Every Battle School army had 41 soldiers, including the commander. Much of the battle and organization strategy was left up to the teacher-appointed commander, but armies were usually divided into 4 "Toons" of 10 soldiers each. In this structure, one member of each Toon was designated as the Toon Leader, who acted as lieutenants but were still under the leadership of their commander.
Commanders in Battle School were older children that lead an army. Typically, a student would have advanced to command at the age of 11 or 12, however as a result of the imminent Third Formic War this system was accelerated for many students, most notably Ender Wiggin and the soldiers in his Dragon Army, many of whom were promoted to command after Ender's graduation.
As a member of Dragon Army and one of the most skilled students in the school, Bean was likely the youngest commander in the history of Battle School, reaching command of Rabbit Army at the age of six.
Soldiers were typically promoted to command after serving as a Toon Leader, and were given three months to train with their armies before their first battle.
Commanders usually stayed separate from their armies outside of training and battles, sleeping in private quarters and eating in the Commanders' mess hall. Access to the Commanders' mess was not permitted until a new commander had won their first battle.Unlike soldier's uniforms, commander's uniforms had triangles on the sleeves, thus the rank of Commander was also known as the Triangle Rank.
Dragon Army's Structure
Ender Wiggin made the strategic decision to veer away from the normal structure, and he divided his army into 5 Toons of 8 soldiers, and further diversified his team by creating a special toon under Bean, whose job was to come up with "impossible" situations and possible solutions. Bean's Toon was comprised of members from each of the other 5 Toons. Additionally, Ender gave greater control to his toon leaders, relying on them to independently assess situations in the Battle Room and make their own decisions; this gave his army an adaptability that was far superior to the other armies in the school. While most other armies were highly structured and rigid, Ender's army was fluid and flexible.
The primary method of assessment in the Battle School were the battles between armies, which normally occurred once every two weeks. Commanders were expected to train their armies to work together in order to defeat the opposing armies.
In most cases, the style of battles had stagnated with armies using rigid formations that left little room for independent action and adaptability.
Ender Wiggin's promotion to Salamander Army from his launch group began a period of innovation in the Battle Room, with Ender's tactical skill and imagination having changed the game for the rest of the students. As Ender moved through armies and was promoted, his influence was seen throughout the school as students copied his techniques and were forced to adapt to new battle conditions.
Outside of the Battle Room, soldiers lived the life of typical military school students, staying together in a barracks, eating together and attending classes. Barracks were typically arranged in order of superiority, with the newest soldiers staying at the back of the room and the most experienced sleeping at the front. Students attended classes on military strategy, history, and tactics, and were also taught various math and science courses. Students were expected to exercise for at least half an hour daily and also received at least an hour of free time. Lights out was at 2200 (10:00 PM) and they remained off until 0600 (6:00 AM).
List of Armies
Armies were distinguished by their color code and emblem.
These armies were merely mentioned, or were not very important.
- Asp/Snake Army
- Badger Army
- Centipede Army
- Condor Army
- Ferret Army
- Flame Army
- Griffin Army - One of the two armies Dragon Army fought in their last battle.
- Hound Army
- Leopard Army - Commanded by Pol Slattery.
- Lion Army
- Manticore Army
- Scorpion Army
- Spider Army
- Squirrel Army
- Tide Army
- Tiger Army - One of the two armies Dragon Army fought in their last battle.
- Wasp Army
- Wave Army