rank system

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OliverVU
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rank system

Post by OliverVU »

I have read a lot of topics on this forum about medals and how they can be earned in different groups, but I have found little about ranks. How can you earn a rank in your group?

In my group we work with a point system, if a member has attended 20 events he will automatically be awarded with Oberschütze. Per every 20 events that count up you can go up in rank, but starting with Gefreiter you have to show leadership.
There is a big discussion going on in our group at the moment, because this system has as a result that we have way to many Oberschützes (especially if you take into consideration that previous year you could get Oberschütze aften 1 year membership)

So what are the criteria to earn a rank in your group? How do you keep balance between ranks and Schütes and can you refuse to give someone a rank?
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Peter Bauer
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Re: rank system

Post by Peter Bauer »

We decide who is what. But then again, we have only enlisted men with one or two NCO's... :P
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Sheikh Al Stranghi
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Re: rank system

Post by Sheikh Al Stranghi »

We only have ranks to go with a job, and always as low as possible. Sometimes if a schütze is experienced and shows great professionalism after a few years we give him oberschütze or gefreiter, we don't have a system but we talk it over whenever someone seems fit.

For medals we don't have a system either, except that it has to fit in with the life story in your soldbuch, which has to fit in with real life experience, reenacting experience, age and so on. Basically, the only award you'll see regularly is the sturmabzeichen, and a wound badge every now and then. If someone shows up with an iron cross he'll just get laughed at and he'll have it removed by the next event... :lol:

We don't think point systems work.

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Tanaka
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Re: rank system

Post by Tanaka »

So what are the criteria to earn a rank in your group?
Easy, if i think you deserve one you get one.

We're quite handy to have a fairly realistic age group in our group, we have 2 members over 26 who are the officers, usually on 1 at each event, the rest of the lads are 25 down to 17 and are EM, i've been doing it the longest so i've got the NCO rank. Has worked well so far.
Some older guys don't like the fact if they join they have to be the same rank as a 17 year old but they're quickly told if they don't like it they don't have to join
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OliverVU
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Re: rank system

Post by OliverVU »

I see, so no point systems with most groups. but what happens when someone wants a rank, but there is no need for more stripes in the group? Or if said person doesn't "do anything with it", doesn't show leadership?
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Stigroadie

Re: rank system

Post by Stigroadie »

What has wanting a rank got to do with it?
Let them want away. Until they deserve it or there is a need why would you grant it?
If they have been given it but dont behave like they should at that rank bust them down, take the rank off them.
Rank is not a right in this hobby especially when working in a group.
If this character wants to bling up then let him go solo.

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OliverVU
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Re: rank system

Post by OliverVU »

Those are exactly my thoughts, Stigroadie. The only problem in this hobby is that people are too proud to take off their rank, and you can't risk asking them. "it has to stay fun"
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dbloge
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Re: rank system

Post by dbloge »

In my unit of 29 "paid" members the breakdown is such
Grenadier-16
Obergrenadier-7
Gefreiter-4
Obergefreiter-1
NCO-1

The elected Unit Commander decides who gets promoted, with recommendation/advice from the other elected officials. This generally works out well.

20 events to go up in rank seems a bit excessive. Around my neck of the woods, that would take someone 4-5 years to reach. "especially if you take into consideration that previous year you could get Oberschütze aften 1 year membership" - I have never met someone who has attended 20 events in a year.

Being promoted in my unit is a combination of events attended and service to the unit. We generally have not have a problem with promotions in the unit. We may struggle with demotions in the future though.


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KDF
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Re: rank system

Post by KDF »

When AFRA/Der Windhund discussed this a few years ago we came up with the idea that the actual number of paid up members would decide the amount and preportion of what the group had in the way of rank there. In other words it was a reflection of what a unit would have had for the amount of men available for the time period of what we were portraying. IF we ever got to the size where an officer would have been required we would have had the most junior ( eg Lt ) we could have, and the person portraying him was the person who didn't wish to be an officer !

When we 'had' to send the officer to safety briefs etc, the other groups were stunned we had an NCO turn up, but that was the senior figure we had, and after explaining a few times it became the normal.

There was one group ( if I remember correctly ) that had a young man of 19/20 as their officer figure, the rest of the group were older and he 'played' the ideal officer of the Wehrmacht, while they just did as little as possible/ignored him as best they could. I did like that approach.

Asking people to remove rank badges is hard if you've not stipulated it into the rules of your group before they joined, but do you want your unit/group to look like it's right or just anything will do type group ? It should never be not fun, but most are trying to do this as realistically as we can, and the awards and rank reflect this. I was 'awarded' the most basic of things, but hardly ever wore them, infact it wasn't the point of what we were trying to do.

I take great inspiration from the groups who are doing awesome events/portrayals/phptographs ( see photos section on here ), none of them wear anything above what was seen in period photos.
Founder member of AFRA.

Mikkel
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Re: rank system

Post by Mikkel »

Easy.

We (http://www.reenactors.dk) use a standard period military organization diagram for our unit.
We're an infantry platoon, and we decided on being 1. platoon in the company.
In that structure we need 1 officer (if we had done 2. or 3. platoon, it would have been an NCO) as platoon leader, and three NCOs for the squad leaders. Right now, we got two squads that are above strength, and therefore only got two NCOs as squad leaders. Soon we'll split into three squads and then promote another as NCO.
"But, what if not everyone turn up at an event?"
Again, easy. Everyone with rank, are required to also maintain an enlisted impression, in case we are not adequate numbers to maintain a certain role. Eg. if only 5 enlisted guys turn up, one of the squad leaders have to bring his enlisted impression as well.

Promotions are based primarily upon skill and qualification. But of course also upon reenactment experience.
For us rank is not a privilege, rank is a task and a duty.

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Walther
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Re: rank system

Post by Walther »

We try to keep ours as authentic as possible and have only this year introduced an Offizier to the mix as we now have the numbers on our books to class ourselves at Zug strength. Previous to that we've held off for about 4 years whilst we got up to 30 members and more importantly, make sure that we have a good many of these turning up to the shows (you might have 30 on your books but if 17 of these are paper members it would look daft).

We too award rank based on time served, knowledge, leadership in the field, what they put into the group, uniform standards and most importantly if the candidate has the respect of the Mannschaft and they are willing to be led by him.

We also took the decision to split into 3 squads (again in the interest of 'keeping it real'), which required a few promotions, but the higher the person goes the more is required of them - in short, no one can just expect to be promoted just because they feel that they should be.

At the moment we have:

1 Junior Offizier
2 Senior NCO's
3 Junior NCO's (1 to lead each squad)
3 Obergefreiter's (1 per squad)
3 Gefreiter's (1 per squad)
3 Oberschützen (1 per squad)

The rest of the squads are made up of the Schützen.

Hope this helps?
Neil
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OliverVU
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Re: rank system

Post by OliverVU »

interesting to see how other groups deal with this, I see my group is pretty exceptional, thanks

@ dbloge: we have up to 15 events per year, meetings for photo shoots or movie recordings also count. So it shouldn't take more than 2 years if you're an active member.
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KDF
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Re: rank system

Post by KDF »

How you and your group do things is of course entirely up to yourselves. As I've read how other groups do things now ( and this wasn't the normal in the UK I believe for most smaller groups ) as variants, but seem to follow the pattern of being a rank scale to size of troops to what was then in the German military.

The point is to portray it accurately, not to 'collect' awards/rank.

OliverVU wrote:interesting to see how other groups deal with this, I see my group is pretty exceptional, thanks

@ dbloge: we have up to 15 events per year, meetings for photo shoots or movie recordings also count. So it shouldn't take more than 2 years if you're an active member.
Founder member of AFRA.

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Max
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Re: rank system

Post by Max »

Usually the number of Gefreiters in a unit with veteran troops was far more higer than one per Gruppe. Take a look at this list from a G.D Kompanie pre-Citadelle.

http://members.shaw.ca/grossdeutschland/companyoob.htm

Actually we are 10 members 1xNCO (Gruppe leader) 1xRottenführer (Stellv.) 2xSturman 1 with each MG, the rest are Shütze, but there is room for more Surman in the unit depending on dedication and skills.
1./SS-"Deutschland"
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dbloge
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Re: rank system

Post by dbloge »

KDF - The standard infantry company in 1944 had 3 platoons platoons and 2 of those were led by NCO's, so this is more of a standard than having an officer.

Mikkel - I like the idea of having NCO's drop to enlisted when attendance warrants it, but that would require NCO's to have.............at least 2 tunics :shock:

OliverVU - I attended 12 events this year and am spent. I wouldnt be concerned with having too many obergrenadiers or gefreiters with the criteria you have. Those troops would have "earned" it. Remember that obergrenadiers and gefreiters are still privates, and that the German army didnt absolutely require positions to have certain ranks.



DL

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