Recruits are chosen from the best warriors among humanity, although the recruitment process varies considerably between chapters. Most Chapters recruit from their homeworld, or local sector worlds, while fleet-based chapters will often roam a particular sector of space, recruiting periodically from a few favoured worlds.
Feral Worlds are considered prize recruiting worlds, because of the toughness of their human inhabitants; for the same reason, Hive Worlds are an ideal source of potential recruits, since the gang inhabitants of the lower levels are some of the toughest, most murderous examples of humanity in the galaxy. Feudal Worlds are also considered to be ideal sources for potential recruits, by recruiting from the worlds' warrior nobility. Much more rarely, certain Civilised Worlds are also recruited from.
Notable Chapter Variations
Black Templars aspirants are sometimes referred to as Expectanten. They are recruited from a number of worlds across the Imperium, each possessing a Chapter keep. In order to be considered for recruitment, an Expectanten must travel to the keep, braving whatever hazards they may face on the way.
Blood Angels aspirants are selected at a periodic tournament known as the Angel's Fall, on Baal Secundus. Although hundreds, possibly thousands, of challengers participate in the violent games and contests held there, only fifty victorious Aspirants are selected. These fifty are then taken to the Fortress Monastery on Baal, where they will hopefully be able to withstand even more tests before becoming Neophytes.
As the Dark Angels are no longer based on an actual world, they draw their recruits from a variety of planets, mainly Feral or Feudal Worlds. Representatives of the Dark Angels visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime, and take the strongest juveniles from the population. They are assessed with a variety of contests of strength, agility and stamina before being assessed by an Apothecary for their suitability for receiving the implanted organs necessary for their transformation. Those that fail the trial at this stage by being biologically unsuitable or by weakness of will are euthanised.
Prospective Space Wolves are selected by that Chapter's Wolf Priests from the human inhabitants of Fenris. The Wolf Priests are often seen observing the frequent warfare between Fenris's primitive tribes, marking out those youths who show promise. Only the bravest, toughest warriors are selected to undergo training at The Fang.
The Ultramarines recruit from the human populations of the nine worlds of Ultramar, who are then subjected to intense military training at several barracks institutions maintained around that realm.
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, pg. 129
- 2: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, pgs. 133, 153
- 3: Deus Encarmine (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- 4: Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pgs. 10, 35
- 5: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 15
- 6: Angels of Darkness (Novel), The Tale of Boreas, Part One
- 7: Black Templars: Initiation Rites Part 1 (saved archive page, dated December 2005, last accessed via Wayback Machine 4th July 2020)