The Gryphon's Beak

June, 2019


Flag Sends

June 1st has some actual historical significance. The Glorious First of June (also known as the Fourth Battle of Ushant) of 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was a victory for the British – resoundingly.

Since there is a naval tradition on that date, it was picked to be the official hand-off of command of Second Fleet.

In the first of my monthly Flag Sends columns I want to talk about what I want to see happen with the fleet, and where I want us, collectively, to go.

Please note, these are not some kind of directives, merely a set of goals I have – that will make more sense in a bit.

I want the Fleet to be a source of positive interpersonal relationships. Not just able to tolerate a dinner together, or some coffee, but close enough to be comfortable asking each other for aid. I believe that when we grow closer in the organization we make that organization stronger, and enrich both it and ourselves. I want our members to be able to reach out in their chapters and echelons, and the fleet as a whole for help moving, pet sitting, whatever comes up. I want us to be, as much as life allows, more than faceless people in a newsletter or forum post.

I want the fleet to be active – either as a whole or in smaller segments. I think that one of the vital elements of a positive, successful, group is to be outwardly focused. Navel gazing isn’t healthy for any extended length of time. I would love to see activity generated by members for members. Remember, ship events and activities do not need to be top-down! If the new Spacer wants to host a movie night or cookout, great! The only thing I require for a Ship Event is that it be publicly announced in a reasonable time-frame so as many can attend as possible, and open to all ship members. And legal. Has to be legal. And not a shooting event (laser-tag is fine, actual firearms are not), that is for legal reasons and not negotiable. You are welcome to go shooting; it just can’t be called an official TRMN event

I want to see us grow – in any matter possible. If that means spinning off from existing ships, great! If that means LACs all day long, great! Growth is growth, and a fleet that isn’t focused on that is in trouble. Remember, it only takes 3 to LAC, and then you’re on the road to grow!

As a codicil to that, I want to see growth that is organic. Getting a group together that has a similar interest at the outset is important. Just absorbing everyone in sight is not so great. Having that central theme to unify the members is vitally important. But don’t let that keep you from seeking growth! When it comes to growing the Fleet, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Be good, perfect isn’t usually on the table.

I want to see grievances addressed swiftly, and then put aside when possible. Allowing these to fester serves no one, and weakens us all. If there is a connection to the Fleet involved in the issue, we want to be involved in the resolution. It is not our place to get into your personal business, and I want to be sure that TRMN remains out of that, but if the organization is part of the issue, let us be part of the solution.

Lastly, I want to see us having fun. I know that Task Force 21 got hammered hosting and running Manticon. It has now been a year since the last MN Manticon, and I hope everyone is rested. I hope the easing of that burden has allowed us to breathe, and we can get back to the important business of having some fun with this. While there is some work at the command levels, if it wasn’t fun, none of us would still be here.

So, in closing, let’s make sure they know why we are Second To None, and make Second Fleet the core of The Royal Manticoran Navy!

The Tradition Lives!

Comings & Goings

As of May 19th, 2019, LT(SG)(RHN) Aaron Butt, HMS Death Claw, is appointed to the position of Flag Lieutenant to the Office of the Senior Military Attache, Republic of Haven Navy, with all rights and responsibilities associated with that role.


As of the May 16, 2019, Major General James Olsen is appointed to the position of Fourth Space Lord, with all rights and responsibilities associated with that role.


Congratulations to ENS Judy (Ziggi) Thompson on her promotion to officer and on her appointment as Task Force 21 Flag Lieutenant!


Congratulations to LCDR Ross Prosser on his promotion and appointment to Deputy Commander of Task Force 21. TF21 is looking forward to his leadership in helping pull us together as a team in and planning more fun things to do as chapters working together.


Congratulations to CPO Elizabeth (Luna ) Erickson on her appointment as Task Force 21 Bosun. She always seems in the know on the convention scene and will bring a lot of enthusiasm and creativity to Task Force 21’s participation in our area’s cross fandom and geek community activities, as well as be the leader and voice for our enlisted TRMN members in Task Force 21. I encourage all our chapter Bosuns to get to know her.


Congratulations to CPO Justin Willard on his promotion and appointment as Bosun, HMS Merlin!

Fleet Staff Needed

With the change in command, the following Fleet positions are open, and in need of filling:

Deputy CO

This is a Commodore (F1) position.

The DCO is there to serve as a backstop for the CO, and take over in the event of the CO’s absence.

In practical matters, the DCO will serve as the filter for the CO – handling issues that may arise, as possible, and keeping the CO informed when issues do arise. This position is, hopefully, a .5 ‘hat’ position, but may rise to be a full ‘hat’, as regards the 2 Hat Rule.

Chief Of Staff

This is a Captain (O6 A/B) position.

Th Chief of Staff is also a layer of problem solver between the CO and the several ships. The CoS is also the leader of the staff officers, and may be considered as their immediate supervisor. Duties include making sure that reports are tracked and in on time, handling issues that arise in the staff, and generally keeping everything straight with the fleet staff.

Flag Lieutenant

This is a Junior Officer (O1 – O3) position.

The role of the Flag Lieutenant is to, in the words of COL Bryar Nelson, to make sure the CO is on time, and eats something. As an aide-de-camp, the Flag Lieutenant should have qualified as Yeoman, and be available to maintain flag records, schedules (mainly at conventions), and generally keeping track of correspondence and helping set up any meetings that need to happen. This is not a full-time position.

Please note that all rank requirements must be tested to in order to receive appointment to the position.

Sphinx Forestry Commission

Background Check Information

Greetings members of TRMN

For approximately the last year or so, you may have seen me post about background checks. In an attempt to get more of you to get them done, I thought I would take a minute to explain the who/what/when/where/why and how to get one done.

When I post about getting a background check I say to get it done to be in compliance with Admiralty Order 1711-06, but what does this actually mean? The simplest explanation is if you are EVER in a position, where you may be placed in charge of a minor member(anyone under the age of 16), that is not your child, then you MUST get a background check. It does not matter the circumstances; it could be as simple as a ship meeting or activity, a convention, a charity event, or even email correspondence. If you are placed in a position of authority over a minor, then a background check is a necessity.

We currently use Verified Volunteers to run the background checks. Once you inform me that you would like to get a background check, I send you an invite. You click on the link provided and create an account. It is very quick and easy. You then pay $20 to Verified Volunteers via PayPal and that’s it, your done.

All information is kept by Verified Volunteers, we only see the results of the background check and not your personal information. There are only 3 TRMN members that have access to the results of your background check. I have access as head of SFC, which is the youth component of TRMN. Martin Lessem, as head of TRMN as a whole. And finally, Matthew Parker as TRMNs JAG. That is it. No one else has access to any information. The only information that I keep are handwritten notes with names, email addresses, and method of contact. I keep this information, so that I make sure everyone who wants a background check gets an invite. These notes never leave my house and are filled away. Everything else is kept by Verified Volunteers.

So, the next time you see me put out a call for background checks, consider getting one done. They are quick, easy, and if you save your receipt, then the money spent goes toward your OQE. If you hold a position of leadership, then lead by example and get a background check. It protects the kids, it protects you, and it protects TRMN.

Always with Honor

Lady Lauren Niemeyer, KCGL
Commissioner Sphinx Forestry Commission
Baroness Alnwick Estates

BSC- Wings Challenge Rules Update

At the beginning of the year, the decision was made to have the Aerospace Challenge (wings) be the second Challenge for our fleet. At the time, the rules were that each chapter would compete for raw numbers of members with wings. This was part of the reason it was chosen – we wanted to have a ‘raw numbers’ Challenge in the mix as well as percentage and the reading challenge.

Last week an errata was published to the rules. The new metric is percentage-based, not numbers. It is understandable that there is some concern over a rules change in the middle of the Black Sphinx Cup cycle. Despite that concern, the decision was made to continue with the Aerospace Challenge.

The change is in how chapters are scored. Under the old system, a LAC with 4 members couldn’t hope to compete against an active Destroyer with, say, 12 members. Or against one of the truly huge ships in the Fleet – the CLACs and Super Dreadnoughts.

Now the Challenge is scored by percentage – thus that 4 person LAC can compete against the larger chapters. This was, it appears, the original intent of the rules, and an earlier draft was published in error. We will hold the course, and when the time comes to discuss the Challenges for 2020, we will use this information in that calculus.

I understand how this may seem to simply be moving the ‘impossible to win’ tag from small chapters to the larger ones. At this time, we will see what happens, and accept that we made the best decision we could with the information we had, and move on.

Thank you for understanding.

Civilian Corps

Civilian Promotions Boards

The next Civilian Promotion Board will meet in August 2019.

This Board is ONLY for TRMN members who serve in the Diplomatic Corps, the Crown Intelligence Service, Royal Manticoran Merchant Marine and the Royal Manticoran Astro Control Service and covers the following paygrades:

  • Civilian Paygrades: C9 – C11
  • Civilian Paygrades: C12 – C17
  • Civilian Paygrades: C18 – C22

As we are looking at Junior Minister / RMMM and RMACS Officer Promotions to senior ranks, we are looking for people with demonstrated leadership qualities. Please remember that while someone may be eligible for promotion, for C14 or higher, a billet must exist.

Please contact the for a Promotion Request Proforma.

Civilian Corps

Reminder About Convention Conduct

Good Day Everyone,

It is that time of year again where we would like to remind people that when you are at a convention representing TRMN in any manner that you wear at least the convention minimum that is outlined in Admiralty Order 1604-03. It reads “As of the date of this Order, 26-APR-16, any person manning a Recruiting Table, or representing TRMN on a panel as one of the panel hosts or moderators at a Convention, shall be required to meet at least this minimum dress code.” Please click on the link for further details on this. You can also read about “The Wearing of Covers” (Admiralty Order 1204-03). These should help clear up any uniform or gear questions.

For other convention related information please see Table Sharing at Conventions (Admiralty Order 1504-02).

We also would like to remind people of the TRMN Code of conduct. All members of TRMN agreed to follow this code by their agreement to be a member of the organization.

The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.

  • I will respect the rights of all members.
  • I will never let personal or societal prejudices color my interactions with other members.
  • I will strive to never bring dishonor upon the Royal Manticoran Navy or its Sub-Groups.
  • I will maintain an appearance appropriate to my duties and never bring dishonor to the Uniform.
  • I will treat those who report to me with dignity -I will respect those to whom I report.
  • I will abide by the Official Secrets Act
  • I will strive to defuse confrontations, not cause them.
  • I will be the first to offer praise, and always the last to criticize.
  • I will always work to be part of the solution, never the problem.

We strive to treat members and non-members with respect and dignity. Above all else we have and display integrity and Honor. We do this by being respectful of rules that are set by the conventions or events that we choose to attend. Even if we do not agree with a rule, we respect it and follow it (providing no real laws are broken). It is not our job to tell other conventions what to do and not do. We volunteer to help and we always do the best we can without complaint. If there is a problem, please follow the appropriate Chain of Command for resolution.

Have a great convention season!

In Service,

Diane K Bulkeley, KDE, KCR, MC
Vice Admiral Of The Red, RMN
Second Space Lord, Bureau of Planning
Baroness, New Essex

Upcoming Events

SpikeCon (Manticon 2019)

Layton, Utah July 4-7, 2019


Minneapolis, MN July 4-7, 2019


Indianapolis, IN July 5-7, 2019


St Cloud, MN September 21-22, 2019


Lombard, IL November 8-10, 2019

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

Have your ship, echelon, or fleet upcoming events promoted here!

We just need the event name and date sent to! We want to promote you!

Posters like this are available (TF-levels are pre-approved!), as are Gryphon & Planet posters, and more! Send over a request and email, and your posters will be emailed (or cloud-drive links will be) straight away!

Promotion Reminder

I want to remind all COs to check Medusa at least monthly to send in promotions, and see who is eligible for boards. Promoting is easy with the current system, and literally just takes a few clicks.

I also want to encourage a ‘must promote’ mindset for all non-board promotions. I am sure this isn’t an issue for anyone in Fleet, but want to be sure it gets said officially.

Who the person is, or our opinion of them, doesn’t matter when it’s promotion time. If your members are eligible, we need to be sure they get their promotions in a timely manner.

I know life intrudes. Please take just a few minutes to check your rosters, and promote our people. It’s good for morale, and the right thing to do as CO.

June Reports

This is a reminder that your Chapter and MarDet reports are due by June 10th.

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.

Saganami Island Training Academy

Training Officer’s Challenge

So what is leadership? Well if you Google it, the first definition is “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” It’s pretty spot on, the TRMN is an organization, and we do have people running it. But there is a lot more to it, is there not? There is organizing events, and that can be difficult, with juggling everyone’s schedule. Life has a way of getting in the way, and we all have to work around that. It means mediating conflicts when they arise, despite a person’s best effort to prevent them. It means coming up with activities for the group to do. It means finding a location for the event. It means making sure everyone has a good time. It means making sure everyone can get to the event, and if refreshments are going to be provided, they are there too.

There is a lot that needs to be considered when you are in a position of leadership.

Now, I bring this up as Task Force 21.1’s Training Officer because it is something that should be on a person’s mind when taking the exams. This is especially true if they plan on taking up a leadership role within the organization; doubly so if they plan to launch their own ship as the CO. Despite the fact that we are a club of friends and family who love David Weber’s universe, we are still a structured organization. And that structure helps keep our organization running, despite any setbacks that arise.

This isn’t to scare anyone. My goal is to make sure that a person is prepared when they offer up their services, when they shoulder that responsibility. Everyone has the potential in them to be a leader. However, it’s up to the individual to choose what type of leader they will be, and if they will rise up to the challenge to be the best leader they can be.


No one can lead without help; help from those that take the exams to be officers to those that take the exams to be non-commissioned officers. They are the backbone of this organization. They make the job of the admiralty to the command triads that much easier. Yes, if you do well you may get recognized and rewarded for a job well done, but that is just a cherry on top of the cake. Because if you choose to take the exams, and become part of what keeps the TRMN going, that is already a reward. To know that without you this organization would not function, should make anyone who has taken the exams feel pride.

Yes, to become part of this backbone the TRMN requires exams, but that is to confirm your dedication to becoming a leader. If you work on the exams, if you take the time to do them, it’s a symbol of your commitment. It shows that you understand what you are choosing to do, to stand up and carry the weight of leadership on your shoulders. We all come from different backgrounds, but in this organization, we are one. And I would argue that we understand the value of hard work and dedication, even if it’s just from living the adventures of our favorite characters from David Weber’s series.

I have meet some stellar people who’ve chosen to carry the yoke of leadership within our organization. I know that there are a bunch out there who could rise to the challenge, take the exams, and be fantastic leaders. There are a lot of reasons a person might not, but to be fair those are excuses. A person might not feel ready, or a leadership position might scare them, or they are happy just being a member. The latter is fine, being a member is quite rewarding. However, the first two positions, if a person feels that way, I have a term for them, ‘reluctant leader.’ How many stories are out there of people when leadership thrust on them, they rise to the occasion. If the thought of being a leader scares you, then you understand what it means to take on that leadership, and in my book that makes you a perfect candidate to be a leader. For those of you who feel that way, I issue a challenge. Take the first exam. I think you will find the confidence to take on more responsibilities within the organization.

And yeah, I understand if a person just enjoys being part of the organization. However, the exams are fun, and I would recommend taking the first just to see what they’re all about. You will get a fancy ribbon for your ribbon rack, so it’d be a win-win situation.

Since I already covered how fun the exams could be, I wanted to touch on the leadership aspect. Be mindful that this is my opinion on leadership. I fear that I might have made it sound more stressful than it really is. Which is not the case. Organizing and pulling off an event, and I will use the Halloween party my shipmates and I did as a perfect example, is so rewarding. To see everyone have a good time and bond as a group made my heart soar. Another example is how well we pulled off Manticon. Again, this is my opinion, but from what I experienced every year in Minnesota, Manticon was a huge highlight of my year. So there are really good aspects to being a leader.

So again, I am issuing the challenge from above, take the first exam and find out what it feels to have one completed.

Sir Matthew Lindquist, KE, GSN
Captain Grayson Space Navy
Training Officer Task Force 21

Crossed pulsars

Marksmanship Update

By order of CO 2nd Fleet, the following marksmanship awards are issued effective 22 May, 2019:


  • CIV3 Andrea SNEDDEN, HMS Enterprise


  • Obergefraiter Michael BODIE, HMS Enterprise
  • MR Don REISDORPH, HMS Valkyrie


  • CDR Thomas HATHAWAY, HMS Ajax
  • CPO Patrick HOUSEMAN, HMS Ajax
  • ENS Jim MCCOY, HMS Ajax
  • S1C Matt MIDWINTER, HMS Valkyrie


  • S1C Dean FLOREANI, HMS Valkyrie
  • CPO Patrick HOUSEMAN, HMS Ajax
  • S1C James O’CONNELL, HMS Ajax
  • PO1 Ana SHIRLEY, HMS Valkyrie


  • MR Don REISDORPH, HMS Valkyrie


  • LCPL Melanie Galloway, MARDET Valkyrie


  • ENS Jim MCCOY, HMS Ajax


  • LTSG Ross PROSSER, HMS Valkyrie
  • PO1 Ana SHIRLEY, HMS Valkyrie


  • S1C Karol KURTZ, HMS Invincible


  • S1C Matt MIDWINTER, HMS Valkyrie
  • S1C Steven POESCHL, HMS Valkyrie
  • CAPTJG Daniel STIGLICH, HMS Valkyrie
  • S1C Matthew CARUS, HMS Valkyrie

GRAYSON Marksman Award

  • S2C David LEVI, HMS Enterprise

The Tradition Lives!


For CO 2nd Fleet:

Issued by: KEVIN WALSH, NS Senior Chief Petty Officer, RMN< 2nd Fleet Range Officer

May Honors – Awards

A note on Awards:

The Honor Harrington Birthday Honors will appear in the next Newsletter. In order to present awards at SpikeCon in July, announcement of awards above Navy Star will be delayed until that convention.

Queen’s Bravery Medal

SMCPO Kevin Walsh, RMN     HMS Hotspur

Conspicuous Bravery Medal

PO1 Daniel Lapine, RMN     HMS Hotspur
SCR Kylie Fugate, CIV     HMS Hotspur
PFC Jayme Moore, RMMC     HMS Hotspur

Meritorious Service Medal

PO2 Diana Flanagan, RMN     HMS Hotspur

Navy Commendation Decoration

LTSG Debra Fligor, RMN     HMS Hotspur

Navy Achievement Medal

PO3 Jared Hahn, RMN     HMS Hotspur

Manticoran Havenite 1905-1922 War Medal.

PO3 Jeanne Kating, RMN     HMS Hellhound
PO3 Martin Levita, RMN     HMS Hellhound

Grand Alliance Campaign Medal

LTCDR Julie Chase, RMN     HMS Lodestone
CDR Richard Davenport, GSN     HMS Death Claw
CDR Drew A. Drentlaw, RMN     HMS Invincible
CAPT Larry French Sr, RMMC     MARDET Demon
PO2 Richard Hertel, RMN     HMS Invincible
ENS Terry Lassaline, RMN     HMS Enterprise

Manticoran Combat Action Medal

3rd Award

LTCDR Rex Hood Jr, RMN     HMS Demon
CAPT Larry Dale French Sr, RMMC     MARDET Demon

Aerospace Basic Observer Wings

S3C John Ryan Chambers, RMN     HMS Gryphon

Officer Space Warfare Pin

ENS Jim McCoy, RMN     HMS Ajax

May Honors – Promotions

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

HMS Beowulf

  • Peter Ernest Mousseau to Petty Officer 3rd Class, effective 27 May, 2019
  • Michael D Cartwright Sr to Spacer 1st Class, effective 27 May, 2019
  • Scott Walkotten to Lance Corporal, effective 27 May, 2019

HMS Demon

  • Kerry Kuhn to Petty Officer 2nd Class, effective 7 May, 2019
  • Stephen P Miller to Petty Officer 3rd Class, effective 7 May, 2019

HMS Enterprise

  • Daniel Toole to Petty Officer 2nd Class, effective 10 May, 2019

HMS Galahad

  • Steven Bobula to Petty Officer 3rd Class (E-4), effective 19 May 2019
  • John Edward Adkins to Petty Officer 3rd Class, effective 19 May 2019
  • Aaron Kevin Meighen to Petty Officer 3rd Class, effective 19 May 2019

HMS Hotspur

  • Faith M Eheart to Spacer 1st Class, effective 13 May, 2019

HMS Javelin

  • Jennifer L Leeman to Petty Officer 2nd Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Jess Haselius to Spacer 1st Class , effective 2 May, 2019

HMS Juno

  • Shelbie Ann-Marie Taloowa to Petty Officer 1st Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Isaac Lindquist to Petty Officer 2nd Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Kat Castro to Petty Officer 3rd Class, effective 2 May, 2019

HMS Merlin

  • Justin Willard to Staff Sergeant, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Will Hans to Platoon Sergeant, effective 2 May, 2019, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Scott Schwandt to Petty Officer 2nd Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • S, effective 2 May, 2019Andy Breth to Spacer 1st Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Boone Skoog to Spacer 1st Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Kaylee Stang to Spacer 1st Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Brandy Vi Wolf to Spacer 1st Class, effective 2 May, 2019
  • Ziggi Thompson to Ensign, effective 14 May, 2019

HMS Valkyrie

  • Dylan Bradley to Petty Officer 3rd Class, effective 30 April, 2019
  • Jared Jon Jerzak to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 30 April, 2019
  • Michael Antony Bernabo to Platoon Sergeant, effective 28 May, 2019
  • Julia Howard to Platoon Sergeant, effective 28 May, 2019