October 27, 2000
General Eric Shinseki
Chief of Staff, Army
200 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310-0200
I am writing in response to your recent announcement regarding the adoption
of the black beret army wide. I urge you to reconsider this matter. If a
beret is part of the new image for the army then there is no reason that
beret needs to be black. I'm sure you have received a mountain of
correspondance about this black beret. I can understand wanting to improve
the standard and create the esprit de corps that the Rangers exhibit.
Wouldn't it be nice to have an entire army full of dedicated soldiers like
I recently met SMA Tilley at the Ranger Rendezvous 50th Anniversary of the
Korean war ranger, had I known this was in the works, I would have given
him my thoughts on this matter. I feel like the men who have served in the
75th Ranger Regiment past and present have been slapped in the face and it
is not something those very special men deserve.
I am proud to be part of the Ranger Family. My husband continues to serve
the Regiment now. We will always proudly serve together for the good of
the army. Yes there are sacrifices to make when you are in this Regiment.
It means daddy is gone a lot. My husband travelled 39 weeks last year. It
was his job to do so. You may think giving someone 4 day weekends is part
of your grand scheme to improve morale. There are plenty of 4 day weekends
on the calendar every year. Just ride through the parking lot in any
Ranger battalion and the lot will be nearly full. There is the mission to
think of, things to be made ready, planning to be done, so that when the
call comes, you will have that well oiled combat machine called the
Rangers there to lead the way. That is the dedication that comes with
wearing the black beret.
Make the harder right decision. You don't want to be remembered as "that
guy" who belittled the history and future of the finest soldiers ever
trained by our country. Choose another color. It will be a mistake to do