N7 is a vocational code in the Systems Alliance military. The "N" designates special forces and the "7" refers to the highest level of proficiency. It applies to marines who have graduated from the Interplanetary Combatives Training (ICT) program.
N7 Training Edit
Interplanetary Combatives Training (ICT) is the Systems Alliance's premier school for leadership and combat expertise. The Interplanetary Combatives Academy, sometimes called "N-School" or "the villa," recruits officers from every branch of Earth's militaries to partake in grueling courses at Vila Militar in Rio de Janeiro.
Initially, candidates train for more than 20 hours per day, leading small combat teams through hostile terrain with little sleep or food. Trainees who do well are awarded an internal designation of N1 and are invited to return. Subsequent courses - N2 through N6 - are often held off-planet and include instruction in zero-G combat, military free-fall (parachuting), jetpack flight, combat diving, combat instruction, linguistics, and frontline trauma care for human and alien biology.
The highest grade of training, N6, provides actual combat experience in combat zones throughout the galaxy. If the trainee survives these scenarios in "admirable and effective fashion," he or she finally receives the coveted N7 designation. N7 is the only ICT designation that may be worn on field or dress uniforms.
There is little shame in failing an N course - the training is so extreme that even qualifying for N1 elevates an officer to a position of respect. The universal prestige of merely attending the academy helps to restrain trainees from taking excessive risks in pursuit of higher honors.
Although ICT qualification by itself does not guarantee higher rank, those officers who are able to complete the program are typically well suited to senior leadership positions.
The N7 emblem is visible on all customizable armor chest pieces except for the Kestrel Torso Sheath in Mass Effect 2 and the Rosenkov Materials chest piece in Mass Effect 3. The emblem is also present on the N7 Defender Armor.
Mass Effect 3 introduces several N7-branded weapons developed by the Systems Alliance:
- N7 Typhoon Light Machine Gun
- N7 Valkyrie Assault Rifle
- N7 Crusader Shotgun
- N7 Piranha Assault Shotgun
- N7 Hurricane Submachine Gun
- N7 Valiant Sniper Rifle
- N7 Eagle Pistol
N7 Special Ops Edit
During the Reaper war, Allied forces began recruiting anyone, soldier or mercenary, to serve on the front lines of the conflict. The most experienced operatives formed squads to secure objectives, evacuate civilians, and battle Cerberus or the Reapers deep in enemy territory. Initially led by N7 Alliance marines, these squads were nicknamed the N7 Special Ops. In light of these teams' exemplary service and remarkable bravery, the Alliance allowed this unofficial name to spread across the ranks as a sign of respect for their efforts.
N7 Classes Edit
These soldiers are the go-anywhere, fight-anything special forces of the Alliance that were trained at the Interplanetary Combatives Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They had to survive combat situations "in an admirable and effective fashion" to receive the N7 rank. During the Reaper invasion, many N7 marines began to train other species in anti-Reaper asymmetric warfare and joined N7 Special Ops squads in battle.
- N7 Fury Adept
- N7 Destroyer Soldier
- N7 Demolisher Engineer
- N7 Paladin Sentinel
- N7 Shadow Infiltrator
- N7 Slayer Vanguard
Known N7 Marines Edit
- David Anderson - One of the first graduates of the N7 training program.
- Kai Leng - Dishonorably discharged Alliance marine and current Cerberus operative.
- Lee Riley - An N7 engineer and marine who leads a team to reactivate and defend fuel reactors on Cyone.
- Susan Rizzi - An N7 Fury
- Commander Shepard
- James Vega - Offered entry into the program during his stay on the Normandy. He may decide to accept the offer depending on the actions of Commander Shepard.
Known N7 Operations Edit
- A news report by Emily Wong on the Citadel in 2185, states that a team of N7 marines were deployed in batarian space from a Normandy Class Stealth Frigate.
- Several N7 Operations took place during the Reaper War as part of the N7 Special Ops initiative.
- According to The Art of Mass Effect, the red detail on the emblem symbolizes the human blood Shepard must sacrifice to stop Saren Arterius. The red stripe is also a historical reference to the red stripes commanders wore on early space missions to make them instantly recognizable.
- The Medal of Valor achievement (completing Mass Effect on Insanity difficulty) unlocks an N7 gamer pic.
- The design is available as a number of objects from apparel to miscellaneous items at the BioWare Store.
- The Look N77 ski binding was the original source of the name and logo art. The developers simply removed one of the sevens from the original.