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You need not struggle to find food or medical care for your families. Enlist as a Gear, and you and your loved ones will receive the welfare and protection of the COG. You can serve in combat or support roles, including driver, mechanic, and construction trades. Life in the camps will only get harder as the Locust overrun more areas. Do your part to defeat the enemy and provide for your family at the same time.
COG patrols will be visiting camps to recruit. Recruits will also be accepted at the vehicle checkpoint at Timgad Bridge, Jacinto. THE COG'S WAR EFFORT IS YOUR WAR EFFORT.
—Operation Lifeboat leaflet

Operation Lifeboat was a COG Propaganda policy that involves the conscription of Stranded into the COG Army in return for transporting their families to more-secure regions in Jacinto. Dizzy Wallin and Michael Barrick are two of the more well-known conscripts. Although relations between the Stranded and the Coalition are tense at best, the constant danger posed by the Locust, as well as the benefits of having three meals a day and a roof over their heads, has encouraged many Stranded men to seek better lives for their families by taking Lifeboat assistance.


The Beginning of Lifeboat[]

"The rats are joining the sinking ship."
—Baird on the new recruits

By 9 A.E., the COG army was overstretched and Chairman Prescott initiated the Lifeboat program, allowing Stranded men and woman to join the COG Army and the COG government would protect their loved ones.[1] Recruited Stranded were sent to the temporary barracks at Wrightman Base where Damon Baird notices that the new recruits look more like prisoners of war than new recruits. Most Stranded rejected Operation Lifeboat remembering that the COG abandoned them during the Hammer of Dawn attacks across Sera in 1 A.E, while some choose to joined the COG army in hopes of saving their loved ones from famine, diseases and the Locust Horde. During the leftist drops over Stranded camps in Ilima city, only a single Stranded joined the COG in hopes of saving his daughters.

Operation: Hollow Storm[]

For the assault on the Locust tunnels, the COG army mobilized thousands of Gears for the assault on Landown. Lifeboat conscripts played a vital role in Operation Hollow Storm, where several Conscripts were the Derrick Drivers or frontline Gears.[2]

Criticism and Controversy[]

"The COG isn't a soul-crushing machine, dumbass. It's society. Mutual support, mutual dependence. Individuality might sound all noble and free, but it generally means crapping on your neighbors, and if you crap on your neighbors don't expect them to help you. Rules hold humans together. And it's together or die."
—Dom Santiago explaining the draft to a former stranded.

Unfortunately, however, many of the newly conscripted Gears found life in the military more difficult than expected and the benefits of Operation Lifeboat were overwhelmingly exaggerated. While some conscripted Gears found life harder in Vectes as they were viewed as Stranded in the eyes of the locals.[3] While other Stranded simple refused to fight for the people that burned down their homes and killed their families.

Notable Conscripts[]


  1. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 364
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Gears of War 2
  3. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant
  4. Gears of War 2 collectible
  5. Last Day
  6. Gears of War: Hollows Issue 4
  7. Gears of War: Coalition's End pg 370-371