As you are all aware from the relevant sections of your Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer,* discipline and decorum are key to the success of any Astra Militarum campaign. It, therefore, follows that any hero of the Imperium with a history of consistent victories must be a beacon of these virtues. We present today a comprehensive history of one such hero: the renowned Colonel Straken of Catachan.
Straken began his illustrious career as a line trooper in the Catachan 2nd Regiment. Yes, like you, he was a simple infantryman, proving that with hard work and dedication, anyone can rise to command in the right circumstances.**
Qualities such as cooperation, controlled temperament and the utmost respect for the chain of command have distinguished Straken throughout his career – notably during the battle of Dulma’lin, where careful coordination with the Selvian Dragoons saw Straken’s forces conducting a daring operation deep behind enemy lines while the Selvians nobly sacrificed themselves on the front to win the war – a perfect example of inter-regimental cooperation, and one to be emulated.
While the victory on Dulma’lin cannot be attributed solely to Straken, there are many others that can. Indeed, it is said that he has won more battles than most Guardsmen have had hot dinners.*** He has suffered greatly for his service, sustaining grievous injuries that would have killed most men. Some say he has survived injuries that would even kill a Space Marine.**** As a result, Straken has many bionic enhancements and is revered by the Adeptus Mechanicus, with whom he has a cordial working relationship.
There are many outlandish stories about Straken’s injuries that you may have heard – such as that he lost his arm to a so-called “Miral land shark”.***** In fact, Straken’s arm was lost when he heroically stepped in to save his regimental Commissar from being killed by a Tyranid monstrosity, which he then killed single-handed.
Straken’s relationship with the Commissariat is one based on mutual respect and admiration. His strong adherence to the chain of command and reverence for orders means that Straken will always carefully consider a Commissar’s advice. The abnormally high casualty rate of Commissars attached to the Catachan 2nd can only be attributed to the attitude of bravery and self-sacrifice this great hero inspires in all who fight alongside him. This devotion is typical in the men under Straken’s command. Disciplinary infractions are 89% lower in the Catachan 2nd than other regiments from that world, and that can be firmly attributed to Straken’s firm but fair “Iron Hand”****** approach to discipline.
It has been determined that your regiment could benefit from seeing Colonel Straken’s heroism and adherence to orders up close. As such, you will soon be transported to the Damocles Gulf, where you will meet the Catachan 2nd prior to an assault on a T’au Empire installation – the perfect opportunity to learn from this shining beacon of Imperial values on the battlefield!
++ Thought for the Day: “Heroes are not born – they are forged in blood.” ++
* Volume 6, Sections K to R. You will be tested on your knowledge of these sections when you finish reading this article. Failure will be met with mandatory re-education by your regimental Commissar.
** The death of every officer, sergeant and corporal in your regiment, an act of outrageous heroism on your part, and the loss of every Munitorum record regarding your existence.
*** A note for hive-born troopers: a hot dinner is when food – typically meat and vegetables – is cooked over a fire or other heat source and served at above room temperature. Nutritionally speaking, your ration paste is far superior.
**** This is obviously nonsense, as the Adeptus Astartes are immortal and unable to be killed. If you hear a comrade repeating such heresy, please report them to the nearest Commissar.
***** Clearly ridiculous, as Miral is an Imperial world, and no such xenos abominations could possibly exist there.
****** It is often claimed that this moniker comes from his bionic arm, but this is false – it’s actually made of a composite of 37% adamantium, 52% steel and 11% a substance the Adeptus Mechanicus refuse to reveal.