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The Gryphon's Beak

April, 2020


Flag Sends

I have rewritten this mentally about a dozen times, and actually rewritten it twice. But things kept changing too quickly, and as soon as I thought I had this nailed down, it was no longer a valid article.

But there needs to be a statement of some kind from Fleet, and since that’s me, here goes…


We live in a challenging time. It’s far from unprecedented, since, as many people like to remind us, we just did this dance a century back. That doesn’t make the COVID-19 pandemic less stressful or difficult.

In the language of our fandom, this is our Test, and it is up to us, singly and collectively, to meet that Test.

I put out a video asking everyone to update their MEDUSA info, so local COs and higher can get in touch if we need – a sort of wellness check. In that video I said something that bears repeating. I know your quality, and I know we, as a Fleet, can handle this challenge. I have faith in you all, and look forward to seeing you in person once this is over.

Until then, I wanted to get some points out that I believe matter, and might help with the stress of the situation.

First, it is important to understand that if these isolation orders, closures, and stay-home decrees work, it will look like a wild overreaction. It’s kind of annoying that way. In other words, if this all works, it will look like nothing happened because nothing…happened.

Here’s hoping that once this is over, it looks like a stupid overreaction.

Second, the reason to honor these restrictions isn’t your health, it’s the person next to you, the person you see in the hall of your building, the person at the shop. You (I) may feel that this isn’t going to be a big deal, even if we get it, but the way this virus progresses means that we put others at risk when we disregard proper behavior. Honor the stay-at-home orders for your grandparents, your older friends, etc…we all have someone who would be a an elevated risk from COVID-19 in our lives, do this to keep them safe.

I want to also talk some about personal protection. Knowing what does and doesn’t work is vital. Understanding terminology for those of us not in or close to the medical field is also important.

Is hand washing really that effective? Yup! It’s kind of fascinating, really. Without getting too technical (mostly because I am distilling a distilled version), viruses self-assemble, with a lipid sheath around the RNA payload. The coronas are proteins. Since the virus is self-assembled, it lacks strong bonds between the parts. Soap acts like a laser warhead hitting a rowboat – it just plows through the lipid sheath, and the entire thing falls apart. The 20 second count is there to give time for the soap to reach everywhere. And any soap works. Literally. Dish soap, hand soap, shampoo, whatever. It doesn’t need to be antibacterial, since we’re dealing with a virus, not a bacteria. While that won’t hurt, it really doesn’t do anything against the virus. For a lot more, see this thread: Dr. Thordarson is the Director of Research in the School of Chemistry, University of New South Wales.

But what about hand sanitizer? It works too, as long as the alcohol content is high enough. And that means 60-80% ethanol. Soap works better overall. So, if your local store is out of sanitizer, I bet they still have soap, and that’s the best way to wipe out any virus particles on your skin.

Are face masks needed? Yes, but also no. If you think you are sick, any kind of surgical or dust mask will capture the water droplets on the inside, and help keep you from spreading the virus. Only an N95 mask will prevent you from inhaling the particles. So when you see people in a mask, be grateful for their intent, while being reassured that if they happen to be infected, they are protecting you.

Some other things need to be cleared up too.

  • Hording is bad, and you shouldn’t do it. While this isn’t a real navy, and I can’t do anything if you do, remember to act with honor, and only purchase what you reasonably need. Don’t beclown yourself by buying a year’s worth of toilet paper or whatever. Seriously. I assume you all know this, but I need to say it for my own mental issues.
  • Please find and listen to primary sources, experts, and not pundits or journalists. They are out there, and the information from experts in the field is, while not always perfect, always better informed than from others.
  • Under no circumstances should you promote rumors or false information. If there is something you hear that sounds at all off, or even unusual, please verify it before spreading it – your words can have untold impact on others, especially now. If your state has stay-home orders, you can find the exact facts on the state’s website. Read them.
  • As an add-on to that, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t find something to verify. I will gladly search for info for you! And others will too. Don’t stress over information you get told – there are many people waiting to help!

Now, what won’t cause you to be at risk for COVID-19?

  • Chinese food
  • People of Chinese descent
  • People of any specific descent, actually
  • Being outside
  • Kindness
  • Corona beer
  • The corona of the sun…just no staring!

Here is the bottom line. COVID-19 is bad, And the constant flow of bad news regarding it is almost worse. Now is a great time to consider social media distancing as well. We are just not designed to handle the endless influx of bad news, or any news really. We need time to process. If you can’t disconnect fully, please limit your time, and remember that people are scared. HP Lovecraft rightly said that the greatest emotion of mankind is fear, and the greatest fear is fear of the unknown. This is the unknown come to…well…not exactly life. But close enough.

The bottom line is to be careful and informed. If you are at a convention, be aware of what is happening around you (always a good idea), and be accepting if no one is close enough to hug it out. If you are concerned about your health – either fear you have something or fear of catching – stay home. I speak for us all when I say I would far, far rather not have us at a convention than in medical quarantine. Or worse.

I am also keeping an eye on what is and isn’t being canceled. Hopefully, by the time our big conventions roll around, this will be over – or contained – and we won’t need to worry. Remember, the ConComs have to protect everyone, and a canceled convention isn’t the end of the world.

Keep in touch with each other – we have great channels of communication – and let someone know if you are concerned about yourself or someone else.

Lastly, I want to offer a bit of long-view perspective.

You, the person reading this, the person next to them, and everyone you know, comes from a line of people who didn’t quit. Your ancestors dealt with far worse than this, and survived. And that lives in you as well. We face an unpleasant and unwelcome challenge. We, however, are the descendants of survivors, and we will triumph as well.

Keep positive, as much as you can, and remember that it’s ok to not be ok. In trying times, feeling off is normal. However you are feeling is normal too. We all deal with this differently, so don’t expect to be the same as the next person.

Be well, and stay safe.

Comings & Goings

Naval Directive 20FE-03

RADM New Hastings, you are directed and required to assume command of the Bureau of Planning, relieving VADM New Essex, RADM, and taking on the title of Second Space Lord of the Royal Manticoran Navy.

Congratulations to RADM Cheryl Krause, Baroness New Hastings on the elevation!


Bureau of Planning Directive 2003-01

Effective 1 March, 2020, Department of Marketing, Branding and Art within the Bureau of Planning is responsible for all artwork and marketing materials that support the TRMN brand including The Royal Manticoran Navy and all affiliated groups and subgroups.

Welcome to Vice Admiral of the Red Lady Dame Diane Bulkeley, KDE, KCR, MC, Baroness New Essex, the inagural Director, and Commodore Sir Zach White, KDE, KCR, MC as Deputy Director.


There is a new digital AAR report available for your use after any event or convention. Once we do those again, of course! It can be accessed here:


Naval Directive 20MA-01

As of 0001 hours, March 23, 2020, Commodore David Misener is appointed to the position of Fifth Space Lord, with all rights and responsibilities associated with that role.

Congratulations on your new role!

April Reports

This is a reminder that your Chapter and MarDet reports are due between April 1st and April 25th. One thing I found amazingly helpful when filling them out was to use an online document (Google Docs, Word Online) to keep things organized as they happened. Then, when the reporting month hit, I could just copy and paste them into the reports form, and be done. No trying to remember what happened two months ago at the last minute!

Marines – you now have a new online form to fill out for Bi-Monthly reports. The link is below. It will send the reports to your command triad, your Ship’s CO and to ComForceCom. Please use this form to send in your report that is due on June 5th.

There is only one stipulation with the form at this time. Please do not use autofill. Autofill does not work properly and that information is deleted in the report. You can copy and paste information into the report but forgo the autofill function.

Intel Agents Needed

If you check out the list on the next page, you might see some conventions missing! Want to help make sure that Fleet and BuPlan have the most updated information?

Join Intelligence today! As an Intel Agent, you help make sure every convention in your area is marked, so we have a complete picture of what’s happening! And yes, you even get issued a trench coat and shades* if you wish. Whatever gets you in the Intel mood!

Drop an email to to get started!

*Trench coats and shades not included, issue gear is metaphorical.

Charity Tracking

Remember to send in any charity giving or activity – through TRMN or not – to our Charity Tracking Officer, Lieutenant Commander David Oliver Kling (

We are wanting to get a good picture of how we, as a group, are involved in charity work. This is compiled and sent upwards.

It isn’t just money – we want to know if you volunteer your time too! Let us know, and we can even promote your charity here, helping get the word out to a wider audience!

1SL YouTube

If you haven’t yet, check out the 1SL’s YouTube channel. The channel features interviews with several Space Lords, and Fleet COs. All Fleet COs will be included (I did mine, it isn’t posted yet) soon! Take a moment to click the logo above to check it out!


To: All Officers, Enlisted and Civilians in The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.

From: Martin Lessem, KSK, GCR, GCE, SC, DSO, CGM, First Lord of the Admiralty, Admiral of the Fleet, Grand Duke Lynx, Duke, New Scania

Re: TRMN and the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19

As we have been learning more and more about this virus, I wanted to make sure that our members take the proper precautions to remain safe during this pandemic. This is especially important as we have a decent percentage of members who have underlying illnesses which compromise their immune systems. To that end the recommendations of Admiralty House will be as follows:

  1. Chapter Meetings and Events should be held virtually if possible.
    • Take the time to check up on your members who may be elderly (over 60) and immunocompromised.
    • Try to schedule a virtual event for your Chapter to keep everyone engaged
    • Command triads should be reaching out to all their members to ensure wellbeing.
  2. Members should avoid conventions where possible. The WHO recommends avoiding gatherings of 250 or more.
  3. If you have the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) you should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you develop the emergency warning signs (difficulty breathing, persistent pain, new confusion, or bluish lips or face) seek medical attention immediately.
  4. Follow the advice of the CDC/WHO:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Facemasks:
      • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
      • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
    • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
    • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • Be considerate of others. Do not buy more paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, soap, or detergent than you actually need. The same goes for toilet paper, and alcohol swabs. This is not a disease where those two items will be useful for you, and there are people with genuine medical conditions who need them and are having a hard time getting them.

To aide Chapters and Fleets during this time, and to ensure that we are taking all situations into consideration, the following will be in effect through the end of April:

Chapters and Fleets will be given an extra 15 days to submit their reports.

This is a time we should all be coming together and ensuring each other’s safety and wellbeing. The news has not been the best source of information, which is why I am recommending that if you have specific questions or concerns about the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, you should visit one of the following sites:

World Health Organization (WHO):

Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Your local States Department of Health

Stay safe and keep your crews safe.

In service!

Issued by:

Martin Lessem, KSK, GCR, GCE, SC, DSO, CGM

Admiral of the Fleet RMN

First Lord of the Admiralty

Grand Duke Lynx

Duke, New Scania

Blood Drive Flyers!

BuComm-Approved blood drive flyers are available!

Each poster is available in 11 x 17 as a form-fillable PDF. Just enter your specific details, and your customized Blood Drive flyer is ready to go!

I want to thank SMAJ Brad Handley, MARDET Ajax, for spearheading the project, coming up with the idea and providing excellent suggestions on changes to the design. There is a ready-to-use version linked below:

Blank TRMN Blood Drive poster
Sample filled TRMN Blood Drive poster

Wound Stripe Award Criteria Variance



Office of the Judge Advocate General, as part of the

Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty

The purpose of the Wound Stripe is to encourage the donation of blood at Admiralty House and Fleet events, as donated blood is almost always needed by medical organizations. In the current pandemic blood is especially needed, and the opportunities to donate officially are shrinking due to cancellations.

The First Lord of the Admiralty has therefore agreed to the following temporary variance to the requirements for the Wound Stripe:

All blood donations between 0000 hours 18 March 2020 (EST) and 1159 hours 31 May 2020 (EST) shall count as a donation at an Admiralty House or Fleet event for the purposes of the Wound Stripe.

This variance means that any TRMN member who has NOT been awarded the Wound Stripe previously and donates during the timeframe listed above will be eligible for being awarded the Wound Stripe. Any member who HAS been previously awarded the Wound Stripe may count this as one (1) of the three (3) required donations at Admiralty House or Fleet events in order to receive subsequent awards of the Wound Stripe.

Documentation must be submitted in order to receive the Wound Stripe showing the date and location of the donation (please redact any Personally Identifiable Information). Each Fleet is requested to collect the information and submit it to the BuPers award department in batches rather than members submitting directly.

If pandemic circumstances and convention cancellations are still ongoing as of 31 May 2020, the FLA retains the authority to review or extend this variance.

Any questions, comments, or rants should be directed to the Judge Advocate General at

Matthew W. Parker QCB KSK KE PMDSA SC OG

Rear Admiral of the Red, RMN

Judge Advocate General, TRMN

Earl, Camera Stellata

With the approval of:

Martin Lessem, KSK, GCR, GCE, SC, DSO, CGM

Admiral of the Fleet, RMN

First Lord of the Admiralty

Grand Duke, Lynx

Duke, New Scania

Blood Drive Form

Per the above, we have a tracking form for donations.

To qualify you must log these donations at our tracking form:

Donations not logged will not be eligible for award under this variance, thanks!

Upcoming Events


St. Louis Park, MN

April 2 - 4

Anime Detour

Minneapolis, MN

April 3 - 5


Glen Ellyn, IL

April 3 - 5

Superior Con

Marquette, MI

April 4


Louisville, KY

April 10 - 12

Who’s Yer Con

Indianapolis, IN

April 10-12

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest Chicago

Rosemont, IL

April 19 - 20

Gem City Comic Con

Dayton, OH

April 25 - 26


Decatur, IL


Midwest Comic Book Association

Roseville, MN

May 16 - 17

Anime Central

Rosemont, IL

May 21 - 23


Minneapolis, MN

May 22-24

County Pop Con

Grayslake, IL

May 23


Sandusky, OH

June 4-7

Metropolis Superman Celebration

Metropolis, IL

June 11 - 14


Owensboro, KY

June 12-14

Origins Game Fair

Columbus, OH

June 17 - 21


Kalamazoo, MI

July 24-26

Indiana Comic Convention

Indianapolis, IN

June 26-28

Get Geek’d Expo

Lansing, MI

July 18 - 19

Gen Con

Indianapolis, IN

July 30-Aug 2

Nerdin Out Con

Rochester, MN

August 8 - 9


Columbus, OH

August 14-16


Columbus, OH

August 20 - 23


Minneapolis, MN

August 20 - 23


St. Cloud, MN

September 19 - 20

Ice & Fire Con

Mt. Sterling, OH

October 29 - November 1

Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Grand Rapids, MI

November 13 - 15


Lombard, IL

November 13 - 15

Fleet events listed in bold. Admiralty in bold-italic.

Events canceled due to restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 are crossed out – many will need you to attend next year to keep going! Please consider buying memberships, or refusing refunds, when you are able.

Please send all events to, and reference Upcoming Event: in the subject line!

March Honors – Awards

Mentioned in Dispatches

MCPO Rick Waterson, RMN HMS Demon LTSG John FAIRBAIRN, RMN HMS Javelin

Prisoner of War Medal

Capricon 2020


Silesian Anti-Piracy Campaign Medal

Caprison 2020

S2/C Brendan Longhorn, RMN HMS Tesudo

Masadan Occupation Medal

Capricon 2020


Havenite Operational Service Medal

Capricon 2020

ENS Stephen BEALS, RMN HMS Samurai
SCWO Ursula DAY, RMN HMS Demon
PO1 Kerry KUHN, RMN HMS Demon
S2/C Brendan Longhorn, RMN HMS Tesudo
CDR Jeff Alan SMITH, RMN HMS Samurai RADM Geoffrey STRAYER, RMN HMS Demon
ENS Amy Louise THEISEN, RMN HMS Musashi

Manticoran Combat Action Medal

5th Award

S2C Bruce William CREWS, RMN HMS Beowulf CDR Anne Lucy TEXTOR, RMN HMS Sabrepike

Recruit Training Ribbon


Officer Space Warfare Pin

CDR Anne Lucy TEXTOR, RMN HMS Sabrepike

Enlisted Space Warfare Pin

S2C Bruce William CREWS, RMN HMS Beowulf

March Honors – Promotions

Congratulations are extended to the following members on the occasion of their promotions as noted.

HMLAC Banturon

  • James Morphew to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 26 February, 2020

  • Kennerly Ligo lll to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 15 March, 2020

HMLAC Scythe

  • John Howard Welty to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 30 March, 2020

HMS Enterprise

  • Kayla Audet to Sphinx Cadet Ranger 3, effective 7 March, 2020

  • Mike Bodie to Obermaat, effective 17 March, 2020

  • David Levi to Electronics Mate 2nd Class, effective 17 March, 2020

HMS Invincible

  • Patrick Anderson to the rank of Lieutenant, SG, effective 19 March, 2020

HMS Javelin

  • Kyleen L Weld to Spacer 1st Class, effective 29 February, 2020

HMS Merlin

  • Robbie J Carlson to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 29 February, 2020

Fleet Command & Staff Information

CO, Gryphon Fleet

CO, Gryphon Fleet

Rear Admiral of the Red
Geoffrey Strayer

XO, Gryphon Fleet

XO, Gryphon Fleet

Bosun, Gryphon Fleet

Bosun, Gryphon Fleet

Senior Master Chief Intelligence Mate
Kevin Walsh, NS, QBM

Chief of Staff

Captain, Senior Grade Zach McCauley

Flag Captain

Captain, Junior Grade Christina Swanson

JAG Ombudsman

Captain Larry Dale French Sr


CPO Christina R Doane

Intelligence Specialist

Lieutenant Commander David Oliver Kling

Personnel Officer

Captain (SG)
Jamey Salsberg

Training Officer

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Derek Firehawk Sauls

Range Officer

Senior Master Chief Intelligence Mate
Kevin Walsh, NS, QBM

RMACS Liaison

Captain, Junior Grade Christina Swanson

Gryphon Fleet Order of Battle

Task Force 21

Covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Task Group 21.1 shoulder patch

Task Group 21.1

LAC Wing 30

HMLAC Gungnir, Willmar, MN
HMLAC Superior, Duluth, MN
SMLAC Arminius, Minneapolis, MN

Destroyer Squadron 265

HMS Javelin (DD-264), Big Lake, MN
HMS Lodestone (DD-64), Elk River, MN
HMS Merlin (CA-270), St. Cloud, MN

Independent Commands

HMS Hellhound (DD-446), St. Paul, MN HMS Imperatrix (SD-457), Minneapolis, MN HMS Invincible (SD-455), Plymouth, MN HMS Juno (BC-726), Willmar, MN HMS Leonidas (BC-584), Grand Forks, ND HMS Valkyrie (SD-355), Minneapolis, MN
Task Group 21.2 shoulder patch

Task Group 21.2

Independent Commands

HMS Borzoi (DD-438), River Falls, WI
HMS Gawain (DD-481), Madison, WI
HMS Musashi (BC-775), Milwaukee, WI

Task Force 22

Covering Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan

Task Group 22.1 shoulder patch

Task Group 22.1

LAC Wing 62

GSNLAC Lilla Björn, Marquette, MI
HMLAC Scythe, Portage, Indiana

Independent Commands

HMS Apollo (CL-80), Lafayette, IN
HMS Demon (CLAC-62), Hammond, IN
HMS Gryphon (SD-153), Indianapolis, IN
HMS Hotspur (DD-02), Rantoul, IL
HMS Samurai (CL-356), Goshen, IN
HMS Wolfhound (DD-437), Mt. Prospect, IL

Task Group 22.2 shoulder patch

Task Group 22.2

Cruiser Division 711

HMS Death Claw (CA-437), Cincinnati, OH HMS Hexapuma (CA-412), Mount Vernon, IN HMS Sabrepike (CA-417), Franklin, OH

Independent Commands

HMS Galahad (DD-478), Columbus, OH
Task Group 22.2 shoulder patch

Task Group 22.3

Independent Commands

HMS Ajax (BC-545), Windsor, Ontario
HMS Beowulf (BC-739), Lansing, MI
HMS Enterprise (BC-480), Rochester Hills, MI
HMS Helen (BC-570), Fruitport, MI

Echelon Commanders

Task Force 21

Task Force 21

RADM Wayne Bruns

Task Group 21.1

Task Group 21.1

CAPTSG Jill McTavish

Destroyer Squadron 265

Destroyer Squadron 265

CAPTSG Paladin Meyer

Task Group 21.2

Task Group 21.2

CAPTJG Timothy Bailey

Task Force 22

Task Force 22

CDRE Justin Dupras

Task Group 22.1

Task Group 22.1

CAPTSG Michael Flanagan

Task Group 22.2

Task Group 22.2

CAPTSG Jimmy Nelson

Cruiser Division 711

Cruiser Division 711

CAPTJG Kevin Johnson

Task Group 22.3

Task Group 22.3

CAPTSG Jackie Snedden

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