The 325th glider rider impression charts the trajectory of the glider rider throughout the war. While considered airborne troops, the glider riders were a distant second to the paratroopers when it came to prestige and preference for most of the war. Unlike the paratroops, no one volunteered for glider duty; instead regiments were picked arbitrarily and no one had a choice. For the glider rider there was no bonus pay (paratroopers received an extra $50 per month) and no specialized uniforms or equipment. Essentially the glider rider was an straight leg infantryman with all the hazards of airborne duty but none of the benefits. This sentiment is captured perfectly by the chorus of “Glider Rider,” a popular song among the 325th:
Once I was happy but now I’m Airborne,
Riding in gliders all tattered and torn.
The pilots are daring, all caution they scorn,
And the pay is exactly the same!
Things began to turn around for the 325th when officers from the paratroop regiments arrived in Normandy on gliders and began to realize not only the danger but the discrepancy between the two airborne branches. Overlooked glider riders soon found themselves equipped on par with the paratroop cousins in time for OPERATION MARKET GARDEN and were then wearing the same uniforms and carrying the same gear.
The 325 impression is a good option for those who are looking for to get involved with the F.A.A.A but would prefer a straight leg infantry impression, as that is essentially what it is from stateside training through OPERATION OVERLORD.
A comparative guide of the “norms” for the 325th across the various campaigns is located here (once you have opened the link you can print or download in a variety of formats).
If you have any questions at all, please visit our forums. Many questions are answered there and, if yours isn’t, it’s a great place to ask.