Militia of Mesra
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In 2526, the Covenant invaded the planet of Mesra, intent on securing the planet's xenotime deposits. During the invasion, a mass evacuation was conducted of the planet's citizens though the Militia of Mesra were asked by Admiral Cole to forgo evacuation and assist the UNSC's 24th Marine Engineering Brigade in fending off the Covenant long enough to sabotage the existing mining infrastructure on the planet. The militia responded by swearing an oath not to leave the planet until every last alien on it was dead - an oath considered over-the-top even by the Spartan-IIs of Blue Team.
Over eight days of brutal fighting, the Mesranis made good on this word, fighting the Covenant and allowing the Marine combat engineers to destroy all of the mines on the planet, though at the cost of multiple brigades. By June 8, the Mesrani militia was down to a single understrength battalion - the Fifth Ghost Battalion. By this date, the battalion had come straight from a two-day battle and a thirty-hour march; low on food, medicine and ammunition; to hole up in defense of the final objective site on the planet - the Doukala Xenotime Works. The militia's remnants were, by this time, commanded by Major Bah'd de Gaya y Elazia de los Karim and mostly comprised of younger soldiers in their early twenties, and hadn't slept in multiple days - leading John-117 to assume the battalion were taking stim-packs.
In the preceding days, the Mesranis had created a gauntlet out of the Samalat Gorge, thanks to equipment donated by the UNSC Marine force. Mines placed along the sides of the mountain pass forced Covenant armoured vehicles to drive slowly and closer to the edge of the valley below or risk destruction, and explosives placed along the cliff edge were situated in the hopes of destroying more vehicles. Ultimately, the militia elected - against the judgement of John-117 - to deploy their forces on the far side of the Nasim Bridge in the hopes of being able to pin the Covenant force in place by firing down rockets and grenades from above, while Blue Team picked off important targets with their Gauss cannons. This plan ultimately went awry as the Covenant commander deployed a thousand Yanme'e to defend the convoy, while Wraiths began shelling the opposite side of the canyon with their mortars.
One of the plasma mortar rounds ultimately destroyed the bunker containing detonators for the explosives placed on the Nasim Bridge, ultimately requiring a backup set to be activated to destroy the bridge. By this time, the militia were being wiped out by the Covenant advance, and the final few members of the militia were cut down by plasma cannons while trying to make a run for the detonators.
The Mesrani militia was egalitarian in nature; instead of relying on a strict military chain of command like the UNSC Armed Forces, the militia instead encouraged debate and acceptance of all the soldiers within a unit. The militia was additionally incredibly rigid to its word, willingly sacrificing hundreds of soldiers to the Covenant advance to protect their objectives. In some cases, their oath to not leave Mesra until all Covenant invaders were dead was self-destructive, with the militia opting not to take strategies that may save the lives of their troops in a quest to enact vengeance upon the enemy.
This informal culture extended to the relationship between officers and soldiers, with the Mesranis discouraging strict formality in addressing one's superior; this led to bemusement when dealing with UNSC forces, whose strict military structure often led them to instinctively refer to Major Bah'd as "Major" or "Ma'am" despite her insistince on a lack of formality. Nonetheless, this lax view on authority did not extend to drug use, with the Mesranis insulted at the notion that they may have taken stimulants to help stay awake across multiple days of fighting. As a result, John-117 believed the lack of sleep may have interfered with the militia officers' ability to make sensible decisions.
The following people are known to have been a part of the militia;
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