- "A lone Mandalorian, properly trained, is a small army."
- — Cadden Blackthorne
A Mandalorian Warrior is a man, or woman, experienced enough in training to wear a full suit of Mandalorian Armor. Whether the Mandalorian is a Warrior or not, the individual would still be considered a Mandalorian Protector.
As Mandalore Cadden Blackthorne reunited the clans, he set forth in motion a new plan to help non-battle-ready individuals progress to the status of a true warrior. The system that was developed was that of the Mandalorian "shock troopers", lead by Gandon Belak. Also, during this time, of the 9,700 individuals trained as shock troopers, five hundred were set aside afterwards for extensive training as supercommandos, making them the first of a new breed. Many of these supercommandos participated in the battles to conclude the reuniting of the clans.
Shock troopers, while "qualified" to wear Mandalorian Armor, are not typically seen wearing full armored suits. And, if they do, it's typically of another material, or, depending on the user's preference, another design. Usually, a shock trooper will be found with the core essential component pieces of armor, such as a breast plate.
Some shock troopers go on to become supercommandos. All Mandalorian supercommandos craft their own full set of body armor, something of a "rite of passage", much like the Jedi and their lightsabers. This armor is almost always of Mandalorian Iron make.
A Mandalorian is a single individual, whether male or female, human or alien, who serves as a member of a large network of clans. Mandalorians are the most feared mercenaries in the galaxy, and hold a track record of death and destruction that surpasses that of most other galactic threats.
Traditionally, the Mandalorians were allied with the Sith, up until their near-extinction during the Clone Wars and its aftermath. From there, the few survivors returned to Mandalore, and dedicated their duties to protecting the world.
Ever since their demise during the final years of the Old Republic, the Mandalorians have been without a new Mandalore. However, Cadden Blackthorne had been chosen to lead their people to a point of restored glory, and to a new future as the Mandalorian Protectors, in hopes of wiping the slate clean and giving these fearless mercenaries a new life, without depriving them of their ways.
Mandalorian culture consists of a very straight-forward nomadic society, influenced by many other cultures around the galaxy. As a whole, Mandalorians are not prejudice of any species, but tolerate all Mandalorians, as long as they follow Mandalorian principles. Many war-orphaned children (such as Jango Fett) can be adopted into Mandalorian society, and brought up as Mandalorian children.
Mandalorian women are expected to have the same combat skills as men, in order to defend their homes when the men are away. If they don't have children to raise, they fight alongside men on the battlefield. The ideal Mandalorian woman is physically strong and resilient.
The Mandalorians are nomadic warriors, despite the fact that they have the home world of Mandalore. The Mandalorians keep their nomadic ways so that in the event of attack, there would be no easy target to exterminate the Mandalorians. This attributes to the Mandalorians' survival over thousands of centuries. This also means that many Mandalorians have not ever visited Mandalore.
Individual Mandalorians are independent warriors, bound together by the same culture. Created by their own hands, fitted to their liking, each piece of Mandalorian steel was chosen and customized by a Mandalorian to their level of skill. The armor has great cultural significance for the Mandalorians, and each set tells about the Mandalorian underneath. However, there is a saying in Mando'a: Verd ori'shya beskar'gam, meaning a warrior is more than his armor.
Not all Mandalorians constantly fight on the front line. There are farmers, regular factory workers, engineers, and doctors too. However, all Mandalorians are warriors at heart, and all know how to fight.
Mandalorians are considered adults at an age as low as thirteen years. This contributes to the fact that Mandalorians marry and settled down earlier than most cultures. Family bonds are a large part of the Mandalorian culture, and as a result, they feel more comfortable around each other than they do around strangers. Mandalorian weddings are brief, and mean serious commitment to each other.
There are six acts one needs to follow to be a Mandalorian:
- Wearing armor,
- Speaking Mando'a,
- Defending oneself and family,
- Raising children as Mandalorians,
- Helping the clan succeed and sustain itself,
- When called to arms by the Mandalore, rally to his cause.
The only leader of the Mandalorians is the Mandalore himself, and he holds his rank as long as he commands the respect of his fellow warriors. In battle, Mandalorians are assigned to different squads and jobs, depending on their area of expertise. The Mandalorians work together to the best of their ability in battle. Mandalorians are not promoted to better jobs, since they do not have jobs — only in battle would some kind of organization need to occur.
The only exception to this would be the way Jaster Mereel ran the Mandalorians. He often diverted from the culture of the Mandalorians, but only slightly so. His armor was different from everybody else's, which was gold and red, perhaps signifying rank. His second in command, Montross, wore silver and blue armor. This armor-rank system was carried on by Jango Fett, who wore Jaster's armor, and had his second in command, Myles, wear the blue-silver armor. Like Jaster, Jango did not act like a traditional Mandalorian. And, in recent times, Cadden Blackthorne has acted in such a similar way, even going so far as to restructure the Mandalorian Code of Honor, to include new principles that build upon the old.
Mandalorians have their own religion, the basic tenets of which have fluctuated over the centuries. At one time, Mandalorians were deeply religious beings, but the combination of disillusion with the old ways and the increasing warlike tendencies of the race led to a more pragmatistic view of the galaxy around them. Creation tales such as the Akaanati'kar'oya (The War of Life and Death) became more philosophical, while the stars became the fallen kings of Mandalore. More skeptical Mandalorians, however, often look at such tales for allegories that could be applied to the here and now.
To Mandalorians, the afterlife is seen as a place of conflict between stagnaton and change, mythicized by the gods Arasuum (a sloth like being that personifies idle consumption) and Kad Ha'rangir (seen as a vicious destroyer that forces change on the universe). It is said that Mandalorians who die become part of the armies of these two gods, defending the one true place where their wives, sons and daughters may finally find a permanent place of rest.
Family is very important to the Mandalorians, yet when compared to most other cultures, they hold very different beliefs to what constitutes a familial relationship. Despite the fact that fidelity and chastity before marriage is highly emphasized, they are unconcerned about parentage. Believing that aliit iru'shya tal'din (Family is More Than Bloodlines), it is common for orphaned children, and even adults, to be brought into the culture. Marital infidelity, often considered a major faux pas in most other cultures, is not looked down upon during periods where two Mandalorians undergo a long term separation, so long as any children that arise from such an act are raised in the ways of Mando.
Despite their rather gruff appearance and style of combat, the average Mandalorian is more socialble and kind than one would expect. As long as individuals speak their mind, accept a meal when offered, look them straight in the eye (or the horizontal section of their visor), take off their boots while in their home, pay their debts, fuss over their children, never make a pass at Mandalorian of the opposite sex (unless the individual plans to become part of the culture) and treat their elderly with respect, anyone who encounters a Mandalorian is not likely to end up on the business end of a blaster or vibroblade.
A typical Mandalorian generally is trained to use the following weaponry:
- Advanced Laser Rifle
- Striker Pistol
- Vibroblade (various forms)
It should be noted that some Mandalorians also contribute other, individual skills to their basic training. This makes most Mandalorians to be fairly individualized, unlike Imperial stormtroopers or other clean-cut military organizations. This sense of freedom is also a stepping stone toward the individual becoming a full-fledged Mandalorian Warrior, as they continue to hone different skills on the battlefield, and thus molding themselves into a worthy individual for the fearsome Mandalorian Armor.
Prior to the unification of the clans, a large number of candidates were selected to undergo a basic training process, much like boot camp, but much more rigorous, with the result being producing full-fledged Mandalorian Warriors. However, recently, it has been decreed that this system be terminated - following the current breed of these shock troopers, no more will be produced, as the number of troops in transition to warrior status are well enough to protect Mandalorian borders, as the culture returns to traditional methods of instruction.