|Ranger Minor Kelso, President of Ranger Infantry Companies of the Korean War Association (RICA) and Commander of the 7th Ranger Company
General Eric Shinseki
Chief of Staff, United States Army
Washington, DC 20310-0200
Dear General Shinseki:
This follows my letter to you of October 23, 2000 in which I stated my personal position regarding the Army wide issuance of the Black Beret. RICA has now adopted the position I stated in my letter. Let me add a post script to the views.
I have before me your article. THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION: A HISTORIC
OPPORTUNITY published in the Army 2000-01 Green Book. You have made clear
that the future is here; that we must restructure the Army; That the
"Spectrum of Military Operations" ranges from "Domestic Operations Disaster
Relief" to "Strategic Nuclear War'. You propose the hardware and technology
inherent in thes potential demands. and there is a recurrent theme in what
you have said and I quote:
"The Army vision begins and ends with soldiers. The Army is not and never
has been about its equipment. It is about the character and values and
professionalism of its soldiers and leaders. They provide our magnificent
moment, now and in the future."
General Shinseki, the Black Beret was once a piece of cloth. No more. it is
a symbol worn only by our Rangers. That symbol embodies the very epitome of
the "character and values and professionalism of which you speak. So I
suggest it be worn by only those who earn it.
Minor L Kelso