Reference: The award of the coveted Ranger tab to Vietnam Era
LRRP/Ranger Veterans in this issue of Sua Sponte and a true pictorial
of Colonel Robert Rogers in the next issue.
(This is from LRRP, LRP, Ranger - David F. Weeks II, Vice President, 75th Ranger Regiment Assoc.), John, I am sending you a copy of what the Ranger tab board found and what they recommended. I went to Ft. Benning, Post Historian and requested a copy of it in June when I was down there for reserve training this year. I am submitting a copy to be published in the next patrolling magazine. It's not hear-say any more, it's in black and white. Enjoy the reading.
A. It is a four page document. The board convened at 0900 9 Dec. 1997, Room 453 Infantry Hall.
B. The mission of the Ranger Tab Board was to review requests to
award the Ranger Tab to recipients of the Combat Infantryman Badge
who served in Ranger units in combat and make specific recommendations
to the Chief of Infantry based on current regulations, facts,
and board deliberations.
C. The speaker for the LRRP/Ranger Units of the Vietnam Conflict and the 29th Ranger Battalion (Provisional) of WWII was Ranger Colonel (Retired) Robert Black.
1. Ranger Black charges the issuance of the Ranger tab to non-ranger course graduates should never have been done. However, since it has been done, the practice must be extended to the Ranger soldiers of the 29th (Ranger) Infantry Battalion (Provisional) and the LRRP, LRP, Ranger Units of the Vietnam Conflict, as was done for the WWII Ist-6th (Ranger) Battalions, the 5307th (Composite) Army Unit (Provisional) "Merrill's Marauders" and the Korean War Ranger Infantry Companies (Airborne).
2. If the practice of retrograde award of the Ranger tab to these past units was done, then why were not the 29th Rangers and the LRRP Rangers afforded the same award? In my view this practice is "selective recognition". It is also discrimination on the part of the Ranger Training Brigade and Infantry Branch.
3. The history of the Rangers needed to be better defined. The LRRP/LRP Ranger Units need to be officially entered as a part of the present day 75th (Ranger) Regiment as its true lineage and authorize the Veterans to wear something that state "Ranger service" rather than their major maneuver command Distinctive Shoulder Insignia (DUI). Lastly, have the Army regulations (AR) 600-8-22 changed to reflect this, as was the case of the Ranger Battalions and Merrill's Marauders.
D. The meeting deliberated and the Board recommended: Rational
1. The board does not have the authority to add the 29th Infantry Division Ranger Battalion for the award of the Ranger tab, in accordance to AR 600-8-22 Military Awards.
2. The board does not have authority to tell the Medical Branch that Combat Medical Badge awarded to soldiers should be awarded the Ranger tab based on Ranger service in accordance to AR 600-8-22.
3. The Ranger tab board agreed that Chapter 8, Paragraph 8-46 of AR 600-8-22, should be reviewed and updated as required.
4. The Ranger Tab Board recommended that all Vietnam Era LRRP/LRP/Ranger-type units (see Dept. of the Army Message of 21 Jan. 1969: subject: Redesignation of Long Range Patrol (LRP) Units -Tab 16 of Colonel Black's History of the Ranger tab) should be aligned with the lineage and Honors of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Once this is accomplished, then the current authorized insignia should be retroactively authorized for war by recognized Ranger-type units. In this manner all "Rangers" will have a common linkage and heritage through the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Signed: Lawrence K. White, Jr., Colonel Infantry Chief of Staff