Introduction To have the perfect impression you must look the part. Physical fitness and overall cleanliness is the key to a good impression. If you do not take care of yourself or your uniform the public will disrespect what our goal is within the living history group.
Hair and Facial Hair
A 1940’s haircut is preferred when being in the FSSFLHG. If you attend one of our events with a non-standard haircut you will be sent away and not be allowed to attend an event until your hair is cut to a 1940’s standard. Facial hair is allowed depending on the event and climate. The FSSF had facial hair during mountainous operations in the Italian campaign.
Dress and Deportment
This is always a great problem for new recruits. We love having new members come out to join us and we understand that acquiring a uniform right away is always hard. Do not worry about having original kit! There are plenty of high quality reproductions out there to purchase for use in your overall impression or speak to fellow re-enactors with what they may have for sale. Worry about the basic kit first and continuously improve! You will not be penalized your first couple of events for having non period kit. Having a well presented dress uniform that is clean, pressed and well polished is a good example of looking the part.
As a field impression, dirt is acceptable as we are representing what the Force went through. Dirty trousers, minor holes and wear to a uniform and gear is fine keeping in mind that you present yourself well. A tucked in shirt, bloused boots, haircut and a proper headdress are all examples. Although the First Special Service Force had a variety of uniforms that were worn through the unit’s campaigns, uniformity is important. With the advisory of the OC, the re-enactors will wear what the dress of the day is or what the climate calls for. We will not use uniforms that were not issue or used by the Force! (for example HBT shirts and pants). See the kit list below for example.
We will not wear ribbons, qualification badges or medals we have not earned. Jump wings are an exception by the discretion of the unit CO or OC. Speak to the CO in regards to a “parachute qualification”.
Language and Behaviour
All things that do not cross the modern person are key as well with examples like language and manners. Slang and language of the present day have changed alot since the 1940’s. We will not use modern language or swear when representing a soldier from the 1940’s. To go the extra distance learning 1940’s slang would be a neat and interesting way of representing your impression.
Within the FSSFLHG there is rank structure just like any other military organization. Within the FSSFLHG rank structure is not only there for impression and structure within the field but also for logistical reasons like organization of an event. We understand that re-enacting is a personal hobby but rank must be obeyed in a respectful and friendly manner. If you feel you are threatened by someone’s command speak up and the issue will be approached. Officers must be saluted and NCO’s must be addressed contingent on the situation.
Basic Kit List
The basic kit list is what any new recruit should strive for. As mentioned above, if you do not have the basic kit for your first couple of events do not worry. Below you will find the basic uniform and kit required for the Force impression of the Force.
- Trousers, Mountain PREFERRED or M37 Trousers Wool Serge
- M37 Enlisted Mans, Shirt, Flannel, OD
- White or OD Cotton Undershirt, Jersey Preferred
- Jacket Field, M43 PREFERRED or Jacket Field M41
- 1st or 2nd Pattern Mountain Parka (or ski)
- M41 Jeep Cap or M41 HBT Cap
- M37 Trouser Belt
- Cap, Garrison, OD with FSSF Cap Chord
- M41 Corcoran 'Jump' Boots PREFERRED or M43 'Buckle' Boots
- FSSF Shoulder Insignia, SSI Type 1, 2 or 3
- M1 Steel Helmet, no helmet covers except for burlap, plain canvas or helmet nets. Try to avoid postwar chinstraps
- M1923 Cartridge Belt
- M1936 Suspenders
- M1936 Musette Bag
- M1918, M1919 or M1923 Pistol Magazine Pouch
- M1924 or M1942 First Aid Kit Pouch, Carlisle Bandage is good to have in case of injury
- M1910 or M1942 Canteen with Cup and Cover
- M1910 E-Tool or M1943 E-Tool
- M1916 Leather 1911 Hip Holster
- M1926 Silverware
- M1932 Mess Kit
- .30-06 Khaki Bandoleer
- Wool Blanket
- V42 Fighting Knife
- M42 Bayonet
Personal items are some of the more interesting collecting pieces when it comes to reenacting. It is key to remember that all items must be period whether army issue or commercial items of the time.
There are still some of the same manufacturers making the same period items today. Here is a sample list of what can be found in a kit, whether it's toiletries, personal belongings or paperwork.
- Hold all, American or Canadian Army Issue or Red Cross or a simple ditty bag
- Soap tin
- Tooth powder or paste
- Tooth brush
- Hair brush or comb
- Safety razor
- Shaving soap or cream
- Boot polish and dubbin
- Brass polish
- Period cigarette packages or pipe
When the FSSFLHG attends public events we sometimes wear our “Class A’s” to represent the troops on leave or on parade. See below for the Enlisted Mans Dress Uniform or “Class A’s”:
- M37 Trousers Wool Serge with M1937 Trouser Belt
- M37 Enlisted Mans, Shirt, Flannel, OD
- M1939 Four Pocket Wool Service Coat
- Cap, Garrison, OD with FSSF Cap Chord Preferred or PX Style/Late War
- M41 Corcoran 'Jump' Boots, Polished
- Enlisted Man's Crossed Arrows Collar Disk
- Enlisted Man's US or Canada Collar Disk
- FSSF (Red, White & Blue) Shoulder Cord
- FSSF (Red, White & Blue) Parachute Oval
- Parachutist's Qualification Badge, `Jump Wings’ or Canadian Jump Wings
- FSSF Shoulder Insignia, SSI Type 1 or Type 2
Always keep in mind that when with the FSSFLHG we are representing men that were of a selected “breed” in nature. Not only are you representing the Force you are also representing a soldier and generation from the 1940’s and what the public sees is what they will believe.