Reid Smiley

When I was ten, my uncle gave me a WWII Special Forces D-Day Toy Soldier Playset. After reading Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, I was addicted to history. I decided to waste my youth in dusty archives and squinting over old newsreels.

After meeting the 401st GIR (Reenacted) in July 2015 at Heavy Bombers Over Madison, I decided that sleeping in cold muddy fields dressed in original WWII uniforms sounded like fun. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, I frequently attend reenactments throughout the Midwest. In August 2019, I attended a 10 day event in France tracing the footprints of the 4th Armored Division and 30th Infantry Division for the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Mortain.

As the Authenticity Officer for the 401st GIR/101st ABN (Reenacted), I have worked with various unit members to undertake a variety of research projects to re-examine commonly held beliefs about the 401st to improve our unit’s impressions and knowledge. In October 2019, I also became the editor of the WWII HRS’s newsletter, The EDGE.

In my “normal” life, I am a technical writer in the medical device industry. I have a BA in History from Oberlin College, an MA in History from UW-Madison, and am working on an online MA in WWII Studies through Arizona State University.


%d bloggers like this: