October 22, 2000
On the medallion of the Ranger Hall of Fame are the words "Once an Eagle".
Somewhere in your path to the stars you must have read that powerful study of leadership.
It is the root of the expression that I hope you will recall. It has been many years for me but I remember it as being from a fable of the North African rim and the distant words sound in my mind as follows:
Once an Eagle, stricken with a dart Said when he saw the fashion of the shaft By my own feathers, not by others hands am I undone.
General you are causing pain to so many loyal veterans, soldiers and families. Why are you hurting that which you must love? Is it leadership to hurt your own?
If a beret is important, why not choose the time honored Army Khaki or Olive Drab for the rest of our great Army, but leave the Rangers, Special Forces and the Airborne with the pride of our accomplishment.
Ranger Robert Black
8th Airborne Ranger Company