From Jeff Kuckenaker, 2/75 Ranger Veteran
I am a Ranger from 2nd battalion who served 87-90. I got the call from my father in D.C. who read the article in the Washington Post. My reaction was pure shock and anger that some idiot would think a black beret would help moral in the Army. My anger is that the black beret would be less significant than the Airborne Beret or Special Forces beret. The Rangers have come from a long lineage. Rangers before and now have endured the mental and physical rigors required to dawn and wear the black beret.
The black beret is not an article of clothing. The black beret is a symbol of achievement, it is hard earned. To give that symbol away to the regular Army is a message to all Rangers past and present that their sweat, their perseverance, their blood, their commitment, their excellence, their achievement, their esprit decor, their creed, their suffering, their sacrifices, their honor, their schools, their way of life, their lives as rangers were unimportant, less significant as it related to their peers in the special operation community. The general behind this decision has become caught up in the quick fix. Give the army a beret, but don't give away the Rangers black beret you fucken idiot...I for one will not let it happen. My congressman, local newspaper, fellow Rangers and Special Forces will all know what's happening. The same qualities that allowed me to wear the Black Beret will also serve to keep it.
Ranger Jeff Kuckenbaker, Veteran