Supreme Marshal Josephine Madeleine Céleste Beaumont, Duchess of Victory, 1st Marchioness of Megiddo GCU GCMT GCSM GCSE GSIC OV OM (born 29 April 3240) is a renowned Marine general officer and is the current Minister of War, having served as Chairperson of the Joint Staff for 20 years. Previously, she was Personal Adjutant to the Emperor during the reign of Maximilian Charles I. Prior to her staff leadership, she was a field officer of the Imperial Marines and earned fame both in the battles against insurrectionists and during the Great War as a special forces commander. She led a team of joint-service special forces known as Beaumont's Raiders during planetary assaults on the Soviet Republic and later during counter-terrorist operations domestically, which earned her numerous decorations for merit and commendations for leadership.
She is the youngest person to serve in a position of leadership among a staff of general officers through merit alone. Beaumont is also known for being one of the first total-body cyborgs to serve in such a role.
Early life and education
Céleste was born on April 29, 3240 to Commodore Pénélope Beaumont and Lieutenant Commander Daniel J. Beaumont. Both of her parents were career Navy officers. Beaumont's mother was descended from Franco-Terran spacers who had lived on space habitats in the Cassiopeian Frontier province for generations, and had likewise been Terran naval personnel for generations. Her father was born on Earth and came from a family of wealthy French financiers and businesspeople, but he joined the Imperial Navy to "see the frontier".
Céleste was born and raised at the orbital habitat Goshen Station, in orbit around the planet Gesem IV in the Exodus Star Cluster. She was born with temporal lobe epilepsy and osteogenesis imperfecta, a type of congenital brittle-bone disease. Her mother, a conservative Catholic, refused gene therapy despite being informed of the risks. At a little over a year old, she began having unexplained seizures that shattered her bones, which were confirmed to be epileptic. Céleste received significant cybernetic augmentation, at age 8 having a total skeleton replacement. The synthetic carbon-fibre "bones" were designed to telescopically expand as she grew. She had computer chips installed to help regulate her brain chemistry and prevent grand mal seizures. At age 15, she had her limbs replaced with complete prosthetics.
She attended elementary and secondary school at the Naval Children's Centre, a school for the children of naval and Marine personnel which provided comprehensive education from ages 5 to 18. She enlisted in the Imperial Navy Marine Corps and began participation in the Marine ROTC program at age 17, and went to the Naval Academy at Thebes from 3258 to 3262. She graduated with honors and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.
Céleste enlisted in the Marines just before graduating high school. In May 3258, she shipped off for the Thebes recruiting depot and went through Marine Corps recruit training until August 3258, and then attended the Marine Infantry School. She followed this with training in the Reconnaissance School, the Army Airborne School, a course in Combat Diver Training, Harsh Environment Training, and the Orbital Assault School to be qualified for entry into the Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance and the Orbital Assault Marines. When she completed these training courses in 3259, she began studies at the planet's Naval Academy. In summers in-between classes, she took platoon- and company-level leadership courses at the Marine Officer Candidate School. She graduated in 3262 with a commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to a Orbital Marine reconnaissance battalion.
Beaumont was placed in command of 3rd Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion of the 199th Orbital Marines Regiment, 20th Marine Division. The 20th Marine Division was posted on garrison duty in orbit of the planet Minos in the Sagittarian March. However, soon after Céleste's appointment, the 20th Marine Division was deployed to Caelomex in the Banat province. The region had been unstable for a long time, earning the moniker "Space Mexico". Several Marine Divisions were redeployed to police the region and put down a series of rebellions by the Colonial Liberation Organization. The CLO orchestrated a coup against the planetary government on the industrial world Burtuqali. The 20th Division made landfall on February 6 3264, engaging rebel forces over the course of gruelling house-to-house fighting in numerous urban centres; Beaumont earned the Bronze Star and the Silver Star for meritorious action during the initial battle. The regimental commander, Colonel Yusuf Hook, was captured a few days into the fighting. Once intelligence pinpointed his location, Beaumont's platoon was dispatched to mount a resuce operation in April 3264. The attempt was a disaster and almost all of the entire platoon was destroyed.
Céleste allowed herself to be captured by rebel soldiers in order to find Colonel Hook and rescue him. They escaped two days after her capture, and were evacuated. For conspicuous gallantry, she was awarded the Navy Cross. A month later, she was grievously injured from a grenade blast; shrapnel damaged her face and torso, requiring cybernetic surgery replacing damaged organs as well as facial reconstructive surgery. She was awarded a Wound Badge and given medical leave to recuperate from her surgeries. In the intervening time, Imperial Marines crushed the CLO rebellion in the Banat. Beaumont returned to active duty in November 3264, and was reassigned as battalion executive officer for the 5th Battalion of the 212th Marines regiment. The 212th was posted as the orbital garrison for the planet Kojima.
On September 8 3265, Beaumont was pulled out of her post to join a team of special forces operatives in foiling the terrorist capture of an orbital military research station. The terrorists claimed to be CLO revolutionaries, and planned to de-orbit the station into one of Kojima's major cities. Beaumont, as the ranking officer of the assembled group, led the team in infiltrating the station and foiling the terrorist plot. The next morning, the team was constituted as the 71st Studies and Observations Group, and was redeployed to combat duties in the Great War as saboteurs and special forces. The group came to be known as "Beaumont's Raiders" during their Great War service. Céleste was promoted to the rank of Captain, and the 71st SOG was expanded to a company-sized unit with a large technical and air support staff. Beaumont and many other members of the 71st SOG were highly decorated.
After the pacification of a human-inhabited Soviet world in July 3267, the Raiders took part in a victory parade. Resistance operatives attacked the parade with suicide bombings, killing three Raiders and injuring Beaumont. Céleste was so grievously injured by the shrapnel that she received a full-body prosthetic graft. Her brain, parts of her nervous system, and some major organs were able to be saved and were integrated into a fully cybernetic body. She returned to active duty again in January 3268. The unit had been led in the meantime by Air Officer Hervé Morrison, the unit's chief tactician and executive officer.
In March 3268, Lieutenant Junior Grade Damien, the team's robotic demolitions specialist, was granted command of his own battalion of special forces. He became a naval Lieutenant and began service as commanding officer of the 72nd Studies and Observations Group. Beaumont's unit was replenished with new recruits from the Imperial Strategic Intelligence Agency, including a young William McGrady and Zenzi Rothschild, as well as then-mercenary and future State Security leadership figures Xander Vox and Brian Kessar. The 71st SOG engaged in counterterrorist action at home during the next few years, during which she was promoted to the rank of Colonel in command of the 71st SOG. However, Standardier William McGrady was assigned as the political handler of Beaumont's Raiders, with authority to override her command.
In November 3270, she was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed by Emperor Maximilian himself to the position of Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor. She served in this role for the duration of the Great War, giving advice from the perspective of a veteran field officer. She attended the Imperial War College in Paris during 3271 to achieve a formal education on strategic and logistical elements of warfare. In her role as Personal Aide-de-Camp, she attended many meetings of the Imperial General Staff.
During one staff meeting in late 3271, she suggested a policy that became known as the Beaumont Doctrine. The policy was developed as the standardized method of evaluating an occupied world for its habitation value and employing mass-destruction techniques on enemy-occupied worlds deemed uninhabitable or of limited habitability. The Beaumont Doctrine was used to great effect during the Great War, by conducting bombing campaigns from orbit rather than risky landings, especially in the case of the campaign against the Vryst. Beaumont was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for the success the Empire saw in the application of her strategy. At the last major battle of the war, her concept was employed in a tactical sense to achieve final victory over the United Suns by de-orbiting space habitats into population centres of the planet Liberalis. She was awarded the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross and conferred a title of nobility by the Emperor as Marchioness of Megiddo.
In the reorganization of the Terran military after the dissolution of the Empire and the formation of the Central Galactic Union, the Imperial General Staff was reformed as the Joint Military Staff. In recognition of her wartime service and leadership, Beaumont was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal, appointed to the position of Chairperson of the Joint Staff, and conferred a life peerage by the Central Galactic Congress as Duchess of Victory.
Chairperson of the Joint Military Staff
Since 3275, Beaumont has served as Chair of the Joint Military Staff, the committee of the heads of each of the six service branches of the Central Galactic Union Armed Forces and the heads of major command organizations. Being appointed so at age 35, she was the youngest person to be appointed to a position of leadership in a military council on merit alone. Younger staff generals have served, but most have been through noble or royal right. Beaumont has earned her position, in the words of Lord Maximilian, "through conspicuous gallantry and leadership in the field, and effective counsel at the planning table." She has been pivotal in devising numerous strategic methods for the Union Armed Forces, which has continued use of her planetary evaluation doctrine. She has been the chief military adviser to the government, and coordinated the joint service efforts to put down colonial rebellions, quash remnant insurrections, and to conduct the punitive expeditionary campaign in the Magellanic Clouds. She is known to be diplomatic in her dealing with the competing needs of the armed services, and has brokered several inter-service policy agreements. This diplomatic handling is cited as a major reason for her elevation to overall leadership of the Armed Forces in 3296.
Minister of War
In early January 3296, Minister of War Geoffrey Compton resigned his position in the government. General Beaumont was chosen to be Minister of War later that month. She declined to be reappointed to an 11th term as Chair of the Joint Staff. As overall administrator of the War Ministry and commanding authority over the Union military, she has continued and expanded her role as the recognized military leader of the Republic.
Céleste Beaumont is the eldest child and first daughter of distinguished career Navy officers Admiral Pénélope Beaumont (née Mirabeau) and Commander Dr. Daniel James Beaumont, both of Franco-Terran descent. Her mother bore a second daughter, Aurora Maryann Beaumont, in 3245, and a son, Artemus Jefferson Beaumont, in 3269. Her mother became a Rear Admiral during the 3250s in the course of the latter stages of the Colonial Wars. Daniel Beaumont served much of his later career as Chief Medical Officer of Pénélope's vessel, the space battleship Molossian, which was commandeered in 3267 to be the new flagship of the Imperial Fleet. Their vessel guested Emperor Francis Charles XII from 3267 to 3 June 3268. In the midst of a pitched space battle against Soviet forces, Molossian was struck by missiles that disabled its thrusters. After several crewmembers evacuated, the ship was destroyed by laser fire. Daniel was aboard when the ship went down; Pénélope, then pregnant, escaped and later gave birth to her son and last child. Her mother was promoted to Vice Admiral during the late stages of the Great War in 3273, and then to full Admiral in 3286.
Beaumont has, according to others of her family, had little contact with her mother or siblings since the mid-3270s. She remains devoted to her work, a trait noted by her superiors ever since her school days and her earlier period of military service. She remains unmarried and has no children.
Beaumont is also a well-known full-bodied cyborg, and has been a rallying point for cyborg rights activists to indicate how far cyborgs have come in human society and to advocate for non-discrimination in the workplace for cyborgs. Beaumont has rarely commented on the subject, save only to explain the origin of her extensive cybernetic prosthesis. She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a form of congenital brittle-bone disease, and acute epilepsy, both diseases from which she still suffers. Beaumont had progressively greater cybernetic replacement of bodily systems and parts from a young age to reduce risk of bone breakage and seizures, including an early replacement of her bones with carbon-fibre grafts and limb replacement. After a combat injury in 3264, part of her face was replaced with synthetic skin and a carbon-fibre skull fragment. After a near-fatal combat injury in 3267, she had her entire physical body replaced and the only organic remnants of her original body are her brain, heart, lungs, stomach, and oesophagus. Virtually everything else is robotic.
While her last grand mal seizure occurred in 3257, she continues to have petit mal seizures. With the cybernetic implants and enhancements, she has said in interviews, they do not interfere with her work. Prior to her full cybernetic reconstruction, she was described as of slender and athletic build, and tall as most spacers tend to be. After surgery, her body was reconstructed largely on the model of her pre-cybernetic body, but limb size and facial features were "idealized" and news media have referred to her as "statuesque". She retains the haircut of her field combat days, a close-cropped blonde pixie-cut that has since become fashion sensation among women in the military. Field Marshal Beaumont has yet to comment on the subject.
She is the second of her family to be given a noble title. Her mother Pénélope had been named to a baronetcy and hereditary knighthood in the 3250s. After the final battle of the Great War, in which her strategic doctrine was put into tactical use and millions of human lives were saved, Céleste was created Duchess of Victory and Marchioness of Megiddo--named after the most populated moon of the planet now named Tellus. The latter is a hereditary title, which is stipulated to pass to any potential children of hers or, if no children exist, to her next-eldest sibling and their children, with female-preference primogeniture. The former, however higher in rank, is a victory title and is solely possessed as a Life Peerage.
Summary of Marines career
Enlisted in the Imperial Navy Marine Corps on 9 June 3257. Went to Basic Training from 13 May to 20 August 3258, Marine Infantry School from 25 August to 24 October 3258, Marine Reconnaissance School 31 October to 31 December 3258, Army Airborne School 11 January to 22 February 3259, Combat Diver Training School 1 March to 30 April 3259, Harsh Environment Training 3 to 20 May 3259, and Marines Orbital Assault School 6 June to 20 July 3259. Attended Thebes Naval Academy from 25 August 3259 to 4 May 3262. Commissioned an Officer of the Marine Corps on 4 May 3262. Assigned to 3rd Platoon, 2nd Force Reconnaissance Battalion, 199th Orbital Marines Regiment, of the 20th Marines Division from 15 May 3262 to 1 November 3264. Assigned to Company HQ, Delta Company, 5th Rifle Battalion, 212th Marines Regiment, of the 33rd Marines Division from 6 November 3264 to 8 September 3265. Assigned to 71st Studies and Observations Group from 8 September 3265 to 3 November 3270. Commissioned a General of the Marine Corps on 3 November 3270. Appointed Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor from 3 November 3270 to 20 April 3275. Attended Imperial War College, Paris from 2 January to 30 June 3271. Appointed Chair, Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee on 20 April 3275. Appointed Chairperson, Joint Staff on 3 February 3276.
Dates of rank
- Recruit (E-0) 9 June 3257.
- Private (E-1) 20 August 3258.
- Cadet (O-0) 25 August 3258
- Second Lieutenant (O-1) 4 May 3262.
- Lieutenant (O-2) 5 November 3264.
- Captain (O-3) 30 November 3265.
- Major (O-4) 10 June 3268.
- Colonel (O-6) 25 December 3269.
- Lieutenant General (O-9) 3 November 3270.
- General (O-10) 20 August 3272.
- Field Marshal (O-13) 20 April 3275.
- Supreme Marshal (O-16) 3 February 3276
- Grand Cross of the Iron Cross
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves and Swords
- Golden Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross
- Iron Cross
- Navy Cross
- War Merit Cross
- Silver Star
- Bronze Star
- Military Spaceflight Badge
- Infantry Assault Badge (in Silver)
- Close Combat Badge (in Gold)
- Wound Badge (6 times)
- Navy Service Medal with Eagle and Oak Leaves
- Great War Special Service Medal
Titles, honours, styles, and arms
- 11 February 3275: Marchioness of Megiddo
- 2 July 3275 Duchess of Victory
- Lt-Gen Céleste Beaumont OM (3 Nov 3270)
- Lt-Gen Céleste Beaumont, KIC OM (13 August 3272)
- Gen Céleste Beaumont, KIC OM (20 August 3272)
- Gen Céleste Beaumont, DMT KIC OM (17 August 3274)
- Gen Céleste Beaumont, DMT GCIC OM (9 February 3275)
- Gen The Rt. Hon The Marchioness of Megiddo, DMT GCIC OM (11 February 3275)
- FM The Rt. Hon The Marchioness of Megiddo, DMT DSM GCIC OV OM (20 April 3275)
- FM Her Grace The Duchess of Victory, DU DCMT DSM DGE GCIC OV OM (2 July 3275)
- SM Her Grace The Duchess of Victory, DU DCMT DSM DGE GCIC OV OM (3 February 3276)
- SM Her Grace The Duchess of Victory, DCU DCMT DCSM DGE GCIC OV OM (29 April 3286)
- SM Her Grace The Duchess of Victory, GCU GCMT GCSM GCSE GSIC OV OM (1 January 3290)
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Union and the Republic
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. Mary of Terra
- Dame Grand Cross of the Military Order of St Michael
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Galactic Eagle
- Dame Grand Star of the Order of the Iron Cross
- Member of the Order of Victory
- Member of the Order of Merit
- Dame of the Golden Fleece
- Dame of the Order of the Bow
- Dame of the Order of the Black Swan
- Dame of the Order of the Ram
- Dame of the Order of the Starry Cross
- Dame of the Order of the Golden Leopard
- Dame of the Order of the Black Eagle
- Commander of the Legion of Merit
- Commander of the Legion of Honour
- Dame of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Dame of the Order of St. Stephen
- Dame of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle
Terran Imperial honours
- Privy Counsellor
- Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor
- Lord Lieutenant of the Perseid Frontier
- Housecarl to the Norman Emperor
Foreign military honours
- Field Marshal of the Royal Army of Orion
- Field Marshal of the Sagittarian Ground Forces
- Commandant-General of the Royal Army of Cygnus
- Field Marshal of the Royal Cruxite Army
- Marshal of the Norman Army
Behind the scenes
Céleste Beaumont, and most of the other members of the Beaumont clan, was created by Mallori Puchino as part of a roleplaying game devised by the creative team to conceptualise and plot out events and characters. Céleste was Mallori's first character in the setting, and as such garnered quite a bit of development and planning. She conceived of the character as a disabled person overcoming their disability and other issues through perseverance and the power of technology, and thus was from the outset devised as a cyborg. The first round of adventures chronicled, essentially, Céleste's growth as a patriotic Terran Imperialist to a cynical opponent of the regime; leading the Raiders goes from fighting the war to carrying out political assassinations. In secret, Céleste is coordinating the resistance to the CGU, and has been since gaining Maximilian's ear. Using her unique position, she has access to enormous amounts of military information, and provides that through proxies to leaders of the rebellion. Her compatriots in this endeavour, Gracie Gray and Brian Kessar, handle other covert ends of the resistance; Gracie is the crypto-leader of the grassroots side of things, and Brian is secretly training soldiers to act as the spearhead of an uprising from within State Sec. But it is ultimately Céleste who decided to bring their efforts together into a roughly united front, with two of them acting as deep double agents.
But there are some flaws to her plan, which push into cynicism, despair, and confusion over what she's doing and why. First, in order to gain a position to knowledge and power, she pretended to be fanatically loyal to Maximilian and his bulldog in military staff meetings--which included making outlandish or extreme suggestions. One of these was taken seriously and developed into the Beaumont Doctrine--which resulted in trillions of alien deaths as human starships simply bombed planets from orbit; Céleste bears the weight of all of those deaths, and sees the blood on her hands every day. She avoids eating, and rarely sleeps, from depression. Which leads into her other major problem--she engages in a sporadic sexual affair with William McGrady, whom she loathes almost as much as herself, as a means of escape. While this is occurring, she is blind to Brian Kessar's gradually-developing love for her.