Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Specialist Cathe Astroga’s Do’s And Don’ts

 

Bunch of people looking back at books about previous contagions and plagues, trying to figure out how best to move forward. Pffft. I look at fiction. At least the guys that write this stuff have calloused palms. Anyway, during my enforced isolation, I read the newest installment in the Black Tide Rising series, River of Night.

If you read the first part of the series (maritime-based zombie apocalypse) you fell in love with Faith. Boss Mongo’s guidance to multitudinous daughters: be like Faith. In the last couple of installments (land-based zombie apocalypse), you probably fell in love with PFC Specialist (E4) Cathe Astroga. Here are her rules for dealing with a pandemic zombie apocalypse.

Rules for a Zombie Apocalypse

1. The Private shall never impersonate a rigger to give parachute rigging instruction to a Chief Warrant Officer rigger.

2. Even if the Warrant Officer is clueless.

3. Just “shall never impersonate a rigger.”

4. Like my father the colonel says, always take advantage of a chance to eat, sleep or pee. You never know when you’ll get the next chance.

5. The moment that you run out of sanitary products is the moment that you will most need them. Dad forgot that one.

6. When receiving a battle fatigued squad of National Guardsmen as they reenter the wire, the Private shall not suggest, “Next time, just pay the Girl Scouts for their damn cookies and they won’t beat your ass.”

7. There is no condition of HMMWV cleanliness that the Private can achieve which will satisfy Top.

8. The Private shall not describe the impossibility of cleaning unit vehicles to the Tops standards by claiming that “even waving my Hitachi Magic Wand at the problem fails to clean this Hummer!”

9. The Private shall remind junior officers that if they ask about the “why” “how,” and “where,” they lose all deniability.

10. There is not a Joint Meritorious Fraternization ribbon awarded for performing the Happy Dance of Combat Administration for Navy or Marine reservists.

11. The Private may not use her authority as a Combat Administrator to establish new awards in the forward operating area.

12. Combat Administration is not a valid Military Occupational Specialty.

13. Clipboard mounted documents are less likely to be questioned as unofficial.

14. Once ammo cans are used as field expedient latrines, they shall not be resealed and stacked at the ammunition resupply point.

15. Telling a Second Lieutenant “Sir, hush, the adults are talking” while within the hearing of the First Sergeant is not recommended.

16. That is why you encourage the dickhead Private from supply who denied your Lost Property Report to do it.

17. The use of duct tape and straight back chairs during counseling sessions is not authorized.

18. Even when the counseling is being delivered by the Command Private Major.

19. Removing two rockers and two chevrons from a Command Sergeant Major s insignia is not justification to claim status as the Command Private Major.

20. General officers in emotional shock will sign anything that the Specialist presents on a clipboard.

21. When persuading general officers to sign official documents, it is beneficial to coopt the participation of nearby senior noncommissioned officer. This is also known as “leave some meat on the bone for the Sergeants.”

22. Large formations of zombies are best viewed from inside armored vehicles.

23. The Specialist shall not attempt to make ATM withdrawals during a zombie apocalypse.

24. Working with contractors from a financial institution is insufficient authority for establishing an apocalypse-specific currency.

25. No matter how much you sweep concrete, you still get dust. Fighting zombies underground in New York City is like sweeping concrete.

26. Yelling “Get some, get some!” is not approved for engaging large bodies of enemy troops, zombies, whatever.

27. The Specialist is not allowed to rename the Vehicle Checkpoint as “Hadley s Hope,” even if it s perfectly descriptive or improves morale.

28. “Remember LV-426!” is not an authorized battle cry.

29. The Specialist shall not encourage the homicidal teenager to slap around VIPs.

30. Even if it is intensely reassuring.

31. Army regulations do not recognize the use of Kiplings “Loot” to justify post-combat resource allocation of abandoned cultural treasures

32. Broadening the allocation of post-combat resources decreases command resistance to the preservation of abandoned cultural treasures. Or you know, stuff.

33. The Specialist shall avoid the use of skyscraper elevators during combat operations, helicopter crashes and large scale building fires.

34. The Specialist shall not remind scaredy-cat bankers that jet fuel does in fact melt steel I-beams when we are standing inside a New York City burning building.

35. Ass slaps to encourage the cuter dudes still count as sexual harassment.

36. Even in combat.

37. Little black cocktail dresses are also not approved for combat operations.

38. While in combat, the Specialist shall not criticize the driving skills of the scary, secret SOCOM old guy.

39. The Specialist shall not try to cleverly guess at the career path of the clearly former Delta shooter who is only a civilian now.

40. Because he carries a lot of guns.

41. Getting shot on your armor hurts. It hurts less than getting shot not on your armor.

42. Knee strikes to the head and torso are not approved methods for adjusting the position of restrained prisoners-in-custody when officers are within line-of-sight.

43. Tasers may not be used to preemptively enforce internal team discipline and morale.

44. When dictators take over after the end of the world it is better to be on their side, and armed, than not.

45. Pick good dictators.

46. The Specialist shall not refer to rescued middleschool students as Organ Donors, Involuntary, Single-Use, Do Not Rough Handle When Frozen, One Each.

47. The Specialist shall not instruct members of the Global E-4 Apocalypse Mafia in the Dark Arts of distracting officers and more senior noncommissioned officers in order to avoid onerous additional duty.

48. The Specialist may not hold unauthorized swearing-in ceremonies for the Global E-4 Apocalypse Militia.

49. Particularly for inductees under the age of consent.

50. Bayonet kills on zombies are not “just the way grandma used to make kebobs.”

51. It is decreed that “Dragula” by Rob Zombie is the “Universal Anti-Zombie Anthem of the E-4 Mafia.”

52. Unless replaced with “Bodies” by Drowning Pool. Or “Down With The Sickness” by Disturbed.

53. During target identification training for volunteers and irregular forces, the Specialist shall not label running targets as zombies and standing targets as well-disciplined zombies.

54. Even if she’s a huge Warren Zevon fan, the Specialist shall not refer to any junior officer as “an excitable boy.”

55. The queen of the E-4 Mafia may not unilaterally change the age of consent in the state of Tennessee to seventeen, despite the clear absence of controlling legal authority.

56. The Specialist shall not perform preventative maintenance function testing of Tasers on friendly targets.

57. Taunting the soon to be dead is not encouraged immediately prior to application of high speed sleeping pills.

58. Officers will always misread the map and should rely on E-4 navigational expertise.

59. The Specialist shall refrain from giving the officer in charge navigational corrections unless directed by the NCOIC then present.

60. Any instances where the Specialist s navigation is incorrect shall immediately be attributed to erroneous officer input.

61. Using a disarticulated skull as a ventriloquist’s dummy to imitate the NCOIC is not approved.

62. The Specialist may not use said skull to conduct partner training for Immediate Action Drills.

63. The Specialist shall not hit on the commanding officer’s girlfriend.

64. Especially if she seems kinda into it.

65. Illicit corpse management is not authorized.

66. The Specialist is always designated to carry the heavy end of the body. Upon promotion to Sergeant, transport of the light end of the body is authorized.

67. Apparently, the shooting of officers is authorized, as long as they are the right officers.

68. The development of woman-portable lightning guns is a priority for the apocalypse R&D department.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 26 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Nick H Coolidge

    I read the first four, but hadn’t gotten around to River of Night yet. Guess I should add that to the queue right now. 

    • #1
    • April 7, 2020, at 1:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am not familiar with Black Tide Rising, but this is magnificent.

    • #2
    • April 7, 2020, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo: 58. Officers will always misread the map and should rely on E-4 navigational expertise.

    My uncle (an O-1 at the time he conducted the slightly premature aborted 2-man liberation of Rome) had an E-4 driving for him at the time. Didn’t help.

    He did observe though that a Jeep will travel faster in reverse than you might expect.

    • #3
    • April 7, 2020, at 1:36 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Percival (View Comment):
    My uncle (an O-1 at the time he conducted the slightly premature aborted 2-man liberation of Rome) had an E-4 driving for him at the time. Didn’t help.

    “Combat Administrator” PFC Astroga only got promoted because she presented her promotion papers to a full-bull colonel to sign when the guy was exhausted and task-saturated. Oh, and she presented those papers on a clipboard.

    • #4
    • April 7, 2020, at 1:47 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Percival (View Comment):

    I am not familiar with Black Tide Rising, but this is magnificent.

    They are good. So are “The New Centurions” and all three of the Troy series – both also by John Ringo. When Ringo is on he is REALLY on. Been a bit of a dry spell for him lately, though. Hope he works thru whatever writer’s block he is dealing with soon.

    • #5
    • April 7, 2020, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I am not familiar with Black Tide Rising, but this is magnificent.

    They are good. So are “The New Centurions” and all three of the Troy series – both also by John Ringo. When Ringo is on he is REALLY on. Been a bit of a dry spell for him lately, though. Hope he works thru whatever writer’s block he is dealing with soon.

    Haven’t read the Troy series yet. Looks like I’m gong to have the time/space/opportunity to do so.
    “Dark Paladin” was uncomfortably awesome. 

    • #6
    • April 7, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Definitely “Bodies” by Drowning Pool.

    • #7
    • April 7, 2020, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I am not familiar with Black Tide Rising, but this is magnificent.

    They are good. So are “The New Centurions” and all three of the Troy series – both also by John Ringo. When Ringo is on he is REALLY on. Been a bit of a dry spell for him lately, though. Hope he works thru whatever writer’s block he is dealing with soon.

    Haven’t read the Troy series yet. Looks like I’m gong to have the time/space/opportunity to do so.
    “Dark Paladin” was uncomfortably awesome.

    Troy series was awesome. Problem in the last book is the apocalyptic battle results in a lot of people in spacesuits spreading out from the scene of the battle. I read somewhere he was wondering about how to deal with it. My idea was that he ought to use missiles as remote SAR devices. He even mentioned it in one of the earlier novels.

    I would like to see him finish a series, though.

    • #8
    • April 7, 2020, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I am not familiar with Black Tide Rising, but this is magnificent.

    They are good. So are “The New Centurions” and all three of the Troy series – both also by John Ringo. When Ringo is on he is REALLY on. Been a bit of a dry spell for him lately, though. Hope he works thru whatever writer’s block he is dealing with soon.

    Haven’t read the Troy series yet. Looks like I’m gong to have the time/space/opportunity to do so.
    “Dark Paladin” was uncomfortably awesome.

    Yep. Did you see the reference to the Keldara in the Black Tide Rising series?

    • #9
    • April 7, 2020, at 4:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Instugator (View Comment):
    Yep. Did you see the reference to the Keldara in the Black Tide Rising series?

    Yeah. “We sent rep X over to the Caucasians (or whatever) to buy vaccine from those crazy, extremist people. (or something).”

    Loved that.

    • #10
    • April 7, 2020, at 5:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):
    Yep. Did you see the reference to the Keldara in the Black Tide Rising series?

    Yeah. “We sent rep X over to the Caucasians (or whatever) to buy vaccine from those crazy, extremist people. (or something).”

    Loved that.

    The third book of the Troy series has some pretty interesting observations on South American military culture. That is an area that you have some experience in and it would be interesting to see how much (if any) is contrived for the sake of the plot…just wondering.

    • #11
    • April 8, 2020, at 8:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Nick H Coolidge

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I am not familiar with Black Tide Rising, but this is magnificent.

    They are good. So are “The New Centurions” and all three of the Troy series – both also by John Ringo. When Ringo is on he is REALLY on. Been a bit of a dry spell for him lately, though. Hope he works thru whatever writer’s block he is dealing with soon.

    Haven’t read the Troy series yet. Looks like I’m gong to have the time/space/opportunity to do so.
    “Dark Paladin” was uncomfortably awesome.

    Definitely worth reading. He’s playing in the Schlock Mercenary universe, but only a few years into the future (the webcomic is a few thousand years in the future IIRC). No knowledge of Schlock is needed to enjoy the books. 

    • #12
    • April 8, 2020, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Nick H Coolidge

    Instugator (View Comment):
    I would like to see him finish a series, though.

    His muse has some serious ADD. Maybe he needs to make a deal with her where he won’t write the first few books until she tells him how the series ends.

    • #13
    • April 8, 2020, at 8:15 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Nick H (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):
    I would like to see him finish a series, though.

    His muse has some serious ADD. Maybe he needs to make a deal with her where he won’t write the first few books until she tells him how the series ends.

    Yeah. One thing that’s interesting is when the 3rd or 4th book in a series suddenly has a coauthor. Then you know he’s starting to hand that series off. So far, though, Ringo has done appropriate vetting of his coauthors and they turn in good work. They ain’t Ringo, though.

    I’ll admonish Ringo when I’ve ever managed to turn out a scintilla of a fraction of a percentage of his number of bestsellers.

    • #14
    • April 8, 2020, at 9:39 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I have yet to try Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series. I do like his Empire of Man, Posleen War series. Especially the Cally spinoff. His Monster Hunters is ok but I am a very big fan of his Paladin of Shadows series, especially GHOST.

    • #15
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    His Monster Hunters is ok

    I was mistaken earlier. He did finish a series, the Monster Hunter Memoirs.

    I really enjoyed MH Memoirs.

    • #16
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Instugator (View Comment):
    I really enjoyed MH Memoirs.

    Yuh. He smashed that trilogy out of the park.

    • #17
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):
    I really enjoyed MH Memoirs.

    Yuh. He smashed that trilogy out of the park.

    I would have liked a little more regarding Thornton (Iron Hand’s brother) AND I wanted to see his mom get a little more comeuppance. But yes, very good story.

    • #18
    • April 8, 2020, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    @bossmongo

    Just curious. My introduction to John Ringo was this Paladin of Shadows series, initially his Ghost book. Have you read it? How does the military stuff hold up?

    • #19
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    @bossmongo

    Just curious. My introduction to John Ringo was this Paladin of Shadows series, initially his Ghost book. Have you read it? How does the military stuff hold up?

    First, who can’t love a buck-naked sorority shoot fight? Ghost had me at “Bambi.” Then “Thumper” pretty much sealed the deal.

    Stand by, please, whilst I step outside to smoke an unfiltered Camel.

    Okay. I’m back.

    Ringo’s Wiki biography states that he was a SPC4 RTO in 4/325th PIR. (Specialist (E4, SPC4) Radio Telephone Operator in the Fourth Battalion of the 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 82nd Airborne Division). Yuh. Nuh-uh.

    In Ghost, the protagonist knew to call the DDSO to try to get some support. DDSO because Special Operations Forces don’t have a Chief of Staff represented at the (duh, just being thorough) Joint Chiefs of Staff, so they have a Deputy Director of Special Operations. DDSO, who always has an Action Officer on duty 24/7, just for weirdo schnitt like Ghost cold-calling. No one knows that kind of stuff but dweebs like me.

    That’s not SPC-4 Snuffy stuff. That’s War College level stuff (eh, mostly, roll with me here). Tactically, Operationally, and Strategically, I find Ringo’s Paladin stuff scary spot on. Plus you get naked sorority shoot outs.

    Reading Ringo is a win-win.

    • #20
    • April 8, 2020, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Nick H Coolidge

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Stand by, please, whilst I step outside to smoke an unfiltered Camel.

    Okay. I’m back.

    Heh. That got a laugh. 

    Ghost, and the whole Paladin of Shadows series, is where John just let it all hang out. He’s said (iirc) that he wasn’t attempting to be a good writer when writing those. Fair enough. He did write a heck of a good story, though it’s not what I would recommend to most people right off the bat. I started reading his books back around the time he started writing them, with the Posleen War stories, so those are still among my favorites.

    For someone who was only an E4, he definitely picked up on a lot while he was in the Army and clearly pays attention when listening to people with different specialties so he can get the details right. I think that’s one reason why so many people who were in the military appreciate his books. 

    • #21
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):
    I really enjoyed MH Memoirs.

    Yuh. He smashed that trilogy out of the park.

    I would have liked a little more regarding Thornton (Iron Hand’s brother) AND I wanted to see his mom get a little more comeuppance. But yes, very good story.

    Yes, AND, any part of the narrative that makes a young Sam Haven think dude, you got issues is awwright.

    • #22
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Nick H (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Stand by, please, whilst I step outside to smoke an unfiltered Camel.

    Okay. I’m back.

    Heh. That got a laugh.

    Ghost, and the whole Paladin of Shadows series, is where John just let it all hang out. He’s said (iirc) that he wasn’t attempting to be a good writer when writing those. Fair enough. He did write a heck of a good story, though it’s not what I would recommend to most people right off the bat. I started reading his books back around the time he started writing them, with the Posleen War stories, so those are still among my favorites.

    For someone who was only an E4, he definitely picked up on a lot while he was in the Army and clearly pays attention when listening to people with different specialties so he can get the details right. I think that’s one reason why so many people who were in the military appreciate his books.

    Ringo is one of those guys that does a LOT of research on the subject matter at hand…in the Black Tide Rising series he had a Jolly Green pilot go over the Jolly Green sequences and correct the procedures – he has also had various other military folks proof his writing for accuracy. And i just remembered he co-wrote several books with Travis Taylor (The Claws that Catch series) and Travis is an actual PhD rocket scientist so he gets help on the physics side too…Love Ghost, by the way…Von Neumann’s War is flat disturbing.

    • #23
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    And i just remembered he co-wrote several books with Travis Taylor (The Claws that Catch series) and Travis is an actual PhD rocket scientist so he gets help on the physics side too…

    @barryjones, is that the same PhD/Karate black belt that was one of the lead protagonists in Into The Looking Glass?

    • #24
    • April 8, 2020, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    And i just remembered he co-wrote several books with Travis Taylor (The Claws that Catch series) and Travis is an actual PhD rocket scientist so he gets help on the physics side too…

    @barryjones, is that the same PhD/Karate black belt that was one of the lead protagonists in Into The Looking Glass?

    Yes, like the whole “real person, living or dead” thing is tongue in cheek.

     

     

    • #25
    • April 8, 2020, at 6:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    And i just remembered he co-wrote several books with Travis Taylor (The Claws that Catch series) and Travis is an actual PhD rocket scientist so he gets help on the physics side too…

    @barryjones, is that the same PhD/Karate black belt that was one of the lead protagonists in Into The Looking Glass?

    I think that is the model. Dr Taylor is a NASA scientist and the guy has no less than FOUR advanced degrees in physics, engineering, optics, etc. But he does write entertaining books, too…:)

    • #26
    • April 9, 2020, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like