Have a question? See if it is answered here.
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
Q: Who are you guys and what is this unit all about?
A: We are a group of amateur historians who portray Fox Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from the United States Army during World War II. Our members come from a wide variety of backgrounds including teachers, doctors, lawyers, law-enforcement officers, firefighters, writers and many more. All of us share a passion for World War II history and the role of the American paratrooper. Our unit is dedicated to preserving the legacy of those paratroopers by staging battle reenactments and public displays throughout California.
Q: Do I need to be an active/former member of the U.S. Armed Forces to join?
A: Not at all. While many of our members have prior service, it is not a requirement. We have both civilian and military personnel in our ranks.
Q: What are your reenactments all about?
A: We participate in a number of scenario-based World War II mock battles throughout the year. These reenactments feature both Axis and Allied forces and are made up from a variety of units on both sides. Additionally, such events often feature armor, artillery and period-correct vehicles. Each reenactment typically lasts between one to three days.
Most battle reenactments are for unit members in good standing only and their invited, authorized guests. We also participate in public displays and parades from time to time.
Q: I've seen HBO's "Band of Brothers" a thousand times. Are you guys like that?
A: HBO's Band of Brothers did a lot to garner interest in the parachute infantry and World War II in general. You will notice some similarites such as uniforms, terminology, etc. but it is worth pointing out that Fox Company, 506th PIR is not a spinoff of Easy Company, 506th PIR. Both companies did serve side-by-side during the war and did share many of the same experiences.
Our unit was formed in 1994 -- long before the miniseries came out.
Q: Do I need to know a lot about World War II history to join?
A: Not at all! While it helps to have a solid background of knowledge on the Second World War, our purpose is to perpetuate the legacy of the airborne soldier. This includes giving our own members a detailed education on what the American paratrooper encountered during the war.
You will learn a vast amount of information after joining our unit. It is a part of what we do.
Q: What other organizations are you involved with?
A: Our unit is a part of two parent organizations -- the World War II Research & Preservation Society and the California Historical Group. Each of these groups are comprised of units like ours and are primarily responsible for hosting the majority of battle reenacments we participate in.
Q: I see a lot of your members have actually jumped out of a C-47. Do I need to do that if I join?
A: No. The World War II Airborne Demonstration Team is an entirely different organization with its own mission and goals. Going through their rigorous parachute jump school is a great way to enhance your reenactment experience but it isn't for everyone. We do not require our members to attend in order to be a part of our unit.
Q: Do I need to have all my gear at my first event?
A: New recruits are required to have a set of russet brown Corcoran jump boots, along with a few other items, before their first event. The unit has a wide array of loaner gear that can be used your first time. More information can be found on the gear page.
Q: I want to join! Where do I sign up and when can I come out to my first event?
A: Becoming a member of Fox Company, 506th PIR is a great way to enhance your understanding of World War II. Just like the airborne however, not everyone makes the cut. We have high standards regarding character, teamwork mentality, attitude and conduct -- in all of which we expect our recruits to live up to.
If these characteristics describe you, please proceed to our message board, create a profile and follow the instructions from there. Once accepted to the forums, you will need to post an introduction and answer some basic questions. If unit leadership feels you will be an asset to Fox Company, you will receive an invite to your first event.