the Free State ample opportunity to grow and take root.

Taking Root

"I'll be a raider until I die/With five years to go in the GLI"
―An excerpt from the 2540 song I wish I was a Spacer

While the lawlessness that pervaded Gilgamesh in the aftermath of the UNSC's withdrawal meant that the Free State would have been able to easily expand through wide swathes of land, the leadership of the Free State, at the time the civilian leadership of the Gilgamesh Independence Party advised by the Gilgamesh Free Army's commanders, first went about the work of drafting a constitution and setting up a stable government before expanding. However, in order to have a proper capital, the Free Army was permitted to seize the city of New Belgrade, which was taken despite some resistance from local criminal syndicates who refused to become Auxiliaries. By the end of 2526, a constitution had been drafted for the Free State, and over the next several years, province lines were decided, elections were held, and the government was organized. By 2527, the general feeling was that the Free State had succeeded in taking root as a proper independent republic on the colony.

Marshal of Gilgamesh Edward Garan on Gilgameshan Independence Day in 2528, shortly after his appointment as Marshal.

However, in 2529, the assassinations of several high-profile GFS officials and sudden sabotage of public utilities deep within Free State-controlled territory led many in the general public to believe that the UNSC was attempting to weaken the Free State in preparation for an invasion or destroy it from within. Due to public pressure, the government agreed to appoint a Marshal of Gilgamesh to discharge emergency duties, with the emergency powers reauthorization voted on again every six years. The vote was nearly unanimous, and then-General Edward Garan, commander of the Gilgamesh Free Army, was selected as the new Marshal.

Initially, Garan made a point to integrate the Free State further with other members of the United Rebel Front, requesting advisors from other groups in exchange for providing safe haven for them in case of discovery. These advisors, coupled with the funds that came in from having a cut of the Auxiliaries' criminal activity, allowed the Free State to raise a relatively formidable military by rebel standards by 2540. At the same time, the Free State attempted to continue creating infrastructure in the Free State with what funds did not go to national defense. While they were mildly successful, able to slowly begin building new infrastructure and keep the existing pieces from falling apart, these efforts never had enough money or resources to be hugely successful, and was one of the main reasons that the Free State never expanded far beyond the borders it had established in the late 2520s.

As the Free State began to take root and grow inwardly, it still had to contend with pro-UNSC partisans that attacked border settlements and Free Army patrols. While the military was adequate to root out and destroy these groups within the Free State's borders, keeping them away from its border was a difficult task that required large-scale mobilization due to the supply lines that had to be kept up and defended from attack to ensure operational success. While air attacks were effective at destroying larger camps and raids by the Gilgameshan Special Air Service were able to eliminate large amounts of insurgents, there simply were not enough of the latter to take down the many groups that were popping up. As a result, in 2539, under orders from Marshal Garan, and with aid from advisors from the Glabetovan People's Republic, the Gilgamesh Light Infantry and Mountain Rifles Brigade were formed as specialized units designed to raid and destroy any pro-UNSC partisan camps that the GF Air Force was not able to.


Planning and Preparation for Invasion

"To arms!"
―The text of a poster urging enlistment in late 2553

In 2553, with news of the invasion of the Victorian Independent State reaching the Gilgamesh Free State, the Free State's government and military high command, their paranoia spurred on by the invasion of the VIS, immediately began preparations for an invasion. After several personnel had been killed in battle against UNSC operatives, the entire GFS military was mobilized for four weeks or until the Independent State fell.

Fearing an invasion in the near future, the Free State began hiring outside aid to bolster its own military. The first concern was obtaining a proper naval force to patrol around the colony, as the Free State had no extraterrestrial navy of its own. This was achieved through the intervention of Jonathan Ulan, a former member of the Victorian Airborne Forces and MINUTEMAN operator who had been assigned to the GSAS as an officer and advisor. Ulan contacted the leader of the pirate fleet Campbell's Marauders, Jerrold Campbell, who had previously aided him in his hunt for the members of Project: FREELANCER in 2552. With the Free State promising payment through a share of whatever cargo was seized from merchant shipping and safe haven on the planet for the operations of his fleet, Campbell accepted the offer.

A screenshot from a scene depicting a meeting of the Gilgamesh Free Army's high command from the critically acclaimed film The Crime, which dealt with the massacres of pro-UNSC settlements perpetrated by Baal Defense Solutions on orders from the Gilgamesh Free State.

The next priority was finding something to act as a force multiplier against the UNSC. The answer to this was found in the private security firm Baal Defense Solutions. While BDS mainly took part in advising the troops of the Free State and helping equip them with proper modern equipment, some of its operatives, under the command of Jonathan Ulan, took part in a series of strikes to destroy pro-UNSC settlements just outside the borders of the Free State.

As the news from Victoria became grimmer regarding the VIS, the military high command of the Independent State realized their previous plans to counter the inevitable United Nations Space Command invasion needed to be refined and changed, or else they would risk a defeat as had happened to the Independent State. While the new plans were marked simply as Secret to deceive any Office of Naval Intelligence agents that were in the high command, they were treated as being of Most Secret status, with the copies only being permitted to be written down by hand, for fear of the possibility of a UNSC artificial intelligence breaching the digital system or a logging program surreptitiously installed on a computer obtaining copies of the plans.

During this time, Marshal of Gilgamesh Edward Garan opened diplomatic channels with the United Earth Government, and in late July of 2554, his offers of diplomacy were accepted by the UEG, and he was permitted to visit Earth for negotiations to find a deal that would be agreeable to both sides. However, after several weeks of frustrated negotiations, the agreement was never settled upon, and it was agreed that the two sides would meet again at a later date to attempt once again to finalize such a deal. However, Garan believed the UNSC was simply stalling, and ordered the restructuring of the military, already in progress, continue at a faster pace.

The finalized plan called for several stages. First, the great majority of the Gilgamesh Free Army was to be kept hidden in secluded areas shielded from surveillance, and fake units were to be created to divert attention. Second, the elements of Gilgamesh Free Army kept on the line were to allow the UNSC to make initial gains, only making stands if necessary or if ordered to keep enemy commanders from suspecting a trap. At the same time, the local so-called Auxiliaries, in reality criminal syndicates who had their activities sanctioned by the government in return for loyalty, as well as militia units, would launch attacks behind UNSC lines, particularly with an eye towards preventing the movement of troops, and especially attacking enemy airfields, in order to continue keeping attention off of the final stage of the plan.

The plan's final stage was to only come after the UNSC considered the remaining operations to be carried out of a low-intensity nature. On orders relayed through a rebel propaganda radio station, the remaining units of the GFA and its auxiliaries would launch a massive offensive and uprising, respectively, sweeping across the captured territory before an organized response could be mounted, with the hope of causing the UNSC, through public opinion and strategic concerns, to give up and leave Gilgamesh to its own devices.

In order to make the plan viable, the GFS military high command began radical restructuring of the military. Most large tracked vehicles with were stripped of their armament, which was transferred to more mobile vehicles. Some larger guns, such as the 90 millimeter cannons on M808 Scorpions were turned into anti-tank guns, pulled by vehicles such as Spades. The GFA's infantry also became increasingly motorized, with vehicles obtained by any means, with the main two being voluntary, though sometimes forced, acquisition from farmers, and through black market via the Auxiliaries. Along with this, perhaps just as importantly, large stocks of food, either sourced from farmers and freeze-dried, or Meals, Ready-to-Eat from the black market, in order to accommodate the rebel troops during their time hidden away.

One of the makeshift airfields occupied by the Gilgamesh Free Air Force in preparation for the UNSC invasion

The Gilgamesh Free Air Force also began its own restructuring, selling many of its more advanced fighter aircraft on the black market in return for armed STOL aircraft. Those vehicles that had been stripped of their armament and aircraft that were deemed unable to be hidden were moved to various positions to help form a shadow army. To further ensure security, it was ordered that all communications for units once the plan was put into effect was to be done through antiquated methods like dispatch riders and even light signals for air traffic control. All of this was done in the utmost secrecy, with only high-level individuals who had been extensively screened allowed to know what the true purpose of the restructuring was. In the meantime, specially screened GFS personnel began being trained for their roles within the plan. The cover story was that prior events on Victoria had proven that standing against the UNSC in a conventional fashion would only lead to defeat, and that the Free State was simply preparing for a different kind of war.

In December of 2554, with the invasion of Glabetov, the Gilgamesh Free State began mobilizing its troops in preparation for what they believed was the inevitable invasion, as Glabetov was effectively on Gilgamesh's galactic doorstep, being only several hundred light years away. Orders were immediately dispatched to all GFS Armed Forces reservists to report to the nearest maglev train station for mobilization on several specified dates and times. Most reservists were dispatched to units intended to be hidden away for the planned counterattack. Upon arrival at their camps, these troops were finally informed of their roles in the upcoming battle plan. Meanwhile, regular military troops were moved into defensive positions and issued orders regarding their objectives.

In late February 2555, the GFS began hearing rumblings of a UNSC task force being assembled, with the purpose of taking back Gilgamesh. Upon receiving this intelligence, those units that had been assigned to remain behind and resist the initial invasion were ordered to move to their preassigned defensive positions. The ships of Campbell's Marauders were ordered to pull back and stay safely away until the counteroffensive was launched. The operators of Baal Defense Solutions received similar orders, to stay in reserve with the majority of the GFS's troops, and launch commando raids on the eve of the planned counterattack, now named Operation: TIDAL WAVE.


A member of the Gilgamesh Free Army preparing to open fire on a UNSC Marine Corps patrol during the UNSC's initial advance

In March of 2555, the awaited invasion came. At 0300 hours, local time, the first UNSC forces arrived in-system, and at 0500, they began to land on the planet's surface. As expected, the UNSC aerial forces immediately swarmed the shadow armies, destroying what were effectively useless vehicles to the GFS. However, this did not buy the units that had remained any respite, as the UNSC, not wanting to give any warning, struck every unit they knew the position of nearly simultaneously. The remaining GFA troops, as per their orders, made their stands in the capital of New Belgrade and on the borders for two weeks, before the garrison at New Belgrade, the last active unit the UNSC knew of, surrendered on March 16th. With images of hundreds of rebel troops marching into captivity, the UNSC declared Gilgamesh taken.

On May 6th with the majority of the UNSC Navy fleet having been moved towards quelling other rebellions or into position to take back other rebel-controlled worlds, the coded message was sent out by Gilgamesh Free Radio and the GFS Auxiliaries immediately launched their uprisings, as per their orders. Coincidentally, this came at the same time as the 2555 Glabetovan Uprising and an operation to take back the rebel-held colony of Mamore, which further divided UNSC attention. Those forces on Gilgamesh were taken completely by surprise, having thought the GFS's ability to resist totally destroyed in the initial invasion. Simultaneously, the operators of Baal Defense Solutions launched their raids on the headquarters of the UNSC units still planetside and other high priority targets, while the ships of Campbell's Marauders destroyed what UNSC presence remained in orbit.

A section of Gilgamesh Free Army troops moving through New Belgrade during the GFS' counteroffensive

At the same time as the uprising and raids, the remaining units of the Gilgamesh Free State Armed Forces emerged from their hidden camps, and began taking back almost all of the territory that had been lost in the span of just a week, their rapid advance made possible through the increased motorization that had been central to the military's restructuring. With enemy airpower the first targets for the Auxiliaries and BDS, the rebels' advance was initially stymied only by UNSC troops who had managed to weather the initial shock of the rebellion and massive offensive. With images of captured UNSC troops hitting the ChatterNet, public opinion quickly began turning against the war on Gilgamesh. As a result, the UNSC became determined to end it as quickly as possible. Units initially slated for the invasion of Mamore and other units taking part in police actions on colonies were redirected to the Free State. However, this was found to be more difficult than anticipated, as the ships Campbell's Marauders constantly raided and harassed any UNSC ships that came near the planet, making it nearly impossible for the UNSC to bring in any new troops, with those remaining on Gilgamesh ordered to retreat. With the UNSC having retreated, Marshal Garan believed that, with the help of BDS and Campbell's Marauders, the Free State would remain safe for the foreseeable future, and finally stepped down from his position as Marshal of Gilgamesh, returning the Free State to a republic again.

With Campbell's Marauders having near-complete control of the space surrounding Gilgamesh, the UNSC was forced to search for alternate solutions to the problem the Free State posed. The possibility of an armistice was considered, but was soon thrown out as being too politically damaging for the Unified Earth Government. Forcing through Campbell's fleet and landing troops on the planet were also thrown out due to the massive casualties that would be sustained for little gain. After some debate, it was decided to send operatives from the SPARTAN-III Headhunter teams to the Free State in order to sufficiently weaken it. Over the next several months, the SPARTANs took part in operations that resulted in the death of Marshal Edward Garan, and nearly all of the members of the Gilgamesh Free Armed Forces's high command, as well as the destruction of multiple Gilgamesh Free Army supply dumps. However, most importantly, they destroyed the spaceports within the Free State, leaving Jerrold Campbell no reason to continue supporting the planet anymore, as it would be unable to provide him and his fleet refuge and repair if needed. As a result, Campbell's Marauders abandoned the planet, leaving it open for invasion by the UNSC. Baal Defense Solutions, seeing the writing on the wall, also abandoned the Free State to its fate on August 24th.

Without the space defense provided by Campbell's Marauders and the military support provided by Baal Defense Solutions, the Free State's government feared that a new invasion would result in the very near future. As a result, on August 26th, the order was handed down to mobilize the Gilgamesh Free Armed Forces, the units of which began moving to their predetermined positions. The second UNSC invasion of Gilgamesh came on September 1st, 2555. The month-long ground campaign that followed saw the Free State mount what defense it could against the forces the UNSC brought to bear against it.

On October 4th, with the few Free State units still combat-effective trapped in hopeless situations with almost no ammunition or provisions left, the new commander of the Gilgamesh Free Armed Forces, General Ira Philips, entered into surrender negotiations with the UNSC, ordering a ceasefire to take effect until the negotiations were concluded. While the UNSC was reluctant to cave into any of Philips' demands, chief among them being that the officers and men of the Gilgamesh Free Armed Forces would be treated as prisoners of war, not as UNSC citizens who had committed treason. The other demand was that, after a short time, specified as no longer than one year after the signing of the surrender document, the Gilgameshan troops taken prisoners of war would be released. After a week of negotiation,he UNSC finally agreed to the terms of surrender and the document was officially signed, dissolving the Gilgamesh Free State.


In 2567, with the power of the Office of Naval Intelligence having been brought to heel, the Unified Earth Government passed the Commonwealth Act, a law offering the new status of 'Independent Commonwealth' to those rebel-controlled colonies that had been retaken in the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War, as well as offering an amnesty to all rebel fighters, current and past, with referendums on the former to be held before the end of the year. The new commonwealths were permitted to exist independently, so long as they still had allegiance to the UEG, and that they would supply soldiers to fight for the UEG if such need arose. While this move was met with hostility and derision in the Inner Colonies, in the Outer Colonies, it was celebrated. While the Act came as a surprise to many, UEG politicians had decided it was the best option due to the still-rampant Insurrection, which, despite constant operations by special forces and the SPARTAN-IVs, showed no signs of slowing up, and was in fact only getting worse.

As a result of this act, in July of 2567, the colony of Gilgamesh held a referendum, which overwhelmingly went in favor of implementing the Act, and was granted the status of Independent Commonwealth. Gilgamesh's government, once again, become known as the Gilgamesh Free State. However, in order to show that it was no longer an Insurrectionist force, the military's branches simply became known as the Gilgameshan Army and Gilgameshan Air Force, dropping the 'Free' moniker. The military, in dire need of officers and men, began recruiting former members of the Free Army and Air Force in order to provide the necessary experience. The Free State continued to exist without trouble for decades to come, and its troops proved themselves able and valiant soldiers against both the Covenant remnants and bands of pirates and raiders on various worlds.

Gilgamesh Free Army


A Gilgamesh Free Army Captain in the standard issue uniform

The Gilgamesh Free Army made up the majority of the forces for the defense of the Gilgamesh Free State. Initially established as an underground secessionist organization on October 7th, 2501, its official establishment as an organ of the Gilgamesh Free State was on December 1st, 2525. With the military requiring a great deal of standardization, several standards were decided. First, the standard service arms would be the Mk.15 'Colt Blaster' series of weapons[1], rechambered in 7.62mm, and the M6 series of pistol. Second, the uniform was an open collar with the ability to become a stand-and-fall collar jacket with epaulets, 4-pointed field cap, and pants made from a green drill fabric, which sometimes faded over time to a khaki. There was also an autumn and winter variant of the issued to troops in more temperate climates that consisted of dark brown synthetic wool. The collar of the field uniform was generally left devoid of insignia for infantry, though cavalry were permitted to wear their regimental pennant colors on it. Armored crews tended to wear the regular uniform when not operating a vehicle, although they were issued jumpsuits for vehicle-related work, as well as black leather bomber jackets and black berets in lieu of the four-pointed caps to distinguish them as a special brance The footwear was a pair of real or synthetic leather boots, though with the shortage of any animal products, generally the latter was seen far more than the former.

A GFS officer's saber on display in the Museum of Humanity

Starting in 2550, troops were issued two sets of uniforms, one for field usage, and the other being the newly-created dress uniform that had been instituted with the new regulations of 2550 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Gilgamesh Free Army. This uniform was adorned with a great deal of unit-specific collar insignia, with a zig zag pattern in metallic thread mounted on colored collar tabs for non-cavalry troops and directly on the collar with colored pennants for cavalry troops. While the metallic thread used for the collar tabs was supplied by the military, often soldiers and units were forced to make their own collar tabs and pennants based off Army regulation, which led to a great deal of variation in quality among enlistedmen, while officers often had their uniforms tailored. For officers the uniform was paired with a rigid version of the field cap with adornment, while enlistedman were expected to stiffen their regular field caps with wire. Officers were also issued with an open collar tunic in the same color as the woolen field and full dress tunics with a round cap for everyday wear as a service uniform, although this was an officer-specific uniform only.

An illustration of a Gilgamesh Free Army bamboo parade lance with the pennant of the 1st Cavalry Regiment from a GFS manual

Starting sometime in the 2530s, cavalry enlistedmen were issued with bamboo-shafted lances with silver-colored polymer tips and attached regimental pennants for parade, using them when both mounted and dismounted. The use of bamboo and polymer in the lances was mainly a cost-saving measure, as bamboo was easy to acquire through the Auxiliaries, who would get it from the same tropical regions of Gilgamesh that often were also used for growing opium, and the tips were easily 3-D printed. Officers, whether part of the cavalry or otherwise, were expected to purchase a sword, of the same model used by the Frontier Defense Corps.

For inclement and cold weather, all troops were initially issued waterproof olive drab field jackets, mostly from CMA or Colonial Militia surplus, with an inner removable liner for cold weather, later replaced with synthetic wool greatcoats that were rolled and strapped to a soldier's pack. Troops in exceptionally cold conditions, generally while on deployment in the north of the colony, were issued with lambskin coats. Personal equipment and combat gear was generally UNSC or CMA surplus acquired off of the black market, however, when Baal Defense Solutions was hired by the Free State in 2553, along with aiding the GFS through military and advisory actions, BDS also acquired modern arms and equipment for the Free Army. By December of 2554, through the aid of BDS, the Gilgamesh Free Army had completely phased out the Mk.15 in favor of modern weapons like the MA series of assault rifle.


The second issue of standardization was how units were to be organized. Until 2535, the only standardization was that there were to be 1,500 men to a regiment. However, in 2535, advisors from the United Rebel Front aided the Free Army in coming up with a standard model for an infantry regiment. A standard infantry regiment still consisted of about 1,500 men, divided up into the following:

  • 1 headquarters platoon
  • 1 support platoon, composed of the regiment's cooks, armorers, doctors and other support personnel
  • 1 communications platoon
  • 3 rifle battalions
  • 1 field artillery battery

Each infantry regiment was also provided with a number of motorized vehicles. Most of these in the form of trucks to pull heavy equipment, although each rifle battalion and the headquarters platoon fielded a independent platoon of four armored cars, which were usually consolidated for engagements.

The Free State also standardized the composition of cavalry regiments, though these were dissolved and folded into the preexisting infantry regiments during the military's restructuring in 2553. A cavalry brigade consisted of 1,000 personnel in:

  • 1 headquarters platoon
  • 1 administrative platoon
  • 1 communications platoon
  • 3 motorized infantry companies, each fielding a platoon of four armored cars
  • 1 armored company, consisting of three platoons of four vehicles each, one tank platoon and two armored car platoons, plus two command vehicles [2]
  • 1 motorcycle platoon

At the divisional level, each unit had a specialized medical facility to deal with soldiers whose wounds were too grievous to be treated by each regiment's medics or doctors. These were thanks to the efforts of Victorian Independent State advisor Major Kevin Mathurin, who constantly fought to ensure that the medical service was not overlooked.

By the time of the end of the Human-Covenant War in 2553, the Gilgamesh Free Army had 12,500 active personnel, as well as another 16,000 as reservists in the following units:

A Private First Class from the Mountain Rifles Brigade during the UNSC-GFS War.

  • I Corps
  • II Corps[3]
    • 4th Infantry Division
      • 19th Infantry Regiment
      • 23rd Infantry Regiment
      • 25th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Cavalry Division
      • 1st Lancer Regiment
      • 1st Lancer Regiment
    • 5th Infantry Division
      • 26th Infantry Regiment
      • 27th Infantry Regiment
      • 28th Infantry Regiment
  • Gilgamesh Light Infantry Regiment
  • Mountain Rifles Brigade

By the time of the UNSC invasion of the Free State in 2555, the four cavalry regiments of the Free Army had been dissolved, with their personnel and equipment folded into the remaining regiments, or used to help form five new infantry regiments in the period of military buildup, the 7th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 17th Infantry Regiments[4]. This brought the Gilgamesh Free Army's total manpower up to 35,000 active and reserve soldiers. While some of these soldiers were captured or killed during the initial stages of the UNSC-GFS War, almost all POWs were liberated during Operation: TIDAL WAVE.

Like the Victorian Independent Military, the Gilgamesh Free Army was, for citizens of the Free State, a fully volunteer force. However, this was not entirely true for all colonists on Gilgamesh. In order to obtain citizenship, individual refugees from outside the territory of the Gilgamesh Free State were required to serve one year in the GFA, and, as with GFS citizens who volunteered, be part of the reserves until they were 55, when they could leave the reserves or continue to remain, but in a support role. With regards to families, the GFS allowed any able-bodied member of the family seventeen or above to serve, and if more than one volunteered to serve, the time necessary was evenly divided among them. For example, if three members of a family volunteered to serve, each would only have to serve four months in the military. If one had certain skills, they would also be offered the opportunity to serve their time in the Gilgamesh Free Air Force.

Gilgamesh Free Air Force

The Gilgamesh Free Air Force was the younger of the two military services in the Free State. Established in 2535 with the aid of the GFS' new allies in the United Rebel Front, the GFAF was initially composed of lightly armed personal jets initially designed for the civilian market like the M-3. However, by 2546, these aircraft were being augmented by knockoff F/A-440 fighters from Venezia. With much of the GFS' funding going towards the Gilgamesh Free Army, no planetary training schools were developed for the Air Force. As a result, initially, pilot training took place on the Victorian Independent State at Agley Airfield, and navigator/observer training took place at the Glabetovan Aerial Training School on Glabetov. However, by 2550, the Capital Defense Brigade had two training escadrille, and introductory pilot training was conducted there, with more experienced pilots or aircrew sent to Victoria or Glabetov to learn more advanced skills. The smallest unit for the Gilgamesh Free Air Force was the escadrille, composing 10 aircraft each, which in turns composed squadrons, which finally composed the largest unit, the brigade. Each squadron was not only composed of the aircrew and planes, but also of support personnel. The business of air traffic control was organized exclusively at the brigade level, although controllers were sometimes assigned to specific squadrons if they were being moved away from the brigade's main base, as occurred in 2555. By 2553, the GFAF had about 90 fighters, 140 attack aircraft, 40 transport craft, 40 reconnaissance/liaison aircraft, and 10 bomber aircraft in the following units:

The AT-65, an outdated 25th century trainer-cum-close air support aircraft that made up the majority of the GFAF's attack aircraft.

  • Pursuit Brigade
    • 1st Fighter Squadron
      • 1st Fighter Escadrille
      • 2nd Fighter Escadrille
      • 3rd Fighter Escadrille
    • 2nd Fighter Squadron
      • 4th Fighter Escadrille
      • 5th Fighter Escadrille
      • 6th Fighter Escadrille
  • Capital Defense Brigade
    • 4th Attack Squadron
      • 4th Attack Escadrille
      • 5th Attack Escadrille
      • 6th Attack Escadrille
      • 1st Training Escadrille
    • 3rd Fighter Squadron
      • 7th Fighter Escadrille
      • 8th Fighter Escadrille
      • 9th Fighter Escadrille
      • 2nd Training Escadrille
  • Attack Brigade
    • 1st Attack Squadron
      • 1st Attack Escadrille
      • 2nd Attack Escadrille
      • 3rd Attack Escadrille
    • 2nd Attack Squadron
      • 7th Attack Escadrille
      • 8th Attack Escadrille
      • 9th Attack Escadrille
    • 3rd Attack Squadron (Unmanned)
      • 14th Attack Escadrille
      • 15th Attack Escadrille
      • 16th Attack Escadrille
    • 1st Army Cooperation Squadron
      • 1st Liaison Escadrille
      • 2nd Liaison Escadrille
    • 1st Reconnaissance Squadron
      • 1st Reconnaissance Escadrille
      • 2nd Reconnaissance Escadrille

Strategic Air Command's emblem on the nose of one of its B-92 Rapier bombers

  • Strategic Air Command
    • 1st Transport Squadron
      • 1st Transport Escadrille
      • 2nd Transport Escadrille
    • 2nd Transport Squadron
      • 4th Transport Escadrille
      • 5th Transport Escadrille
    • 1st Bomb Squadron
    • New Belgrade Air Defense Battalion
    • Peachbrook Air Defense Battalion

After the military's restructuring, in 2555 the GFAF had sold or traded some of its high-performance aircraft like F/A-440s and armed civilian personal jets, as neither had STOL capabilities, for larger numbers of AT-65s or similar STOL aircraft in order to support the military's new strategy. As part of this, the 2nd Fighter Squadron was disbanded, and one escadrille from the 1st and 3rd Fighter Squadrons were disbanded. From these, three new attack squadrons were formed, and the remaining squadrons were reinforced with replacement machines. The remaining aircraft that had not been sold, traded, or sent to hidden airfields on the frontier, instead remained behind with volunteer pilots or were used to form decoy units. However, after the GFS's successful counteroffensive in May of 2555, the GFS resold or traded those extra attack aircraft it still had, purchasing more F/A-440s from Venezia, who was in the midst of downsizing its military thanks to the fact that the truce between them and the UNSC was still going strong. By late June of 2555, the GFAF had, for the most part, returned to its 2553 composition, with the sole exception that the 3rd Attack Squadron (Unmanned) had been disbanded, with the pilots sent as extras to the other various attack squadrons, and the number of fighters had grown to 100, almost completely composed of F/A-440s as opposed to the F/A-440 and M-3 mix that had previously been the case.

The GFAF was not solely composed of flying units. The other main responsibility of the Air Force was for ground-based air defense. While most of these units were stationary batteries based in and around the major settlements like the capital of New Belgrade and Peachbrook, the other major center in the Gilgamesh Free State, the Air Force also had some self-propelled anti-aircraft gun batteries that were placed under Army control. However, most of these units were equipped with obsolete radar-guided anti-aircraft guns. Advanced SAM systems, being far too costly to widely issue, were few and far between. With the reorganization of the military in 2555, most of the self-propelled anti-air systems under Army command were stripped of their armament, which was distributed to help arm the military's new motorized units, with the chassis then being used to help create shadow units in advance of the UNSC invasion, and the personnel were reassigned.

Frontier Defense Corps

A FDC border checkpoint during 2553

The Frontier Defense Corps was a special unit of the Gilgamesh Free State, assigned to patrol the borders of the Free State. Culled from frontier militiamen volunteers, the Defense Corps mainly patrolled the border of the Free State up against the settled areas of Gilgamesh not under the control of the Free State, which were almost entirely lawless. The Frontier Defense Corps was assigned several tasks, the first of which was to prevent incursions by bandits, spies, or other hostile forces into the Free State. As part of this mission, the FDC was also assigned to screen incoming refugees or immigrants from elsewhere on Gilgamesh, as well as detaining those attempting to cross the border somewhere other than the prescribed checkpoints, before releasing them to the local Free State authorities. However, due to cost of the military the Free State had raised and was maintaining, the Defense Corps was undermanned for anything more than defending the border, meaning it was often forced to rely heavily on the local auxiliaries to help carry out its mission when it had to search for those who had successfully crossed the border.

The FDC was organized into three brigades protecting the northern, southern, and eastern land borders of the Free State, denoted as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Frontier Brigades. These brigades were originally broken down into battalions, denoted as Rifle or Mounted Battalions. While in theory mounted battalions were to use motorized transport on roving patrols, using watchtowers as a base, and rifle battalions were to garrison the aforementioned watchtowers and checkpoints and patrol their immediate area, this doctrine quickly shifted once it was realized there was not enough suitable motorized transport for the mounted battalions, forcing them to use horses. While vehicles were readily available from the local populace, the FDC found that many of them were unwilling to give up their cars, most of which were not fit for the hard use they would find on the border and fearing the backlash that would come from forced requisition, the new doctrine became to encourage donation through propaganda from horseback riding businesses and stud farms, which was relatively effective, as farms began to compete in hopes of gaining business from the GFS's financial and political elite, as well as from the military to train their horsemen for ceremonial and practical duties.

However, this donation of horses didn't fulfill the FDC's needs, and refusing to take them by force, mounted units began using many of their horses to tow Tachanka, each carrying around 3-4 men. This shift in mode of transportation meant that mounted units could no longer operate independently. Instead, a mounted patrol consisting of a mix of individual horsemen and tachanka was placed at certain watchtowers, where they could have stables built for them. From these watchtowers, mounted patrols would be sent out to reconnoiter, with foot patrols to provide backup if needed, Along with this shift also came a merger of the two types of battalions into one combined unit known as Frontier Battalions. Within the FDC's units, in order to facilitate cooperation with the regular Army and also foster professionalism within the branch, all officers and at least 25% of NCOs had to come directly from the Gilgamesh Free Army, either from actively serving units or commissioning from the Gilgamesh Free State Officer Candidate Academy. For those who climbed the ranks to become NCOs, they had to undergo training within regular GFA units. While service in the FDC was extremely demanding and life was equally as austere at the watchtowers, the Free State made efforts to frame them as elite troops, with better pay and increasingly better conditions at the watchtowers as time went on.

A depiction of an FDC mounted trooper during the initial stages of the UNSC-GFS War in the film Invincible

Although the FDC had motorized transport, heavy weapons, and even some TKR tankettes, these were not allocated to the frontier battalions, instead positioned at the brigade level as part of the Dispositional Reserve Battalion, only brought out in cases of border incidents that could not be contained by the local frontier battalions. With most military funding and equipment directed towards the regular Army, the FDC were extremely poorly equipped to carry out anything but border protection duties. Their main arm was the outdated Colt Blaster, with pistols reserved for officers, who purchased their own weapons in common commercial calibers. Their uniforms were also more simplistic than the regular GFA, consisting of a green-crowned visor cap with a chinstrap based on the caps of the Glabetovan Security Service and made on Glabetov at Camp Omega to denote their status as border troops, and a khaki pullover uniform top fastened with velcro and a single hook at the collar, which sported green rectangular bands of cloth. This top was paired with matching khaki trousers, which were oftentimes just civilian-purchased work pants, and high boots made of synthetic leather.

During the UNSC-GFS War, the FDC bore the brunt of the initial attacks, with individual watchtowers often isolated from the GFA units that had been placed in their area. Fighting against overwhelming odds, the FDC fought with what one UNSC commander described as a fervor that rivalled the Covenant, with one after action report describing constant harassment attacks against convoys, with even some successful counterattacks that caused inexperienced unit commanders to order their units to retreat.

Gilgamesh Free State Auxiliaries

The Gilgamesh Free State Auxiliaries were the paramilitary units of the Free State, under the command of the local provincial authorities. While some of these units had formerly been rebel militias before the advent of the GFS, many of them had been criminal bands. These bands had been given a choice when the Free State took over their territory. They would be allowed to continue their illegal operations outside of the Free State's borders and would have a safe haven to base their operations and free passage of any contraband inside the borders, so long as they did not conduct criminal activity inside of the GFS. In return for this, they were to give the government a cut of the profits from their operations, help them acquire needed equipment and otherwise keep order where they were based. The other choice was to be arrested or killed. Almost all criminal bands chose the former, and became auxiliaries of the Free State. All auxiliaries, regardless of their origins, were expected to keep law and order in their areas, and to aid the military in time of war.

Civilian Agencies

One of the highway signs created by the GFS's Department of Infrastructure



  1. During the late 2540s, this weapon was phased out and replaced with the MA series of rifle in frontline units, with rear-line troops continuing to use it.
  2. After the military's restructuring, this was changed to three platoons of armored cars plus the two command vehicles
  3. Most units in II Corps were composed of cadres of professional soldiers, with the majority of their personnel being reservists who would be mobilized in case of war
  4. During this time, the organization of divisions shifted as well, with regiments being shifted from one to another. Along with this, divisions were, except in the case of the 5th Infantry Division, standardized to be made up of three regiments.
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