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Meet the Crew: 1stLt João Sócrates Santos

9th Nov 2021

The commander of Echo Company, Santos is a "mustang" officer who earned a battlefield commission. A grizzled veteran, he's seen more service than his rank suggests.

Rank: First Lieutenant (O-2)

MOS: 0302 Infantry Officer

Date of Birth: November 27, 2166

Place of Birth: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Service Record

Santos was inducted under the Alternate Judicial Service Program (AJSP) in 2183 and was trained at MCRD Val de Cães, Brazil. He completed his required enlistment in 2195, and his criminal records from civilian life have been expunged from all government databases.

In 2184 Santos was assigned to the 29th Colonial Marine Regiment and served aboard the Conestoga-class Attack Transport USS Montauk during the Frontier War. Montauk was part of the relief expedition to LV-038 (61 Cygni). The colony was destroyed by an unknown “bioweapon of mass destruction,” an act initially blamed on the Union of Progressive Peoples. His unit, expecting combat with UPP ground forces, found itself heavily engaged with non-human foes.

The 29th Marines suffered 84% casualties during the ground campaign. The survivors were rotated back to the Core Systems for unit reconstitution, but the Frontier War concluded before they could return to the front lines.

In 2188, following passage of the Colonial Protection Act, Santos was reassigned to the 21st Marine Regiment as part of the 28th MEU, stationed aboard the Bougainville-class USS Inchon. Deployed to the Borodino Sector as part of the United Americas Outer Rim Defense Force, his unit was assigned to gauge UPP compliance with the terms of the ceasefire.

Beginning in 2190 the UAORDF responded to a growing number of xenomorph outbreaks across settled space, spreading Spinward from Reticuli. During his deployment, Santos led Marines against xenomorphs on two colonies and five outposts, leading with distinction from the front lines and earning a Bronze Star for Valor at Agüeybaná (70 Virginis b3) in 2191.

At Agüeybaná, Santos suffered acid scalding across the face and torso, and was sent to Chinook GSO (70 Ophiuchi A V) for three months of convalescence and rehabilitation. As Santos was still four years short of fulfilling his AJSP commitment, he was given the choice of returning to active duty or serving the remaining time in jail. Again, he chose the Marines.

Second Tour of Duty

In 2192 he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant and assigned to the 37th Marine Regiment on Crestus Beta, which spent two uneventful years on garrison duty. His weapons platoon was noted for exemplary performance during maneuvers, credited to Santos’ efficiency as Platoon Sergeant.

Having exceeded all expectations placed on him at Crestus Beta, Santos requested transfer back to a fleet unit in 2194. His new billet was 3rd Battalion, 42nd Colonial Marine Regiment. Staging out of the Solomons (Alpha Caeli Vg) aboard the Bougainville-class UAS Attu, the 42nd responded to dozens of xenomorph infestations on the “tail” of the American Arm.

This tour concluded with the debacle at Cabrakan (HR 810 b14) in 2198. Left in an exposed position by Weyland-Yutani corporate security forces, the UAS Attu was destroyed and the command staff of First Sergeant Santos' company wiped out. He rallied the survivors, organized a defense, and held seventeen hours until relieved by 1st Battalion, 44th Marines, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Olivia Shipp.

For his actions on Cabrakan, Santos was awarded with a Silver Star for Valor and a battlefield commission. After extraction, debriefing, and withdrawal of the 42nd Marines' survivors, Santos was given two options. With his AJSB commitment fulfilled, he could retire with an honorable discharge and his record cleared. Alternately, Lieutenant Colonel Shipp nominated him for Officers Candidate School.

After completing OCS, Santos spent a year at Colonial Marines Headquarters Sol, O'Neill Station. When the (newly promoted) Colonel Olivia Shipp was assigned to take command of the 33rd Marine Regiment, she requested him.

As the most experienced junior officer in the battalion, Santos is assigned to lead the least inexperienced platoon of "boots." He also serves as the executive officer of Echo Company.

Esther's Observations

Not all of Lieutenant Santos’ scars are from xenomorphs. As a teen in the slums, he joined a gang to survive, and attained some level of local fame as a street fighter.

He did not learn to read until boot camp, and still tends to read aloud. He writes every night to his husband on Thedus, claiming “it’s good practice.”

When he was a squad leader, he pooled his Marines' rations on Sunday mornings to make a "family'' breakfast. He encourages his sergeants to do the same aboard UAS Endeavor.

He joined the Marines to avoid being sentenced to hard labor in an Amazon prison camp. However, when given the option to retire after injury at Agüeybaná, he chose the Marines again - not to avoid prison, but because he felt he was doing something important.

He is a fan of futebol (soccer) and shares a good-natured team rivalry with Corporal Savane. Santos is one of the few people in the battalion who converses casually with his CMISRS analyst.

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