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Officers or not?


I see a lot of WWII reenactor groups that feature members portraying military officers from from the ranks of Lieutenant to even a Field Marshal.  So my question is this.  Who can portray a military officer?  Does the part have to be portrayed by a retired or active duty military officer (either service), who wants to be in charge of a unit; or, can it be played by a civilian with no military experience, but is the officer in charge because he decided to form the unit?

So what is the real reenactor regulations on a person portraying an officer?

Karl Helweg:
I like where you are going with that thought.  I met one Major/Colonel/General reenactor who was an E-4 kicked out due to morbid obesity and only got bigger.  He could not look or act like an officer.  He had to ride an ATV to the battles since he could not walk that far.  Just a worse case example.  Met a green beret MSG who portrayed an officer almost too well.

Oddly the question gets a little circular in some states like North Carolina: where some reenactor units are legally recognized as part of the state militia and, when possible, maintain their same ranks and chain of command.  One of my past "colonels" (nicest guy you ever met) was tickled to death when his governor recognized him formally as a colonel then was a little surprised to find out that he and his unit had effectively been "drafted" and the governor could call him in the event of a disaster that needed more volunteers.  So someone could potentially become a "real" officer by reenacting as one....

If any reenactor would feel more comfortable portraying an officer by becoming an officer first (I can see this) there are several paths open including where any active adult member who serves can be awarded the rank of 2nd Lt in six months if they complete some basic course work.   Even these folks are serving more than many of our politicians. 

I was more or less looking at the reenactor who plays a LT or Captain, and only wears the uniform of "X" unit, once a year for a city's parade, Veterans, or Memorial day.  And as a group they would put on a small presentation on how the unit operated....

Some guys feel they should be an occifer. It's all ego... Most of them "just don't get it." Like dorks who wear modern glasses... especially in ancient impressions. I know a couple of Roman reenactors who just don't get that wearing glasses, ESPECIALLY modern glasses is wrong.  W@W


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