n the far future, humanity has discovered interstellar travel and faster-than-light communication enabled by ansibles. In exploring the galaxy, they encountered an alien race known as the Formics, derogatorily dubbed "buggers" due to their insect-like appearance. The Formics attacked the humans and the two races enter into a series of wars. Despite political conflict on Earth between three ruling parties, the Hegemon, Polemarch, and Strategos, a tentative agreement was reached to create the International Fleet (IF) to combat the Formics. In addition to a selective breeding program, the IF monitors the children of Earth via implanted devices to find the best and brightest to enter Command School and enlist in the fleet.