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Old 03-31-2020, 02:45 PM   #381
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Although did you notice that the Americans who swear that their training is purely rational and instrumental and they don't care about appearances have 'a look'? And that look is very different from say knights in Chaucer's day, or veterans of the Penninsular War or even the Korean War? Scratch a martial art and it bleeds culture and taste, even if part of that culture and taste is insisting that what you do is purely instrumental and you wear the black and the cargo pants because they are functional.

Or listen to how much energy they spend telling the world that something that people who are as good at them at solving the same problem do is hurting wrong moving. There are many good ways to solve any problem in martial arts, and after martial arts pick one to focus on they tend to convince themselves that it is the only way. And that is all about identity and self-assurance not becoming better tools.
This is largely why I'm defining it as a Style.

Also, because a Style, in GURPS terms, is the basis for a Teamwork Perk for people who have had the same training and know how to work together, e.g. to wrestle something much stronger than they are.

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It could be ... or it could just be some weapon skills added to whatever other arts they train.
Whatever other arts they train is their own personal business. This will be their primary hand-to-hand training, because even as a backup to firearms, punching supernatural things is generally not enough. Many of them do combatives training, sure, but it's not like they are trained to do much of anything unarmed, specifically. At minimum, they are expected to grab improvised weapons, if caught unarmed.

Basically, this is the vocabulary and body of techniques that they'll all share, for purposes of Teamwork Perks and the like.

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It sounds like the skills they need are:

Wrestling or Judo
Knife
A medium-length weapon skill such as Axe/Mace or Shortsword
Maybe Fast-Draw
Arm Lock [to get threats in position to cut bits off them], Hit Location (weaponName Swing/Neck, Arm, Leg), and Retain Weapon.
Retain Weapon (Knife or Shortsword) won't be emphasized beyond any combative style, really. It's probably more of a focus for cops than for Night Riders.

Otherwise, it's spot-on. Probably Judo and Wrestling, given that Wrestling is much better for muscling people or things around, but Judo has techniques that Wrestling lacks that are useful against inhuman beings much stronger for their weight than humans.

Brawling and Karate are both Optional Skills, not being emphasized, but usually being known from whatever military combatives training that the 'recruits' (generally SOF personnel with 8+ years of experience) already have.

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Is there a technique for reducing penalties for wresting things with different anatomy than your species?
It's a matter of familiarities in GURPS rules, which Night Riders might have, but normal soldiers or martial artist wouldn't.

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There are all kinds of ways to pick up those skills, and the ones who like martial arts enough to get a Style Familiarity will train several anyways. In the 1980s in the United States the mix will probably include FMA and Japanese martial arts but I don't have the cultural knowledge of the Caribbean in the 1980s to suggest what else would be in the mix.
So, if a lot of men with military hand-to-hand training and combat experience put their heads together trying to figure out what kind of people to hire to teach special operators to use knives and machetes in the 1980s and 1990s, what kind of people might they hire?

They're working for a billionaire who just realized that the supernatural exists and poses a serious danger. Said billionaire has a lot of security contracts, because he's been making his money in dangerous areas of the world, i.e. mining in conflict areas, exclusive contracts from repressive governments, etc.

I think that one option is definitely agricultural workers from Caribbean islands who use machetes as part of their daily labors. What else would be practical?

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Now you are talking about bayonet drills. Modern assault rifles and carbines aren't really built for that, but if MCMAP or 1930s bayonet fencing can be a style, I suppose that the Night Riders' hand-to-hand course could be ... but the parts that make it a style won't be the ones that do those two scenarios you were talking about.
Bayonet drills would be Optional Skills, clearly.

That being said, modern assault rifles and carbines cannot practically be enchanted (it's a lot more difficult, at least, and generally results in them becoming unreliable) and malfunction more often in high Mana areas, so some of the older Night Riders carry heirloom weapons, surplus weapons they've tracked down used in various wars and the like. TL6 and TL7 weapons with history can be linked to the metaphysical essence of a person and Strengthen Weapon (that prevents firearms from being damaged when firing unusual ammunition) is not a difficult enchantment, comparatively.

Most Night Riders still prefer modern weapons and equipment, but there is a definite tendency to develop sentimental attachment to old gear and even in 2018, there are men who go into battle with a Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle or an M1 Garand used in WWII. Hell, one PC tracked down the M1 Garand used by his grandfather in his national service in Denmark, which was sold as surplus, and engraved it with runes.
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:26 PM   #382
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So, if a lot of men with military hand-to-hand training and combat experience put their heads together trying to figure out what kind of people to hire to teach special operators to use knives and machetes in the 1980s and 1990s, what kind of people might they hire?

They're working for a billionaire who just realized that the supernatural exists and poses a serious danger. Said billionaire has a lot of security contracts, because he's been making his money in dangerous areas of the world, i.e. mining in conflict areas, exclusive contracts from repressive governments, etc.

I think that one option is definitely agricultural workers from Caribbean islands who use machetes as part of their daily labors. What else would be practical?
Like I said, the list will include FMA and Japanese martial arts, but I don't know what is local to the Caribbean and no more than two steps away from the social network of the Night Riders. In the 1980s, Japanese and Filippino martial arts were the fashionable, reasonably widely available, reasonably combat effective weapon arts in the United States so folks as different as Marc MacYoung and 1st Lt. Elizabeth Moon, USMC (Ret.) picked them up, but in the Caribbean in the 1980s most of the instructors who have used a blade in anger are probably locals trained in local traditions (which include dancing and field work as well as fencing).

But most of those won't speak English or be able to visit the United States or be used to teaching foreigners.

On the gripping hand, if all you have to teach is some cuts, some thrusts, and some steps, its really hard to mess up! These guys don't need to condition a three-level decision tree of what to do when weapons cross, they need to learn to deliver powerful cuts and thrusts while moving.
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:53 PM   #383
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Like I said, the list will include FMA and Japanese martial arts, but I don't know what is local to the Caribbean and no more than two steps away from the social network of the Night Riders. In the 1980s, Japanese and Filippino martial arts were the fashionable, reasonably widely available, reasonably combat effective weapon arts in the United States so folks as different as Marc MacYoung and 1st Lt. Elizabeth Moon, USMC (Ret.) picked them up, but in the Caribbean in the 1980s most of the instructors who have used a blade in anger are probably locals trained in local traditions (which include dancing and field work as well as fencing).
At the start, most of the senior security people will have the kind of background that mercenaries in Africa from the 1960s to 1970s and security professionals for mineral and petroleum companies have. The first 'recruits' are about 50% from the US and 50% friends of friends* from the older men, but later recruits skew perhaps 60-70% US citizens. Still, the US military influence on the initial curriculum is probably only about a third, just because the most senior people tend to have served elsewhere.

*Which means former Legionnaires, other French soldiers, British and Commonwealth, ex-Rhodesians and South Africans, etc.

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But most of those won't speak English or be able to visit the United States or be used to teaching foreigners.
The training takes place in Dominica and St. Lucia, with the formal compound being built in St. Lucia.

First head of the training camp in St. Lucia was Ziggy Wagner, former Waffen-SS and French Foreign Legion, who was old, but still spry in the late 1980s. As Ziggy got older, Archibald Stewart-Calthorpe, former SAS officer with a background in legitimate security contracting work since 1970, took command of the camp in 1991.

Their chief NCO, from 1990, was RSM Joseph Khumalo, lately of the Zimbabwean Army, former Selous Scout and Rhodesian African Rifles. In fact, at age 76 in 2018, Khumalo still trains people from his home in Dominica, along with sons, sons-in-law, grandsons and any number of other relatives.

The instructors were a mix of former Legionnaires, Selous Scouts, Vietnam vets and others.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:07 AM   #384
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At the start, most of the senior security people will have the kind of background that mercenaries in Africa from the 1960s to 1970s and security professionals for mineral and petroleum companies have. The first 'recruits' are about 50% from the US and 50% friends of friends* from the older men, but later recruits skew perhaps 60-70% US citizens. Still, the US military influence on the initial curriculum is probably only about a third, just because the most senior people tend to have served elsewhere.

*Which means former Legionnaires, other French soldiers, British and Commonwealth, ex-Rhodesians and South Africans, etc.


The training takes place in Dominica and St. Lucia, with the formal compound being built in St. Lucia.

First head of the training camp in St. Lucia was Ziggy Wagner, former Waffen-SS and French Foreign Legion, who was old, but still spry in the late 1980s. As Ziggy got older, Archibald Stewart-Calthorpe, former SAS officer with a background in legitimate security contracting work since 1970, took command of the camp in 1991.

Their chief NCO, from 1990, was RSM Joseph Khumalo, lately of the Zimbabwean Army, former Selous Scout and Rhodesian African Rifles. In fact, at age 76 in 2018, Khumalo still trains people from his home in Dominica, along with sons, sons-in-law, grandsons and any number of other relatives.

The instructors were a mix of former Legionnaires, Selous Scouts, Vietnam vets and others.
Well, the good news is that people who can take people apart with clubs and knives are not hard to find in any place with a lot of work in the field or bush and without powerful, trusted police forces. So you have a lot of room to chose something cool (or that you can find sources on), it all depends on who knew whom and what martial arts made the people organizing this course say "hello, I would like to learn more" and what made them say "that is cool but too different from what I do/she just can't make the transition to teaching foreign soldiers who have never handled a cutlass before."

Edit: I would expect some pretty heavy race prejudice (and allergy to learning indigenous languages) in that founding cohort, but Draeger and Smith were active in that period, and sometimes adventurers become open-minded.

Da'Mon Stith does some research into indigenous African martial arts but that and the one video from Hati are literally as close as I can go.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:33 AM   #385
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Well, the good news is that people who can take people apart with clubs and knives are not hard to find in any place with a lot of work in the field or bush and without powerful, trusted police forces. So you have a lot of room to chose something cool (or that you can find sources on), it all depends on who knew whom and what martial arts made the people organizing this course say "hello, I would like to learn more" and what made them say "that is cool but too different from what I do/she just can't make the transition to teaching foreign soldiers who have never handled a cutlass before."
That's true.

Unfortunately, I can't find any sources on a formalized 'martial art' with the 'cutlass' (machete) in Dominica and St. Lucia. However, I've confirmed that it's by far the most common weapon in armed assaults on both islands, so it seems that the use of the weapon is about as common as on other Caribbean islands.

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Edit: I would expect some pretty heavy race prejudice (and allergy to learning indigenous languages) in that founding cohort, but Draeger and Smith were active in that period, and sometimes adventurers become open-minded.

Da'Mon Stith does some research into indigenous African martial arts but that and the one video from Hati are literally as close as I can go.
Uh... the Selous Scouts were 80% black and Joseph Khumalo is, obviously, as black as an Ndebele man can be.

The white Selous Scouts recruits are about 50/50 Rhodesians and foreign recruits from a wide variety of other countries. They spent the war in Rhodesia working with black members of the Rhodesian security forces and turned members of ZANLA and ZIPRA.

Are some of them racist? Sure, as people in every country and organization can be racist, but every Selous Scout biography I've read specifically mentions how, after the war, they had difficulty fitting into South African society, because race relations there were completely different than in Rhodesia and, especially, alien to them as members of a majority black unit.

All of the Selous Scouts recruited knew some phrases in African languages, enough to be able to carry off the deception that was fundamental to their job.* And some of them speak numerous African languages fluently.

In general, while individuals could vary, the character of the early Night Riders was extremely open minded. Given how racially and religiously mixed the group was, it could hardly function otherwise.

*The white members of the teams also pretended to be ZANLA or ZIPRA fighters, wearing makeup and heavy clothing (for Africa).
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:04 AM   #386
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Uh... the Selous Scouts were 80% black and Joseph Khumalo is, obviously, as black as an Ndebele man can be.
I was more thinking that the people who founded the training program are a former member of the armed wing of the Nazi party who took a trip to Indochina or Algeria after 1945 for his health, a SAS veteran of the wars of decolonization, and most of the first generation of students are the kinds of Europeans who fought in the wars of decolonization in Africa.

Racial stereotypes (and willingness to learn about other cultures) are likely to be one of the factors which determines who gets recruited as an instructor; another would be exactly where the organizers spent time after the war: were they spending their free time training with Vietnamese, Congolese, or Chileans?
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:58 AM   #387
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I was more thinking that the people who founded the training program are a former member of the armed wing of the Nazi party who took a trip to Indochina or Algeria after 1945 for his health, a SAS veteran of the wars of decolonization, and most of the first generation of students are the kinds of Europeans who fought in the wars of decolonization in Africa.
It's a good point.

By 21st century standards, everyone was an outrageous racist, obviously. Especially some of the black African recruits, who have strong tribal loyalties (and enmities). However, any racial attitudes are mostly incidental to motivations. If any ideology is pervasive among them, it's anti-Communism, ranging from a solid opposition to rabid hatred.

That being said, however, no one who has spent years training security personnel for work in Africa can be unwilling to work with people of other races. For economic reasons, if nothing else, most of their work involved training and commanding black Africans. There was only a short period in the early 60s where all-white mercenary units were at all significant in African conflicts and even then, the most effective and successful professionals were those who hired out their military expertise to build up local forces.

Ziggy Wagner wasn't a warm and cuddly person by any means, but he was never motivated by any quasi-religious racial ideology, at least not in his adult life. After five years in Soviet prison camp, Ziggy joined the French Foreign Legion (as so many German men did in the post-war years) because he had no marketable skills other than soldiering and he wanted to eat. To Ziggy, the world was divided into his brothers-in-arms, to whom he exhibited a fierce loyalty, and all the rest, about which he didn't care one bit and whom he'd kill without scruples if his primary group loyalties required it.

Ziggy spent 1950-1955 in the French Foreign Legion, most of it in Indochina. He spent 1955-1958 as the chief of security for a casino his friend J.R. Kessler managed in Havana. During Castro's revolution, Ziggy lost his wife and his home, leaving him a single father with a two year old boy. From 1959-1965, Ziggy was involved in various murky ventures in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, but more as a trainer and organizer than as a mercenary (Ziggy never hesitated to apply violence if a friend needed help, but he was averse to long stays in the field away from his boy, whom he took with him everywhere).

Ziggy had a lot of friends among Cuban expatriates, as well as in other anti-Communist circles, and he is said to have been involved in training Cubans opposed to Castro. If he was not employed by the CIA at any point during that period, he was certainly moving in the same circles, working toward the same goals and around many of the same locations. In fact, rumours say that Ziggy, like a few other anti-Communist veterans of French paratrooper service, contracted with CIA front companies for all sorts of things, not just Cuba, but operations elsewhere.

In 1965-1970, Ziggy was the head of personal security for his wealthy friend Kessler, traveling with him when necessary, which meant the Houston area, Gulf Coast, Caribbean and Africa, mainly. He also owned Almadovar Air, a charter flight company, with a former Legionnaire friend, Jean Delvaux, and some Cuban partners in Florida. Again, rumours insist that Almadovar Air had unspecified connections with US intelligence.

Ziggy continued to help out other friends from time, which could take him into all sorts of exotic locations. Jean Delvaux was believed to have been killed in Laos in 1970 when his plane went down. Ziggy left his job and arranged to have his son (old enough for boarding school by that time) taken care of by friends, so he could spend six months in Laos looking for his friend or his body, which he finally found and brought home for burial.

In the 1970s, Ziggy mostly worked as a security contractor for the growing mineral, oil and gas interests of Kessler in Africa. That meant recruting, training and commanding security in areas that might be volatile or even in a state of warfare. Ziggy didn't live in Africa full time, but he spent a few months in various locations there per year and had homes in Texas, Florida and on several Caribbean islands. He had another child, a girl whom he named Beatriz after his late wife, with an exotic dancer down in Florida in 1970.

Ziggy 'retired' in 1980, building a cottage on the island of St. Lucia, which he named Hasenruhe (Hare's Rest), referencing the German military slang of 'alte Hasen' ('Old hares') for the veteran soldiers at the front. Bored in a few months (he was sixty and still vigorous), Ziggy kept busy training security experts for Kessler's interests, which eventually grew into the paramilitary compound of the Jägerlager ('Hunter's Camp'). Ziggy's last operational deployment was in 1986, when he accompanied J.R. Kessler, as a favor, to Mali. It was there that Kessler found confirmation of something he had suspected for a while and after that everything changed.

Ziggy lived for eight more years on St. Lucia and saw the birth of the paramilitary Night Riders, Kessler's name for vigilante Monster Hunters and protectors of the world, or at least as much of it as Kessler determined they could realistically handle. Which meant the Caribbean and the US Gulf Coast, mostly. Never numerous, the Night Riders started as about a platoon and in 2018, consist of, effectively, about a company of widely scattered men in several teams, less than half of them full-time and the rest available some portion of the time (or for the older, perhaps just in emergency defence of their home towns or areas).

Morally, Ziggy was exactly like actual, true mercenaries have been throughout history. Capable of warm friendships within his unit and a soldier's romances with any available women where he operated, Ziggy didn't believe in principles, nationality (any more), politics (ditto) or philosophical justifications. What he did want was a group to belong to, which he found among a small group of friends he made in the Legion. The most important of whom (if only because of his post-Legion career), was J.R. Kessler, who eventually became the billionaire Patron of the whole endeavour. And who is the cousin of the first Texan-born Rabbi of the Congregation B'nai Israel in Galveston, Texas.

So, while Ziggy certainly never apologized for his past or stopped saying outrageously offensive things, he also never let unimportant things interfere with his personal relationships and loyalties. He loved his Cubano wife and his son Guillermo. And he loved his frères d'armes, whether they were German, Swiss, Belgian, African or Jewish Texans.

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Racial stereotypes (and willingness to learn about other cultures) are likely to be one of the factors which determines who gets recruited as an instructor; another would be exactly where the organizers spent time after the war: were they spending their free time training with Vietnamese, Congolese, or Chileans?
The recruits (and instructors) who gave rise to the most trouble with racial were not Rhodesians or other white Africans, not white mercenaries who fougtht in Africa or white Southerners from the US*, but white Legionnaires.

Unlike mercenaries in African, the Legion mostly didn't train locals or live among them. And while everyone had to learn French, learning native languages was comparatively rare among Legionnaires. Not to mention that well into the 1980s, the Legion was still a majority white, European force, and in the 1960s, it was almost exclusively so.

And while both biographies and other historical sources I've read on mercenaries in Africa reveal a surprising level of racial integration, sources for Legionnaires well into the 2000s reveal multiple incidents of racial conflict within the Legion. To a degree that would never have been accepted in the US Army of the 1970s, let alone later, some Legionnaires casually bullied and regularly beat others because of the colour of their skin.

All the sources agree that by far the worst offenders were the native French among them, perhaps because they are not supposed to be able to join, but some still do (pretending to be Francophones from somewhere else) and that this element among the Legion are the men most likely to be uneducated, unskilled small-time criminals (because contrary to myth, the Legion doesn't take anyone convicted of any serious crime). In later years, this bigotry was directed at Asians, Africans and Hispanics in the Legion, but earlier, victims were the Spanish and, especially, Jewish recruits.

Not coincidentally, none of the former Legionnaires who were constant troublemakers in the Legion because of racism, bullying and bigotry were among those whom J.R. Kessler befriended, and who many years later, were among the employees of his security companies.

*If only because it's not like insular people who hadn't lived abroad were likely to be in the social circles of the founders and so unlikely to be considered.
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:20 PM   #388
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

The chaplin responding in your USMC thread made me think. Both the Catholic and Episcopal have a Federal or military Archbishop. In fact the Catholic church has a Archbishop and four auxiliary Bishops. Most or all were active military and served as chaplains. So they have a better then normal of having encountered the odd.

The Catholic seems to be just military, the Episcopal also deals with all Federal stuff like prisons.
Learned about this when the priest at my wife's Episcopal church parish who had been career Air Force chaplin before he retired from the military and went to a regular parish was appointed to the Federal Bishp position.
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:29 PM   #389
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The chaplin responding in your USMC thread made me think. Both the Catholic and Episcopal have a Federal or military Archbishop. In fact the Catholic church has a Archbishop and four auxiliary Bishops. Most or all were active military and served as chaplains. So they have a better then normal of having encountered the odd.

Learned about this when the priest at my wife's Episcopal church parish who had been career Air Force chaplin before he retired from the military and went to a regular parish was appointed to the Federal Bishp position.
Yes, that's a very good point.

In my setting, the Catholic Church has its own secret conspiracy to defend the the world from the supernatural, so the Catholic military chaplains are more likely to report anything odd up their own hierarchy (where it eventually catches the attention of someone read-in on the occult). However, that has not, in the past, prevented individual priests from allying with PCs outside the Church. Indeed, both J.R. Kessler and a PC, Lucien Lacoste, in this campaign, have or had Catholic priests as personal friends, Allies or Contacts.

One or more military chaplains of religious organizations that lack effective occult arms of their own, however, might well have been recruited by J.R. Kessler as an intelligence source and talent scout in the military. They'd keep an eye out on military personnel who had supernatural experiences and (without violating the seal of the confessional, for those whom that is an issue), tell someone whom they know can perhaps help them in some way.

The information then makes its way to Kessler's people. While Kessler can't help every victim of the supernatural, if there is any kind of personal connection or a friend asks, there is a possibility that strings might be pulled to ensure that a savvy psychologist with knowledge of the occult is made aware of their problem, to increase the odds that they'll get actually useful help.

And those who come out of such encounters more or less whole, perhaps even having distinguished themselves while actually understanding what they want through, instead of rationalizing it as something else, might be scouted for their potential as recruits, as informants, as support personnel in various fields, or, if they are uniquely qualified, as Night Riders.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:11 PM   #390
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Default Name Suggestions for Security and Private Investigation Firm in New Orleans

Three partners, with the clandestine financial support of Kessler's organization, founded a security and private investigation firm in New Orleans in the year 2000. Two are retired US law enforcement officers and the third is an experienced executive from the world of international private security contracting.

Obviously, the company will serve as a cover company for various counter-occult operations by Kessler's people in Louisiana. It will hire legitimate security personnel, former detectives and the like, and actually carry out private investigations, perform due diligence research, asset recovery, security consultation, corporate counter-intelligence and the like. All of that, however, will be secondary to the real purpose of gathering information about the supernatural and, on occasion, do something about it.

I'm looking for ideas on what to name the company.

Something in French, maybe?

We want something that would sound trustworthy and appealing to people in New Orleans, without being too strange. They want to sound like a local firm with international expertise.

Founders

Kenneth W. Campbell (b. April 1, 1952; Shreveport, Louisiana) served as a helicopter pilot for the US Army (1969-1973; left as CW2), with two tours in Vietnam. He later did twenty years in the Louisiana State Police (1977-1997), in the Gaming Enforcement Division and the Aviation Division. After he retired from the LSP, he worked as a helicopter pilot for IYR Inc. (1997-2000), a logistics company providing services to yacht owners.

Myron L. Schneider (b. April 30, 1949; Port Arthur, TX) was drafted into the US Army 1967-1969, where he served a combat tour in Vietnam with the 7th Cavalry Regiment, as a machine gunner and helicopter door gunner. After getting out of the Army, Schneider served as Deputy in the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (1970-1975) and became a Special Agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1976, where he served for twenty years, until he retired in 1996. During his years in the DEA, Special Agent Schneider took part in the counter-narcotic Operation Snowcap in South America, making ten 90-day deployments to train and support police in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. After retiring from the DEA, Schneider worked as a sales representative in the Caribbean and Southern US for ORIEL S.A. (1996-2000), a French firm that is a market leader in security and surveillance technology.

Jean-Bastien Moreau (b. November 18, 1946; Casablanca, Morocco) was born to French parents. He is a former lieutenant of the French military (served from 1969-1974; from 1971-1974 as LT of the 2e REP in the French Foreign Legion). From 1977-1978 he served in the 7 Independent Company, 1st Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, in the Rhodesian Security Forces.
Since then, he has worked in private security, with 22 years of experience as an executive with international security firms like Compagnie Blanche S.A., Sentinel Risk Management Inc. and ISHIM Ltd. He has a BA in Sociology from Paris X Nanterre (1968) and an MBA from Tulane University (1987). He became a US citizen in 1992.
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