From Lynn Flock, Veteran of C/75 Ranger and The Vietnam War

October 18, 2000

It was with not just a little dismay that I read of Gen. Shinseki's announcement that the entire Army would be issued black berets. By doing this the Army is rewarding mediocre performance. I was under the impression the beret signified the completion of difficult training and membership in units by volunteers willing to go purposely into harm's way on missions more difficult than those of the rank-and-file soldier. The issuing of black berets to the entire Army demeans the efforts and history of those volunteers. If the rest of the Army needs new headgear, why does it have to devalue the Ranger institution by using the black beret? If Gen. Shinseki really thinks you can dress them up to get better performance, then our military is having a leadership crisis.

Ranger Lynn Flock, Veteran
C/75 VietNam 70-71