RANGER AGAINST WAR: American Infantry Preservation Society <

Thursday, June 26, 2008

American Infantry Preservation Society


Ranger would like to recognize a friend and his Vietnam reenactment group in the South of England, the American Infantry Preservation Society (AIPS), going 20 years strong now.

Jack and his group have traveled to Vietnam and been featured in several international magazines, including Armchair General. The AIPS is unique far as reenactors go in many respects. From their mission statement:

"We are the only group in the U.K. that represents the classic grunt in any great numbers, and as part of this commitment to the memory of the line infantryman, the unit we represent is C Company, 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment (Mech), 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division. Known as 'Bandido Charlie,' this unit served in Vietnam from 1966 until 1970."

Our friend, Jack, shows the utmost respect and humility in his involvement and unswerving commitment to authenticity. Unlike some U.S. reenactment groups, Jack's insists upon no pretense. The AIPS understands the importance and integrity of every job well done in a company, and are proud of their grunt status.

They even have a Viet Cong unit, "whose role it is to provide opposition to the U.S. forces, as well as reminding us of the sacrifices made by the Vietnamese people." That is brilliant OPFOR for their reenactments.

Ranger's attraction to the unit is as a former mechanized infantryman familiar with their tactics and doctrine. Additionally, he knows the terrain the C-5-60 Inf (M) fought for. For a time the 60th was at Bearcat, a rifle shot away from the small Special Forces camp where Ranger was stationed in 1970-71, Long Thanh.

The AIPS is totally professional and dedicated to realism. "We don't glorify the Vietnam conflict or war in general, but try and recreate what the Grunts went through." Ranger has been pleased to receive and comment on many photos Jack has sent for critique, and hopes to visit with the group and possibly issue them an operation order.

Ranger finds it amazing and heartwarming that a bunch of British blokes care to preserve the living memory of the lowly rifleman from a little recognized war.

If anyone cares to volunteer input to the group, Jack's email is jackthegun81 - at- hotmail - dot - com. The AIPS grunts are the real deal.

Jack, on the right

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Blogger FDChief said...

When I worked range control at the Oregon Army Guard post at Camp Rilea we would get one or more of these reenactor groups every summer. They were an interesting group; some history buffs, some wanna-bes or never-weres and a couple of out-and-out whackos, real war lovers, wanting the thrills without the danger.

I've always kinda seen the appeal of the older genres of reenactment, the Roman legionaries or Napoleonic or Revolutionary or Civil War kinds of reenactment, just from the standpoint that it's as close as you can get to really understanding - short of getting a pila in the gut or a Minie' ball through the humerus - how if felt to soldier in those times, times before living memory. If I was a military historian I think the experience would be indispensible: I don't know how you can really understand Tacitus unless you've tried to hold a line of scuta against a "German" spear charge, your hobnailed caligae slipping on the grass and gladius handle tight in your fist.

But ISTM that modern war hasn't changed that much since 1970. Plus there's dozens...hundreds...of Vietnam memoirs on film, Vietnam vets living, Vietnam retrospectives and books and movies...

I talked to one of the U.S. Vietnam reenactors and tried to get a sense of the "why" and never did get it. It seemed like an oddity to me then and still does. Bet, hey, as ol' Tacitus himself might have said: "De gustibus nil disputandem."

Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 4:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a hoax. Where did you find out about 'Namophile Englishmen, Jim?

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 7:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ark, we met in a steam and cream in bearcat.
Seriously i actually met Jack thru ebay when i sold off some rvn items of issue.I've also donated a few personal items to Jack's collection b/c he is so obviously sincere. I really hope to meet this group someday before i go into the old soldiers home.
This is not a hoax. The biggest disconnect we have is the fact that Jack often remarks that my cmts are SF oriented and i must constantly emphasize that i am a basic infantryman with mech experince. I had a recon and a 4.2 mortar platoon way back when. long ago and far away. jim

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 9:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

FD CHIEF, I don't know what gustibus means but i'll go along with it.
The reenactors in England have a big military shoe in Kent- i believe- and all eras are represented.
Living in the south and being a horseman i know a lot of civil war reenactors and have used them to give classes on equipment and tactics etc...it's really fascinating, i actually know people who own cw repro full scale cannons and tote then across the country. The reenactment at Gettysburg is great and i was there when they filmed Gettysburg/ killer angels. Chicamaugua was good as was Custer in Hardy WY
Now that you mention it i remember WW2 groups using Ft. Benning for their rituals. jim

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 9:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One brownie point to whoever can tell me what Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Manhattan have in common.

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 10:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Ranger: "there's no arguing with tastes". While I don't "get" the modern reenactors, the roleplay clearly does something important for them. Life's too short to sneer at others' tastes (unless those tastes are for torture and treason in which case the entire Office of the Vice President should be in Marion getting punked out by some seriously badass felons).

Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 3:00:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

FDChief, until recently i was a SASS cowboy action shooter in which dress up was required. I quit the org. b/c they constantly lambast liberals in their political writings-or what they pass off as writing.To be clear i am not knocking reenactors- they do seem totally sincere and many live the role in their daily lives. jim

Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Manhattan has cabbies from all the mentioned locales?

Monday, June 30, 2008 at 11:12:00 AM GMT-5  

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