The following article was written by Able Company Commanding Officer, Jack Frost, in 2004 for our original, printed newsletter. Though old, this article is by no means antiquated. It has served, since our living history unit’s formation, as a guide to properly executing an impression as a 5th Ranger Infantryman and a living historian in general.
Words of Advice
1.) Safety is always number one! We, as living historians, must always commit ourselves to safety and be ever aware of our surroundings and the way that we act in field and garrison situations.
2.) If you can’t document it ,don’t do it. Always base your impression off of images and accounts of our unit and our unit alone. Aim to re-create the normal, never the exception.
3.) A picture is worth a thousand words. If you find a photo of a 5th Ranger doing or wearing something unique, and can accurately document the date of that photograph, you can replicate that impression (within means).
4.) Research your interpretation. Know 1940′s culture, and be up on the current events of 1943-45.
5.) If they didn’t have it then, you shouldn’t have it now. If you cannot document a 5th Ranger wearing a certain piece of gear, you shouldn’t wear it either.
6.) Watch the little things; eye glasses, watches, and other items around camp and on display. They should all be historically correct. This includes your grooming. Make sure your hair is to 1940′s standards (short to shaved on the sides, long and combed on top) and no beards or goatees. Mustaches should be kept to a minimum, but are correct if worn short.
7.) Always maintain your gear. There was a high espirit de corps with the real 5th Rangers and there is in this organization as well. Pride is conveyed through your gear: polish your boots, oil your weapons, and clean your web gear routinely.
8.) Never copy Hollywood, always copy History. Hollywood attempts to copy history and is often not right, so always go to the best source and wealth of knowledge: history itself.
9.) Know your basic history and always be prepared to discuss it with the public. Know the basics of the unit, where the unit fought, etc.
10.) This is YOUR hobby. Keep it safe, keep it accurate, and keep it fun! If you do all of these things, your destined to enjoy your living history experience.
Written by Jack B. Frost, 2004
Compiled by Thomas E. Frost, 2007