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Question for Reenactors


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Why question MY service as if it makes a difference? I already posted that I am a Navy Veteran (disabled) of the first gulf war and as the son of a career Army father I was on the 'Front Line' (so to speak) of the cold war (6 years in Germany). I was born in an Army hospital, for the first 26 years of my life I was either in, or surrounded by the Army or Navy. My back yard in Germany was a battalion motorpool of M-60 tanks and M113 APCs. Reforger was the highlite of the year because AFRTS would show tanks busting up the German countryside. Ever see a battalion of M60's on the road? Thats a couple miles of tanks, trucks and jeeps (ok, Mutts then Hum-v's). I still remember the commercials on AFTRS when the 'new' M-1s were coming to Germany. Pink Floyd music.. can't remember the song though. That is my background.

 

Reenacting is NOT the Military.

 

If there is a fat dude wearing E/506 ok, is it correct? The right gear? Pants bloused properly? If all you see is a fat dude then OK, that's what you see. I see a guy who is trying (HOPEFULLY) to get it right and paying respect to the veterans of WWII. If all that means to so some is 'don't be fat' then ok.. they seem to have a skewed outlook of the hobby.

 

If you took this as an attack or personal insult... well, don't. If you did, ok.

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Why question MY service as if it makes a difference? I already posted that I am a Navy Veteran (disabled) of the first gulf war and as the son of a career Army father I was on the 'Front Line' (so to speak) of the cold war (6 years in Germany). I was born in an Army hospital, for the first 26 years of my life I was either in, or surrounded by the Army or Navy. My back yard in Germany was a battalion motorpool of M-60 tanks and M113 APCs. Reforger was the highlite of the year because AFRTS would show tanks busting up the German countryside. Ever see a battalion of M60's on the road? Thats a couple miles of tanks, trucks and jeeps (ok, Mutts then Hum-v's). I still remember the commercials on AFTRS when the 'new' M-1s were coming to Germany. Pink Floyd music.. can't remember the song though. That is my background.

 

Reenacting is NOT the Military.

 

If there is a fat dude wearing E/506 ok, is it correct? The right gear? Pants bloused properly? If all you see is a fat dude then OK, that's what you see. I see a guy who is trying (HOPEFULLY) to get it right and paying respect to the veterans of WWII. If all that means to so some is 'don't be fat' then ok.. they seem to have a skewed outlook of the hobby.

 

If you took this as an attack or personal insult... well, don't. If you did, ok.

 

I wasn't questioning YOUR service, I was questioning where you get off calling someone an idiot for questioning the thigns you guys do, and to further it by saying war is hell and all this like you know something about it, it does make a difference. Some reenactor wants to talk to me about combat, it might as well be a kid telling me about how he got 40 headshots in the latest video game. But again, if you're a vet, then none of my questions apply to you, do they?

Never said reenacting WAS the military -- but if you're so damned bent on "getting the impression right" ie -- the correct shade of khaki, the right web gear, the correct boot laces because god forbid you be called "farbish" then hey, why not go all the way and get the mohawk haircut, shed some pounds, and carry yourself with a little dignity, right? I was fat in the service...overweight by their standards, so I know it does happen, but christ, if I'd have gone to jump school I'd have washed out in the first week. Again, however, you have drifted off-topic here -- the topic originally started was simply...how far is too far for a reenactor when it comes to medals.

 

Mr. Farber, if you won medals in Desert storm, by all means, put them on your reenacting costume -- you earned them! Fine! And if you're fat and want to wear a jump suit...FINE! I don't care -- not one bit...just brought it up as a topic of discussion -- my ONLY problem is valor awards on guys who never served a day in combat.

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We are having a general discussion on a general topic. The phrase 'some idiot' should be clear in the context it was used. Again, I never said YOU, nor did I ever say that YOUR question was anything other than a valid one. If 'colorful metaphors' are upsetting, then reenacting a soldiers life may have some surprises in store.

 

I thought I made it clear that the problem of some guy going ballistic because you or I are wearing an award was an inappropriate response.

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We are having a general discussion on a general topic. The phrase 'some idiot' should be clear in the context it was used. Again, I never said YOU, nor did I ever say that YOUR question was anything other than a valid one. If 'colorful metaphors' are upsetting, then reenacting a soldiers life may have some surprises in store.

 

I thought I made it clear that the problem of some guy going ballistic because you or I are wearing an award was an inappropriate response.

 

I've got no intention whatsoever of reenacting a soldier's life. Guess I just took it the wrong way, but I was questioning your methods, and figured I was a member of the category of people that did so...the category you called idiots. Anyhow, I do apologize for the misunderstanding.

 

No, going ballistic and making a fool of onesself (drill instructor style) at a reenactor is not an appropriate response to this problem.

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I want to say that I for one found SharpnelDude's question valid and realized he is not a reenactor.I once again made the aggregious error of believing a good dialog could be had about it,I forgot that discussions these days are about winning or losing not about trading ideas and opinions.I also regret not having realised that the army regs I quoted are the 30 year old one's that were given to me by my C.O. upon ETS.I apologise to all for saying a dang thing at all.This is truly a lose/lose conversation and will never be satisfactorly resolved.And as Sun Tso and Von Clauswitz both pointed out one should never fight a battle one never meant to get into. And before this next one breaks out,I was uber paraphrasing, I don't have an original copy of either work. Good Day Gentleman,till we meet again

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Get into a battle? Can never be won?

 

When good people cannot have an open discourse then things are really, really in trouble. There are several points of view on the wearing of medals.

 

None are more right than others.. this is not a legislative body nor can we pass any rule allowing/banning anything. Our specific units may agree to a policy, and HOPEFULLY that reading others thoughts and contributing your own will allow you to form an intelligent, informed decision.

 

How can 'we' come to and understanding of any topic when 'we' shy away from a discussion becuase there are different views from our own?

 

Great people and great ideas are not prone to giving up or giving in.

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Hello!

 

Something has been bothering me about reenactors for a while. I've sold a few US uniforms, mostly dress Class "A" on eBay and other places, and one of the first questions I always get is "WHAT SIZE IS IT?" -- I figured it was for a mannequin display or something, until someone tried to send the jacket back saying it didn't fit. Reenactors. And that's fine, if you have a party or something and the combat uniforms aren't appropriate and want to wear a Class "A" or something...BUT...I saw a kid (20 or so) at the Show of Shows last year sporting an AAC uniform with wings, and ribbons including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart.

 

So... my question, not being a reenactor, how far is TOO far? Is it OK for reenactors to wear dress uniforms with rank insignia and patches? Is it OK for them to wear campaign and service ribbons? Is it OK to wear combat decorations like Bronze and Silver stars, Purple Heart, etc?

 

I don't mean to offend, or accuse, or anything -- just want to know if it's abnormal for a reenactor to wear valor decorations on a dress uniform, or if it's a common occurance -- maybe they're impression is that of a specific person, say "I'm representing Capt. Joe Blow of the 101st Airborne who earned a Silver Star at Bastogne" or some such. Just want some clarification. Thanks!

 

I think my stance on awards and ranks are that if it is correct for your impression, then wear it. Reenacting is NOT the Military. If I portray a dogface on the line then I should have a CIB, possibly some theater stripes and campaign ribbons for North Africa or Italy depending on what the units history is. Ditto for chevrons. If I was a driver, then I should have Tech 5 stripes or corporal stripes, wear the drivers award and whatever else a typical line driver would have.

 

Valor medals should only be worn if you were ACTAULLY awarded it. And you should be prepared to back it up for inquiring minds. You show up with a Silver Star then I will politely ask you about it if I was in a conversation. I would not even exert the effort to walk across a room.. but if we were in line for a drink then I might ask if I felt like speaking to that person.

 

I would speak to my unit and try and get them to draft an official policy if one was not in place.

 

None of what I said is radical or intrusive... just a solid response to a current problem.

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Well from personal experience…….

We as a collective group are neither doing this hobby for payment or profit.

So unless you are going to pay me to attend your event.

I should be able to be policed by myself and my unit, or parent organization.

If I don’t like the authenticity of an event, individual or organization.

I’ll simply walk away or stop buying their product.

 

I am career Army, and have fun doing this HOBBY.

I help out my vets that I know by volunteering my time at the old soldier’s home, VA hospital, and writing my political officials for better treatment and benefits.

Nobody that hasn’t seen the elephant can even imagine what they will experience seeing it.

So all this HOBBY is, is just that a HOBBY.

 

Have fun

Do your research

Correct everything that you can

Don’t skimp on the details

Take a SILENT pride in your impression

Help those who ASK

Ask those who don’t know

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  • 3 weeks later...
1st AAA Group

Interesting thread. Gotta agree with Shrapneldude. Also like the British approach to the wearing of awards and badges which protects the integrity of there awards from unauthorized wear.

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  • 2 weeks later...
HolyHappiness

For reenacting I say ribbons are a no no. If you're reenacting, you're reenactiong the battles. I find it lame that they have events that require class A's because in that case, you arn't reenacting anything. However, when it comes to living history I believe you can have a little more of leway. In our living history group you REPRESENT a REAL person, so I find it ok if that's the case.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
For reenacting I say ribbons are a no no. If you're reenacting, you're reenactiong the battles. I find it lame that they have events that require class A's because in that case, you arn't reenacting anything. However, when it comes to living history I believe you can have a little more of leway. In our living history group you REPRESENT a REAL person, so I find it ok if that's the case.

 

 

Reenactors (I'm one, kinda retired) should wear the basic uniform accoutraments that go along with their impression. First Person impressions are lame because we all have relatives that won valor or combat badges or PHM's. Class A's are fine to wear but make them generic (basic bages of that unit if any, campaign ribbons for the era). No valor awards should be given. CIB's are ok since they'd be basically the part of the uniform for most WWII infantryman. Airborne wings, ditto. Can't be part of a WWII Airborne unit if you don't have wings on (Glider, eh).

 

Many prior service guys like myself wear only what is directly transferable (ARCOM, GCM), if we wear ribbons at all. Most reenactors should not wear ribbons because they were hard to come by. Most guys wore a cib and wings and maybe a DUC.

 

Rock

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I also do VERY light reenacting, (poser) I am also prior service, Cold War vet. I'm into US ww-2, so I put a uniform together, tanker without a tank, which what I was, way back when. I could not wear VALOR ribbons and etc., I was only awarded the National Defense medal, (Fire Watch medal).

I have Commerative ribbons which I wear on my Ike jacket now & then, plus a PUC which was awarded either to the 73rd Armor, or the 1st I.D, (I was in there)but I don't remember which. But to be authentic, ww-2, I would wear a E.T.O., American Defense, American Campaign, WW-2 Victory and Occupation ribbons. I could NEVER wear a CIB or jump wings, I could not look another American (Veteran) in the eye wearing such ribbons and medals.

My two cents,

Pat

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
I also do VERY light reenacting, (poser) I am also prior service, Cold War vet. I'm into US ww-2, so I put a uniform together, tanker without a tank, which what I was, way back when. I could not wear VALOR ribbons and etc., I was only awarded the National Defense medal, (Fire Watch medal).

I have Commerative ribbons which I wear on my Ike jacket now & then, plus a PUC which was awarded either to the 73rd Armor, or the 1st I.D, (I was in there)but I don't remember which. But to be authentic, ww-2, I would wear a E.T.O., American Defense, American Campaign, WW-2 Victory and Occupation ribbons. I could NEVER wear a CIB or jump wings, I could not look another American (Veteran) in the eye wearing such ribbons and medals.

My two cents,

Pat

 

If a person was never a soldier, or is no longer a soldier then the issue of "earning" the right to just wear the plain uniform of a soldier should be an issue. While it's nice that Paratroopers are placed on an artificially higher level than a basic trainee graduate, the differentiation to me is the same. The logic that you will wear a uniform, and some ribbons, but not the appropriate accoutrements of a "Paratrooper" or similar is flawed in my opinion. As a reenactor I wish to see the different *basic* uniforms of the varied time period of WWII, from the different units and such. I appreciate a plain uniform as much as I do one representing an Airborne Infantryman Combat Veteran. Combat Veterans place high esteem on the CIB, and Paratroopers the silver wings- Paratroopers enjoy being represented, and if you're gonna do it you need the basic junk on your uniform. Whether you're a civilian, a former leg or a former paratrooper you should wear the wings at least, if you're representing a jump qualified unit. I'd be upset if I saw a person wearing a Paratrooper uniform with no wings, it just aint right.

 

My opinion,

 

Rock

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Lot of great, interesting, and definitely varied responses here...and I thank each and every one of you for your opinion (even the ones I got a little heated with...sorry guys!).

 

Looking at all these posts again, I think what it all comes down to is common sense, right? Personal opinions and feelings aside, Paratroops wore jump wings, Infantry men wore the CIB, and they at the very least had their specific campain ribbons and accompanying unit citations.

 

If you MUST wear a dress uniform with, complete the impression as accurately as possible without wearing "unnecessary" valor medals or decorations. Not being a reenactor, the people I've seen all "dolled up" with the medals and stuff, I now believe they are in the minority and I shouldn't have let a few a__clowns give the rest of you folks a bad name.

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These are my personal feelings. I went to the 50th D Day Anniversary back in `94, I went to the American Cemetary overlooking Omaha Beach, at the gates at the enterance were a bunch of European reenactors, all wearing ww-2 class A's/Ikes, all kinds of fruit salad and combat badges on their uniforms, got to admit, they did look good, and the busloads of tourists taking their pictures, but for me, MY PERSONAL FEELINGS, I thought it was kind of a disgrace to those real heroes lying there buried in the cemetary.

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I spent 22+ years in the Army Reserve, been retired for over 16 years, and it still gets me going to see the )*(R^*)(^$%*( PX warriors. Aren't out of basic/AIT yet and they have more ribbons than I ever earned. Staring out enlisted (first half of my career) and getting a direct commission, I had questions from officers on why I was wearing enlisted ribbons. According to the ARs, if you earned 'em, you can wear 'em. These young punks need to remove all this extra stuff.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Most of the Reenactors in Europe are foreigners. For them to wear an American uniform is kinda like our German reenactors wearing German uniforms. The awards system in Europe is different. If an American Reenactor in the US wears a MOH or any other valor medal then he'll be in trouble- Either legally or with his organization at least.

 

I've spoken to many WWII Paratrooper and Infantry Vets, and myself being a former paratooper would rather see guys running around with whatever they want except PHM's and bravery medals. Wings, CIB's and basic "been there" ribbons are cool. There's no less disgrace in a civilian reenactor wearing an Ike with reasonable stuff than wearing a combat uniform. So long as they wear the uniforms correctly.

 

My opinion.

 

Rock

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Most of the Reenactors in Europe are foreigners. For them to wear an American uniform is kinda like our German reenactors wearing German uniforms. The awards system in Europe is different. If an American Reenactor in the US wears a MOH or any other valor medal then he'll be in trouble- Either legally or with his organization at least.

 

I've spoken to many WWII Paratrooper and Infantry Vets, and myself being a former paratooper would rather see guys running around with whatever they want except PHM's and bravery medals. Wings, CIB's and basic "been there" ribbons are cool. There's no less disgrace in a civilian reenactor wearing an Ike with reasonable stuff than wearing a combat uniform. So long as they wear the uniforms correctly.

 

My opinion.

 

Rock

Sounds good to me! I know a bunch of European reenactors, they spend alot of time and money on their US uniforms, webbing, weapons, and they do a pretty good job of it. They are, for the most part showing proper respect. It's just that I get a little heated when I see some Valor ribbons. One more thing, (funny) I was at an event down in Switzerland, an there was this old boy, around my age, (I'm over 50!) wearing a ww-2 paratrooper uniform, buck sgt., looked pretty good, the uniform, but he almost needed a walker to get across the field, I think, once again, MY PERSONAL FEELINGS, a reenactor should pick out a character that passes to his age.

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