Subj: Ranger Pride
Date: 00-10-23 00:43:35 EDT
Command Sergeant Major Tilley,
On 4 October CSM G. R. Ernst, 6th Ranger Training BN, introduced me to you at
the RHOF ceremony at Fort Benning. I was privileged to meet you since you
are the leader of those in the Army who make things happen: the NCO Corps.
As a Ranger who spent his entire career serving with and leading Rangers both
in cold war and in combat that Ranger tab is emblazoned on my heart. Let me
say that I have never been as disappointed or disillusioned as when I found
that the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Eric K Shinseki had determined
that the symbol of our pride was/is to be given to those who have neither
earned or deserved it.
The statement from the Army News Service dated October 18, 2000 quotes
General Shinseki as stating that you are to come up with a plan to establish
the standard and implement the change. You are quoted as saying, "Putting
that beret on will be the soldier's rite of passage....I've got to tell I was
genuinely excited when I first heard about it...I think it will do a lot for
a soldier's pride and image...I think it will probably be something of a
shock when soldiers first hear about it...but it's something we need as the
Army moves through transformation...." I trust from your statements that you
were not consulted on this decision.
Although I am now retired I am the father of three sons who either have or
are presently serving in the Armed Services. Further, I am a life member of
the VFW and two Ranger organizations. I have maintained close and almost
continuous contact with the Ranger community. Let me tell you that nothing
could be done that would damage the morale of our Rangers more than this
Evidently, the Chief of Staff has been advised by those who automatically
believe that all soldiers will perform equally. It is typical of the
attitude of the liberal, left-wing administration which has been forced on
our Armed Forces in the past eight years to place all our troops in one big
social sandbox, stir them and hope to motivate them by placing on their heads
the badge of honor which they have neither earned nor deserved. All of this
in the hope that an item of uniform will raise them to the level of warrior
proficiency achieved by the Rangers.
Unfortunately, we have been repeatedly duped by those who do not wish us to
have a Warrior Army, but wish us to be social nation builders who are
committed, not to our own beloved Stars and Stripes, but to the command of
NATO and the United Nations.
There is no reason why the Black Beret must be shared. Those of us who have
served around the world have seen an infinite variety of colors: Army blue,
gray, olive drab, even camouflage. The Rangers are the oldest American
fighting force on the North American continent. We should not be robbed of
our Black Berets.
Rangers Lead the Way!
John S. "Jack" Daniel, USA INF - RET