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 expected is that everyone know what you are and what your individual roles and responsibilities are. A rifleman 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 even 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 or mortar man.

With more rank, comes more responsibilities. You maybe a Sgt charge of a mortar 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. 

 

A Infantry rifle company, parachute consists of :-

 

Company HQ

Captain                                    (Carbine*)

1st Lt                                        (Carbine*)

Sgt, intelligence                      (M1 Garand)

Sgt, communication              (M1 Garand)

T/4, radio operator                (M1 Garand)

2x T/5, radio operator           (M1 Garand)

4x PFC                                      (M1 Garand)

4x Pvt                                       (M1 Garand)

(PFCs & Pvts - 3 messengers and 5 riflemen, usually used to keep squads at full strength)

As well as the individual weapons listed above, the Company Hq also was issued 6 M3 Submachine Guns and 1 bazooka.

Each company had 3 rifle platoons

Each 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.

As well as the individual weapons listed above, each Platoon Hq also was issued 1 bazooka.
 

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

Cpl (Ass/Sqd Ldr)               (M1 Garand)

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)               (M1 Garand)

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.

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.