Born to a rich Ephyran family, Donald Berkeley grew up in the lap of luxury, his every need attended to. Part of that included a proud, distinct military history, with members of his family having served as officers in Tyrus' military dating back to its time as a monarchy. As such, he was raised almost from birth in a strict, regimented environment, not allowed to deviate from his daily schedule, even to play with the neighborhood children, despite them being equally affluent. He was enrolled in various private institutions throughout his life, whilst other Ephyran teenagers enlisted in the COG Army at the age of sixteen, Berkeley and the others from his neighborhood waited until the age of eighteen before they joined the Army, being accepted into various military schools. Berkeley himself attended the Ephyra Academy of Military Greatness, earning high marks throughout his four years there, eventually graduating in 12 B.E., at the rank of Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the 357th Royal Tyran Infantry as a platoon leader.
Defense of HerginEdit
- "Shortly after being assigned to my unit, we went on alert. The UIR had moved troops into the neutral country of Hergin and we were sent to stop their advances. There were several official and unofficial reasons as to why. The biggest was that it was our job to stop UIR aggression against unaligned nations, but unofficially it was to try and gain Hergin, with its strategic location, as an ally and staging ground for an invasion of several Indie nations like Julsia, Osnar, and Efrium."
- — Berkeley on the Coalition's mission in Hergin.
In 12 B.E., the neutral nation of Hergin defaulted on its Imulsion payments to its neighbor, Julsia. Hergin was originally part of Julsia until it broke away several decades before the Pendulum Wars, and Julsia had been attempting to reclaim its territory ever since. It did not take long before Julsia, a member of the Union of Independent Republics, capitalized on this and sent an occupation force across the border. In response, the COG rapidly mobilized dozens of regiments to stall the UIR advance until a more substantial force could be transferred to the front, the 357th among them.
The 357th was brought in country via transport aircraft which landed at Pynio International Airport in the city of Pynio, close to the border with Julsia. The 357th quickly set up its Headquarters and began sending out forces to halt the Indie advances. 1st Battalion was sent north to assist the 13th Herginan Infantry defend the city of Eryrta from two Julsian infantry regiments. Deploying via King Ravens, the Gears of 1st Battalion went to work helping the Herginans shore up any holes in their defenses.