The military soldiers unswervingly loyal to the Emperor, stormtroopers represented the most visible extension of Imperial might. They were shock troopers meant to strike with speed and accuracy, putting down insurrections and maintaining order on the far flung worlds of the Empire. Stormtroopers served both the ground-based armies of Palpatine's forces, and the space-based Imperial starfleet.
Stormtrooper training stressed complete indoctrination in the tenets of the New Order, and individuals would obey their officers without question, without regard to the rights of others or even to their own safety.
Stormtroopers abandoned individuality in exchange for their loyalty. They are completely encased in a white armored spacesuit shell, and are armed with blaster pistols or blaster rifles. Their helmets contain comlinks for long-range communications. Officers were denoted with colored shoulder pauldrons. Specific environments called for specially trained and equipped stormtroopers, such as the snowtroopers that besieged the ice world of Hoth and the lightly-armored scout troopers that patrolled the forests of Endor.
Stormtroopers were totally loyal to the Empire and cannot be bribed, seduced or blackmailed.
Stormtrooper unit organization was separate to that of the Imperial Army and Navy, although this elite unit supported both arms of the Imperial Military. They followed similar organization patterns: squads, platoons, companies, battalions, regiments, and battlegroups (called legions). A stormtrooper battalion had 820 men. The health of stormtroopers was the responsibility of the Naval Biological group.
Following the collapse of the Empire at Endor, stormtroopers were an increasingly rare sight in the galaxy. It was not until Grand Admiral Thrawn procured a working set of Spaarti cloning cylinders that the Imperial ranks of stormtroopers began to be replenished.
During the reign of the Fel Empire, over a hundred years after the Battle of Endor, Stormtroopers became a common sight once more. The Empire also removed gentle and species prejudice laws restricting human males to Imperial ranks, allowing aliens and women to join the Imperial military and become Stormtroopers. Many aliens required special suits in order to operate.