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Let be an orthogonal, symplectic or unitary group over a non-archimedean local field of odd residual characteristic. This paper concerns the study of the “wild part” of an irreducible smooth representation of , encoded in its “semisimple character”. We prove two fundamental results concerning them, which are crucial steps toward a complete classification of the cuspidal representations of . First we introduce a geometric combinatorial condition under which we prove an “intertwining implies conjugacy” theorem for semisimple characters, both in and in the ambient general linear group. Second, we prove a Skolem–Noether theorem for the action of on its Lie algebra; more precisely, two semisimple elements of the Lie algebra of which have the same characteristic polynomial must be conjugate under an element of if there are corresponding semisimple strata which are intertwined by an element of .
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