The Gryphon's Beak

May, 2020


Flag Sends

This newsletter almost didn’t happen.

As we have spent the last month (or more) in a holding pattern of isolation, I have had a lot of motivation issues. Specifically, not having any. It sucks. And I was all prepared to send out an email apologizing for the lack of newsletter, and chalking it up as another COVID-19 casualty.

But that isn’t something I find acceptable.

It may be old-fashioned, but at my core, I believe that ‘I don’t feel like it’ is not an acceptable excuse. When I accepted this role, it wasn’t to be FCO when I felt like it, or when it was easy, but to do this when it wasn’t easy, when I didn’t feel up to it. So here we are.

I do want to talk a bit about the second step – what comes next. As we are entering May, it is going to be harder and harder to keep people invested in staying home. We are seeing states begin to ease restrictions as well. In the mix of all this, the term ‘herd immunity’ is getting tossed about. I want to look at that, and see about explaining how it works, and why relying on it is, perhaps, not the wise choice.

To start with, what is herd immunity? Herd immunity is the condition achieved when a sufficient percentage of the population is immune to a disease (naturally or via vaccination) that one sick person isn’t able to spread the disease in a meaningful manner. Thus, those not immune are protected by the prevalence of immune peoples.
How does that work in the real world? Well, that takes some science.

Communicability of diseases is expressed as R0, the basic reproduction number. This is used to express the expected number of cases directly generated by one case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection (like COVID-19). Seasonal flu has an R0 of between 0.9–2.1. COVID-19 is estimated at 1.4–5.7. This means that one person will infect 1-2 people with the flu, but 1-5 people with COVID-19. By way of comparison, 1 person with measles will infect (an a non-immune population) 12–18 people.

So, the higher the R0 number, the more virulent the disease.

The herd immunity threshold (HIT) scales to the R0 number. The higher R0, the more immune people you need to attain herd immunity. So, to attain the herd immunity threshold, you need 92% – 95% immunity for measles. For the flu, maybe 25%.

For COVID-19, the estimates range between 27% and 74%. This is one of the hard parts about novel viruses – the unknowns are pretty unknown. So, what that means is you need, for sake of argument let’s average these, 50% of the population immune. And there can’t be a vaccine until, at the earliest, April of 2021. Which means we can only achieve herd immunity if some 165,501,325 people get sick.

Illinois has a case death rate over 5%. At that rate, that’s 8,275,066 fatalities. Obviously, that is a wild estimate based on my state’s experience (yours will vary), an average to get the HIT, and nothing weird happening. Kind of horror-show, isn’t it?

That even assumes that antibodies generated by having had the disease confer immunity (which is, actually, a safe assumption based on other corona-type viruses).

I would not rely on herd immunity to protect me, personally.

Your community will vary – we have seen how the disease is expressing differently in different places. There is no one right answer. I am not trying to tell you how to respond, merely providing some information on a topic that is getting a lot of discussion recently.

In related news, Monday, April 27th, a judge in Coal County, IL, ruled that the governor had exceeded his authority in extending the state stay-at-home order until the end of May, and issued a stay. What does that mean? Basically, the Illinois constitution is explicitly clear about declared states of emergency – you get 30 days. I expect the General Assembly will act to extend that power in this case, but for now, that has not happened.

That is a lot of explanation for this next bit. When your state does reopen, I ask that if you have been working in the public during the shut-down, that you consider taking some time before jumping right back into things. My wife, for example, works in a hospital lab, and will be doing COVID-19 tests (not as her main thing, but will be doing it). I won’t be getting together with folk for a bit as a safety measure. Obviously, I cannot order that. But I can ask that you consider your possible exposure, and risk, and think about others before joining in group activities.

We are going to get through this – it’s only been a month, and will, hopefully, only be another month or two. Three months is totally survivable – our ancestors survived so much worse with so much less.

Please keep in touch with each other, your chapter and echelon leaders, and your non-TRMN friends and family. The lack of personal contact is hard on us all, and we owe it to ourselves and each other to mitigate that as much as we are able.

I’ll see you once this is over!

Comings & Goings

To: All Officers, Enlisted, and Civilians in the Grand Alliance
From: Martin A. Lessem, KSK, GCR, GCE, SC, DSO, CGM, Admiral of the Fleet, First Lord of the Admiralty, Grand Duke Lynx, Duke, New Scania
Re: Period of Mourning for Countess Neu Odenwaldkreis

These messages are always hard to write, because they touch so deeply upon all of us. Earlier today we learned of the passing of Lady Gloria J. Thomas-Friedline, the Countess of Neu Odenwaldkreis. At this time of mourning, I wish The Royal Manticoran Navy to stand with Earl Neu Odenwaldkreis and provide him our support as the family we are.

Additionally, I am ordering all running lights for all ships and stations dimmed, and all flags at installations lowered to half-mast, regardless of branch, for the next 30 days.

I am sure Earl Neu Odenwaldkreis appreciates any condolences you wish to send him personally as well.

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


BuPlan Directive 2004-02
Congratulation to Bruce Crews, HMS Beowulf, on appointment to the position of Yeoman for the Office of Marketing, Branding, and Art within the Bureau of Planning. As a result of his new position and duties, he is hereby promoted to the rank of Petty Officer Second Class, RMN.


BuShips Directive 2004-08

Congratulations to Davi Munroe, HMS Javelin, on his appointment to Bosun, relieving Chief Petty Officer Jim Erikson, RMN, and his brevet to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, RMN.

Flag joins BuShips in thanking outgoing Bosun Chief Petty Officer Jim Erikson for his service.


With the approval of the Sixth Space Lord, effective 20 April, 2020 the Sphinx Forestry Service will now be called the Sphinx Forestry Academy (SFA). The head of the Academy will hold the title of Headmaster.

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

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


Decatur, IL

November 20 - 22

HMLAC Banturon is hosting a May the 4th Be with You, and we are watching Solo: A Star Wars Story 7pm on Netflix Party, invite code will be announced via Facebook and Discord Servers.

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

Queen's Bravery Medal

RADM Sherman DAY, RMN HMS Demon

Conspicuous Bravery Medal


Havenite Operational Service Medal

3rd Fleet Uniform Party

CIVILIAN Kayla AUDET, SFC HMS Enterprise RADM Wayne BRUNS, RMN HMS Invincible VADM Diane K BULKELEY, RMN HMS Enterprise Lieutenant SG Aaron Joseph BUTT, RHN HMS Death Claw S2C Bruce William CREWS, RMN HMS Beowulf CDR Richard Aaron DAVENPORT, GSN HMS Death Claw S3C Morgan K DAVID, RMN HMS Demon CPO Christina R DOANE, RMN HMS Beowulf LTCDR Debra FLIGOR, RMN HMS Hotspur CAPT Larry Dale FRENCH Sr, RMMC MARDET Demon CAPTSG Rex HOOD Jr, RMN HMLAC Scythe CAPTJG Gordon KLEIN-LEBBINK, RMN HMS Ajax CAPTSG Zachary MCCAULEY, RMN HMS Valkyrie CAPTSG Paladin Douglas MEYER, RMN HMS Merlin CAPTJG James Mike MOYER, RMN HMS Death Claw S1C Davi N MUNROE, RMN HMS Javelin PO2 Jeffrey Dale RANDALL, RMN HMS Death Claw PO1 Amanda RITTHALER, RMN HMLAC Scythe CDR Richard James SAMS, RMN HMS Merlin CAPTSG Jackie SNEDDEN, RMN HMS Enterprise MCPO Cory SNEDDEN, RMN HMS Enterprise CDR Ziggi THOMPSON, RMN HMS Javelin SMCPO Kevin WALSH, RMN HMS Hotspur FKpt David J WESTOVER, IAN HMS Beowulf

Manticoran Reserve Service Medal


Good Conduct Medal


Manticoran Combat Action Medal

8th Award

CDR Richard Aaron DAVENPORT, GSN HMS Death Claw

5th Award


4th Award

MCPO Jeffrey John HUGHES, RMN HMLAC Banturon

Civilian Pin - Chartered Staff Member

CDR Richard Aaron DAVENPORT, GSN HMS Death Claw
CDRE Justin Edward GRAYS, GSN HMS Valkyrie

Civilian Pin - Accredited Staff Member

CDR Richard Aaron DAVENPORT, GSN HMS Death Claw

March Honors – Promotions

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

Board Promotions
Timothy Bailey, RMN, HMS Musashi, to Captain, Senior Grade
Richard Davenport, GSN, HMS Death Claw, to Captain
Sherman Day, RMN, HMS Demon, to Rear Admiral of the Red
Rick Matheny, RMN, HMS Invincible, to Captain, Senior Grade

HMS Demon

  • Marc Malnekoff to Spacer 1st Class, effective 11 April, 2020

  • Jeffrey Schuler to Spacer 1st Class, effective 11 April, 2020

  • Morgan David to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 19 April, 2020

  • Dylan Renyo to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 19 April, 2020

  • James Dobbs to Analyst, effective 19 April, 2020

HMS Enterprise

  • Robin Brail to Spacer 2nd Class, effective 3 April, 2020

HMS Galahad

  • Rey Cordero to Petty Officer 2nd Class, effective 11 April, 2020

HMS Helen

  • Jack Oswald-Warren to Crewman Spacer 1st Class, effective 19 April, 2020

  • Scott Walkotten to Platoon Sergeant, effective 27 April, 2020

HMS Javelin

  • Beth A Freund to Spacer 1st Class, effective 25 April, 2020

  • Alexis M Freund to Spacer 1st Class, effective 25 April, 2020

HMS Musashi

  • Damon Graham to Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class, effective 1 April, 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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