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Prior Military Vs. No Prior Military Service Re-enactors


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giconceptsjw

The conversations seem to be going here anyway so it might as well be a separate subject.

 

Some have pointed out how the people who’ve had prior military service can apply their military experience to re-enacting. Others have pointed out that modern military service has little or no practical or relevant application when re-enacting WWII or earlier time periods.

 

I’m going pose the question but I’ll remain neutral. I see the pros & cons of both weighing about the same so in my opinion, it is a draw. I personally attended a military school when I was a kid. Although we had no live weapons or field problems we were constantly drilled on military protocol, etiquette, rank structure, formations, military history and close order drill. In my case, that early training did help me “hit the ground running” so to speak when I joined a re-enactment group. I didn’t need to be taught how to do the manual of arms, rank structure, marching, facing, etc. I think any prior military or semi-military experience would benefit a re-enactor in these basic ways. On the other hand, I’ve never done much marching at re-enactments so it may be a moot point.

 

The reoccurring argument against prior military service people is the fact that they have to re-learn (or refuse to re-learn)almost everything they were taught in the post WWII military. Since 1945, literally everything in the modern military is different than it was 65 years ago with few exceptions. When the prior military re-enactors fall back on their modern training & experience and apply it to a WWII (or earlier) situation, they are usually viewed as being inaccurate. On the other hand, I will say that if a person with modern military service experience was re-enacting Vietnam, their experience in the 1980’s or later would most likely be very much the same as it was in the 1960’s. I think the sprit of the debate lies in situations where a former Marine or trooper uses modern jody calls, mannerisms, lingo and automatic weapons tactics at a Civil War or WWII event. The fact that prior military people have a deep sense of pride in their service (and rightfully so) can make it a very sensitive subject to criticize or correct them.

 

JW

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21 years living in a combat zone gives me all the military experience that I ever needed .

jeff , you are bored or what ???

owen

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The big thing I have noticed is it depends on your MOS (AFSC for us Air force types), as a crew chief on fighters then tankers I developed "the crew chief attitude", well many prior and non-prior service types try and compare todays military with WW2, nope many differences. We got told to "act more military" by a fellow who never served a day in his life and I laughed at him as many WW2 and todays crew chiefs don't "act military" as many admin types and the people who get all their info from "saving Ryan's privates" and " Bandwagon of brothers". Just my opinion.

 

Scott

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I don't think your arguments against prior service holds much water. You have basically discounted current military service because the way the military is run today is so radically different that the only thing that a prior service guy has is his love and dedication to his country. This is untrue, while techniques in the implementation of tactics may have changed, relatively few tactics have actually changed.

 

With all that aside, the prior service guy has a distinct advantage in that they have been "indoctrinated" in the "way" of the military. The mannerisms and way to accomplish tasks in a military manner are there regardless of age. While there may be little marching in re-enactment, marching teaches teamwork, military bearing, and an understanding of how following rules effects others.

 

Now that I have a M38 Jeep, I am going to start attending parades and displays as a Korean War Soldier. I have never really dealt much with the Korean war, but I don't need anyone to teach me how to wear a M1 helmet, properly blouse my boots, tell me what to do with my boot laces, properly adjust my web belt, or the proper standards for haircut and grooming, or what a "gig line" is.

 

I'm not saying that a non-prior service can't learn all that because many have. The answer I am giving is that it will take a prior service guy much less time to "get his perverbial s%#t together" if he wants to.

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Hawkdriver the thing is this, I fix airplanes, no tactics involved what I am speaking of is that many of todays military have a different attitude being an all volunteer force verses the ground crews of WW2 and the "draftee attitude".

 

Scott

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Hawkdriver the thing is this, I fix airplanes, no tactics involved what I am speaking of is that many of todays military have a different attitude being an all volunteer force verses the ground crews of WW2 and the "draftee attitude".

 

Scott

 

Alright, let's use your example. Tomorrow, a living history B-17 comes to your town and the call goes out that they need a acting crewchief because their guy is sick. You and some guy that has only seen B-17s in pictures show up for the part. The guy tells you that he needs you to help preflight and prep the aircraft for take-off. Which one of you do you think would be able to do the part? My point is that there are "tactics" in everything you do, they are called military procedural approaches to mission accomplishment.

Same scenario, except this time, it's the co-pilot sick and some guy who has never been inside an aircraft, and I, a 4,000 hour Blackhawk pilot show up. Who do you think could most realistically manage the co-pilot job?

Now, ask me to be the torpedoman on a submarine. May not know how to do it, but if I put effort into it, my military bearing will help me to muddle through it better than someone that has never had military training.

At least that is the way I see it.

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Manchu Warrior

Other then the weapons and other odds and ends I seriously doubt much has changed for your basic infantry soldier.

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Guys the biggest thing i'm talking about is attitude. I concure with you guys about the standard "tactical" arena of things but you have to admit, many of the modern types be they military or non military have a habbit of bringing modern ideals into the 1940's situation. I have talked to at least 6 or 7 hundred former crew chiefs from the 40's and they STILL have the 40's crew chief attitude. I enlisted in the early 80's and had a few former Korean war crew chiefs as mentors, and I can tell you now todays crew chiefs on active duty don't act like they did in the 40's. Just my opinion.

 

Scott

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Other then the weapons and other odds and ends I seriously doubt much has changed for your basic infantry soldier.

 

They haven't changed much.

 

Low Crawl, High Crawl, 3-5 second rush. WWII= Creep, Crawl, Rush.

 

The WWII MG manual for the .30 is nearly identical to the M60 manual.

 

The 5 Paragraph OPORD'er was in existence in WWII.

 

Most Hand and arms signals are similar or the same.

 

Foxhole-Fighting positions changed a little.

 

Manual of Arms is nearly the same.

 

I went over the entire wwii field manual and most of it is the same or similar.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I've spoken to many WWII soldiers and Paratroopers and I was in the Airborne Infantry. What was learned during WWI and WWII was transferred into Korea and Vietnam. The later wars added acronyms and additional expertise to the training. Over time the art of being an Infantryman is quite encompassing and covered all combat theaters. Training included Jungle Schools, Desert, Mountain, Amphibious Operations, Urban Combat and Patrolling. It takes about 2 years to become competent in a wide range of combat techniques and about 5 years to be considered expert at them.

 

What I've found in cross studying and training WWII reenactors is that our military took all of the good training and left it alone, or perhaps added to it. While there are some subtle differences in military bearing/customs and courtesies, and obvious differences in weaponry- what worked then still works now.

 

Every Infantryman that has joined a reenactment unit could fall in and function to a 90% authentic level. Only those Civilians with ROTC training could function (in Drill and Ceremonies) but were lost tactically. I trained the Civilians to march and move like soldiers and the former military guys to a WWII level.

 

I could never instill a sense of team work, responsibility to the team, or group welfare, like is necessary in the military and especially the Infantry.

 

Rock

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Guys the biggest thing i'm talking about is attitude. I concure with you guys about the standard "tactical" arena of things but you have to admit, many of the modern types be they military or non military have a habbit of bringing modern ideals into the 1940's situation. I have talked to at least 6 or 7 hundred former crew chiefs from the 40's and they STILL have the 40's crew chief attitude. I enlisted in the early 80's and had a few former Korean war crew chiefs as mentors, and I can tell you now todays crew chiefs on active duty don't act like they did in the 40's. Just my opinion.

 

Scott

 

This is true as well. But then most Civilian reenactors don't act like they're from the 40's either. WWII soldiers had slightly different demeanor and appearance. Hair was longer, Uniforms were wool and hard to keep pressed, beltlines were a little different, cocked caps in some instances, language. The use of acronyms nowadays is maddening. WWII soldiers had more of a "devil may care" attitude and they were *not* career minded like now. Our modern military is voluntary.

 

It's hard to get guys to act like 40's because reenactors in general mock anything that takes seriousness or actual practice.

 

Rock

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Guys the biggest thing i'm talking about is attitude. I concure with you guys about the standard "tactical" arena of things but you have to admit, many of the modern types be they military or non military have a habbit of bringing modern ideals into the 1940's situation. I have talked to at least 6 or 7 hundred former crew chiefs from the 40's and they STILL have the 40's crew chief attitude. I enlisted in the early 80's and had a few former Korean war crew chiefs as mentors, and I can tell you now todays crew chiefs on active duty don't act like they did in the 40's. Just my opinion.

 

Scott

 

 

I believe your opinion has merit when viewed within the confines of a particular set of parameters. If one were reenacting a flight line maintenance scene, I might say your point about non-military bearing/attitude has validity. However, if the former crew chief was playing a Marine reenacting the assault on Hill 881, the non-military bearing/attitude argument does not.

 

To a large degree, the bearing/behavior of a ground crew is directly related to the the degree of professionalism of the crew and, more importantly, their supervisor(s). When I was leading a Recon team, my team we not allowed to smoke while on patrol in the bush (except on permanent OPs like Hill 452 or 425) and any communication was done in whispers or with hand signals.

 

Again, just my own thoughts on the issue.

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Other then the weapons and other odds and ends I seriously doubt much has changed for your basic infantry soldier.
I would have to agree. I think the main differance is being displayed right here. It seems to me that the non prior service folks are focused on the "things", weapons, tactics, uniforms etc. The prior service folks are talking about "Mentality", not even so much attitude. The things change all the time and military folks have to be able to adapt. When I enlisted in the Navy, we were using m-14s and .45s with the old M-1 helmets. When I retired we had finially got up to M-16s, 9mms and kevlar. Many other service specific changes too, but trying to stay genaric. During my time in the Navy, my father would occassionally come for a visit. He served 20. he would come aboard and spend the day on the ship. He fit right in. The attitudes, language, way of life had not significantly changed. He would jump in and help out the Electricians if he could. This was after he had been retired 40 years. I find that, with the Navy at least, while there may be "things" change, the basics of "Who" we are never changes. I find while reading first person accounts of Civil War Sailors that their life and attitudes were not really that much different from my Navy.

 

I find this same thing in reading military history. Authors who served have a "different" prespective than those who haven't. For example, a first person account of an incident aboard USS Nahant in 1863 written by a Sailor who was involved was humorous (and sounded much like me and my shipmates aboard an aircraft carrier in the earlie 1970s in a simuler situation). I smiled and even chuckeled at the memory as I could picture those old guys sweating through their tasks of a southern coast in 1863. however I then read the same incident written and "inturpeted" by an acedemician, and it came off sounding like the crew was about to mutiney.

 

Finially, the first reenacting unit I was in was a Civil War group in VA. 90% of the members were active duty. The rest were a mix of retired military, cops and Fire Fighters. While we all worked hard on CW drill and tactics, basic things were just not an issue. We understood Chain of Command. No one had to be assigned to details, when we needed water, some one always just made a water run, same with wood etc. No one ever had to say "clean your weapons". When we returned to camp, it was just done without a word. Every thing was shared. We joked with each other, but knew when to be serious and what to really take serious. It was a military mentality.

 

Interestingly, we had everything from a Marine Lance Corporal (who was our First Sgt.) to a retired Navy Captain and a Fire Chief. Most were senior Enlisted /officers in real life. Our favorite impression was "Draftees with and Attitude". Lots of fun to be on the "Other Side".

 

Steve Hesson

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I guess you could take a soldier from the Roman Army and place him into a modern army and the basics would not have changed much....The thing that HAS changed apart from the obvious advancement in weapons and tactics is his society, his upbringing and where he came from, and why he is in the service...

 

WWII soldiers where for the very most part citizen soldiers, and I have said this before, but one old MTO vet who volunteers at Bushy where we are based said him and his mates could tell a pre War carreer soldier as opposed to a Wartime volunteer or indeed draftee....They where completely different...In fact his words "heads up their arses"....

 

Having just caught up with an old mate last week there, he and his fellows didn't feel an immense pride in their jobs as in "for queen and Country" BS, and most British soldiers I have spoken to also don't, they don't come out of service all pious and mighty, they just done a job...Some of it a "pain in the arse" (not my quote)...

 

Another who is going back for a 6 month, "for the money" and nothing to do with queen and country....

 

Luckily, I only done Army Cadets when I was in my early teens, that was enough to convince me the Army was run by what we call here in the UK "Hoorah Hendry's" or "Chinless Wonders" which is probably a very British "class thing" and I had sense enough not to join up - The little war with Argentina kicked off...Would I fight for Queen and Country, would I fcuk, would I if we got invaded, that is a different matter! Having said that, The British Army might have offered some interesting times and adventure, but then maybe it would have gotten me killed...

 

The thing about re-enacting, it is just pretend, but some ex Army types forget that....As well as the wanna be folks...

 

Now, I don't do battles, but it has been said from orginisers who put on battles, do the pyros etc that it is just pantomime, pretend, a show, or theatre....Having worked in the film industry, and done battle scenes as well bar room fight scenes, that is what they are, they are not real...

 

I can quite fully imagine that todays battles with the likes of the Taliban or the recent invasion of Iraq is very much different from any WWII battle, a completely different enemy as well as actual battle tactics...Small skirmish tactics may be similar, but this is what folks don't realise the actual wording "similar"...

 

Much like 1950s big band music is similar to 1940s big band, but they are different and if one knows the difference, it shows, same with 1940s soldiers and their bearing, and 21C soldiers and their bearing...

 

Is the term "re-enacting" a reconstruction of an historical event, or dressing up in old army clothes?

 

Is "living history" a walking talking museum which the public come to view and educate themselves, or just sitting in a field or foxhole in old army clothes with a toy gun?

 

So, what would make a better re-enacted battle scene, a former actor, or a former soldier...Or is it a bit of both?

 

And btw, recently there was a parade in which a former British officer made the most protocol mistake of life in font of the veterans, the public and a camera, the non ex military done better....

 

At the end of the day, if you want to shrink down you beanie cap and wear it modern style, or wear trouser danglies to blouse yer trousers, go for it...But yer not "re-enacting"...

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

I guess you could take a soldier from the Roman Army and place him into a modern army and the basics would not have changed much....The thing that HAS changed apart from the obvious advancement in weapons and tactics is his society, his upbringing and where he came from, and why he is in the service...

 

In the US Army, manuals and training are based upon previous manuals and training. The traiing I received in the 1980's was either similar, nearly identical or identical. Modern weapons, modificitions or additions to the training and manuals were a natural evolution- They are so similar as to be more alike than different.

 

As far as the "Roman Army"-----> Basic formations, combined firepower, and manuever are tactics that are appicable to all combat operations in every Army. Those similarities are not directly applicable to the US Army of today and how it relates to the US Army of WWII. This generalization belies your claims. The US Army of my time period was a DIRECT evolution of the US Army of WWII- The manual of arms, military bearing and courtesy, uniform wear and maintenance, drill and ceremony, hand and arm signals, combat formations, tactics, individual and team movement and maneuver, patrolling, traditions and more. They're related to each other by only a relatively short time period. The men that jumped into Normandy trained the NCO's that trained guys like me. They didn't revamp the Army, change everything around over the decades that passed.

 

Rather than saying that the Romans or Athenians can reenact without a problem, make a case for how the WWII Army is significantly different than today so much so that a modern infantryman cannnot possibly know what a WWII soldier performed and behaved like.

 

Foreign militaries have completely different technical and tactical methodology. They have different Drill and Ceremonies, traditions, uniform wear and maintenance and more. It would be more difficult for someone from, say....the British Airborne, to transfer their knowledge over to a WWII US Army unit directly. Saluting, marching, formations and traditions are all part of every military, but a direct and related decendant is proprietary to that particular military.

 

So when someone says that a modern infantryman cannot apply his training and knowledge, they're plain wrong.

 

Rock

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

As far as where he came from and why he's in the service.

 

WWII--> Depression, Pearl Harbor, Patriotism, Draft.

 

Today---> Recession, 9/11, Patriotism, Volunteer Army.

 

Many young people join the service for the exact same reasons. Many go to school and are supplemented by the ROTC. Many want to get away. Some want to serve for patriotic reasons. Some want to test their mettle in combat. The reasons why young people do what they do has changed so very little, unless your suggestion is that humanity has evolved significantly since the 1940's.

 

Well, we're still involved in wars, power hungry dictators still rule with iron fists, starvation and human depravity are rampant in some parts of the world, ethnic cleansing is *not* a thing of the past, and our world is still fighting over religion. Nothing has changed except the players and a few decades.

 

War is a waste but evil and greedy people manage to get into positions of power and cause conflicts. We will never learn.

 

Rock

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I guess you could take a soldier from the Roman Army and place him into a modern army and the basics would not have changed much....The thing that HAS changed apart from the obvious advancement in weapons and tactics is his society, his upbringing and where he came from, and why he is in the service...

 

In the US Army, manuals and training are based upon previous manuals and training. The traiing I received in the 1980's was either similar, nearly identical or identical. Modern weapons, modificitions or additions to the training and manuals were a natural evolution- They are so similar as to be more alike than different.

 

As far as the "Roman Army"-----> Basic formations, combined firepower, and manuever are tactics that are appicable to all combat operations in every Army. Those similarities are not directly applicable to the US Army of today and how it relates to the US Army of WWII. This generalization belies your claims. The US Army of my time period was a DIRECT evolution of the US Army of WWII- The manual of arms, military bearing and courtesy, uniform wear and maintenance, drill and ceremony, hand and arm signals, combat formations, tactics, individual and team movement and maneuver, patrolling, traditions and more. They're related to each other by only a relatively short time period. The men that jumped into Normandy trained the NCO's that trained guys like me. They didn't revamp the Army, change everything around over the decades that passed.

 

Rather than saying that the Romans or Athenians can reenact without a problem, make a case for how the WWII Army is significantly different than today so much so that a modern infantryman cannnot possibly know what a WWII soldier performed and behaved like.

 

Foreign militaries have completely different technical and tactical methodology. They have different Drill and Ceremonies, traditions, uniform wear and maintenance and more. It would be more difficult for someone from, say....the British Airborne, to transfer their knowledge over to a WWII Army unit directly. Saluting, marching, formations and traditions are all part of every military, but a direct and related decendant is proprietary to that particular military.

 

So when someone says that a modern infantryman cannot apply his training and knowledge, they're plain wrong.

 

Rock

I was professional Navy for 26 years, Father and Uncle both did 20. We all despised the phoney shiney shoed polished brass Yard birds that strutted around in tailored uniforms and had floated to their position by "Apple Polishing". I hated saluting and military creases. They had nothing to do with getting the job done. I knew that a certain amount of it was required, and did what was needed. For me and my peers, it was about "keepin' the screws turnin', the lights burnin' and putting steel on target". You take care of each other, look out for each other and share the load so no one has to carry more or do more than their share. You stand your watches and do your job so nobody else has to. I have found that attitude seriously in the shore duty Navy and the intire civilian world to this point. But that is the menatlity I was talking about.

 

Steve Hesson

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

The thing about re-enacting, it is just pretend, but some ex Army types forget that....As well as the wanna be folks...

 

Training is just pretend also but reenacting and military training are related to each other. One is to pratice and rehearse for war. Reenacting is to replicate historic events using practiced and rehearsed historical techniques. A failure to properly "act" out those techniques because the event is pretend is an excuse that belies the claims of the mission of most reenactors- To honor the Veterans.

 

You want to honor the veterans then reenacto using the tactics and techniques they used. Your job is to "act" as they acted and that is all encompasing, not just acting cool and suave in a 1940's behavioral kinda way. It means marching, wearing the uniform and performing combat maneuvers that they used. The more dedicated you claim to be the more you should act like they did. The less dedicated you are, the more you will make up excuses like......

 

 

it's just pretend.

 

Rock

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The thing about re-enacting, it is just pretend, but some ex Army types forget that....As well as the wanna be folks...

 

Training is just pretend also but reenacting and military training are related to each other. One is to pratice and rehearse for war. Reenacting is to replicate historic events using practiced and rehearsed historical techniques. A failure to properly "act" out those techniques because the event is pretend is an excuse that belies the claims of the mission of most reenactors- To honor the Veterans.

 

You want to honor the veterans then reenacto using the tactics and techniques they used. Your job is to "act" as they acted and that is all encompasing, not just acting cool and suave in a 1940's behavioral kinda way. It means marching, wearing the uniform and performing combat maneuvers that they used. The more dedicated you claim to be the more you should act like they did. The less dedicated you are, the more you will make up excuses like......

it's just pretend.

 

Rock

There ya have it, there it is. I've heard this same question for fifteen years, always the same discussion.

 

Steve Hesson

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The thing about re-enacting, it is just pretend, but some ex Army types forget that....As well as the wanna be folks...

 

Training is just pretend also but reenacting and military training are related to each other. One is to pratice and rehearse for war. Reenacting is to replicate historic events using practiced and rehearsed historical techniques. A failure to properly "act" out those techniques because the event is pretend is an excuse that belies the claims of the mission of most reenactors- To honor the Veterans.

 

You want to honor the veterans then reenacto using the tactics and techniques they used. Your job is to "act" as they acted and that is all encompasing, not just acting cool and suave in a 1940's behavioral kinda way. It means marching, wearing the uniform and performing combat maneuvers that they used. The more dedicated you claim to be the more you should act like they did. The less dedicated you are, the more you will make up excuses like......

it's just pretend.

 

Rock

 

Amen, Rock. Amen brother.

 

The major differences between soldiers then and now are mostly societal in nature. Really, what are the fdifferences between a WWII "Joe" and a modern "Grunt"? Basic military training has changed very little in the 60 plus years since WWII to today. Basic Military training teaches Military history, discipline, protocols, heraldry, tactics and proceedures. This has changed very little since WWI actually, except that lessons learned cause variances in future operations. For example, in WWI, armies found that 18th and 19th century frontal attacks by massed formations such as the square and rectangular formations were no longer viable due to the advent of the machine gun. Cavalry elements were decimated by machine guns. So by WWII, Cavalry units were transformed into armored cavalry units, using scout cars and light tanks rather than horses, however, the tactics changed very little, nor has the mission. Even in today's army, the Cavalry is indeed, the eyes of an army, with the mission to scout forward of the main body, to locate and fix the enemy so that the main part of the army ca move forward and combat the enemy force.

 

The War college of today still teaches the attack of Co E 2/506th PIR at Brecorurt Manor to take out a battery of German 105mm howitzers as a "By the Book" example of how to attack a fixed fortification. This shows how very little tactics and basics change over the years. Tactics DO change, however it is most likely due to the weapons employed, rather than any fundamental change in the tactics themselves.

 

The advantage a person with prior service has is that he has the basics of military discipline ingrained into him. I have 28 years of service behind me, and if I were at a tactical or even a living history display, saluting an officer would be secod nature to me, whether that person had prior service or not. As MAJ Dick Winters reportedly told Capt Sobel, "You salute the rank, not the man." Military customs and courtesies demand that... and havesince way before WWII. Watch Master and Commander with Russel Crowe. Specifically the scene where the deck hand brushes past an officer without saluting. He gets flogged for his transgression. AS a soldier, I would be affronted by someone with no service dishonoring the memories of those who have been there done that by just 'pretending'.

 

If you are reenacting to pay respect to the soldiers who did it for real, have the common decency to take your reenacting seriously and do it right, or not at all.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Wayne

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
I was professional Navy for 26 years, Father and Uncle both did 20. We all despised the phoney shiney shoed polished brass Yard birds that strutted around in tailored uniforms and had floated to their position by "Apple Polishing". I hated saluting and military creases. They had nothing to do with getting the job done. I knew that a certain amount of it was required, and did what was needed. For me and my peers, it was about "keepin' the screws turnin', the lights burnin' and putting steel on target". You take care of each other, look out for each other and share the load so no one has to carry more or do more than their share. You stand your watches and do your job so nobody else has to. I have found that attitude seriously in the shore duty Navy and the intire civilian world to this point. But that is the menatlity I was talking about.

 

Steve Hesson

 

Dog and Pony shows are tradition, and traditionally useless. Polishing the brass in your Latrine, or shining your boots so you can stand in formation for two hours is useless stuff that makes Officers feel all giddy, traditional and proud about. Not one single enlisted man I ever knew loved doing that stuff. As an Infantryman we worked together to perfect our field craft. If we failed to do our job in any instances, training or live, then the consequences would be someone else's life in a direct and unrevokable fashion.

 

I think you stated that civilian world and shore duty lacks the team mentality. I agree wholeheartedly. I belong to a fraternity of Paratroopers, past and present. Some were in for one stint, some for a few stints and some for over 20 years- Some are in currently. To a man, civilian attitudes drive them nuts. The lack of team mentality in getting a job done, or crossing the street, or anything is unfathomable. Everyone pulls their load and everyone does their job. If you're the weak link then you get yourself up to speed or get out. The me, me, me, and nobody else matters attitude of civilians is frustrating to the point that many of my Paratrooper friends are seething. Even after being out for 20 years they can't adapt to a civilian way of being selfish and self-centered.

 

The military train of selflessness is a foreign concept to civilian reenactors, and guys like me that try to reenact become indredibly frustrated when, for example- reenacting NCO's refuse to learn the basics of drill and ceremony or combat tactics. It's just not done in the real miltary and they don't care to lead by example so that the rest will follow.

 

Rock

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Dog and Pony shows are tradition, and traditionally useless. Polishing the brass in your Latrine, or shining your boots so you can stand in formation for two hours is useless stuff that makes Officers feel all giddy, traditional and proud about. Not one single enlisted man I ever knew loved doing that stuff. As an Infantryman we worked together to perfect our field craft. If we failed to do our job in any instances, training or live, then the consequences would be someone else's life in a direct and unrevokable fashion.

 

I think you stated that civilian world and shore duty lacks the team mentality. I agree wholeheartedly. I belong to a fraternity of Paratroopers, past and present. Some were in for one stint, some for a few stints and some for over 20 years- Some are in currently. To a man, civilian attitudes drive them nuts. The lack of team mentality in getting a job done, or crossing the street, or anything is unfathomable. Everyone pulls their load and everyone does their job. If you're the weak link then you get yourself up to speed or get out. The me, me, me, and nobody else matters attitude of civilians is frustrating to the point that many of my Paratrooper friends are seething. Even after being out for 20 years they can't adapt to a civilian way of being selfish and self-centered.

 

The military train of selflessness is a foreign concept to civilian reenactors, and guys like me that try to reenact become indredibly frustrated when, for example- reenacting NCO's refuse to learn the basics of drill and ceremony or combat tactics. It's just not done in the real miltary and they don't care to lead by example so that the rest will follow.

 

Rock

 

I guess what I'm saying is that reenactors act like they have an option to learn basic tactics. combat formations or battle drills- to a guy that served in the infantry this mindset is unconcionable, unfathomable, confusing, and counter to what their stated mission is. If they don't want to perform basic combat techniques then I question their loyalty to "the veterans" (not me, the wwii ones). "The Veterans" staked their lives on combat prowess and experience- not what kind of beer to drink, or where they are going to dinner.

 

Just don't get it.

 

Rock

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Bill and Rock,

I totally agree with you guys, if the unit doesn't follow period tactics IT'S WRONG! I also agree that many reenactors don't "act" like they are in the 40's, between modern slang anf actions.

 

Scott

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Guys the biggest thing i'm talking about is attitude. I concure with you guys about the standard "tactical" arena of things but you have to admit, many of the modern types be they military or non military have a habbit of bringing modern ideals into the 1940's situation. I have talked to at least 6 or 7 hundred former crew chiefs from the 40's and they STILL have the 40's crew chief attitude. I enlisted in the early 80's and had a few former Korean war crew chiefs as mentors, and I can tell you now todays crew chiefs on active duty don't act like they did in the 40's. Just my opinion.

 

Scott

 

Scott,

 

Do you mean that good ole days attitude of, " This is my dang plane...I just let some dumb pilot borrow it so he can break sh*t on it to keep me employed."

 

I heard it from an MXG Col. a while back. He had 40 years in when I met him

 

T-Bone

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Dog and Pony shows are tradition, and traditionally useless. Polishing the brass in your Latrine, or shining your boots so you can stand in formation for two hours is useless stuff that makes Officers feel all giddy, traditional and proud about. Not one single enlisted man I ever knew loved doing that stuff. As an Infantryman we worked together to perfect our field craft. If we failed to do our job in any instances, training or live, then the consequences would be someone else's life in a direct and unrevokable fashion.

 

I think you stated that civilian world and shore duty lacks the team mentality. I agree wholeheartedly. I belong to a fraternity of Paratroopers, past and present. Some were in for one stint, some for a few stints and some for over 20 years- Some are in currently. To a man, civilian attitudes drive them nuts. The lack of team mentality in getting a job done, or crossing the street, or anything is unfathomable. Everyone pulls their load and everyone does their job. If you're the weak link then you get yourself up to speed or get out. The me, me, me, and nobody else matters attitude of civilians is frustrating to the point that many of my Paratrooper friends are seething. Even after being out for 20 years they can't adapt to a civilian way of being selfish and self-centered.

 

The military train of selflessness is a foreign concept to civilian reenactors, and guys like me that try to reenact become indredibly frustrated when, for example- reenacting NCO's refuse to learn the basics of drill and ceremony or combat tactics. It's just not done in the real miltary and they don't care to lead by example so that the rest will follow.

 

Rock

 

Dog and pony shows are the bane of all soldiers... but we did them, because we were trained to. And because to some of us, the pagentry and heraldry of the Army meant something. To this day, I thank God in heaven that I was able to stand those formations... to take part in those ceremonies, because each one is a culmination of all that came before it... To hear Gary Owen and Yellow Rose of Texas on the parade field at Fort Hood... Knowing that soon, the Cavalry Charge would soon sound... I loved it, even though I hated standing them, the end justified the means... because that was what it was all about... paying homage to what we were... what we've become, and what we will become in the future.

 

Wayne

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Amen, Rock. Amen brother.

 

The major differences between soldiers then and now are mostly societal in nature. Really, what are the fdifferences between a WWII "Joe" and a modern "Grunt"? Basic military training has changed very little in the 60 plus years since WWII to today. Basic Military training teaches Military history, discipline, protocols, heraldry, tactics and proceedures. This has changed very little since WWI actually, except that lessons learned cause variances in future operations. For example, in WWI, armies found that 18th and 19th century frontal attacks by massed formations such as the square and rectangular formations were no longer viable due to the advent of the machine gun. Cavalry elements were decimated by machine guns. So by WWII, Cavalry units were transformed into armored cavalry units, using scout cars and light tanks rather than horses, however, the tactics changed very little, nor has the mission. Even in today's army, the Cavalry is indeed, the eyes of an army, with the mission to scout forward of the main body, to locate and fix the enemy so that the main part of the army ca move forward and combat the enemy force.

 

The War college of today still teaches the attack of Co E 2/506th PIR at Brecorurt Manor to take out a battery of German 105mm howitzers as a "By the Book" example of how to attack a fixed fortification. This shows how very little tactics and basics change over the years. Tactics DO change, however it is most likely due to the weapons employed, rather than any fundamental change in the tactics themselves.

 

The advantage a person with prior service has is that he has the basics of military discipline ingrained into him. I have 28 years of service behind me, and if I were at a tactical or even a living history display, saluting an officer would be secod nature to me, whether that person had prior service or not. As MAJ Dick Winters reportedly told Capt Sobel, "You salute the rank, not the man." Military customs and courtesies demand that... and havesince way before WWII. Watch Master and Commander with Russel Crowe. Specifically the scene where the deck hand brushes past an officer without saluting. He gets flogged for his transgression. AS a soldier, I would be affronted by someone with no service dishonoring the memories of those who have been there done that by just 'pretending'.

 

If you are reenacting to pay respect to the soldiers who did it for real, have the common decency to take your reenacting seriously and do it right, or not at all.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Wayne

 

 

Aw rite, so it is a serious game then...Didn't see you guys in Rome June 4th for the 60th reunion, or last May in Florence, but hopefully see you guys in southern France for the 65th anniversary of Operation Dragoon....In a couple of days time... :thumbsup:

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