Your Role

Whilst around the camp you can guarantee that the public will engage with you. Normally you'll have the same conversation a 100 times over the course of a weekend. However, every now and then they will throw you a curve-ball and ask something bizarre, of course you'll never know the answer to everything. What is expect is that everyone know what they are and what there individual roles and responsibilities would have been. A trooper having by far the easiest 'get out jail free card' here, your responsibilities are to you fellow troopers and not letting them down and simply to do what ever your told. You'd have no idea of the bigger picture and for most of the time you'd have no idea where you were and it would make  not a blind bit of difference if you did! So those new comers to the unit can for the most part will not have to explain much unless you have a specific other role such as radioman, runner, part of an LMG team, bazooka or mortar man.

With more rank, comes more responsibilities. You maybe a Cpl in charge of a mortar, a Sgt in charge of a rifle squad, regardless of what ever your role is, you need to know the basics of what that involves. All this will be explained if you don't know and if we don't know we'll all learn together. As I said before, we can't all know everything!

Your role will mainly comprise of two aspects - your rank and any trades/duties/professions you have. 

Officers Classifications (S & G; 1-4)

Firstly this is as brief as I can make it. For a full understanding of how complicated this system is, please read FM 101-5 STAFF OFFICERS’ FIELD MANUAL - THE STAFF AND COMBAT ORDERS if you get more than a few pages in without falling asleep you did well! Link at the bottom of the page.

 

To understand the roles of the officers, each officer had a coding system that started with a letter (G or S) to denote if they worked for the General Staff, or Special Staff; and then followed by a number (1-4) which specified what their role was. 
1- Personnel     2- Intelligence     3- Operations & Training      4- Supply
General Staff officers would mainly be at HQ while Special Staff would be close to or on the front lines.

 

1st Rifle platoon consisted of 
Platoon HQ

1st Rifle Squad

2nd Rifle Squad

60mm Mortar Squad

Platoon Headquarters 
1st Lt                                      (Carbine*)

2nd Lt                                    (Carbine*)
S/Sgt                                      (M1 Garand)
Cpl (Signal, radio & code)  (M1 Garand)

Tech 5 (Operator, radio)    (M1 Garand)
PFC (Messenger)                (M1 Garand)

Pvt (Messenger)                 (M1 Garand)

* All 'Pistol, automatic, cal .45' were withdrawn from TO&E in the Feb amendment 1943. That was the last update until August 1944.

1st Rifle Squad
Sgt (Sqd Ldr)                      (M1 Garand)

Cpl (ass Sqd Ldr)               (Carbine)

5x Pvt

5x PFC

those 10 enlistedmen comprised of
           Ammunition Bearer                                 (M1 Garand)

           Gunner, light machine gun                 (Carbine)

           Gunner, light machine gun assistant    (M1 Garand)

           7x Riflemen                                               (M1 Garand)

2nd Rifle Squad
Sgt (Sqd Ldr)                      (M1 Garand)

Cpl (ass Sqd Ldr)               (Carbine)

5x Pvt

5x PFC

those 10 enlistedmen comprised of
           Ammunition Bearer                                 (M1 Garand)

           Gunner, light machine gun                     (Carbine)

           Gunner, light machine gun assistant    (M1 Garand)

           7x Riflemen                                               (M1 Garand)

60mm Mortar Squad

Sgt                                                                        (M1 Garand)

5 enlisted-men, PVTs & PFCs consisting of
       Gunner, mortar                                           (M1 Garand)

       Gunner, mortar assistant                          (M1 Garand)

       3x Ammunition bearer                              (M1 Garand)

Rifle Squad  

Platoon Headquarters  

In charge of 2 Rifle Squads and mortar squad was the Platoon Headquarters, that comprised of 5 men. 2 officers, platoons Sgt, 2 messengers and a radio operator.

Support Roles assigned from Company HQ

The video above does mention ranks in brief, but also goes on about military courtesy in general, some of which will be useful.

As well as the many combat roles, the American army of WW2 was similar to the modern equivalent to which a soldier can take up almost any profession. Some times these can be in addition to the combat role, others would keep you far behind the front lines. Underneath is a few examples and idea of what other roles can be portrayed; all of which are under the rank of Corporal.

Chauffeur

Clerk, general

Clerk, Typist

Cook

Cook's helper

Mechanic

Orderly

Stenographer

Technician, Medical

Technician, Surgical

Photographer

Although the title of the video above make this video sound like its in the wrong section of this website, it talks so indepth about different roles and items of equipment like the SCR 536 and who did actually use them, that it is far better suited under the 'roles' section. It gives some real insight into a soldiers individual role. When watching this though, please remember that we are an airborne unit, so we'll have some differences. In particular the BAR is replaced with the .30 Browning LMG.

Carrying on from the Rifle Platoon the same series of videos looks closely at the rifle squad and how it acts.

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