Rui Li was born January 6, 2459 on Hera in Huang Long. A graduate of the Osiris Military Academy in 2483, Li received numerous commendations while serving in the Alliance Navy, reaching the rank of Commander by the beginning of the War of Unification.
Li’s appointment to Commander General of Independent Forces shocked many at the Alliance directorate — some sources claim Li was considered for General-in-Chief of Allied Forces along with former classmate Geoffrey Devchenko.
In an interview with ’Verse Magazine upon his arrival in Green Prairie, Li said of his return to Hera:
No matter what a government gives us or how well it treats us, all a man has is the love of his family and the land he calls his. My home is Hera, though my heart is Allied. I cannot be asked to choose one over the other, but I have. I chose to stand with my family. I may find myself the sites of a gun, but I will not be the one to focus its aim on them.
Li’s first test as Commander General came in June, 2506 as he warded off the Alliance’s diversionary assault on Hera. Though the attack intended to stretch the Independent fleet, the results were in Li’s favor. Hera remained unharmed, though the Alliance assault on Athens succeeded. In September, 2506 Li made up the lose by leading his fleet in the retaking of Athens.
For the remainder of the year, and into the early months of 2507, Li’s fleet repealed smaller attacks in space and on land throughout Georgia and Kalidasa. The Alliance ground invasion of Athens in June of that year concerned Li, but he was quickly withdrawn in July to Hera where he arrived shortly after Alliance General-in-Chief Devchenko’s second attack on the world had begun. After a week-long campaign and heavy loses to both sides, Li was able to force the Alliance’s retreat.
Fearful of Independents’ morale, Li led an uncharacteristic assault on the Core in September, 2507. Intending to retake Persephone for the Coalition, Li’s navy (and 550,000 troops) made good for a brief time. However, the Battle of Tietam near Santo on September 17 forced Li’s retreat.