11 April 2009

Weapon Qualifications

11 April 1881

Yesterday we had our bi-annual small arms qualifications as required by regulations for all Republic Marines. Everyone qualified on the standard issue Martini Henry and NCOs holding the rank of corporal and above had to qualify with both the Martini Henry Rifle and 1877 Colt Dragoon. Like always, I earned a "Sharpshooter" qualification. I just can not seem to qualify as an "Expert" (Order of precedence: Marksman, Sharpshooter and Expert). Mr. Griggs qualified "Expert" and shot range perfect on the pistol. He almost beat Lance Corporal Jones (not to be confused with Private Jones or Corporal Jones) with the rifle. After we qualified and met our requirements, Major Higgins challenged us to a shoot-off with the enlisted shooting Martinis and the officers shooting the Dragoons. Lance Corporal Jones as always blew the competition away and Subaltern Griggs outmatched all of the Army officers, with Captain Lamar coming in second by seven bull’s-eyes. I am not surprised by the results, as Marines pride ourselves on our shooting; after all we are all still infantry first and engineers second. It also helps to have Mr. Griggs on our team, as he was on the Naval Academy's shooting team. Petty Officer 3rd Class Valen was on hand to document the event and even used his new subminiature camera box to capture the event. It is amazing to see the advances in technology as I would have never thought a box camera could fit in your hand.

The temple added more to the mystery this week as Doctors Carruthers and Palmer found another hidden door in the antechamber leading north towards the Highlands. It seems as though they were pressing the stones that moved and found the correct combination. As the door opened the Guardian on the West wall turned his head north and his upper torso shifted as well where the spear tip faced the corridor. I am not getting anywhere near that temple below ground as it always feels evil to me. Lady V will not go down the stairs either and I trust her instincts as animals seem to be able to sense things better than us humans.

Next week we will be playing Rugby against the Brits. The Army's Blacklegs team will go first, taking on their 24th Regiment's team, and then we will play the British engineers the following week. It is nice to have these challenges as it helps to pass the time and get the men’s attentions focused away from the strains of life for a short period of time.

Mr. Griggs confirmed that he will be assuming the Executive Officer role when the RTS Santa Fe battle group returns. We are expecting another squad of Marines to arrive, making it six squads and two platoons, with a colour sergeant as well. Sergeants Garcia and Cromwell will stay as the platoon sergeants and the new colour sergeant will be the company sergeant. No word as yet who the new lieutenant or captain will be. Mr. Griggs is not down in the mouth at all, but is actually looking forward to the change as we will have an officer of higher rank to represent us. Mr. Griggs has come a long way in our time on Venus, and though he still has a ways to go, he has learned to trust the judgement of his senior NCOs.


[Editor's Note: The 1877 Colt Single Action Dragoon revolver in .45 long caliber was the standard issue military side arm for the Republic Military in 1881. The design proved quite popular overseas as well, and was exported to both the United Kingdom and the United States in large quantities. All of the former 1860 Colt Single Action Dragoon revolvers in .44 caliber were either sent to the Yucatan Republic or remained with the Republic Militia Forces. All enlisted men and NCOs are armed with the current service rifle or carbine, depending on service branch. Officers are armed with sword and revolver, and NCOs may carry a revolver as well. Cavalry troopers often carry non-standard issue pistols as back-up to their sabers for mounted combat. The only exception is the Medical Corps, members of which carry pistols only.]

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