I read this book about 11-Jun-2009. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2001. This note was last modified Sunday, 23-Aug-2009 17:13:39 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
An omnibus of Star Rangers from 1953 and Star Guard from 1955. I'm pretty sure I'd read the first one, though not much of the book so far has seemed familiar. It would have been 30 or so years ago. I only read the first book, hence listing it under that title.
Humanity has been sort-of accepted into an existing galactic civilization, but in a limited and strange role. We exist as soldiers—archs using archaic weapons (rifles and down), and mechs using more modern (though by no means up to galactic standards) weapons. This has been going on for 400 years or some such, and some of us are getting sick of it. We have some friends among the aliens, and some enemies.
And things seem to be coming to a head. In the first deployment for our young protagonist. There appear to be mechs deployed on the same planet archs are sent to, in violation of Central Control's rules. And aliens in mech uniform.
Also traitorous natives as well as loyal natives. And what appears to be a second intelligent species native to the planet.
Also a Patrol spaceship, surrounded by patrol officers killed with arch rifles.
They do escape back to Earth, at least two of them. And get arrested, and escape, and sneak back to Prime, and get caught there, and get convicted and sentenced to labor camps. But the labor camps are the workforce of the group trying to get humanity proper treatment from Central Control, so it's okay.