Cavalry Recruitment: 1st-2nd Centuries AD
Joining the Imperial Roman Auxiliary corps' cavalry was one of the best-paid jobs you could hope for in the empire if you were a common subject within it, specifically a non-citizen Peregrini. Members of the cavalry corps were, like all soldiers in the army, selected from volunteers enlisting for 25-year periods of service, and were chosen specifically from peoples who had a tradition in horsemanship. The Romans did not select just anybody into the cavalry however, and they had strict methods and requierments for recruiting.
First, special recruiting officers would go to different areas of the empire and gather from the men volunteers who wished to serve in the cavalry. The preferred age was 19-23 years old, and he had to be at least 5ft 10in long, with the absolute minimum being 5ft and 8in. They would then go through a Probatio (Examination), to determine if they were physically fit to serve in the army, and recruiters may have well co-operated with local authorities to perform background checks on their volunteers and ensure they were clean of criminal records. Having completed his Probatio, the recruit would be given Viaticum (Travelling Money) and told of his Turma's (Troop) location. Once he arrived, he would take his Sacramentum (Military Oath) and swear fealty to the emperor and empire, after which he would officially he considered a member of the Roman Army and given his Signaculum (Dog Tags).
After this the Tiro (Recruit) would enter the first stages of his training to become a fully fledged member of the Auxiliary cavalry corps. While life in there was rough just as anywhere else in the army, the relatively high pay one received from service in the cavalry as well as the guarantee for Roman citizenship upon discharge was always enough to tempt numerous eager recruits. In addition to gaining their citizenship and yearly pay, veterans enjoyed the privilige of not having to pay taxes and could expect to enjoy a well respected and fairly influential position in Roman society.
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