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Posted By: S. Chris Anders on: 09/14/2005 09:11:05 EDT
Subject: RE: Welcome Chris Anders

Message Detail:
Walt,

I would never ever suggest that a support arm fight as infantry. That is an insult to the support arms special training, duty and goals. And I doubt that would have happend in 186X.

What I am referring to is the definition and obtainment of goals for any event. No matter if it is the worst biggest farbfest, or 10 man button peeing contest, there are stated goals, and each participant has their own set.

What we must do is be sure that one groups desire to do X does not detract from the sum of the event.

There is limited potential for any event, and that potential is increased by the main players, participants and staff's dedication to that one goal.

At Summer of 62, we concentrated on good battles, followed by rule enforcement and reenactor ownership of the event.

The event succeeded because reenactors ran every portion of it, form parking to logistics to scenarios, to insurance, to sutlers and so forth. There was no paid organizer on high, but rather a grass roots effort. In such a situation you have somewhat limited time and must dedicate that to the big show, and not let small items stall the machine.

Over the course of the year before the event, special groups approached us about attending, and then gave us the laundry list of what they expected. I personally was insulted that some folks expected special treatment and special scenarios when many of us that organized this thing sacrificed to make it happen. I am personally out of pocket around $1100, and that does not include horse rental and so on that was a personal expense. I consider it a donation to preservation. What also shocked me is that some of these folks would not add to the overall event experience for the boys int he ranks, but rather for personal satisfaction and fun.

If the boys in the ranks do not see the benefit, why detract from them or the preservation $ to host someone?

From special speakers to support arms, the list amazed me. Some folks wanted hotel rooms paid for!! What type of hobby is it when hotels are paid for, miles are reinbursed, and Pvt Snuffy, RR2, pays $20 to attend, spends $35 in gas, and reaps no benefit?

This reminds me of the days of the money changers in the temple, commanders being paid, hotels/meals and whatever paid for. Those are the days of the Don and Glen shows that delivered pure crap and angry and digusted participants, and left sponsors heavy in the red. One more of those would have killed the hobby.

Those days are long gone, thank God, and now folks must adapt to the "new" way of "ownership" and dedication. And realize that whether you are the High Duke of the Muddy Delta Fleet or Pvt Snuffy, they will have personal sacrifice and ownership, and as such will do all they can to make "their" event succeed.

That is my main beef. For support arms (by invite only to limit the numbers) that have large expenses such as artillery, we give them free registration. But the perks end there.

Everyone agrees on the greater good and works toward it...because they have a personal investment in it.

Now back to Signal- As an educational tool, and a communication tool (when the time is not of the essence), signal is very valuable. You cannot run a battel scenario by such, time is too critical. For the typical beer, battle, ball events, where the battle is just to look something "like" the original action, I amsure it is fine. But for events that script downto indivual movments (such as the fight for the flag of the 21st VA) pre battle walkthroughs down tot he NCO level and radio communications are required. For historical scenarios, we are no more than actors on a stage, and not some form of reality TV. As such a "general" is more of a stage manager, and needs good communication with key folks.

I now use engineers to accompany each force commander, with a radio, so they can get instant information, orders and any scenario adaptions. My Chief Engineer controls the ring and stands by me at all times. Hand held raidos are cheap and easy and work very well, and the troops never see them because the engineers are told how and when to use them.

No officer on a horse is talking to his haversack.

For tacticals and other non scripted events, then radios can only be used for emergencies like injuries. Not by the "playing" staff.

Things are moving forward, and I would love to hear any suggestions on how to work signals into the program so that it benefits Pvt Snuffy.

I hope we can find that comon ground.

Sinc-

S. Chris Anders

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