The Competitive Civil Service Acclimatization Initiative, known colloquially as the Red Room Project, is a department of the High Republic of Orozvhad's Bureau of Strategic Intelligence. It recruits from all branches of the High Republic's military in order to develop candidates' skills in field espionage, covert activity, and sabotage, and is notable both for its extremely high performance requirements and the caliber of its graduates. Red Room operators are particularly well known for their use of monofilament wire in traps and melee combat, and since the program's inception, the standard issue diamond-handled monowire garrote has become synonymous with Initiative graduates.
BSI Director Arokath Sahal officially proposed the creation of a specialized military intelligence academy in 1958, shortly after the conclusion of the War of Three Lights. Although the High Republic's military had decisively won the war, the superiority of the Confederate spies was undeniable; countless agents had been compromised, and those who weren't had been left without support as their compatriots were either killed or pulled out of the field. Sahal argued before High Command that this was an unacceptable outcome and that 'sapient assets' needed to be at least as effective and capable of self-defense as Orozvhad's considerable navy. Convinced, they established the Initiative in the spring of 1959, but were unable to secure additional funding from Parliament in order to build a better training facility. As such, the Initiative had a single building: a cleared-out warehouse, formerly owned by R&D elements, whose interior had been painted bright red for a test involving ultraviolet target-marking systems. It was quickly dubbed 'the Red Room' by program members, and the name stuck even when the facility was expanded (and tastefully repainted).
Since 2100, the project has turned out an average of two hundred graduates per year. Efforts were made during the Third War of Thorana to increase the number of deployable Red Room assets, and in the years surrounding the Theocracy of Gruul's dissolution, as many as three hundred fifty annual graduates completed their training.
Documentation of incidents involving Red Room operators has historically been of questionable veracity, due to the clandestine nature of their activities. Over time, however, declassified Orozvhadi documents have pointed to Initiative involvement in several significant events, including the kidnapping and extradition of Urdnot Wrahm, considerable sabotage leading to an Ad'Thoro Pact loss in the Second Dominion Conflict, and several cooperative ventures with the Sultanate during the Battle of The Wreck and subsequent operations. The most recent declassified event dates back to the end of the Sixth Vonskar Conflict immediately before the Reaper War, in which a six-operator cell infiltrated the Vonskar Coalition's staging ground on Valeer III and neutralized all weapons and equipment production within the span of three days. All operators were considered KIA, as the imminent Reaper threat left the High Republic with no time to evacuate them from hostile territory afterwards.
Screening and curriculum
Candidates from all branches of the Orozvhadi military are eligible to apply to the Red Room, contingent on their passing a physical screening, a psychological examination, a full-clearance background check, and the Standardized High Republics Vocational Aptitude Test, as well as a written recommendation from a superior officer. Most applicants have at least two years of active service prior to application.
Following acceptance into the program, candidates undergo a 28-week training regimen including physical conditioning, resistance to interrogation, and hand-to-hand combat. The regimen, derived partly from the exceptionally brutal Special Intervention Unit's programs, is demanding - a majority of trainee dropouts occur during this phase, with around 80% of candidates either voluntarily leaving or being injured. Anyone who successfully qualifies at the end of phase one is entered into a 32-week training program for instruction in SERE tactics, intelligence and espionage, battlefield strategy, and covert operations. A final 16-week course follows, based around logistics and the creation and management of a cell, and directly feeds into a comprehensive evaluation via simulation. Upon passing the evaluation, candidates are consider full graduates and eligible for deployment.
Despite their level of expertise, Red Room graduates are considered Low Warrior Caste and receive no visible indicator of their status, apart from a monowire garrote and a red stripe for the right shoulder of their dress uniforms. This is partly to keep them in the 'reasonably expendable' mindset common to Orozvhadi troops and partly to make it more difficult for the enemy to identify them in the field.