The Keystone Division after WW3
Arrivals and Staff Meeting

cal .30 M1917 Browning MG.  The gun that won the real-life GI JOE a Medal of Honor

8 May 2003 / 0609 Hrs
3/103 Camp, Halfway Dam
45 Degrees F, light drizzle

Sherman was relieved that it was indeed Berger as the sentries had said and not some kind of ambush. A small crowd had started to gather around to see the new arrivals. Sherman followed behind Wiz as the LT made his way to the Humvee where Berger stood. Sherman reached out a hand, "Good to see you.... you too Cunningham.", nodding his head at Sean. Sherman looked back at Berger, raising his eyebrows "Nice haircut Jack...."

Standing behind Wiz, as the man Berger identified as Major Raven from HQ introduced himself. Sherman listened silently, observing the newcomers. They seemed to be made up of two different groups. A small cadre of soldiers, no doubt with the Major and a larger group looking very bedraggled indeed. Sherman noted one man, very tall, almost scarecrow like. Standing next to Cunningham.

Then of course there was Major Raven. Sherman estimated late forties, about 5'5" maybe 5'6". Starting to age around the edges, definitely career army. A bit old to only be a Major though.

Sherman was unsure what to make of his new Commanding Officer. Apart from Wiz, the last couple of his OC's left a lot to be desired. Still when he spoke he did so with a natural air of authority, one that could only be acquired with years of experience. Sherman would have to wait and see on this one.

Major Raven even brought a prisoner along. The Major wanted the man taken into custody and nobody to speak with him. Wiz agreed turning to Sherman and nodding that he should do so. "Yes Sir." Sherman replied. And began to organize some militia to escort the man to a secure place. With strict instructions of no talking. Sherman wondered who the prisoner could be. Halfway Dam was turning into a regular stockade.

With the prisoner taken care of, Sherman involved himself with the details of the wounded and unwounded alike, liaising with Hannah and SPC Yates. They would have to be fed, most needed a wash and billets would have to be arranged. Maybe even a guard to discreetly watch over them Sherman thought. You can never be too careful.....

8 May 2003 / 0800 Hrs
3/103rd Camp / Halfway Dam

At some point during the morning Sherman will approach Wiz alone. Maybe on the way to the Admin Center for the Staff Meeting.

Sherman had managed to grab about an hour or two's rest, it didn't make him feel much better. Once the sun comes up its hard to persuade the body its time to sleep. He washed and shaved, missing the small comforts of brand new disposable razors or an actual real hot shower. After putting his uniform on Sherman decided that would also take his pistol belt with him. It was odd having to be armed in a camp full of friendlies. But after all, who knew when Stryfe might show up again, and he reminded himself at least one person in the camp wasn't a friendly.

He made his way down to the cook house. As usual, Mama Min was already hard at work preparing breakfast for the camp. Sherman forced a somber smile, "Good Morning Mrs. Stoltzfus." Her husband had been killed when Lewisburg was overrun three days ago. Yet here she was working tirelessly. Sherman understood how she felt, but in spite of it she soldiered on.

Sherman grabbed a coffee and some fresh bread. He choose one of the remaining outside picnic tables to sit at. It struck him as odd that some had the tops missing, maybe used as firewood he thought. The bench was still wet from the early morning rain but he didn't mind. A few kids were playing on the swings near the lake. Sherman sat quietly enjoying the simple pleasure of his meal and surroundings.

After breakfast Sherman went to check on the prisoners. Speaking with the guards to ensure everything was alright and if there had been any problems. Four men were being help in custody. Two caught by the pickets when they first arrived, the injured man, Danvers and the mysterious prisoner Major Raven brought with him.

Sherman went looking for Wiz hoping to talk with him alone, before the Staff meeting.

"LT." Sherman nodded as way of a greeting. Then looked around to see if anyone was in earshot. "Wiz, I'm not sure what the new Major has in store for the company. But he said HQ will do everything possible to protect us. Well, we were the ones that had to go out and find them. And by the sounds of it, almost lost two good people. Now Major Raven brought quite a bit of gear we could desperately use but I get the feeling not all of it is just for our protection. I think HQ regard us simply as the 3/103rd Armored, an asset they have marked up on a map. One that they can use in their war with Stryfe. Now I understand the threat Stryfe poses, but we're not a military unit. Most of the people here aren't even soldiers. We have civilians, families, women and children who rely on us. I suppose what I'm trying to say is whatever intentions Major Raven may have, Our first responsibility is to look after the people."

"Yes Sherman," Wiz responded, "I do agree. But I believe the Major thinks that our best defense is an offense. I'm not sure if I agree...I'm not sure about anything really... But," he continues, "I do think that the Major understands our responsibility to the people. If not," he shrugs, "We can tell him about it. To do even think of doing any more would make us as bad as Stryfe."

Ben, Ben, Ben... Our *first* responsibility... Oooh, another mutiny brewing already. How lovely!

8 May 2003 / 0900 Hrs
3/103rd Camp / Halfway Dam

Maj Raven looked over the notes he had made for this first staff meeting. The coffee had kicked in a little while ago, and now that the sun was up, he did feel a little better. He had taken a few minutes to clean up, and wash the blood off of his face. He had also finally relented and let the attractive young medic take a look at his shoulder. It still hurt like hell, but it had been cleaned and disinfected, and a fresh dressing put on. He changed his tunic, and now looked a little more presentable. But he was still dead tired. This was a lot easier when I was 25, he thought.

The rest of the staff started coming into the HQ in ones and twos, and quietly talked amongst themselves while waiting for the last few stragglers. There was an air of nervous anticipation in the room. No one was quite sure to make of him, and who could blame them? This group had been through a lot in the last few days, and now they had a brand new CO to contend with. The fact that there was any unit left at all bordered on the incredible. He knew that he had inherited a good group of people.

Finally, the last person came into the HQ and sat down. He cleared his throat, and started the meeting.

"Good morning. For those of you who have not met me yet, I'm Major John Raven. I hope to get to know you all much better as time goes on. MG Applegate, the 28th Div Commander, has assigned me to take command of the 3/103rd. Thanks to the efforts of Sgt Berger and Mr. Cunningham, your situation has been made known to HQ. You have all done an outstanding job in dealing with extraordinary hardships, and you should all be commended for your sacrifice, hard work, and devotion to duty."

Maj Raven smiled, "OK, that's enough of the official party line. Now we roll up our sleeves, and get to work. I realize that none of you know me from Adam, and are probably wondering what kind of CO you just got stuck with. I've been a grunt in this man's Army for over 30 years, and I have seen my fair share of combat, ever since my first firefight in Vietnam. I know I look older than God, and you're thinking to yourselves, 'Can this old geezer still cut it?' I hope that in the next few days and weeks, I'll be able to prove that to you."

"We are going to have a new organizational set up, loosely based on a Battalion TO&E. For those of you unfamiliar with that concept, that means we will have different personnel in charge of different aspects of our mission. Because of our limited number of personnel, some of you will have to wear more than one hat. I apologize for that, and hopefully as we recruit and train more people, we'll be able to shift some of the burden off of your shoulders. As I go through this, if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to speak up"

"SO-1 is Administration, the paperwork of keeping track of our day-to-day lives. Lt. Jackson, as well as being the XO, this will be your new assignment. SPC Booker will be the Asst SO-1, and will report directly to you. Your first assignment is to get information on every man, woman, and child in the camp, from the youngest child to yours truly. I want name, age, places that they have listed, and any skills or hobbies that they might have. I want to be able to have the information available in a format that makes it easy to find out quickly if we have any one in the camp who has been to, say Canada, and can act as a guide, or if anyone here knows how to fly a plane. We have a fairly small group of people, and someone may have the skills we need for a mission, but if we don't know about it, it won't do us any good."

"SO-2 is Intelligence. Sgt Sherman, I understand that you used to be a police officer. I can think of no one better suited for the job. All information of enemy sightings, friendly personnel in the are, rumors, and prisoner debriefings are your responsibility. Anyone who has come back from a mission should be debriefed by you as soon as possible. Anyone who sees or hears anything, whether or not they think it's important at the time, should report it to you immediately. You will keep a log of all info, assess it's value, and do your best to give us an accurate picture of what's going on around us."

"Yes sir." Sherman agrees. "When you are ready sir, we could question your prisoner."

"Sgt. Sherman, as the new SO-2, you are the point man in interrogating Maj Wynn. But there are a couple of things we need to go over first. We'll discuss it in detail later in the meeting."

"SO-3 is Plans and Operations. Cpl Robinson, this is your new assignment. All defensive and offensive operations, all training, and all new projects come under your jurisdiction. Your main job will consist of juggling manpower and resources to accomplish the various tasks we are currently undertaking. You will also be responsible for coming up with a training plan for the militia, to get them as ready as possible for combat."

Robbo got the look of a deer caught in the headlights of a car (ooc: Kangaroo is more accurate, but not everyone will understand) at this huge elevation of responsibilities.

"Understood sir, I'll do my best, but no promises that I'll be much good at the job."

"SO-4 is Supply. General Patton once said, 'Amateurs study Tactics. Professionals study Logistics.' Supply's job is keep track of what resources we have available. Sgt. Berger, this is your new assignment. You will be responsible for all of our equipment, vehicles, animals, food, and whatever else we need to keep this unit functioning. All mechanics, cooks, scroungers, and anyone else who uses or maintains any of our equipment will report to you."

"S-5 is Civil Affairs. Normally, you don't have an S-5 section at anything less than the Division level, but we are in a rather unique situation. Mr. Cunningham, I realize that you are a civilian, and as such, I can't order you to take the job. But I hope that you will accept the task. If you do accept the job, you will act as a liaison between the military and civilians in our command, as well as any civilians in our Area of Operations. Any complaints or requests from the civilian population would go through you. You would be our ambassador to the people in our community, as well as act as a point of contact for information and recruitment."

Sean nods, "Sir, maybe I can actually make up a recruiting letter of sorts. Spread it to the civilians. I also think as a sign of good will we should set up a clinic of sorts where the locals can get some medical attention. Like what your Green Berets did with the Montanyards in Vietnam. It may go a long way in getting the locals to help us out."

After a short break, the meeting continued...

8 May 2003/ 0900 Hrs
3/103rd Camp, Halfway Dam

Maj Raven paused for a moment, to take a swig of water from his canteen. Momentarily sated, he continued the meeting. "Now I realize this will take a lot of adjustment, but I think in the long run dividing up the tasks and responsibilities like this will make a more efficient use of our resources and time. With this setup, if you have a question, problem, or idea, you'll have a good place where to start."

"If there is anyone who is unhappy with their assignment, please discuss it with me after the meeting. I'm fully aware that some may not feel that their talents are being best utilized in the current jobs. But you had better have a convincing argument for me to change an assignment. My door will always be open, and only a fool doesn't want feedback and constructive criticism, if he wants to do his job the best he can. And I am no fool."

"A word of advice to you all. Don't try to do everything in the job yourself, you'll go crazy within a week. Delegation of authority is one of the most important skills anyone in a position of authority can have, and the hardest to learn. You are all authorized additional personnel as required to get your jobs done. Just make sure to coordinate with the other staff members, and be sure to keep me in the loop."

"Now, for a quick briefing of our current situation. You all are aware of Col Stryfe's defection and betrayal. It came as a shock to us all at HQ, as I'm sure it did to you. Col Stryfe was well acquainted with our SOP's, which is incentive enough to change them." He reached into his rucksack, and pulled out a binder. "Cpl Wu, this is a brand new set of codes and frequencies. As of now, all other codes are considered to be compromised, and should be ignored. These were created after Col Stryfe defected, and should be safe. Guard them with your life, and don't let them out of you sight. Before you go to sleep, either lock them up, or have someone else guard them that can be trusted."

"We brought with us a group of former POW's, that were held in the same camp as Sgt Berger and Mr. Cunningham. There are in bad shape, God only knows how long they've been held captive. Anything we can do to make them comfortable and welcome would be most appreciated by them. They have all been through hell."

"We also managed to capture the commander of the POW camp in the same raid that freed the hostages. I have ordered him to be held incommunicado and under guard. He calls himself Maj Wynn, but he was a 1LT when he deserted. When we have gotten all the intelligence out of him that we can, it is my intention to hold a Military Courts Martial here, to determine his innocence or guilt, and to what punishment is called for."

Out of Character Knowledge (OCK) alert!!! Remember, read this and enjoy, but most people know nothing of Sherman's background....

Sherman is somewhat uncomfortable at the mention of a Military Courts Martial. Major or Lieutenant Wynn's being a deserter reminds Sherman of the shame of his own circumstances. To convene a General Courts Martial, Major Raven would require an appointed Military Judge. Unless he has been given Contingency Commands by HQ to exercise GCM authority. Sherman supposes that he has.

Yes, MAJ Raven has been granted that authority.

"You may have noticed a padlocked box as part of the items we brought. It contains the payroll for the 3/103rd. This will also be guarded at all times. All personnel, other than myself and the group that came with me, are eligible for back pay. Everyone will receive $100 cash, and $500 credit. Tomorrow, we will issue out the back pay to all those eligible. I will address the entire camp at one of the amphitheaters, and we will have a brief ceremony before the payday." Maj Raven grinned. "I know this sounds like a pain in the ass, but it has to be done. Sorry, it goes with the job."

"Spc Yates, among the items we brought here were a Doctors Medical Kit and Surgical Instruments. We also have 3 doses of knockout juice, 2 inhaled and one injected, that I put at your disposal as senior medic. Could you please give us a quick summary of the conditions of the wounded personnel?"

SPC Yates ran over the Camp roster, noting numbers of wounded, grouped into slight, serious, and critical. "Many people had slight wounds, a few were serious, and one or two, critical. Antibiotics were needed, as well as pain relievers, and about 2 dozen other things. Thank God for the stills -- at least we have some form of antiseptic, if we could just get people to quit drinking the stuff! One of our seriously wounded is now blind because they drank wood alcohol. Fool!"

For more detail, refer to the NPC page and / or the Health Ammo and Equipment Report. I think I was calling it this (HEAR) before my old ISP went belly up and I lost the postings.

"Ms Whittaker, I understand that you are the construction boss around here. We will be working very closely together in the next few weeks, coming up with plans for a defense here. If you are at all familiar with the concept of a Vietnam firebase, that's what I'm shooting for. Basically, we are looking at a lot of digging, a lot of sandbags, and as much barbed wire as we can lay our hands on. You will report to Cpl Robinson, who will be coordinating the effort as the new S-3. We will need to get our hands on as many shovels and picks as we can. I wish we had a bulldozer or a trenchdigger available. But for the moment we will have to make do with what we have available."

The lanky redhead nodded in agreement. "We've a lot of timber here to build with, but I'd like to scrounge some tin, steel beam, and a few other things. And yeah, a dozer, a crane, and a couple more trucks would be great too"

"Which brings me to you, Mr. Slade. I understand that you are the chief mechanic around here. Since we don't have a bulldozer available to us, I would like you to see if it is possible to construct a blade-like device that could be attached to the M113. Lt. Jackson, I would like your input on this, I hear you are the resident creative genius. My only stipulation is that the blade has to able to be attached and removed without too much trouble, it might get in the way if we need the M113 in a fight."

Slade nodded to the MAJ and to Robbo, and scratched a few notes on a hunk of cardboard with a stub pencil.

"Sir, if I may? I might be able to help out as well, Main reason I'm even here in the states was to become a gunsmith, and that involved machining and fitting as well."

Raven felt a little sorry for his new S-3. The kid had the look of a man who had just been tossed into a very deep lake, with no life preserver. In the old Army, a battalion S-3 would be a Major like himself, with at least 10 or 15 years of active duty under his belt.

"Cpl. Robinson, I know this seems like I've dumped huge responsibility on your shoulders, and you're a little unsure whether or not you're up to the challenge. Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. I have every confidence in your abilities. And your expertise would be most welcome in modifying the M113."

"And last but not least, Mr. De La Croix, since you are the mayor-elect of our civilian population, I am counting on you to be a leader and a role model in the community. The military in this group can't do the job alone, it will take the efforts of everyone involved, civilian and soldier alike. You and Mr. Cunningham, as our S-5 liaison, will be working closely together. I hope that I can count on your support."

Delacoix nodded in agreement. "I'll get people motivated as best I can. He stuck his hand out to shake with Cunningham, and the two seemed to hit it off somewhat.

"That's all I have for the moment. I would like our newly appointed S-1 through 5 to stay, but the rest of you may leave. Let's shoot for 1000 tomorrow for the address, formation, and payday. Hopefully we can knock it out quickly. Does anyone have anything for me?"

Maj Raven waited until the last person leaving the meeting was sufficiently out of earshot. The pleasant smile he had been sporting for most of the meeting was gone, replaced by a look that was positively grim. Now we get to it, he thought to himself.

"Gentlemen, from here on out, everything we discuss is classified. You are not to talk with anyone outside of this room about this conversation, without authorization from me. The people in this camp need to believe that all is well, or else we will wake up one morning and find that we are the only ones still here. You all need to project an aura of confidence. If you act like you believe it, they'll believe it. Morale is critical to our survival. And what I am about to discuss with you would destroy their morale."

"You all know now that we have a spy in our midst. We need to smoke him out, and fast. If we don't eliminate that threat, we're dead. End of statement. Sgt Sherman, this is your number one priority. Anything else you have going on can wait, or be dumped in someone else's lap. Find that spy. Give him some bait, something so tempting that he will have to show himself. And don't forget the possibility that he may not be acting alone."

"As for interrogating Maj Wynn, I want to hold off on that until after we talk to the POW's we rescued. Mr. Cunningham, you were there for a short time, and I would like you and Sgt Berger to give a quick rundown to the others about what you saw. But there was something I saw during the raid that's been bothering me all the way here, and I would like some input from you on what you think."

"There are only three possible reasons for a POW camp, especially in our current situation. Number 1, for a prisoner exchange. But since HQ was unaware of this group, we have no prisoners of theirs to exchange. Number 2, for intelligence. But it appears that the bulk of the POW's were just grabbed off of the road at random, so their intel value is minimal. And number 3, for Slave labor. But for what?...."



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