You must choose a member group for your character to fit into. Here are some guidelines and general information about each.
HUMAN: These are your ordinary, civilian humans who have no powers of their own, and do not classify themselves as vigilantes or supers of any kind.
are mutants of a higher class. they posses powers like telekinesis, telepathy, healing, etc. example, professor x, magneto, thor, storm
are mutants of the 'lower' class. they posses either physical mutations or man made ones. example: tony stark, captain america, toad, hulk.
are mutants or superhumans that are not in agreement with the laws, but are fortunate enough to be considered Superior. They do not work for SHIELD or the Superiors, but are not being hunted. Many of these are secretly working to help those in hiding, but if they get caught...
mutants are those that are Inadequate but have not been captured by the police yet. They are usually logged by SHIELD, so that their faces and/or names are already known, as well as their powers. Subject to being arrested by SHIELD agents or the Thunderbolts.
EXTRATERRESTRIALS: are aliens, who were born on any planet aside from Earth. They are generally not accepted by the Superiors, but exceptions can be made, should an extraterrestrial put forth strong support for the program.
THE THUNDERBOLTS: is the group that is chasing down the hunted. Handpicked by Helmut Zemo for their skill. Some Inadequate can get out of their sentence by working for their Thunderbolts.
S.H.I.E.L.D., or the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, is a government organization that deals with superhuman and mutant threats. The director is Nick Fury, and they are tasked monitering and eliminating global threats.
While traditionally S.H.I.E.L.D. is primarily human, they have been hiring more and more superior mutants who are willing to help them fulfill the decrees. They are held to the same or higher standard than S.H.I.E.L.D.'s human agents. S.H.I.E.L.D. also obtains help from independent heroes when their special abilities are needed. It has also accepted some "superheroes" and "supervillains" as members, but not in a separate unit. In addition, S.H.I.E.L.D. maintains strong ties to the "superhero" community, and often calls upon that community for aid on particular missions.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Hierarchy and Branches
Office of the Director
Director: Responsible for overseeing all SHIELD operations on a global scale. Highest level of security clearance and reports directly to the government. Current Director: Nick Fury
Deputy Director (aka Executive Officer/Executive Director): All branch heads and commanding officers report directly to the Deputy Director, the executive officer of SHIELD operrations. If matters need the attention of the Director, they are dealt with then. Current Deputy Director: Maria Hill
Each of the following branches has its own hierarchy that reports up to the Office of the Director. While seniority requirements for promotion vary between departments, use common sense when making a senior level agent or researcher. It's unlikely a new agent fresh from the street at the age of twenty will be a senior agent or advanced researcher.
This branch supplies the bulk of the SHIELD agents you'll see in the world. They are responsible for investigating superhuman activity, and overseeing global security.
- Special Agent in Charge: Oversees all Field Operations.
- Supervisory Special Agent: Supervises from in the field. Insures SHIELD standards are met. Usually in charge of a team of five-ten agents.
- Special Agent: Experienced and veteran field operative with years of experience.
- Field Observation Agent: Tasked for stake outs or for tailing a target.
- Field Agent: Lowest ranking agent on a field team. Usually responsible for door security, searching the area, etc.
- Probationary Agent: An agent who has not passed his field training exam. Usually paired with a Field Training Agent, who will instruct them in SHIELD operations
Unlike the Security, Covert Activities, and Special Operations & Missions Unit, who do their own training, Field Operations and R&D send their new applicants to the Training Section, which oversees the training of all new agents, analysts, and technicians.
- Section Head: Oversees the entire section, responsible for selecting new applicants and determining, based on reports from the others in the section, if the applicant passes/fails.
- Field Training Agent: Goes into the field with a probationary agent to oversee their field training exam, which lasts two weeks.
- Facility Training Agent: Trains technicians, analysts, and engineers who will be remaining in house to do their jobs.
Special Operations & Missions Unit (SOMU)
Provides the 'heavy hitting' punch needed for some missions. They draw heavily from the special operations community within the Department of Defense, and many branches of the military will assign their top operators to this branch of SHIELD.
Multiple teams make up the SOMU.A team can be as large as twelve or as small as four members. The usual make up of a team is as follows:
- Unit Commanding Officer: Usually a Major (or higher) on loan from one of the branches of the military. Directly coordinates operations between SHIELD branches and the SOMU.
- Unit Executive Officer: Usually a Captain (or higher). Aides the C/O in operations and missions.
- Team Leader: Senior ranking member of the team. Usually a SNCO (Staff Sergeant or higher) in the military.
- Team Specialist: A Specialist will either be an expert in Communications Intelligence gathering, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Combat Engineering, or other special tasks. Sometimes an analyst from R&D or if not under direct control of SHIELD this will be an Agent from Covert/Field Operations.
- Team Assaulter: Usually three of these operators per team. They are tasked with breaching doors and providing a high volume of fire using assault rifles, sub-machine guns, and so on.
- Team Medic: Responsible for providing medical support if needed. Will also provide fire support using a rifle, shotgun, or other firearm.
- Team Sniper: Two per team. One primary, one secondary. The secondary will act as a spotter for the primary, or in the event the primary loses his shot, will become the shooter.
Internal Affairs and Security (IAS)
Provides in-house security for SHIELD HQ, the helicarrier, and all SHIELD run facilities. Also tasked with catching moles and traitors.
- IAS Chief: Oversees all security operations for SHIELD, reports directly to the Executive Director. Compiles reports on suspected or potential moles or double-agents.
- Deputy IAS Chief: Provides on-the-spot observation of Security teams and investigative procedures.
- Chief Investigative Agent: Oversees the entire investigative wing of the IAS.
- Investigative Agent: Tasked with finding moles or double-agents. Skilled in interrogation.
- Head Internal Security Agent: Senior level agent tasked with overseeing security teams and sections of the facility.
- Internal Security Agent: Basic level Agent. Sometimes wash-outs from the Field Operations branch come here.
The Covert Activities branch is not open to new agents. Only senior field agents and above may even apply for acceptance into this branch. The process to get in is competitive, tough, and many do not make it in. They train their own personnel in branch. Their tasks are to provide espionage, counter-surveillance, and other covert actions - including assassination and replacement operations.Usually work in four person teams consisting of an Covert Studies Specialist, senior agent, and field agent led by a supervisory agent.
- Senior Agent in Charge: Oversees all Covert operations and missions. Directly interacts with the Executive Director (or Director as needed) to coordinate missions.
- Supervisory Agent: Directly controls an Covert team. Reports directly to the Senior Agent in Charge. Is able to make calls in the field regarding missions.
While every Covert agent is skilled in interrogation, espionage, and the like. There are four special classifications of agent within the Covert Operations branch: Infiltration, Retrieval, Removal, and Counter-Espionage
Each agent could, and likely would, specialize in more than one of the above items. The ranks of agent in the Covert branch are as follows:
- Infiltration: Specialists at getting in without being seen. Usually used to plant undercover in an organization to destabilize or gather information.
- Retrieval: Used to get in and retrieve either a document, file, or perhaps a person to allow for an infiltrator to get into place.
- Removal: These specialists are professionals at destruction. Whether it's blowing up a facility or assassinating a target.
- Espionage/Counter-Espionage: Specialists in the gathering of information as well annd/or defeating attempts at hostile agencies or others from gathering intelligence on SHIELD activities and personnel.
Research and Development
- Senior Covert Agent: Most experienced of any field covert agent. Usually a master of two, if not more, specializations.
- Covert Agent: Basic grade agent assigned to a covert team.
- Covert Studies Specialist: Usually a master at cryptography, hacking, and various forms of electronic infiltration.
This branch is tasked with finding new and improved ways for SHIELD to do their job. They are responsible for all of the gadgets, equipment, and cutting edge technology you see SHIELD using. R&D also works in conjunction with other branches and divisions on personnel based development, such as psychic and ESP research, biomedical enhancement, and other projects meant to enhance individual SHIELD agents. Their projects range in secrecy and security clearance level. Most projects on the lower tiers of the clearance are termed "special" projects, while more classified projects are termed "sensitive".
- Divisional Director: Oversees the all projects and testing. Usually a multiple PhD and MD holder.
- Project Director: Oversees a specific project or team. Usually holds a PhD (or more).
- Manager: Directly oversees the teams of engineers, researchers, and technicians.
- Engineer (Computer, biotech, etc): Catchall term for any engineer working on a project.
- Testing Specialist: Oversees the groups of technicians and engineers actively testing a project.
- Subject Matter Expert/Specialist: There are numerous civilian contractors and analysts that aid SHIELD that do not fit into this hierarchy. Like Jane Foster, for example. The terms used for these people varies, but most are referred to either as Subject Matter Expert (aka SME) or Specialist.
- Research and Technical Analyst: Provide the bulk of the workforce in R&D. Low level assistants and researchers.
Internal medical staff for SHIELD personnel. Departments are: Emergency and Trauma, General Medicine, Mental Health Services, Neurology, Surgical Services.
- Chief of Staff: Oversees all departments and facilitates the best medical care for SHIELD agents and operatives.
- Department Head: Oversees an individual apartment and is an expert in that field.
- Department Attending (Doctor): MD in the field of the department (i.e. surgery, trauma, etc.)
- Chief Nurse: Oversees all nursing staff. Veteran of the nursing profession.
- Staff Nurse: Nurses that are active in each department.
- Field Nurse: Specially trained nurse from the Emergency and Trauma department. Skilled at providing on the spot triage and care.
- Medical Technician: Operates the x-rays, MRIs, etc. in the Medical branch.
The lawyers, legal aides, and assorted legal experts that insure SHIELD is not caught up in any legal matters it can't handle. Runs much like you would expect a law firm to, with more senior lawyers being assigned to more critical cases.
Security Clearance Levels
SHIELD has its own internal security classification rating. SHIELD clearance levels are special access only, so only certain people outside of SHIELD carry SHIELD clearance.
Security clearance is not only based on rank or seniority, but also on assignment. While all SHIELD agents acquire a basic level of 4, some will never see a higher clearance rating than that. Your character may be assigned to a less sensitive area or field assignment, and so won't need a higher clearance. Basically, it's possible for a lowly analyst working on a project like the Tesseract to have a higher clearance than a Special Agent.
- Level 1 - Unclassified: Basic level given to visitors, the press, etc when they visit SHIELD HQ
- Level 2 - Classified I: Given to new applicants pending background check. Comes with a mandatory Non-disclosure agreement regardless of the outcome of the application process.
- Level 3 - Classified II: Given to new hires, probationary agents, and those awaiting further orders.
- Level 4 - Controlled Classified: Given to field agents and above, as well as analysts and technicians on special projects.
- Level 5 - Secret: Given to senior agents, and certain analysts, etc.
- Level 6 - Controlled Secret: Special Agents, agents on sensitive assignment, department heads on special projects
- Level 7 - Top Secret: Division heads, commanding officers, some senior and special agents, sensitive projects.
- Level 8 - Controlled Top Secret: Executive Director ONLY.
- Level 9 - Compartmentalized Top Secret/Yankee Blue: Director Stark ONLY. Usually eyes only documents and memos, meaning only Stark can see them.
You may want to join this group if your character is:
A mutant or superhuman who wants to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. Since the new decree, the number of mutants in SHIELD has increased dramatically (superior class, no others).
DOUBLE AGENTS: are those that appear to be working for the Superior mutants but are actually working to bring them down from the inside. They are often people who work at the facilities and see the prisoners on a daily basis.
If your character chooses a side, or changes their mind about their group, they may leave it at any time.