The Americans, the "GI", Willy and Joe... GI or G.I. is a term describing members of the US armed forces or items of their equipment. It may be used as an adjective or as a noun. The term is often thought to be an initialism of "Government Issue" but the origin of the term is in fact galvanized iron after the letters "GI" that used to denote equipment such as metal trash cans made from it in U.S. Army inventories and supply records. During World War I, US soldiers sardonically referred to incoming German artillery shells as "GI cans". During World War I it was somehow assumed that GI stood for Government Issue and the term was applied to all military equipment and the soldiers themselves (another incorrect interpretation is General Infantry). The term reached even farther as its usage spread with the American troops during World War II.
G.I. reenacting today
There are a LOT of G.I. units -- their types seem to change with the popularity of differing movies that come out. There was an influx of infantry units after Saving Private Ryan, with another influx of Airborne, (especially the 506th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment)) after Band of Brothers. Anyway, give it a look, the noble G.I. is a great impression when done well!
How Can You List YOUR WW2 American Unit on reenactor.Net?
You do need to have a website for this listing--if you don't have one,
e-mail us and we'll add you to the overall unit listing he is doing. Do you want to add a link to YOUR unit's webpage on the WWII section of reenactor.Net? Click here!