Introduction as a Soldier into Co. A, 3rd Maine Regt. Vol. Inf.

New Membership

        As is the case for all members of Co. A, 3rd Maine, your first year of membership is as a probationary member without voting privileges. This is to allow everyone to become acquainted with you before you assume the privileges and responsibilities that come with regular membership. This also gives you time to obtain sufficient equipment to participate with the unit in the prerequisite minimum of six events or meetings before a regular membership status is awarded. At a regular meeting falling on or after the anniversary of your application, the regular members of the unit will vote on whether to accept you as a regular member. Your regular membership status will be maintained so long as you pay your annual regular membership dues (individual or family) on time.
        Initially, all military impressions are entry level and carry the rank of Recruit Private. All male members of Co. A, 3rd Maine must be willing and able to portray their initial and primary impression as a member of the Infantry or the Fife & Drum. Any females who wish to portray a military impression must take steps to disguise their femininity and appear male to a casual observer at a distance of six meters. Alternative impressions are an option when and where it does not detract from the unit's Infantry and Fife & Drum impressions. This policy is necessary so as to preserve a modicum of authenticity for the unit as a whole. The membership of Co. A. 3rd Maine will strive to work with any potential member to facilitate full participation with the unit regardless of gender, race, age, or ability. It is the unit's policy to extend the unique pleasure of participating in living history to all who would join us if it can possibly be done without compromising the historical impression of others.
        All potential military impressionists who join as Recruit Privates are expected to acquire, preferably within one year, the basic infantry kit, including clothing, a minimum set of gear and accouterments, and, in the case of the Infantry, a musket and bayonet. You should expect to spend between $1200 and $1500 to outfit yourself as a Civil War soldier. New members of the Infantry will be assigned to the Training and Reserve Squad until they have demonstrated the minimum level of knowledge described in the Recruit Examination Book (REB). New members of the Fife & Drum will be provided with care and training by the Drum Major and the Fife Major.

Infantry Training

        In the Infantry, your education and training will be provided by the Training Corporal, other NCOs, and other veteran members. The training NCO or First Sergeant can provide you with your copy of the REB. The REB outlines four major areas in which a new recruit must demonstrate knowledge and achievement before basic training can be considered complete. This period of training typically requires several months. You will be expected to possess a complete uniform and to demonstrate the ability to wear, maintain, and correctly describe the various parts. You will be expected to acquire knowledge taught in the School of the Soldier, which includes the formation of the company, platoon, and squad and the basic evolutions of these formations. You will be expected to possess an infantry weapon and accouterments and be able to demonstrate the evolutions while under arms and to demonstrate the safe handling and competent maintenance of your weapon. You will also be expected be familiar with the methods for the safe loading and firing of your weapon while within the ranks. Finally, you will need to demonstrate basic field craft, including the ability to pitch and maintain a shelter tent, knowledge of the layout and parts of the camp, and fire safety. Co. A, 3rd Maine usually provides a one to two day-long school of the soldier each spring which provides training that will help you meet the REB requirements. In addition, School of the Soldier and manual of arms training is described in Hardee's and Casey's books on infantry tactics.
       When you have demonstrated that you have mastered your REB, the First Sergeant, another NCO, or a Company officer will sign your book to certify that you have completed your basic training. You will then be awarded with the infantry horn device to wear on your cap and you will be transferred to one of the regular Infantry squads. From this point on you will be expected to continue to learn and improve your impression as a soldier. You can earn your red diamond Kearny patch by engaging the enemy during a significant battle reenactment while under the command of the officers of Co. A, 3rd Maine.

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