Every Commanding Officer is subject to follow additional standards for the CO role if they are to retain their whitelist. These rulings may be interpreted by the Council but are otherwise mandatory to be followed by every whitelisted CO. Violations will result in punitive action.
This version of the CoC has been updated from the ground up by authority of the CO Council. Contact Naut for further information or suggestions.
Revision 7.2023.1. Last updated July 12, 2023.
A player will receive an informal/verbal warning for a minor guideline breach. Used to serve as a reminder or a notice that a CO is breaking guidelines. Informal warnings are not recorded and do not contribute to future punishment unless an informal warning is escalated to a formal warning.
A player will receive a basic (formal) warning for a breach in guidelines as a CO. Basic warnings will have a duration of THREE months, at which point they cease to become relevant.
A player will receive a heavy warning for a breach in guidelines as a CO if they already have an active warning OR if the incident justifies a heavy warning with no previous actions. Heavy warnings will have a duration of six (6) months before expiring.
If a CO commits another offense while on heavy warning, they may be subject to a suspension or dewhitelist depending on their actions.
A Final Warning is a variation of a Heavy Warning. Any offense committed after a final warning will result in a dewhitelist.
A player will receive a suspension if they already have an active warning/heavy warning OR if the incident is so egregious as to justify a suspension with no prior incidents (extremely unlikely). Suspension times may vary depending on severity, but will always be a week, 2 weeks, or a month. After suspension time is served, it will be treated as a heavy warning for the purposes of punishment escalation.
A player will have their whitelist revoked (dewhitelisted) if, while still serving time from a suspension (in the form of a heavy warning), they’re responsible for a breach in the whitelist guidelines OR if they escalate to a suspension again after already receiving one in the past. Players may appeal their Whitelist removal after 3 months via PMing one of the current Council members with the filled-out form found on the forums (Link). If a player has their whitelist removed twice, it will be permanent and unappealable.
Uniform Standards and Behavior
Hair color, as well as style, are to remain in natural colors. Flamboyant or bright hair colors like neon, as well as hair highlights or gradients, are prohibited. Dyed hair is allowed as long as they remain in natural colors; white, gray, black, blonde, dark red, and dark orange are considered natural colors. Highlights are allowed as long as they retain a natural appearance and do not have unnatural patterns or appearance.
Hairstyles must remain above neck level for men and above waist level for women. Any facial hair must be well-kempt and may not droop down below the neck. Hair tying or braiding is permitted for both genders as long as such styles do not violate the length guidelines or look overly unprofessional.
Uniforms and Clothing
Commanding Officers must remain in reasonable clothing at all times, and wear clothes of USCM or American origin. A broader selection of bespoke outfits are available for Commanding Officers in dress vendors in their quarters and across the ship; Commanding Officers may wear anything issued in these dress vendors as well as standard USCM enlisted or officer clothing, such as combat fatigues or officer uniforms.
- Dress uniforms, while not explicitly prohibited from general use, should ideally be reserved for deserving occasions, such as memorials, events, or ceremonies. Uniforms of department crew such as requisitions, medical, or engineering should not be worn by COs unless the circumstance demands it.
- Attire such as swimwear, sleepwear, civilian clothing, or athletic wear is to be reserved for appropriate recreational or training activities or situations and should not be worn during ongoing operations or while on duty as a Commanding Officer. The visible display of bare chests or underwear is strictly prohibited in public appearances.
- The wearing of a military or government uniform not belonging to that of the USCM or the United Americas (UA), such as wearing the clothing of another nation’s armed forces or other uniformed service, or that of a corporate entity, is strictly prohibited and grounds for immediate relief of duty and arrest for seditious actions.
Commanding Officers are meant to act as role models for those under their command. All Commanding Officers must exhibit dress, behavior, and mentality becoming of a high-ranking officer. Immature behavior, rampant tomfoolery, incompetence, or an unsound mental state (i.e. insanity) are prohibited.
COs should demonstrate the ability to exercise level-headedness, maturity, and competence while performing one’s duties. While COs are not required to be humorless, strict individuals, they shouldn’t stoop to the mental level of a fresh-out-of-training Private, for example, and should behave as if they had spent decades in the military.
Remember: as the Commanding Officer you should ideally put your Marines before yourself. While deviations from this are permissible in character (i.e. if your CO character is a coward, egotistical, or other form of character trait or flaw), decisions should not positively affect yourself at the cost of the operation, the ship, or its people being harmed or negatively affected.
Marine Law and Standard Operating Procedure
Non-Modifiable Standard Operating Procedure
While certain SOP modifications are possible the Commanding Officer is both ICly and OOCly bound to follow all parts of Non-Modifiable Standard Operating Procedure.
The only exception to this would be explicit permission from High-Command to either change or disregard parts of Non-Modifiable Standard Operating Procedure.
The Commanding Officer has the right to modify the majority of Standard Operating Procedure (unless otherwise noted) as long as it is to the benefit of the operation or to Marines and does not conflict with guidelines in this Code of Conduct.
- CIC weaponry cannot be handed out to anyone other than CIC staff (CO, XO, SOs) before Delta alert or boarding action. This is non-modifiable.
- SOP changes should be publicly communicated over command or ship announcements, depending on who is most affected by said SOP change.
- Modifications may be reversed or delayed by the discretion of High Command.
- SOP must overall be beneficial to the Marines, the ship, or the operation.
- Use common sense. SOP changes should avoid being self-centered, LRP, or for the sake of a joke.
The Commanding Officer may exceptionally pardon criminals by name, and the crimes they are being pardoned for, if they believe it is in the best interests of the operation. Only Minor and Major crimes may be pardoned. Capital offenders may not be pardoned except in special circumstances with the permission of High Command.
- The Commanding Officer does not have to be physically present to issue a pardon announcement, as long as they are aware of the crimes committed and roughly when they were committed.
- A pardon must be investigated by the Commanding Officer to be valid. Handing out a pardon with little to no investigation is grounds for punitive action.
- Ideally, a prisoner should have been through an appeals process before issuing a pardon; however, this is not mandatory.
- Pardons must be officialized via full announcements (not simply radio messages).
- Pardons should not be given en masse to multiple prisoners, even if they all received sentences due to similar or identical incidents. Each prisoner must be investigated individually and determined whether or not a pardon should be issued.
Cancelling Arrests (UNDER TESTING 11th Sept - 25th Sept)
The Commanding Officer may invoke their pardoning authority to cancel the arrest, or warrant of arrest, for a person before they are placed in the ship's brig. This "arrest cancellation" follows standard procedure in the same way as if a pardon was conducted normally from the ship's brig.
- They must be announced via the tablet or computer (this can be after the order is given)
- They are subject to HC appeal.
- The Commanding Officer takes full responsibility for the actions of the perpetrator being pardoned.
- If the person whose arrest was canceled via pardon reoffends, MPs may request the arrest of the CO.
Arrest cancellations can only be issued if the Commanding Officer is in the same general vicinity as the person who is being arrested.
For example, if the CO is on the ground, they may only issue such a pardon to people who are on the ground with them, and vice versa.
- Arrest cancellations may not be used on suspects who are in the process of committing a crime, have resisted or are resisting arrest, or are already interned in the brig (in the latter case, a regular pardon may be used instead).
- Arrest cancellations may not be used to cancel or prohibit the enforcement of a warrant/order of arrest from High Command.
As per Marine Law, the Commanding Officer may not be arrested for crimes committed without written authorization from High Command. An arrest is only considered valid if a warrant can be procured and presented directly to the Commanding Officer for deposition. USCM general officers, field officers acting under a general's authority (CO Councilors), and Provost Marshals and above are the only ones able to immediately order the arrest of a CO without a written warrant.
Should an invalid arrest attempt be made on the CO, the attempt is to be declared as Sedition, and the CO has the right to defend themselves to an appropriate extent.
All arrests made on Commanding Officers will be investigated by the Council for potential misconduct.
Medals and Appointments
Commanding Officers are the sole officers in their unit who are able to directly bestow a medal upon a person, civilian or military, for extraordinary acts in the line of duty.
Medals should be given for special occasions or actions that are above and beyond the typical duties and responsibilities of the awardee. Examples include self-sacrifice, exceptional ability or talent, or ingenious strategy.
- Medals should not be awarded to personnel who are simply doing their job. The mess technician, for example, should not be awarded a medal for simply cooking food.
- Medals should not be awarded for unusual but unremarkable actions as well. They should be reserved for special moments that would be deserving of a medal in a real-world scenario.
- Giving medals with a demeaning intent (such as to mock a Marine for poor actions) is strictly prohibited.
The Commanding Officer has the ability to temporarily enlist a civilian as a Marine of their battalion, for the duration of the operation or as necessary. Civilians may be appointed to either infantry positions, infantry support (Corpsmen or Combat Technicians), or specialist support positions such as Maintenance Technicians, Mess Technicians, or Doctors, depending on their background and capabilities. For example, a doctor may be enlisted as a doctor in the ship’s medical staff.
Civilians may not be enlisted into specialist positions they are not qualified for, i.e. a mechanic may not be enlisted as a doctor. They may also not be appointed to any kind of leadership position, such as Squad Leader, nor may they be appointed to any officer or head position, or given a battlefield commission (an exception being Doctors or Researchers, as previously mentioned).
Civilians may only be enlisted into the Military Police (MP) department under special circumstances. These circumstances include:
- Manpower shortages during critical moments, such as if the department is actively overwhelmed.
- Emergencies such as boardings, onboard hostiles/intruders, manhunts, or other threats that would constitute a blue or red alert.
- As temporary personnel for guarding or watching over prisoners.
In these instances, any combat-capable personnel may be billeted as temporary MPs. Those with a law enforcement background (such as members of the Colonial Marshal Bureau) should be preferred due to their prior experience. Care should be exercised to ensure that temporary MPs do not abuse their power nor come into prolonged conflict with the current MP department.
Demotions or Relief of Duty
The Commanding Officer is additionally able to remove or relieve someone of their position or title, enlisted and officer, up to and including the Executive Officer, without necessarily ordering their arrest. This should be done for very serious circumstances only, such as severe negligence, insubordination, or misconduct.
In the event of a demotion, the Commanding Officer may demote the person in question to Rifleman, to which they are afforded no more privileges than a Marine enlisted as a Rifleman to begin with. Their ID should be updated to reflect this change.
Personnel may also be relieved of duty altogether, during which they are stripped of their rank and role entirely and confined to the ship as a passenger. Personnel relieved of duty can also be stripped of their right to bear arms and may have personal weapons taken away. Their ID should also be terminated or reduced to guest-level access.
The Commanding Officer, in addition to ordering a demotion, may also order the arrest of the person in particular if their actions require immediate punishment or if they pose an active threat to the operation or personnel.
Commanding Officers (and their superiors) reserve the exclusive right to issue a summary execution of anyone who poses a threat to life or limb to the ship, to the operation at large, or to personnel, and are an active threat. This form of execution is called a Battlefield Execution, abbreviated to “BE”.
A Battlefield Execution is defined as an act of execution performed in the field that results in someone being permanently removed from the round. If an execution-capable sidearm is used as a weapon during a standard, capital punishment execution following due process, regular execution rules apply and not those of BEs.
Prisoners and those currently in secure custody of Military Police (sufficiently restrained or incarcerated) may not be executed unless doing so would be part of capital punishment, following due process.
Battlefield Executions may be used on already-deceased targets to make them unrevivable.
Battlefield executions must be personally carried out, must result in the immediate termination of the target, and cannot cause unnecessary collateral damage or pose a threat to anyone other than the intended target. Due to this, explosives or forms of fire support are strictly prohibited from being used as BE methods.
While customarily performed with one, the Commanding Officer’s sidearm (Mateba, Deagle, or others) do not have to be the sole method of execution for a BE to be issued or considered valid; it is simply the most convenient. Alternative methods of performing a Battlefield Execution include:
- Execution by any firearm or melee weapon other than the CO’s own handgun. If a melee weapon is used, it should be bladed.
- Execution by lethal injection or administration of poison.
Unconventional battlefield execution methods that do not violate the above clauses but still remain atypical or particularly violent should be cleared with High Command before the execution.
Example Reasons to Perform a Battlefield Execution
- The life of the Commanding Officer or others around them is in danger. An example of this would be an active shooter firing on Marines, or an assassination attempt.
- Attempting to deliberately hinder or harass the CO, personally, whether it is preventing them from leading effectively, harassing them even when told to back off, or attempting to do acts that would cripple, disable or distract them from their duties. Note that the CO should give someone warnings when doing this before performing a BE.
- Attempting to overthrow, overrule or otherwise undermine the CO’s command or the CIC's command. This may be through threats of or acts of mutiny, sedition, desertion, or inciting dissident speech against the CO or CIC, such as encouraging others to mutiny.
- Threats, sexual harassment, or threatening statements made directly to the CO.
- Attempting to destroy, damage, or sabotage the ship, or the operation. Examples of this would be:
- Someone deliberately destroys barricades or ground side defenses with the intent to sabotage or hinder Marines.
- Deliberately firing weapons, explosives, or fire support (OBs/railguns/mortar/CAS) on allied personnel.
- Deliberately firing explosives or other damaging weaponry with the intent to destroy Marine fortifications, such as launching artillery towards the FOB.
- Planting explosives on or destroying large amounts of the ship to cripple its operations.
- Destroying key machinery required for shipside operations.
- Someone has committed a capital crime and is fleeing from custody. Acts that warrant execution by default, such as murder, jailbreak, and sedition, are eligible for Battlefield Execution if they are not in MP custody.
- For all intents and purposes, the premeditated murder of any pet belonging to or claimed by the Commanding Officer counts as a capital crime.
- “Low roleplay (LRP)” or behavior befitting of insanity. Note that as the definition of LRP is not set in stone, it is up to individual COs to interpret whether or not an act should be declared as such.
How to Perform a Standard Battlefield Execution
These steps apply to a standard BE performed using an execution-capable sidearm such as the CO’s Mateba or Desert Eagle.
- Wield your execution-capable sidearm (Mateba or Desert Eagle). Make sure high-impact or high-impact armor-piercing ammunition is loaded.
- Aim for the head. Make sure you are on harm intent.
- Fire. If successful this will begin a wind-up with a message ("X aims at Y's head!"). After a few seconds, your sidearm will fire, executing the target.
- A BE is successful if the message " [target] was EXECUTED! " appears in red in the chat, and (if a medical HUD is equipped) their status indicator immediately switches to the dead icon (skull) or heartbroken icon.
- If an initial BE does not execute someone outright, perform it again by repeating the above steps.
- If possible, announce the execution via command or shipside announcements.
- If a target is executed and they go heartbroken, they are still executed. This does not mean the execution failed.
- BEs ignore rejuvenation implants, all armor, and stimulants.
- High impact ammunition may be used to stun a target to close the gap between them and you. You may, alternatively, shoot them until they stop moving and execute them after that.
- You may still battlefield execute someone after they are already dead. This makes them unrevivable.
- Properly executed targets are unable to be revived under any normal means (without admin intervention), so use this sparingly.
- Battlefield Executions performed without aiming for the head, or that do not result in a windup and subsequent execution message, will be standard point-blank shots. These do not instantly kill the target.
- The Commanding Officer, and officers of rank Major and above, are the only persons capable of issuing a proper, permanent BE with a weapon. Anyone else who attempts to execute will be incapable of permanently killing a target using a BE.
High-impact ammunition on the Mateba and Desert Eagle will knock down and stun whoever you fire it at for a period of time -- this can be used to close the gap between you and someone you are chasing and will stack -- continually firing at someone will keep them stunned until you run out of ammunition (or they blackout). The stun time can be reduced with stimulants but not removed altogether. High-impact ammunition will stun regardless of the target's armor, implants, or if they are on stimulants. They may get up sooner if they are stimulated, however.
Guest Commanding Officers
In special circumstances, the Commanding Officer may come across an equivalently positioned officer of rank Major (O-4) or above, during an operation, who is not the ship’s CO. This person will be referred to as the Guest Commander, and they are afforded special privileges during the operation.
There are two kinds of Guest Commanding Officers that can be encountered in an operation:
- Guest Commanders recovered or rendezvoused during an active patrol or combat operation. These Commanders are afforded the standard privileges outlined below.
- Guest Commanders typically ranked Lieutenant Colonel (O-5) or above sent by High Command are Fleet Commanders and have additional privileges and rights of their own.
- Guest Commanders who are the rank of Brigadier General (O-7) or above are immediately granted total diplomatic immunity and privileges of that of a general officer.
A Guest Commander is not in the Chain of Command or Line of Succession for a ship’s operations command unless the current acting Commander (CO or XO, whoever is higher-ranking) explicitly allows. Guest Commanders are not allowed to forcibly take over an operation without the consent of the acting Commander unless the latter is deposed, arrested, incapacitated, or goes to cryo. Should a proper Commander be absent for the aforementioned reasons, the Guest Commander can retain temporary operation command until a proper Commander is assigned or wakes from cryo.
A Guest Commander’s authority is derived from that of the acting Commander; if the acting Commander believes them to be fraudulent or otherwise unable to verify their identity or connection with the USCM, they will not be afforded authority to issue general orders and may be treated like a civilian.
Guest Commander Rights
Guest Commanders, and to an extent Fleet Commanders, have the following rights afforded to them by default:
- Arrest immunity. Guest Commanders may not be arrested without the explicit authorization of High Command and the procurement and presentation of a written warrant issued by HC to said Commander. This is the same procedure as the ship’s Commanding Officer.
- Privileges afforded to all officers. Guest Commanders retain the rights of a senior-ranking officer, including the ability to order the arrests or NJPs of personnel.
- Rights by rank. Guest Commanders ranked Major (O-4) or above remain the highest-ranking officers onboard the ship. They are permitted to order personnel around for general orders (such as leaving an area) but may not do so in an official or operational capacity, as they are not in the Chain of Command.
- A Guest Commander, for example, can demand to be let into a particular area or have personnel leave them alone; they may not, however, order around troops in the area of operations, or issue orders that affect anyone but themselves.
- The right to self-defense. Guest Commanders retain their ability and weapons for Battlefield Executions and may perform so if they feel the life of themself, and themselves only, is in danger.
- Authority over their own squadrons. Guest Commanders who retain command of several personnel are allowed to exert full authority over them; examples are the Commanding Officers of recovered Marine platoons or squadrons. This extends to Guest Commanders being able to perform battlefield executions on personnel directly under their command.
Guest Commanders cannot issue tactical orders or perform battlefield executions, pardons, or other executive action on Marines not under their command. Guest Commanders are, however, allowed to handle standard appeals for personnel; however, they should ideally not be the first pick for the job.
As Acting Commander
Should a Guest Commander be appointed as the acting Commander due to the absence or authorization of the ship's Commander, they may acquire all privileges afforded to that of the ship's Commanding Officer.
Deployment and Armament
Guest Commanders may be permitted to deploy back into the area of operations. Should they do this, they are afforded only the level of authority of that of a Staff Officer or Squad Leader; they may order Marines around them, but should not be influencing the operation unless explicitly allowed to by the acting Commander.
Guest Commanders are allowed to avail of any weaponry available to them; this includes the special-issue Commanding Officer equipment available in the ship CO's own quarters, of which permission from the ship's CO is required to enter.
Fleet Commander Rights
Fleet Commanders are field or general officers dispatched on special orders by USCM High Command. They usually outrank the ship’s Commanding Officer and are afforded special privileges by their superiors.
Fleet Commanders are monitored directly by High Command, and abuse of power is usually actioned near-immediately; however, abuse of power by Fleet Commanders may additionally be reported by fax to High Command.
- The ability to order the immediate arrest or deposition of the ship’s Commanding Officer, for any reason. Should it be in the USCM’s best interest, the ship’s CO may be arrested and/or stripped of their position, for conduct violations in this document or of breaches of the law. In this instance, a warrant is not required.
- The ability to forcibly take over an operation. While this power should be reserved for severe emergencies, Fleet Commanders retain the authority to, at any time, take over an ongoing operation from the current Command staff if they feel it is in the USCM’s best interests.
- The ability to issue Battlefield Executions or arrests on anyone. Fleet Commanders may execute or order the arrest of anyone in their special jurisdiction under USCM Command.
Additionally, General Officers ranked Brigadier General (O-7) and above possess diplomatic immunity. They may not be arrested, be given an NJP, or placed in confinement under any circumstances without direct unsolicited permission from HC.
The Commanding Officer remains the supreme authority of the ship and its crew, and as a result the role requires a lot of responsibility and regulations to tailor both a professional and competent air of the Commanding Officer, while cutting down on abusive behavior. Note that violation of these regulations will result in punitive action.
However, keep in mind that it is, ordinarily, not easy to accidentally make a violation on here; if you do, explain your reasoning to the CO Council and they may understand your point of view. In the end, remember that the CO role is that of a high-ranking, seasoned, competent officer; play like one.