From Derrick LaVake, Veteran of C Co, 1/75 Ranger
October 18, 2000
I just read an article in which you announced your plans to issue the
Ranger's black beret to the entire army. I am shocked and appalled! You
stated the reason behind your decision came after seeing a change of command
for USSOCOM, and how well all the SF troops looked in their berets. If
that's the case, to look good, then issue the regular army blue berets. Not
only will they have there "coveted" berets, but they will also match the UN
colors for which most regular army units will probably work for in the near
I am a former a-team leader with the 1st Ranger Battalion. I don't know if
it is even possible to describe the feelings I had when I finally EARNED my
black beret. That beret is a symbol to the world. Anytime a person sees it
they know that the soldier wearing it is someone special. Someone that has
gone above and beyond what the regular army dictates. Someone that has
volunteered to be one of the best, knowing that along the way if he fails, he
is out of the program.
Don't make a mockery of my fallen comrades sir. Those who have given the
ultimate for their country, knowing that they were special, that they were
the best. The fact that they were willing and waiting to go to war to prove
that they were the best. Please, don't belittle them or their extraordinary
accomplishments by making our symbol of excellence a symbol of mediocrity.
As it states in the Ranger Creed, "...my country expects me to move further,
faster, and fight harder than any other soldier...One hundred percent and
then some." If the regular army wants to wear the black beret, let them join
I would hope that you would reconsider your decision to allow the regular
army to wear the beret of the United State's oldest special operations unit.
For that matter, I don't believe that is fair to issue the regular army a red
or green beret either. If you must have them in a beret choose a new color
If I can answer any other questions for you, please do not delay in writing
back to me.
Rangers Lead The Way!
Ranger Derrick LeVake, Veteran
C 1/75 Ranger