The Imperial Army is the ground combat force of the Holy Terran Empire. First formed and led by Field Marshal Demar Palencia, the Army was the Empire's equivalent of the Federation's Tech Infantry, although it incorporated soldiers from both the TI and Light Infantry. Originally, the Army was the more prestigious and politically powerful service, compared to the relatively weak and poorly-led Imperial Navy. Since the end of the Ascension War, however, the Navy's role has expanded dramatically while the Army has withered.
The Commander in Chief of the Imperial Army is the Holy Terran Emperor, but his immediate subordinate is the Grand Marshal of the Army. The current Grand Marshal is Ericka Ture, whose title gives her the same rank as an Archduchess in the Imperial Court.
Soldiers are volunteers recruited for terms of 20 years. Although Army service is open to any Imperial subject, most recruits come from the Avalon and Earth systems, which are governed directly by the Emperor. Both awakened and unawakened recruits are accepted, though the stringent fitness requirements are difficult for most mundane candidates to overcome.
As of 2276, the Army maintains a standing force of only four regular divisions, smaller than even the Imperial Guard. In theory, the Army may call upon both the Guard and the Houses to provide additional forces as needed. In practice, this privilege has rarely been exercised. Most noble Houses are reluctant to delegate any of their own precious soldiers and equipment to another army, where they will be sent on distant deployments and probably killed. The many Household retinues are also of highly variable quality, and have their own unique outfits and organizations which make integration into the Imperial Army a formidable challenge.