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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 01/14/2014 16:02:31 EDT
Subject: It Wasn't, It Shouldn't... But Who Cares?

Message Detail:
A recent email generated advertisement sent to me reads.... " Signal Corps Officer Embroidered Hat Insignia". It goes to say that the insignia comes in large for slouch hats.

What more could you want from a full-service sutler? If you go to the George Lomas' Regimental Quartermaster website (the one I mention recv'g the email from), and search for item INS-115, you will get an eye-full of what the issue is --- and that issue is FANTASY.

Uninitiated, and therefore would-be, signal re-enactors HAVE and WILL continually fall prey to these quite tempting yet bogus make-believe cloth patches.

One would think (and hope?) that most newcomers to signal re-enacting would begin their avocation as a private soldier, learn all they can from this site and the materials associated therewith and thus wouldn't subject themselves to to this fantasy patch trap.

On the other side of the coin, why shouldn't the Regimental Quartermaster procure and offer such items. After all, sutlers, while offering products to the re-enacting community, can't afford to keep items in their inventories that collect dust. So why has Retl' Qrmstr's purchasing agent Jason decided to 'stock up' on these badges? Could it be that other sutlers have and sell them? Could this be a charge of historical pollution punishable by messenger service at re-enactments?

Let's flip back to our own side of the coin.

What are we expecting of ourselves when we see one of our own who may have fallen through the fantasy cracks?

If we turn our heads, the dragon will grow in proportion to our lack of esprit d' corps. If we ask that such patches be removed (which I have done with success in the past) are we then to be called dictators? After all - who am I to tell you? Ever heard such a line?

Webster's defines esprit d' corps as: "the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group"

Are we a group/organization, or are we simply independent 'detachments' looking to plug in with other detachments we may happen upon during chance meeting; do we seek out familiar 'detachment-associations' we can feel warm and fuzzy by being around at historical meet-ups?

After all, we are a fiercely independent lot. We pick-and-chose. No one will stand allow themselves to standby and be dictated to. Am I mistaken?

Not one detachment leader will permit, let alone help to establish, a governing body whose purpose it would be to set even minimal standards by which qualification can be assured and verified.

That's no fantasy, that's what I think, and I'd be interested to know what you think - for or against. Are you game?

(Pls note: Readers may wish to click on the word search box below and conduct two separate searches; one for the word fantasy and the other for standards... Like Sci-Fi and re-enacting, it may be revealing)

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