|This page contains spoilers for:||Ciaphas Cain (Novel Series)|
Broklaw was a company commander (most likely with the rank of captain) of the Valhallan 301st, an all-male planetary assault regiment, when it was deployed against the Tyranids on Corania. The regiment took over 50% losses and its command hierarchy was all but wiped out, leaving him as the senior surviving officer[1a].
The 301st was merged with the all-female 296th, a rear echelon regiment, that had likewise been reduced to less than half-strength by the fighting on Corania. The differences between the two regiments were guaranteed to cause friction, and, to make matters worse, Kasteen was made the regimental Colonel by virtue of three days' seniority over Broklaw (despite the fact that Broklaw had far more combat experience), who was promoted to Major and became her executive officer[1a].
Tensions between the two former regiments - which continued to use their former regimental identities - came to a head on board the troopship Righteous Wrath on its way to the new regiment's first assignment to Gravalax in 931.M41, in a mess room brawl resulting in the deaths of several troopers and Naval provosts over the use of the 296th's regimental dinnerware to serve the meal[1a].
Realizing the situation, Commissar Ciaphas Cain - recently assigned to the 296th/301st - had the regiment renamed the 597th (296 + 301), and ordered the regiment integrated at squad level so that the number of male and female troopers was equally dispersed. Cain's efforts gradually restored the morale of the regiment, and Kasteen and Broklaw came to work together and respect each other[1b].
- 1: For the Emperor (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus)