Victoria: Chapter 8

After the battle, I figured I’d done what I could in Boston and got ready to head back to Maine. I still faced this problem of finding work. But before I left, Gunny Matthews wanted to get the Christian Marines together again for a “hot wash” critique and to figure where we went from here.

We gathered once more at Tune Tavern. Trooper Kelly led off the critique.

“The reason we won here is simple,” he said. “We prepared carefully, but did not try to exercise too much control once things began to move. The decisive action, the march on Judge Frylass, was something we did not foresee. But we were smart enough to let it happen anyway. By the middle of the week, everyone knew what we were trying to achieve—cutting the scum off from their supporters in the Establishment. So people could take the initiative, yet all their actions worked in harmony.”

“This is what the Germans called ‘mission type orders,'” I added. “In the German Army, an order didn’t tell you what to do, it told you what result was needed. You were free to do whatever you thought necessary to get that result. That’s why the Germans were able to win so many battles, usually against superior numbers. Mission orders turn everyone’s initiative and imagination loose, which is very powerful—far more powerful than an army of automatons with everyone doing only what they are told.”

“I was an MP in the Corps,” a Boston city cop said. “For most of my time, we were told exactly what to do and how to do it. Then, just before I retired, we got a new CO who understood this German stuff, what the Corps called ‘maneuver warfare.’ He told us, ‘I want you to cut speeding on base by at least 50%. How you do it is up to you.’ And we were much more effective, because each of us did it differently.”

Gunny Matthews jumped in at this point. “There are a lot of folks all over the country who want to fight for what is right,” he said. “The last time we met here, we did more than plan one battle. We decided to make a difference in the outcome of the whole war. The understanding of war that we share—mission orders, Third Generation war, maneuver warfare, call it what you will—is what the folks out there who believe as we do need in order to win. The question is, how are we going to provide it to them?”

Kelly had an answer. “Captain Rumford had it right when he said we Christian Marines should be the general staff. Remember, German general staff officers weren’t commanders, they were advisors. We can’t and shouldn’t try to muscle in on what other people are already doing to take back control of their own communities. They would resent that, and rightly so. But many of them would be glad to get advice from people who understood war. Because this is war, let’s not kid ourselves. And people out there are beginning to realize that.”

A cop I hadn’t heard from before, Lasky, raised what proved to be the key question. “I agree, but who is going to do the work? I’ll put some time in, but I have a regular job that doesn’t leave me a lot of time. If the Christian Marine Corps is to be a real organization, we need at least one person to work this full time.”

“Don’t complain,” I replied. “At least you have a job. I’m finding it mighty tough to get one.”

“Maybe there’s our answer,” Kelly said. “Skipper, you’ve got the time, you know how to think militarily, you’re willing to make decisions and act. You ought to do it. You should be the first Commandant of the Christian Marines.”
Great, I thought. A job with lots of responsibility, facing well-nigh impossible odds, risking arrest for sedition, all for no paycheck. But I also realized this was the critical decision point if I wanted to help take our country back. “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,” the old Anglican hymn says. For me, this was it.

“Well, I do have the time,” I replied. “And I was the one who proposed this new Marine Corps, so I also have the responsibility to do what I can to make it real. But I have to tell you, my family fortune ran out around 1870. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can take this task on and still make enough money to live?”

Kelly did have an idea. “There are now twenty-one Christian Marines, besides yourself. If we each put in $50 per month, that’s $1050 per month for you. Can you live in Maine for that?”

“I reckon I could,” I said.

“Can the rest of us pony up that much?” Kelly asked.

“Let’s face it, we each spend that every month on donuts,” Meyer answered. “Just call me one generous Jew. I’m good for it.”

So were the others, though McBreen looked a little pale when he thought of doing without donuts.

“So that’s settled,” said Trooper Kelly. “Skipper, now it’s up to you. You can call on each of us for help, and we have a responsibility to look for situations where we can make a difference, not just wait for direction from you.”

“But if the Christian Marine Corps is to mean anything beyond this one battle in Boston,” Kelly continued, “from here on out, it’s sweat, toil, and tears, and probably blood too in the end. This is the point where most movements die. The exciting part is over, we all face the press of everyday concerns, and building an organization is slow, dull, frustrating work. It’s also the work that makes the difference between talking around the bar and changing history.”

“Well and truly spoken, Trooper Kelly,” I replied. “In the old American militia tradition, I move we elect our officers, and I hereby nominate you to be the CO, Massachusetts Christian Marines.”

The vote was unanimous, and Kelly accepted the post at which he later fell.

“And in the Marine tradition, I propose a toast, gentlemen,” I concluded. “To the Christian Marine Corps, and confusion to our enemies.” Appropriately, it was drunk in Sam Adams beer.