Exactly how long does a Scout serve as such before turning into a Marine?
I realize this may vary from Chapter to chapter, but is there a general timeline of events?
The reason I ask is due to the established schedule for implantation of Space marine organs which generally has a scout start service about the age of 13-14 and completes around 19-20.
My question is, are there scouts that have received all implantations, black carapace etc..., have the full size and strength of a space marine, and yet still do not wear the armor?
Seems a waste yes?
If not it would seem as scout are composed mainly of teenagers gradually growing stronger and bigger until around the final surgery whereupon they receive their armor.
I'm mostly interested in this from a Black Templar Initiate/neophyte perspective, but any info is helpful.
There is very little accounting, and very little corroborative sources on the scout progression system. All chapters have their nuances - the Black Templars mostly so, but others which have a fairly different protocol regarding their "neophytes" include the Space Wolves and the Red Scorpions. And back in the days of the Legions, the concept of "scouts" or recon units being the youngest and least capable is about as ridiculous as it is in todays military.
The general consensus across the chapters is that you can become one when you're deemed ready - whether that's on the basis of your capabilities as assessed by the training staff, or by completing some "Final Ex" which is pass or fail.
In regards to the Black Templars, what information we do have seems to loosely tie in with a Knight and Squire relationship. The Knight (Initiate) teaches the Squire (Neophyte) the ways of being a Knight (Marine). An Initiate is not going to want to recommend someone who is not ready for the honour of donning power armour to be on his record, especially if that person then later fails.
In regards to the Space Wolves, they are not actually scouts - they are given full integration with their armour during the process of turning them into a space marine. When they are deemed qualified space wolves, they are considered blood claws - which are power armoured line infantry, but lack the abilities of a full blown "Grey Hunter". The idea of "scouts" is fulfilled by Wolf Scouts, which are effectively veterans equipped with lighter scout armour, where they use their experience to make them better at moving over difficult terrain than the heavier grey hunters. The difference is with Space Wolves is that packs get reduced in size, and rarely (if ever) get added to other than the addition of wolf guard who guide the younger astartes in the role of a sergeant (although the Space Wolves only nominally have that rank, they don't operate as a Codex sergeant does).
The Red Scorpions Scout/Neophyte system is fairly different, in that instead of being taken in after some feat of valour (like the Space Wolves) or completing some agoge/school (like the Ultramarines), they are simply eligible for being chosen for the chapter if they survive exposure on their first night of birth on their home planet. They are then trained for the Red Scorpions through and through.
They Grey Knights are notable in that they do not have a unit which operates as Scouts or Light Infantry. In game terms, they have a rapid redeployment unit, but mostly, they are deployed as a strike unit, and only when it is known they are needed. They rely on other sources, such as Inquisition units like Tempestus Scions/Schola Progenium Infantry, HUMINT (human intelligence, gained from sources on the ground prior to the strike - typically members of an Inquisitors warband or of his network of sources), or ally with "conventional" marine chapters like the Exorcists or Red Hunters, both who have ties with the Grey Knights and the Inquisition. Long story short, they don't have scouts in the GK.
In regards to the Iron Snakes, they have a "phratry" where "petitioners" are chosen to replace lost members of squads. The petitioners are trained by the full marines, and there's no mention of them operating as scouts per se. The sergeant of the squad selects replacement members from the petitioners.
In 40K, there are numerous accounts of veterans who take to battle in scout armour - sergeant Naaman of the Dark Angels and Telion of the Ultramarines - although they could be particular unique occurences, and are particularly exceptional, especially as they take the role of teacher, rather than entire squads of veterans (like the Wolf Scouts are).
In regards to the Legions, there were no "scouts" as 40K understand it - there is simply marines who are trained in reconnaissance, and join such squads. These squads can either take to battle in full power armour, or can use lighter scout armour, which enables them to get closer to enemy positions without the telltale heat signatures and without sinking into terrain. Unlike 40K Chapters, where the most skilled are taken into the first company, if you have a dedicated job, unless you're something extremely special, you're simply a very, very good person at what you do.
It's unclear as to how one becomes a member of the elite of a Legion, as in joining the Terminator Squads. The extreme higher orders are fairly obvious - find yourself noted by the higher command chain, such as a Primarch or one of the higher Praetors/Legion Champions - and that's difficult considering the size - There are many Legion Captains and Company Commanders, who would be the equal of the a Chapter Master in 40K (maybe with less autonomy), but are virtually personally unknown to the upper echelons (their deeds and names might be known as a result of reports, but not personally). When the smallest legions are the size of 50 of the largest codex chapters, and in excess of 250 chapters for the larger legions, and of those, they have people considered worthy of "guarding" a Primarch, you can quite clearly see that the typical scout>devastator>tactical>assault>veteran/terminator (oversimplified) progression as laid out in the codex is completely different.
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