If your question isn't on this list please contact us and we'll address your query.
What is reenacting and living history?
Living history is someone putting together a collection of articles (clothing, location, weapons, hair style, etc.) that represent a person in a specific, historical time period. This collection of articles is generally called someone's "impression." Beyond the simple collection, living history involves someone wearing and using their collection acting and talking in a historical manner. In essence this actor becomes immersed in the time period. Reenacting is a group of living historians re-living/reenacting a particular moment in history.
Where do you reenact?
In addition to our public battles including World War II Weekend (which is open for public viewing), we also hold private tactical events (which are not open for public viewing) at various locations throughout Missouri and Illinois including the River Battle.
Are real guns used?
Yes, we do use real guns, though we don't require that the specific weapon be dated during WWII, however it must be the same model (for example Danish stamped M1s are adequate however an M14 would not be acceptable). For more information on what is acceptable, please view our Weapons Standards or contact us.
How do you know if you're hit?
Although the guns are real, we don't use real ammunition for safety purposes. Instead, we use blank ammunition. The result of a blank being fired is a significant muzzle flash. If the end of the rifle was pointed directly at you it is quite easy to see the flash. Given pre-determined rules of engagement such as topography, accuracy, and range of the weapon the reenactor (in good faith) "takes a hit."
SAFETY NOTE: Though we use blanks and not live rounds, blanks can still injure someone if they are fired in close proximity. If you are within 15 yards (50 feet) of the 'enemy' do not shoot at them. Instead, say "Bang" to show that you would have 'hit' the person.
Can I load my own blank ammunition?
We prefer if you purchase your ammunition from a reputable source. We have two sources we trust in our vendor links.
Is it expensive to be a reenactor?
Yes. The most significant cost for the allies is their weapon, a U.S. 30 Caliber M1 Garand. German soldiers, on the other hand, face considerable uniform costs.
Expect to spend over $1,000 to get started regardless of your impression. View our standard equipment list with pricing.
Where can I purchase the equipment I need?
The least expensive places to find equipment are small antique shops, thrift stores, estate sales, and garage sales but WWII items are becoming increasingly difficult to find. eBay can often be used as a source for original equipment -- but it is easy to spend too much. Items that are cost-prohibitive to find in original condition can be found as a reproduction item at many vendors available online. As quality varies between manufacturers check with our pre-approved list of vendors or contact us for a suggestion.
I have everything but a rifle, is it possible to borrow one?
Though we expect that your impression will be at 100% after your first four events, or two years, we understand that not everyone can afford all of the costs of a perfect impression right off the bat. If you are attending an event and are missing any items from our required impression please contact us and we can help arrange for a temporary impression completion.
Is the U.S. 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion of St. Louis a non-profit organization?
Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) organization. This means we are able to accept charitable donations, issue tax-reduction donation slips, and keep our costs low. If you are interested in donating please contact our president.
Can I make my own impression?
Individual impressions (such as photographer, chaplain, etc.) are required to be attached to a particular unit and require special approval by the board.
The above caveat applies only to those wishing to participate in events with their impression... there is, of course, nothing that prevents you from researching and developing an alternate impression for your own benefit (and most likely others would be interested to learn more). It's just that we would rather not have a platoon filled with more correspondents, chaplains, and medics than infantry.
Is reenacting physically tough?
Reenacting is a strenuous activity that takes place outside, usually on very uneven terrain, using authentic tactics, and sometimes in very adverse weather conditions — that includes in the snow, sleet, rain, and 100°F plus heat — while wearing a heavy wool uniform and oft times in multiple layers.
The nature of the activity requires that you be in decent physical condition.
For example: one of the basic maneuvers for a rifle squad is "fire and maneuver" the premise of which is while your buddy covers you by suppressing firepower you get up (you were lying down) run full speed for a few steps and then flatten yourself to the ground again. You then provide suppressive firepower while your buddy gets up runs a few steps and flattens. Repeat.
You are doing this while wearing a heavy wool uniform and carrying ammunition, water (at least one or two canteens), a shovel, your rifle and other equipment. Though physically taxing we don't require any specific height/weight standards. We can all be in better shape. That said, if you are unable to adequately participate in the position you are presenting an impression for please discuss your situation with us so accommodations can be made.
How do I get involved?
We encourage those who are interested to attend at least one of our events prior to enlisting, however, if you're ready to join the 2nd Ranger Battalion please complete our enlistment form and after being accepted please check our calendar for the next event or membership meeting.