Josh | 502nd PIR and 5th Rangers

1. Why did you choose your impression?
I have always been interested in WWII, with a specific interest on the Normandy invasion. I will admit that video games and movies helped to keep that interest going and eventually push me out of hiding and into the reenacting world. I started with the 5th Rangers impression and then once complete I started the 101st Airborne impression. I may expand on both to include the option of medic as well as infantry.


2. Can you tell us about your reenacting gear?
I currently have 2 impressions: 101st Airborne 502nd PIR and 5th Rangers. Nearly all items are original and found on ebay.com. The rest are through reproduction websites such as atthefront.com and onlinemilitaria.net. I looked every day on ebay for items and enjoyed the “scavenger hunt” of finding exactly what I wanted. I also enjoy researching as I am a “gear head”.


( Kent State Aviation Fair as 101st/ 502nd in front of a DC-3/C-47.)
3. What's your favorite part of reenacting? 
The people. Sharing info with the public to keep the history alive as well as the sacrifices made by those who served. Also, making great friends and connections with other people like myself is really cool. You make a lot of friendships and build comradery with others while reenacting.  


(This was at Conneaut on the beach with one of the tanks as 101st/502nd PIR)

4. What group do you reenact with?
I reenact with the 5th Rangers D company (www.dco44.com) and the 101st , 502nd B Company (http://www.airbornereenactors.org), as well as the 101st 502nd, I Company. All are always recruiting.   


(This was on the C-47 “Ruptured Duck” during filming of an upcoming fundraising film for “Beach City Baby”
With 101st/ 502nd Airborne.)


5. What have you learned from reenacting?
The biggest thing, while reenacting, is how physically challenging it is. The biggest event for me each year, www.ddayohio.us , will test you during the beach battle. High 80 degree temps, wearing 3 layers of clothes, carrying a 10 lb rifle and 30 to 40 lbs of gear, and sinking through the 250 yards of sandy beach all the way will wear you down quickly. You need to be in decent physical shape and stay hydrated. Otherwise, you will have ups and downs just like anything else. But overall it is something to be proud of.  

6. Who's your favorite WWII hero?

Gen. Norman "Dutch" Cota from the 5th Rangers (first said “Rangers Lead the Way!”) Major Richard Davis "Dick" Winters from 101st Airborne, 506th, Easy Company.


(This is from Conneaut on the embarkation area of the beach as 5th Ranger.)
7. What advice would you give to newbie reenactors?
First, if what you want to portray is important to you, find a group that will be able to accommodate you. If you do not care what group you are in, do research and introduce yourself to groups (ex. What are shown on http://www.ddayohio.us/reenactors.htm) . After you have found a group that you believe you will fit in with, ask them what gear you need to start your impression. Get the basics first, then work on fine-tuning it if desired. The groups you belong to are your best resource. Also, be accurate on gear, but don’t be too anal about it. Have fun and enjoy the hobby and pay it forward by helping to teach the public and inspire others to join!

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If you're a WWII reenactor and would like to be featured on Taking Dictation, email me at: authoremilyannputzke@gmail.com



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