Wow! That Rockford! You sir seem to be a sour grape. Yes there are inspections and that do try to enforce a very minimum of WWII standards. Many of the troops wear Chinese made, US made, Polish made uniforms and so on. Apparently some were asked to remove fantasy equipment and refused to comply regarding their goatees. This was likely you. One SS unit complained about a few SS reenactors they found to be questionable. Was this you as well? Interestingly enough the SS was represented by the 1st, 5th, 9th, and 12th. If I recall the field battle organizers were trying to cut down on battle star galactica kubel wagons among the various armored vehicles. Also if you are not part of the battle briefing you do not participate in any field battle probably for your own good lest you get squished in some tread. Rockford is not a free for all as some would like. it is not for every unit or reenactor. If one cannot meet the really simple requirements laid down clearly on the event website I really think you need to reassess your living history presentation. No pass the inspection no play. of course only 3 to 4 people failed the inspection leaving quite a few to participate. Hauling in Sherman's, Stuarts, Hetzers, PZ 1, 251s, PAK guns, etc takes some money. As they say no bucks, no Buck Rogers. No large scale reenactment takes place for free. Is Rockford a perfect event? No, but the majority seem to have a pretty good time. In any case we will soldier on at Rockford with the 1200 troops probably without you in 2015. I guess that Conneat allows goatees and possibly neonazi inspired accoutrements?
A 100 year old Safety and Authenticity inspector
Ps - you never mentioned your unit designation. Also I can guarantee that you never met the WWII HRS president.
I wanted to put a review up of Rockford and HRS ( Historical Reenactment Society ) who was "pulling" the strings for this event. If you haven't gone to Rockford, I would recommend staying away from this event. If you have gone, kudos's to you for avoiding the disaster that was Rockford 2014 for our unit.
From what occurred this past weekend Sept 20, 2014 I believe the Authenticity committee of HRS are composed of 100 + year olds who met and remember every German Soldier both German, and Foreign that served Germany during WWII. They claimed to know every unit, and every part of equipment worn by every member of the armed forces of Germany during WWII. During inspection, they refused to allow entry or participation for reenactors based on an "inspection" that HRS took upon itself to do before the battles. Before I begin listing what occurred, I do wish to say I work on my impression, and try my hardest to look the part, I avoid Chinese products wherever possible, and try to get high quality products. Having said that it is next to impossible to get every reenactor to lay down hundreds if not thousands of dollars on products that are considered to by many to be "top of the line."
During "inspection" by HRS ( led by the president of HRS, at least he said he was ) , they took it upon themselves to inspect every piece of equipment and if you were found "lacking" you were kicked out of the event. Of course they ignored troops carrying Yugo's, but by god if you didn't have the SS belt buckle they were looking for you were kicked out. If you were portraying Nederland, Wiking, or any other SS unit not to their liking, you were kicked out of the event. One member of our unit, a US combat veteran, was kicked out for not being "groomed" to their liking. Mustaches were required to be shaved, if you didn't comply, you were kicked out. So in their minds not one single person in Germany that served in WWII had a moustache ( There are many pictures of this). There are pictures of many different looks for German Soldiers, I can understand a goatee, visible tattoo's or a Mohawk / ponytail etc as there are zero pictures of this, we aren't all 18 year old kids of German heritage HRS. If HRS is going to be a group of hard-asses they should have stated in plain language on their site that if you weren't a hard-core reenactor, and didn't have a full set of equipment, or didn't look "Germanic" you weren't allowed to participate. Amazing how this sounds alot like discrimination. Better yet, why didn't they just shave all our heads upon registration?
Those few who actually survived the "inspection" and got to participate in the battles got to fight a 5-10 minute battle for spectators on a field no bigger than a football field. Rockford is nothing more than a living history to make money on. The battlefield was so small that the organizers/ HRS via a snap judgment prohibited the usage of Kubelwagons and MG42's on the field. So those of us, members of our unit included were prohibited from participating in the battles. So let's get this straight, we travel 500-1000 miles to go to this event, and are told " we don't need you on the battlefield, or your vehicles, but don't drive away in front of the "paying" spectators, but hide until the battles over." It is unbelievable that HRS and the Rockford organizers followed this sort of crap for their event.
In parting, I attended DDAY 2014 and was told to stay away from Rockford by many units, now I know why, and Rockford is by no means the biggest reenactment in the US as they falsely proclaim.