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Is this too far to go in "re-enacting".....?


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And I'm nor referring to the the General Patton lookalike here, but the two on the right playing dress-up, seen like this at dances and other events in the UK, or sometimes walking around in current US Army/Air Force field uniform (inc full equipment and various (airsoft probably) weapons....

 

What's the general impression/thoughts/comments from you guys over in the US?

 

Cheers,

Glen.

 

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What is the occassion? Are they part of a group depicting various uniforms over the years? The opinions on this could go either way here depending on the context.

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It's more the range of medals/ribbons/awards. Especially in a current-type uniform context.

 

I think this time it was actually a "uniforms-through-the-ages" type parade.

 

Most re-enactors I know would agree that there's usually a line that people don't want to cross re wearing medals/ribbons for acts of valo(u)r, such as the Silver and Bronze Stars being worn here, or the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat, unless you have actually earned them or their equivalent in your respective armed forces.

 

It's like the wings being worn here - WWII Airborne re-enactors who've never served in the Airborne forces can train up as close as possible to the Army methods to earn their jump qualification, including fast stick exits at acceptable low-level heights from a C-47 using military parachutes, which gets as close as possible to the historical context. But it's not for all, so sometimes you have to wear such a qualification badge in the representation to do it the correct service. You wear the basic one though, not a Master Parachutist Badge, the top qualification. Not unless you've met all the criteria for that one.

 

People can play dress up all they want, of course, I'm just curious over the more-modern issues here, as opposed to the usual WWII re-enactment/living history context I'm used to.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

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It's more the range of medals/ribbons/awards. Especially in a current-type uniform context.

 

I think this time it was actually a "uniforms-through-the-ages" type parade.

 

I would probably stop and ask them questions to see if they knew the topic as well as looked it. If they can give a good account of themselves then they are doing just as good as the guy in the Patton outfit.

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Glen...I've seen these people around the UK shows. The guy in the Infantry blues was walking around the display areas at Beltring in that rig last summer...totally out of context and totally out of order...in my humble opinion! It's a "Walter Mitty" thing and I award it a big thumbs down! There's a fine line which separates re-enacting and outright "fancy dress". To me, it dishonours the men who earned those awards and wore them for real.

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i'm not too keen on it, primarily because it's current uniform issue. the man on the right is portraying airborne infantry, including second award combat infantry badge. numerous medals, including some for valor. not going to over react on my part---that being said, what would people in the UK think if i showed up in current highland regiment number 1 dress, wearing a VC. i suspect they might be a bit miffed.

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It's more the range of medals/ribbons/awards. Especially in a current-type uniform context.

 

I think this time it was actually a "uniforms-through-the-ages" type parade.

 

Most re-enactors I know would agree that there's usually a line that people don't want to cross re wearing medals/ribbons for acts of valo(u)r, such as the Silver and Bronze Stars being worn here, or the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat, unless you have actually earned them or their equivalent in your respective armed forces.

 

It's like the wings being worn here - WWII Airborne re-enactors who've never served in the Airborne forces can train up as close as possible to the Army methods to earn their jump qualification, including fast stick exits at acceptable low-level heights from a C-47 using military parachutes, which gets as close as possible to the historical context. But it's not for all, so sometimes you have to wear such a qualification badge in the representation to do it the correct service. You wear the basic one though, not a Master Parachutist Badge, the top qualification. Not unless you've met all the criteria for that one.

 

People can play dress up all they want, of course, I'm just curious over the more-modern issues here, as opposed to the usual WWII re-enactment/living history context I'm used to.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

 

Okay, you got me with the edit ;-} I suppose you're referring to the two in modern uniform since the Patton guy is also wearing the very medals you're speaking about.

I don't have a problem despite the current uniform look.

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I was at a multi-period, living history event last week (see my report here)

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/175820-fortress-wales-2013photo-report-pic-heavy/

 

The many re-enactors you'll see there do what they do tastefully and in context. The don't strut around decked out like "Super-soldiers" craving attention! Would that be considered "Stolen Valor" in the USA?

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Sorry - yeah, added a long edit! ;)

 

It's all about context - the guy recreating Patton for events has been doing it for years and he'd look starange without the correct badges etc for Patton. The other two are basically "promenaders" who as Ian has said above walk around dressed like this for attention.

 

In WWII US Airborne (in the ETO) context, I'd draw the line at a typical representative ribbon bar of Good Conduct & ETO ribbon, with Jump Wings. The CIB I'd debate and only wear if appropriate to time period and if it would look wrong without it. Would never think of Purple Heart/Bronze Star/Silver Star though, as there's no need to go that for in a typical "representation".

 

If for some reason you were recreating a specific historical figure for an event/show, then you'd wear what they did to get it right. Have no issue with that. It's just the blinging-up for no reason that irks.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

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hawkdriver

I don't normally get to wound up about this kind of stuff, but I have to admit that this one hits me rather wrong.

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SergeantMajorGray

I don't have a problem with the first two but the guy on the right is going too far.

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Would that be considered "Stolen Valor" in the USA?

Never!!!!! This is protected speech ;-}

 

Sorry - yeah, added a long edit! ;)

 

It's all about context - the guy recreating Patton for events has been doing it for years and he'd look starange without the correct badges etc for Patton. The other two are basically "promenaders" who as Ian has said above walk around dressed like this for attention.

 

In WWII US Airborne (in the ETO) context, I'd draw the line at a typical representative ribbon bar of Good Conduct & ETO ribbon, with Jump Wings. The CIB I'd debate and only wear if appropriate to time period and if it would look wrong without it. Would never think of Purple Heart/Bronze Star/Silver Star though, as there's no need to go that for in a typical "representation".

 

If for some reason you were recreating a specific historical figure for an event/show, then you'd wear what they did to get it right. Have no issue with that. It's just the blinging-up for no reason that irks.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

I see your point now which is all the more reason I would ask them questions about their, uhm, costumes. The couple times I have done this one was a very sincere reply, in memory of a friend. At least he didn't stutter and tell me it was "black oops".

 

I don't have a problem with the first two but the guy on the right is going too far.

 

Why not the woman? She's kinda tricked up for the medical service with jump wings and a Bronze Star

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If you observe the participants going to the big Saturday night dance at shows such as the UK's "War & Peace", almost everyone is a hero....whether wearing British, US or German uniforms. You'll almost see more airborne Class As than at Ft Bragg!! It's when the wannabes live out their military fantasies for a couple of hours! Personally, I don't think anyone should wear any ribbons or awards unless they earned them in the service of their country. Just my humble opinion.

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I don't normally get to wound up about this kind of stuff, but I have to admit that this one hits me rather wrong.

 

Yep - don't like it one bit. The only place an Infantry LTC would wear ASUs with hanging medals, belt & dress cap like that would be if he was assigned within the Military District of Washington (MDW) - HQ, Dept of Army / Pentagon level assignment. Don't think there's too many reenacting units like that in the UK, are there lads? The "Walter Mitty" label is spot on - that, and the fact that you don't wear your unit's jump oval behind your parachutist badge when wearing hanging medals. A LTC wearing all that "flair" to include (on his chest pockets, L to R) 101st ABN DIV Combat Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Office of the Secty of Defense Badge, and the Office of the JCS badge would probably know this -

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AAF_Collection

The sad thing is IMO the vast majority here in the UK wouldn't care. Generally it seems it's only those who have served who have an issue with "Walts",

what would people in the UK think if i showed up in current highland regiment number 1 dress, wearing a VC. i suspect they might be a bit miffed.

 

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SergeantMajorGray

Never!!!!! This is protected speech ;-}

 

I see your point now which is all the more reason I would ask them questions about their, uhm, costumes. The couple times I have done this one was a very sincere reply, in memory of a friend. At least he didn't stutter and tell me it was "black oops".

 

 

Why not the woman? She's kinda tricked up for the medical service with jump wings and a Bronze Star

She's just wearing the ribbons but the guy is wearing full sized medals which you don't wear on a uniform (is that correct? I thought I heard that somewhere)

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If you observe the participants going to the big Saturday night dance at shows such as the UK's "War & Peace", almost everyone is a hero....whether wearing British, US or German uniforms. You'll almost see more airborne Class As than at Ft Bragg!! It's when the wannabes live out their military fantasies for a couple of hours! Personally, I don't think anyone should wear any ribbons or awards unless they earned them in the service of their country. Just my humble opinion.

 

I kind of agree with you which would limit WWII re enactors to non badged characters and who would want to be a plain & simple Sad Sack? I would counter that someone who puts on a particular uniform might be trying to tell a story and the uniform helps make the story easier to tell. Sure, I could probably tell the same story in blue jeans and t~shirt but if I'm walking a battlefield with others in period uniform I might want to dress the same as those others. But you already know that.

The highlight of any themed airshow weekend is the USO dance and everyone, including the ladies want to look their best. This is supposed to be fun and even the PX heroes are given a pass as long as they don't get stupid.

Here I am typing this up and Phil Silvers comes on. Who woulda known ;-} A popular caricature of the military of the time in current uniform.

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Another thing which p****ed me off big-time at the show last year was a young air-softer who was walking around (ie seeking attention) in every piece of current US Army ACU gear known to man! Everything from the helmet with NVG plus Surefire, and facemask to his vest (festooned with God-knows-what) knee-pads M4 cabine etc etc. just like a Starship Trooper! I actually posted some pics of it at the time. I engaged him in conversation and asked him politely if it did not bother him that several young men like him, wearing such gear for real, were dying or becoming physically maimed in Afghanistan almost every week. He had no answer to that.

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Another thing which p****ed me off big-time at the show last year was a young air-softer who was walking around (ie seeking attention) in every piece of current US Army ACU gear known to man! Everything from the helmet with NVG plus Surefire, and facemask to his vest (festooned with God-knows-what) knee-pads M4 cabine etc etc. just like a Starship Trooper! I actually posted some pics of it at the time. I engaged him in conversation and asked him politely if it did not bother him that several young men like him, wearing such gear for real, were dying or becoming physically maimed in Afghanistan almost every week. He had no answer to that.

Who knows, maybe you might have inspired him and I'm not being sarcastic. You'd be surprised the difference a comment like that can make.

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Johan Willaert

Glen,

 

Please don't take this personally because it is absolutely not meant that way, but just as an example...

 

What make you a Captain??? Do you have Officer experience in commanding a Company?

What makes Shady Top kick?

 

If I were to join your group, would I begin as a private? Or do I benefit from 30 years of Military service in the Infantry???

Or from re-enacting WW2 back in the 80s???

 

Just to illustrate how hard it is to draw the line...

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Sorry for those who re-enact, but I've always been uncomfortable with this activity ... I saw and met to many re-enactors who didn't ever wear a real uniform, endure basic and advanced training and earn the right to wear medals, even the "easy" ones.

 

However, I can understand those who re-enact to preserve history but in this case, that man is only showing off and it's unacceptable. There's rules about wearing medals and someone should call him to order !!

 

In my opinion, a re-enactor is allowed to wear combat or dress uniforms ... I cannot discuss that even if I only wear my uniform, but medals are for those who earn them, no less, no more.

 

If he really wants to show uniforms through ages ... then torsoes and mannequins are the way to go and display medals.

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Bellumbill

I have no problem with any of it as long as it is made to be clearly understood that these people are not actually in the services they are representing and derive no benefits or recognition that belong to the actual veterans or modern day active duty soldiers.

 

Best to all -

 

Bill K.

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She's just wearing the ribbons but the guy is wearing full sized medals which you don't wear on a uniform (is that correct? I thought I heard that somewhere)

 

The ASU was meant to replace all dress uniforms over time, so it is authorized to wear full sized medals for occasions that require that level of dress. Unlike the Class A where it was not authorized.

 

 

Yep - don't like it one bit. The only place an Infantry LTC would wear ASUs with hanging medals, belt & dress cap like that would be if he was assigned within the Military District of Washington (MDW) - HQ, Dept of Army / Pentagon level assignment. Don't think there's too many reenacting units like that in the UK, are there lads? The "Walter Mitty" label is spot on - that, and the fact that you don't wear your unit's jump oval behind your parachutist badge when wearing hanging medals. A LTC wearing all that "flair" to include (on his chest pockets, L to R) 101st ABN DIV Combat Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Office of the Secty of Defense Badge, and the Office of the JCS badge would probably know this -

 

I agree with the set-up itself is just out of place on the fantasy guy. Way to much on there for any LTC I have met. Basically the way it looks is he was in desert storm, 101st and then DC and now back in 101st. He would at least be a COL by this time with all that. The only thing missing from making this a complete ensemble is the special forces and ranger tab :)

 

Why not the woman? She's kinda tricked up for the medical service with jump wings and a Bronze Star

 

Appears she is transportation. Her uniform is pretty typical of a LTC. Wings could have been from ROTC, common. Her CAB is easy enough to get, I think they handed those out when getting off the bus in Kuwait ;) The BSM for service is very common among officers even in support roles for successful tour overseas. The only thing she is missing are campaign stars and actually lacking in awards for a LTC.

 

 

 

 

Personally I have no problem with reenacting, but make it real and for a purpose. Walking in a parade by yourself is no reason to look like that guy unless he is representing someone specific. Now if it was a living history piece showing say a war room in the pentagon, then I would expect to see some PH, valor awards, and staff badges because that would be accurate. I guess I feel it just has to fit and be correct. This guy is overkill and I clump him in with the fakers and fantasy nuts, not a reenactor. She at least to me looks correct for the most part and don't have a problem with it.

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Glen,

 

Please don't take this personally because it is absolutely not meant that way, but just as an example...

 

What make you a Captain??? Do you have Officer experience in commanding a Company?

What makes Shady Top kick?

 

If I were to join your group, would I begin as a private? Or do I benefit from 30 years of Military service in the Infantry???

Or from re-enacting WW2 back in the 80s???

 

Just to illustrate how hard it is to draw the line...

 

Not taking it personally at all, Johan, good example to raise on wearing ranks not earned (during WWII in this context). No, I don't have officer experience in commanding a Company, not at all. Before I was asked to portray the Captain, I used to be a Sergeant/squad leader in the group. Was I the best man for the job? Don't know. Am I any good at it, being a civilian acting a role out in a non-military organised "military" group? You'd have to ask the rest of the 250 of so members. Personally, I quite like going to the Southern France "Dragoon" commemorations, with no rank at all, and no responsibilities for organising anything or anyone. It's a weekend off from a long hard job. ;)

 

How do the NCO's and other Officers in 2nd Armored get their ranks? By being good at the job in question, whether or not they are/have been serving military or not. Simple as that. It's always a struggle to find someone who can actually lead a group of men and we've been through numerous Sergeants and Lieutenants to find ones who can actually do this in a civilian-military context. It's a mix between man-management and actually leading by example.

 

In a few weeks we've got two 82nd Airborne memorial ceremonies to do at Scraptoft and Tollerton here in the UK, with 3 82nd Veterans attending, plus current-serving US Army Officers and Color Guard, along with our own wartime Color Guard. If you think I'm going to get any pleasure out of the pressure of that, you're having a laugh! Oh to simply just be able to turn up with no responsibility and no rank! :)

 

I doubt the questions would be asked if people were being Roman Centurions in the some Legion or other, the issue always comes with medals/awards that are either in living memory of the people who actually earned them, or are otherwise still used currently. That's where WWII re-enactment walks that fine line still.

 

Anyway, if you were to join, you'd be a Private until we saw that you'd learned how to be anything higher in your 30 years in the Infantry... haha ;)

 

Cheers,

Glen.

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