Re: Re: [WarOf1812] Fw: CFNA Naval Establishment and Rank structures
- Peter wrote:
First, re-enactors who have been in the hobby for many years not unnaturally want that to be so recognized by peers and others. In a military organization, one (not the only) reason for promotion is length of service. Our period does not award length of service stripes so corporal's hooks (or a bosun's call?)often become a substitute, though in a real army there are many lifelong ORs. Maybe not the best reason, but one which due to human nature, will almost inevitably continue to be a factor.
As an aside, my Napoleonic unit does award service stripes. Based on the number of "Grande Tactiques" you attend in North America or times you march with the Eagle in Europe. All fairly arbitrary and not what our parent regiment uses in Europe, but it does give a tangible reward to those who support the unit by attending events, not just being on the membership rolls. Rank in the 21e is totally controlled and approved by RHQ.
Second, even micro units have leaders and followers. I agree with Corporal Seufert that small units should amalgamate on the field but in camp and for administrative purposes rank serves as both an identifier and an acknowledgement. (This is my own case: serving as senior private I was eventually given one stripe as "entree" to officers' call, etc.) I think recognizing a leadership role is a very legitimate reason to promote even in small units. I think Commodore Suthren's explanation speaks very clearly to this as well: one could, in 1812, qualify as a captain, middy or bosun without first having a ship to serve on in that rank!
Rank can be an issue, even the absence of rank. In my various reenactment periods I am often called upon to represent my unit as a sergeant at "officer calls." I often sense a subtle lessening of the value of my input because I have no glitter on my uniform. We know in our hearts that we are all equals after a fashion, but can't help but role-play the rank. Regardless of the impression (F&I or Nappy), I am usually a sergeant among 8-12 muskets, which seems about right. However, because of protocol and other issues we are sometimes placed under someone else. Maybe that's why I like 1812 best, we I am (now) either a private or a captain commanding a baker's dozen of rank and file plus NCOs. We had 16 counting myself at our last gathering of Rolette's company at Prairie du Chien, WI.
Just some thoughts.
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