The Prestige System is an optional “no pay” system used by members of the government of the Yamatai Star Empire wherein workers are not paid regularly, but are provided for by the state and are able to request items they desire, based on their prestige. Any character to stay in the Star Army of Yamatai for over 16 years is eligible for retirement with full salary, or using the prestige system as if the character was still in active service. These benefits last indefinitely, unless the Star Army needs the character to come back (perhaps to train new soldiers) and the retiree refuses.
The lowest rank in the Star Army of Yamatai is actually an unpaid rank (and if using the prestige system, any rank can be unpaid).
You start with default standard issue equipment, which is pretty much your uniform and obligatory stuff. Starting soldiers in the Star Army of Yamatai have the benefit of being fairly well treated by the Empire's 'prestige system', which makes it so that any fundamental need they have (toothpaste, toothbrushes, hairbrush and other basics you might need) will be covered freely - that includes services such as food and living space rent (if applicable). Modest stuff, mostly… but it sure breaks being broke.
You have 3000 KS, which is the currency you have over the prestige system to purchase privileges to improve your quality of life beyond your 'default' equipment. It's perfectly okay to hang on to those funds to use them later when you better define your character, or just go all out and take stuff that you think you'd want to have. It's best to keep in mind that your character was either serving, on the move between short assignments or studying… so, your possessions might reflect that.
A KS is roughly an equivalent to one US dollar. You don't really need to run prices past us for approval: just use your best judgement and whatever real life reference you might get your hand on.
1) Why should new recruits get paid? Many of them drop out anyway, and the position isn't a permanent one. So long as you post every so often on the board, you pretty much KNOW your character will be promoted by Star Army Personnel Management or the ship CO whenever you complete your next mission (and get a service award).
2) Besides, on a Star Army ship, there's no money needed for housing, utilities, internet, food, or standard weaponry and clothing. Is there really anything that a soldier needs in their quarters or on their person that isn't provided? If you buy something that can't fit on your character's person or in his quarters, it'll have to sit in storage somewhere, anyway. There's only so much a man can carry.
3) Certain fleets don't pay ANY of their soldiers, officers and enlisted, or only pay those who opt for a salary. The prestige system, in use for those who don't get paid, is an unofficial system that allows unpaid Star Army soldiers to request for anything reasonable they think they should have or deserve. Usually, the Star Army will give it to them, too. This could be anything from a pad of note paper to a spacecraft. Note that a lot of Yamataian civilian jobs don't pay salaries either–it's not unusual to work for a lifestyle instead of money, especially if you're employed by one of the wealthy clans like the Ketsurui.