The greatest attention to detail went into drilling with accuracy. Several times we pulled out the manuals to double check commands or a procedure. Most of us now have collected quite a few manuals leading to several "well, actually..." moments. A perfect example of our commitment to military accuracy was spending nearly three hours this weekend learning the manual of arms by the numbers. We are starting to look and sound like a drill team. Also part of our drill this weekend was company PT as you can see in the pictures.
The public presence was huge and often required us to break from exercises to work the crowds gathering around the company fly. Everyone stepped up and led discussions with the public. Some groups visited for over twenty minutes. Visitors asked some great questions but two thought Melissa was a mannequin.
Saturday night being Independence Day, we asked permission for night firing and had the rare and exciting chance to drill and fire at night. Did I mention we drilled? We drilled a lot! After that, we lit the lanterns and played Cards Against Humanity while listening to fireworks.
Sunday started with rifle cleaning and repairs, PT, drill, manual of arms, and a two hour long tactical training exercise. Cpt. Whitehall and I were referees. The Cpt. took out Cpl. Spiekerman in command of our newest recruits to set up an ambush. His crew consisted of privates Cook and Amuchastegui from Struve's Marines. Pvt. Soderling commanded privates Hardway and Ternan. Observing Soderling's command was impressive as they meticulously paroled sectors of the battlefield and trails for Cpl. Spiekerman and his team. Most impressive was watching everyone's commitment to following period manuvers, commands, and patrol formations. The Captain and I were so happy to see everyone avoid the desire to get all "Call of Duty" during the exercise. Even though pvt. Soderling's group engaged first, there was no clear winner on our first tactical but everyone performed great. The real victory was watching everyone learning to follow orders from each other, problem solve, and support each other.
After the park was closed, we started filming instructional videos that are now posted on YouTube and on our media page. We hope to continue making these short videos to encourage recruits, grow as a resource to other reenactors, and provide training to new and old recruits.
We really look forward to making this a yearly team building training weekend. We also got $200 closer to our fundraising goal of buying company colors! So many thanks to all who could make it. We can't wait to see you at Chehalis.
A note from Captain Whitehall: Thank you to all the sharpshooters who came this weekend and made the biggest turnout yet for our living history. So much was accomplished this weekend and I am proud of each and every one of you. Keep up the good work and we will be the stars at the Grand Review in a couple of weeks.