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The Minuteman Program was a series of United States Military projects designed to create genetically and technologically superior "supersoldiers" as a special fighting force within the US Military.
The basic concept for the Minuteman program was established as part of a Defense Department think tank in the 2010s when robot prothestics and stem cell treatments had begun to produce the first replacement organs and limbs that could be called physical augmentations. During the second Clinton administration a National Security Council led commission submitted their findings, suggesting that funds be designated toward the creation of organs that could be used to improve a soldier's performance in battle. The commission's suggestions were terminated by the Palin administration, which deemed augmentation immoral.
In 2029 President Edwards re-opened the commission, and approved funding for the Minuteman Program. The Minuteman program first arose as a brilliant plan to enhance veteran US soldiers into powerfully augmented special operations commandos. The program was started in anticipation for the coming war with the Chinese, initially thought of as a way to covertly attack key Chinese military and political centers as well as infrastructure points.
The Minuteman soldiers of the United States were all chosen from veteran commando forces at first, eventually forming a single black-ops Minuteman unit from a combination of US Army Rangers, US Navy Seals, and Delta Force elites.
The Miunteman program began in 2017 with the activation of the Defense Department AGOGOE project. Launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) the project is named after the rigorous training, Agogoe, that warriors of ancient Sparta underwent. The aim of AGOGOE was to build on bioengineering projects that had just started to be used in humans in 2012 and create a soldier stronger, faster, more durable, and more intelligent than anything before. The initial beginnings of AGOGOE were merely a test to see what could be accomplished with the advancements of that time, and candidates of the AGOGOE project were all volunteers from the armed forces of the military - these handful of candidates went through numerous testing and augmentations throughout the duration of the project. The results were encouraging, subjects given muscle and bone augmentations proved to be able to withstand far greater physical stress than the average human, and neural augmentations boosted intelligence three fold. Unfortunately during this time the Augments were being scrutinized in the Media and President Palin canceled the program upon entering office, citing bio-ethics.
Relaunch of AGOGOE
In 2029 DARPA relaunched AGOGOE in secrecy, the new goal of AGOGOE was to build on the success of the previous attempt, and create a soldier unlike anything before it - and to deploy these soldiers behind enemy lines in the event of a war with China, or destroy the Caliphate viceroys in the Middle East should American interests in India come under threat. The Project was headquartered at the Guantánamo Bay naval base, the candidates were, once again, selected volunteers from all Special Force branches of the military. This iteration of the project used more advanced genetic augmentation techniques - after a grueling series of physical and mental tests 113 soldiers were successfully moved to the next phase of the project.
One major addition to AGOGOE was the activation of next generation hardware research. While under AGOGOE, a number of sub-programs were created to experiment with new weapons technologies to exploit the bio-enhancements of the soldiers. Computer-Brain Interface technology was rapidly developed thanks to the Human Cognome Project, and resulted in a number of advanced non-invasive brain interfaces; the most revolutionary were the first neural communication devices which allowed soldiers to silently communicate by thought through their helmets, and the first rapid learning devices that let soldiers download new information and techniques directly to their brains, and run combat simulations in virtual environments. These technologies were later adapted for the entire US military for rapid retraining of new soldiers.
In 2030 the United States launched Operation: Conquistador in response to Caribbean Island leaders who executed a series of attacks on American refugees stranded in the Gulf, which resulted in numerous deaths and kidnappings of civilian and government officials. This marked the first operational deployment of the AGOGOE soldiers, simply designated as commandos. They achieved a decisive victory and emerged from the battle with no casualties. The commandos were able to complete the mission without even being seen, which proved the project's effectiveness and ability to remain unknown to the Chinese or Turks.
Following the completion of the AGOGOE Project in 2030 Congress relaxed a number of restrictions on genetic augmentation for military use. As the Pan-Asian Allies expansionist efforts were becoming more effective; the need for a new generation of weapons systems to counter the massive Allied military was paramount. The Minuteman program, was conceived directly by President Edwards as the successor to the original AGOGOE project as the best possible way to prepare the United States for war. In 2030 the project begins in secret using the AGOGOE soldiers at first with new recruits from various special forces units. The soldiers are given more advanced augmentations and are outfitted with the most advanced powered armor in human history.
In 2031 with the Thanksgiving Day attacks on the United States, and subsequent destruction of the vast majority of US Armed forces, the Minuteman program was given its first official assignment against the Chinese at the Battle of Japan. Minutemen commandos successfully held off the Chinese advance into Honshu and after the US bombardment of the Chinese coast, successfully took back Shikoku. Despite protests from the NSA, the Defense Department under the President's blessing went public with the program after the victory in Japan, using it as a moral boost for the country and a political push for more funds to advance future projects.
After the victory at Shikoku and Honshu Congress doubled the funding to the Minuteman program, and the US special forces were merged into a single Minuteman strike force that answered directly to the Joint Chiefs and the President. While new recruits swelled the ranks of the Marines, the Navy, and the Army, US special forces were rapidly being converted into Minutemen augments. They were first sent to Taiwan and Japan to keep the Chinese at bay, but by the end of the program over 5000 Minutemen, were active around the world, and are regarded as a deciding factor of the war.
As the Flood War progressed and the Minutemen were being used more and more to spearhead attacks, American war planners began to see a problem of micromanaging what was now a fairly large force. In the spring of 2033 the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) submitted an analysis to the Joint Chiefs recommending that the Minuteman Program end and a true military division be established for the new strike force. With the invasion of China only a year away many advised against such a decision, but Admiral John "Mad Jack" McCain managed to convince the President and the Joint Chiefs to go forward with ONIs recommendations.
The Minuteman Program was terminated, and the soldiers were declared part of the newly reformed Marine Raiders, now the single special operations unit for the US Military. The Marine Raider candidates, however, were no longer veteran special forces soldiers, as all US Special forces had either already become Minutemen or transfered to the regular military after the reforms. The Marine Raiders could now bolster their ranks with soldiers from the regular military, thereby allowing for a huge influx of new units. With further advances in rapid-learning technology, training new recruits took far less time than before, allowing for the ranks of the Marine Raiders to quickly swell.
One major shift the military took with knowledge gained from Minuteman was the employment of Minuteman style augmentations on high level commanders across all services of the military. The goal of this was to allow commanding officers to think and strategize with the same level of lethality as Marine Raiders on a broader scale. Lower level field commanders were the first to be given the augmentations, however the whole of the US Command structure eventually became augmented. Rumor persisted and was eventually confirmed long after the war that the US intelligence community had all received augmentation as well, under executive order from President Edwards.
The Raiders were essential to Operation Phantom Fury, and their deployment in China is often claimed to be what prevented the rise in a sustained Chinese resistance after the war. Since their creation the Raiders have proven to be the key to eliminating insurgencies before they begin, and stopping wars before they can start.
One advantage to the Minuteman program has been the ability of rapid learning devices to desensitize fresh soldiers, rapidly reducing the old paradigm where only 20% of soldiers would shoot to kill.