Welcome to the Jaeger's Battalion of Rogers Rangers website!
Jaeger's Battalion is a national, colonial period historical reenactment group headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Because we consist of a number of different companies, we are organized on a battalion level. We trace our history back to 1956, and we are registered as a Michigan nonprofit corporation.
Our main interest is the accurate recreation of Rogers' Rangers of the French & Indian War era. Our activities include reenacting, black powder shooting and hunting, trekking, and researching and writing about the period. We also occasionally do some Revolutionary War reenacting as the King's Rangers or the Queen's Rangers. Both units were commanded by Robert Rogers during the American Revolution.
Jaeger's Battalion is the oldest, and the largest, recreated Rogers' Rangers unit in the country. Jaeger's Battalion is a family oriented unit, with over 200 families on active our roster. We have members in 26 states, plus Washington D.C., Canada, and England. We do not require that every member take the field as a reenactor, but everyone must have a strong interest in Rogers' Rangers and contribute to the Battalion and to Ranger history in some way.
Because of the geographical distances involved, it is impossible to get everyone together at one time. What we ask of our members is that they have a sincere interest in Rogers' Rangers, meet our minimum authenticity standards if you are a reenactor, and be as active as you can in your own geographical area. We also ask that as many members as possible attend one or more of the large national French & Indian War events each year, but this is not mandatory.
If you enlist in Jaeger's Battalion , you must comply with our rules and meet our minimum standards of authenticity for reenactors. These rules and standards are spelled out in the Battalion Information Manual.
Battalion members receive an annual newsletter from the Adjutant. In addition, all members are encouraged to subscribe to The Battalion Journal which is our quarterly newsletter. It offers articles on 18th century food, clothing , gear, military ordnance and news regarding our various companies' activities.
Jaeger's Battalion is organized into individual companies, based on both the structure of Rogers' original corps and our members' geographic locations. If you live in an area where a company is already active, you will be assigned to that company. If there is no company in your area, you will be assigned to the "Composite Company." New companies can be formed in an area where no company exists when the membership and the level of activity warrant it.
The Battalion was founded John Jaeger and Tim Todish, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. John Passed away in 2008, and Tim is now the Major and Battalion Commander. Bill Blair, of the Virginia Company, is now the Captain and Battalion Adjutant. A Battalion Staff assists with the administration of the Battalion, and each company is run by its own company officers. Promotional procedures and other administrative details are explained fully in the Battalion Manual.
To be blunt, Jaeger's Battalion is not a democracy, but rather a "benevolent dictatorship". We do not have annual elections for officers like some units do. We find that things are much more stable and run more smoothly without the political maneuvering that units holding annual elections sometimes experience.
Once you enlist, you will remain on the Battalion rolls until you resign in writing, although you may be placed on inactive status if your activity level warrants it. (We do have provisions to court-martial and expel troublesome members, but have rarely had to even consider using them.).
We recognize that our members have jobs and obligations in the 20th century. Although we expect people to be serious about their membership in the Battalion, it is only a hobby, and we do not want to burn people out. We do not have a minimum number of events that you must attend to maintain active membership. Basically, we expect that you do as much as you can, and insist that whatever you do in the name of the Battalion, you do well. The wisdom of this approach has been proven, for we have many members who have been with us for 25 years or more. In that length of time, nearly everyone has had some good years and some bad years, but their interest in, and loyalty to, the Battalion remains intact.
If you are interested in joining Jaeger's Battalion, the first step is to purchase a copy of our Information Manual. The manual costs is a nonrefundable $15.00, and it can be purchased through the Adjutant, Captain Bill Blair.
After reading the manual, if you decide to enlist, you must fill out the enlistment application that is contained in the manual. Give this completed application to your Company Commander, or mail it to Adjutant Bill Blair. At the present time, we have no dues other than the fee for your manual. We cannot promise that this will not change in the future, but until now we have been able to meet our modest expenses with the monies raised from sale of the manuals.
New enlistees are initially classified as Ranger Recruits. After a period of time, and after meeting certain requirements, you may petition your Company Commander for promotion to the rank of Private Ranger. Positions for ranks above Private Ranger are based on a formula that is designed both to give us an adequate command structure and to maintain a realistic ratio of officers and NCO's to privates. We do not want to appear "top heavy", as some other units have let themselves become. Selections of the higher ranks are made by Company Officers and the Battalion Staff, based on merit and levels of participation. All of these details are spelled out in the manual.
Uniform and equipment requirements are designed to allow you to get started on a reasonable budget, while still protecting the Battalion's reputation for authenticity. The manual contains a listing of preferred sutlers, and the Battalion Patternmaster will assist you in obtaining patterns for uniforms and equipment.
Jaeger's Battalion also offers a voluntary program for highly motivated individuals called the "Senior Ranger Program". This involves a long term, extremely demanding set of requirements, designed to thoroughly test your Ranger skills and historical knowledge.
Two things remain to be said. First of all, do not expect us to vigorously pursue your enlistment. We much prefer quality over quantity and experience has shown that persons who have to be coaxed to enlist often lack the interest and commitment that we expect of new members.
Secondly, Jaeger's Battalion does not recruit from the ranks of other reenactment units, as we feel that this is unethical. This does not mean that you cannot join us if you already belong to another unit, it just means that you must take the initiative on your own to enlist.
On the other hand, if you are happy with your present unit, but still wish to participate in Ranger activities at times, you should consider joining our Cadet Company. Just as in Rogers' original Cadet Company, you can become a Cadet in Jaeger's Battalion and still maintain your ties to your other unit.
Thank you for your interest in His Majesty's Independent Companies of Rogers' Rangers, or Jaeger's Battalion, Rogers' Rangers, as we are popularly known. We have attempted to introduce you to what the Battalion is all about and answer some of your basic questions. For more information, or help with specific questions, please contact our recruiting officer, Captain-Lieutenant Chris Matheney, or at 1310 Ridgewood Way, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.