Of the Tab and the Scroll

| January 25, 2021

As you’ve surmised by the photo, the title of the post is not George R.R. Martin’s latest book. We’ve discussed this topic before, because it appears to come up every election cycle. Now it’s come up as a politcally motivated smear campaign against Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR).

So what constitutes an “Army Ranger?” Leave it to the Army to complicate things, but there are really three types of Ranger.

First are those who have graduated the US Army Ranger School. It’s an arduous course that lasts more than two months and tests soldiers to their mental and physical breaking point. Operating for days in the field on little sleep and even less food, Ranger students conduct small unit combat scenarios. Along the way they learn mountaineering and waterborne operations. Graduates of the grueling course (fewer than half who attend graduate) receive the coveted Ranger Tab (top in the above photo) for permanent wear and the title “Ranger”. Most of these soldiers go back to their units as better leaders and pass on some of their skills.

Second are those who volunteer for the 75th Ranger Regiment. The 75th Rangers is a special operations force. Numbering about 3,600 soldiers, they can deploy one of their battalions on as little as 18 hours notice. These Rangers are the Army’s premier light infantry unit and have carved out a niche doing things like capturing airfields, capturing high value targets, and similar direct action raids. Soldiers volunteering for the regiment go through another eight week training program called Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP).  Graduates of the program move into the regiment and are operational Rangers.

Thirdly are those who have both graduated the Ranger School (been “tabbed”) and also served in the 75th Ranger Regiment (been “scrolled”). Some say these are the only “Real Rangers”. Of course there are also those with a scroll and no tab who say they are “Real Rangers” while those with tabs and no scrolls say they are Rangers too! In our discussions here, both tabbed and scrolled are to be considered Rangers in the context of how the US Army labels them. Blame the Army if you don’t like it.

Our thoughts on the matter are best summed up by Command Sergeant Major Rick Merritt, a former regimental sergeant major of the 75th Ranger Regiment, defended Cotton’s claim to be a Ranger, saying attacks on Cotton were “absurd”, and that Cotton is “…100% a Ranger. He will always be a Ranger. An attack on him is an attack on every veteran who has served honorably.”

It could be said, as this lovely “Wonkette” puts it “Anyone can go to clown school. I could go to clown school. You could go to clown school. But if you never actually work as a clown or register myself as a clown by painting your clown face on an official clown egg at the clown registry, can you truly call yourself a clown?” The author clearly does not understand what a Ranger of either breed is and denigrates their training by comparing it to clown school. I’m sure clown school has its own rigors, but people likely do not routinely lose 50 pounds or suffer serious physical injuries like broken limbs and torn muscles as Ranger candidates do. She also denigrates the noble profession of clowning by comparing them to the cold, mud-dwelling dog faces.

The Wonkette author describes herself thusly;

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet.

So take her opinion(s) with the requisite weight they should be properly afforded. She has waded into this argument after Salon.com jumped into it as part of a political character assassination against Senator Cotton. The Trump supporting politician seems to be getting swept up in the anti-Trump purge. Nothing revealed about Cotton by Salon isn’t known. Hell, it’s all in his Wikipedia article.

Cotton graduated law school and went to work at a NYC firm. He left that to join the Army on active duty in 2004. He didn’t go into the JAG Corps as most lawyers would, he became an infantry officer. With the 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (the same regiment featured in the famous Band of Brothers book and TV mini-series) he deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and a meritorious Bronze Star Medal.

After that, Cotton volunteered to serve with the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard” at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. The Old Guard provides the honor guard for funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as provide honor guards for visiting dignitaries and supporting the overall mission of the military in the D.C.-area.

After leaving the service, Cotton went into politics. He first won a seat at the House of Representatives in 2013 and moved to the Senate two years later, a position he was just reelected to with 2/3rds of the vote. If he thought the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents were bad, he hadn’t offended the militant political left.

Category: Army, Liberals suck, Politics, Ranger, Veterans in politics

Comments (145)

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  1. 5JC says:

    Hmm, that article has some lies in it.

  2. Hondo says:

    Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, . . . .

    She’s entitled to her opinion about herself. I’m entitled to mine.

    My opinion is that she’s an ignorant ditz and should keep her mouth shut concerning issues about which she quite obviously knows nothing.

    • MarineDad61 says:

      She left 1 obvious key word out of her self description.

      • Ret_25X says:

        You knew she was a land whale from her self description.

        No normal person would call themselves “visually stunning”.

        But she does, in fact, “stun”…as in “I’m stunned she can walk.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Horse’s ass? Jackass? Why am I insulting animals…?

      What a dork!!!!

    • Stacy0311 says:

      When she says “visually stunning” I think she means people are stunned when they see someone that fat is actually ambulatory and not transported by a flatbed truck.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Hey, being a size 28 ain’t easy! You have to figure out which way to turn when you walk through a doorframe. It ain’t easy!

        • KoB says:

          Somebody needs to put something in her mouth to shut her daphuque up!

          IDC SARC to the House White Courtesy Phone, you may be needed here.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      I’m just a dumb squid and my only knowledge of Ranger training is a documentary I saw on it.

      I seem to remember that the first thing that candidates are introduced to is a pit or a sandbox or whatever (what do you Army guys call it?). Jump into the pit for an endless session of PT.

      I really think that Pennacchia needs to be introduced to this bit of training mosh skosh rikki tik. We’ll see how long she lasts and whether she still calls Ranger School a “clown school”.

      I give her about a minute before she turns into a blubbering piece of fat.

  3. jhstoney says:

    I just want to echo Ranger Rick Merritt’s comments. He was my first squad leader back in 3/75 and I have never seen a better NCO. I am glad to hear he still lives by what he preached back then.

    Tab or scroll, still a Ranger, some just practiced while others played in the game.

    • MI Ranger says:

      I do not know Merritt, but that explains it…tended to stay away from Ft. Benning unless there was a Rendezvous. I would like to clarify one error he stated in his comment though “He will always be a Ranger”, it is possible that should a Ranger egregiously fail to live up to the Ranger Creed, his Tab can be revoked by the Regimental Commander! I have seen it done on one occasion (and followed through on), and I saw it acted upon when I was a Ranger (in 1/75) but not followed through by the Regimental Commander. The time it was not followed through on, a 1LT was leading troops during a live fire, and attempted to maneuver into direct fire supporting fire. Thankfully the 1SG observed what was happening and called cease fire! The 1LT was stripped of his Tab and Scroll on sight, by the Battalion Commander and sent to Fort Stewart (24th Infantry DIV at the time). I saw him a few years later and he was wearing his tab. I asked him what happened and he said on appeal to the Regimental Commander is was determined he lived up to the Code, but was still released from the Regiment.

      I would echo Merrit’s comments though! Who are this Robyn Pennacchia and Roger Sollenberger to comment what qualifies to be a Ranger and what does not?! I could more easily state they are not journalists than they have the authority to deny Senator Cotton is not a Ranger!
      I would say Jason Crow’s biography is more ambiguous than Senator Tom Cotton’s. It says he was enlisted as a Ranger, and then was a PL in Iraq during OIF (2003), but lists his dates of service as 2002-2006. They seem to be missing his enlisted time (when he was a Ranger…in peace time) [like me].

      • MI Ranger says:

        Ok, correction on that. I was mixing up different wikapedia pages. Crow was never enlisted and only served as a PL in the 82nd and then as a PL in the 75th RGR RGT in OEF, until he resigned his commission after he got promoted to CPT.
        He never had to train endlessly and not deploy (or pseudo deploy) like me.

  4. AW1Ed says:

    He graduated and was tabbed, so the opinion from this admittedly nautical type is he’s a Ranger. I also suspect had he served a tour in the 75th as well, there are some who say one is not “really” a Ranger without a combat jump.
    The brain-dead media would use that, then.

    • rgr769 says:

      Cotton readily admits he did not serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment. He never said he did. After his combat tour as a PL in Iraq he was assigned to the Old Guard as a PL, then Big Green sent him to A-Stan for 11 months. I doubt as an LT he had much say in where he went. Back in my day, Infantry branch and every AG officer making my assignments could have cared less where I wanted to go. Those dream sheets were nothing but PR.

      • Ret_25X says:

        Heck, sometimes LTCs don’t have much say in where they go.

        All I know, is tab or scroll = Ranger.

        IMO, Ranger may be the “topmost” qualification in the Army for CA soldiers.

        However, “everyone” is not getting the chance to go to either the school or the regiment.

        So for me, Rangers get a head nod, tabbed or scrolled. Just like EIB, CIB, anyone who rode Bradleys or Abrams, or anyone who jumped out of airplanes.

        I mean, if you can’t respect those things, what can you respect?

  5. Daisy Cutter says:

    Ms. Pennacchia failed to address whether Cotton wore the right color beret or not.

    • MarineDad61 says:

      Daisy Cutter,
      Good question.
      However, a Congressman Ranger addressed this.
      And military dot com printed it.
      No mention of the Congressman Ranger on this page,
      so I’ll leave this here.

      • Hondo says:

        With all due respect to the representative, that is NOT the general consensus in the Army. The general consensus in the Army is that if one has either completed Ranger school OR served in the 75th Ranger Regiment one is entitled to call themselves a Ranger (I got corrected on that issue some years ago regarding an article relating to another individual). The question at that point becomes “tab or scroll” to determine how that status was acquired.

        The “esteemed” Congressman almost certainly knows all of that, too. Ergo, in questioning Sen. Cotton’s qualifications IMO he’s simply grandstanding for political purposes and/or to make himself look better.

        • My, My, My says:

          I seem to recall reading a similar article and agree regarding Regiment and/or Ranger School.

          However, I think the article stated the individual had to serve at least a year in Regiment. I may be incorrect, and cannot find the article again.

          Is that what you read?

        • RGR 4-78 says:

          This whole issue is nothing more than attack on Trump supporters in advance of his current impeachment.

          If Sen. Cotton had not been such an ardent Trump supporter this issue would never have been raised.

          • MarineDad61 says:

            RGR 4-78,
            then again, no one went after George W. Bush
            for being a carousing AWOL 1LT Air National Guard pilot,
            until the 2004 RE-election campaign.
            How did that slip past 2000?

            • RGR 4-78 says:

              In 2000 they thought they had him beat. By 2004 they were digging for dirt.

            • rgr769 says:

              Well, you have just shown your true colors here. The mask is off.

              • MarineDad61 says:

                Since you are (once again) answering with your own politics, and not with the facts….
                Here, go enjoy yourself a little Snopes.

                Btw, is it me, or is it that you wouldn’t know a GOP registered Trump voter (twice) if he bit you in the ass with some basic truth (about shaky Republicans)?

                As I’ve said for 29 years
                (about Democrats),
                they need to be willing to throw their own turds under the bus.

                Did Sen. Tom Cotton Falsely Claim to be an ‘Army Ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq’?
                Are “Ranger qualified” troops allowed to call themselves “Army Rangers”?

                Sen. Tom Cotton falsely claimed to serve as a U.S. Army Ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq.

                • rgr769 says:

                  You just proved my point with that link to Snopes. Snopes is for dopes. They were citing the Dan Blather lies as true back in the day, before all the documents were irrefutably proved as forgeries.

                • USMC Steve says:

                  Snopes is horseshit. On any political matter, they have been proven to be lying for social democrats/liberals every single time. They have no credibility at all.

            • Green Thumb says:

              Dan Rather lied.

        • USMC Steve says:

          So are you saying he is not a Ranger in your eyes, or just that he has no right to tell anyone he is?

        • rgr769 says:

          Correctamundo. I pointed all this out in my replies to MarineDad61’s comments pushing Congressrat Crow and Progda’s attack on Senator Cotton. These attacks against Cotton are entirely motivated because he was a Trump supporter and objected to PA’s violations of its own election statutes.

          • MarineDad61 says:

            I am a Trump supporter, and I objected to PA’s violations of its own election statutes.
            I live in PA. (ding!)

            In reality, NONE of that matters
            in the discussion of Sen. Cotton.

            But don’t let that keep you from turning on a veteran, because you disagree with an opinion,
            largely due to your own political bent.

            • rgr769 says:

              I disagree because you are wrong. I ought to know, as I have a Ranger Tab, a CIB, was an Infantry Officer before I became a Special Forces Officer, and I am a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment Assn, as I served in in combat in a Ranger Company in Vietnam. I guess so far as you are concerned, everyone with similar experience and qualifications, like the former CSM of the 75th Ranger Regt., is wrong. So tell us about your massive quals as an Army veteran to opine on this. Cuz saying someone is “not a Ranger” because they didn’t serve in one of the battalions in the 75th is just Progda bullshit.

              I recall being the demonstration subject for mustard agent (HD) because I was the only “Ranger” in the CBR class. I still have the scar on my forearm.

              Better yet, show up at an annual Ranger Rendezvous and tell men from my cohort that were Ranger instructors, but didn’t ever serve in the 75th Regt’s battalions (cuz they didn’t yet exist) that they are not “Rangers.” But be prepared for the beatdown.

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    “So take her opinion(s) with the requisite weight they should be properly afforded.” – article

    Her ‘opinions” are based on vainglorious ignorance and the notion that she’s “special”, or something, when she isn’t. She’s trying to pick a fight over nothing in someone else’s back yard, across the alley.

    She could contribute quite a bit to the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere and reducing global warming by getting her mouth sewn shut.

    • USMC Steve says:

      Judging by that photo, there is quite a lot of weight to be afforded. At least to her. Don’t even drop any food on the deck around her or you are likely to get plowed under when she goes for it.

  7. penguinman000 says:

    My favorite part of that article is how she glosses over completing Ranger school. It’s a school open to anyone, therefore it’s easy.

    Selection for the Delta is also open to anyone. Guess that’s easy too.

    Guess since the veteran community has been eating it’s own it was inevitable civilians would start weighing in on topics they have no knowledge of.

  8. Jay says:

    “Anyone can go to clown school. I could go to clown school. You could go to clown school. But if you never actually work as a clown or register myself as a clown by painting your clown face on an official clown egg at the clown registry, can you truly call yourself a clown?”

    By the same lines of logic: “Anyone can be a woman. I can be a woman. YOU can be a woman. Anyone can CLAIM to be a woman. But unless you can actually grow a life inside you and expel it from you….can you truly CALL yourself a woman?”

    Or is that just too offensive? As to Senator Cotton: The guy graduated the course and got tabbed. He never spouts off about tails of danger doing and door kicking righteousness. He just states he’s a Ranger. Salon magazine can get fucked. I’ll defer to the opinions of CSM Wright over some wonk at a twink magazine.

    RLTW…and so does Sen. Cotton.

    • Mason says:

      Reading your comment made me think of a better parallel.

      Anyone can go to medical school. I could go to medical school. You could go to medical school. But if you never actually work as a doctor or become a board certified surgeon, can you truly call yourself “doctor”?

      With the rigor of completing a EdD at a prestigious university like one in Delaware….

      • Jay says:

        Or demand others refer to you as “Doctor”?

        But I defer to the superior parallel.

        • MarineDad61 says:

          Mason & Jay,
          Perfect spot for a Seinfeld bit.

          Ben – “I’m not really a doctor.”
          Elaine – “Then I’m not really attracted to you.”
          Elaine – “Can I introduce you as ‘Doctor’?”
          Ben – “Yeah.”
          Elaine – “All right. That’s all I wanted to know.”

          Classic not quite a doctor.

      • 5JC says:

        Mason, the answer to your question is 100% yes for medical doctors. The term Doctor is an academic honorarium granted by a school, not an indication of what they do for a living.

        Medical Doctors differentiate themselves with the term “Physician” after completing residency to indicate they are no longer merely a doctor. This is a huge indicator that most people don’t pick up on. Note that the career Physician Assistant is called that, not Doctor Assistant.

  9. A Proud Infidel ®™️ says:

    Here’s my two cents’ worth, ANY IDIOT can put on a costume and call themselves an Actor or Actress and I offer the manifold moonbat ditzes as evidence!

    • A Proud Infidel® says:

      Correction: “… the manifold moonbat ditzes in Hollywierd…”
      A Proud Infidel®™️ needs to do a better job of proofreading before hitting the “Post” button!

    • Green Thumb says:

      Or a SEAL as is the case of the False Commander “Phony” Phil Monkress (CEO of All-Points Logistics).

  10. Green Thumb says:

    I do not blame a clown for being a clown anymore.

    I blame myself for going to the circus.

    Ranger Class 6-00.


  11. Only Army Mom says:

    It is a diagnosable condition, but there are more common lay terms for what ails Ms. Wonkette. I won’t name her both because I love that and since she lives on the internet, won’t contribute to her online presence.

    She coulda been on Broadway, except she chose not to go that route. Because don’t you know, all it takes is a smidgen of the talent she believes she has in abundance. So of course she denigrates other’s accomplishments, particularly those she knows nothing about or knows she would never be capable of achieving.

    Not as a harsh opinion or judgement, but I too thought only those who were scrolled could be rightly referred to as Rangers. A couple of the SNCO’s I know are tabbed not scrolled, and state that is why they do not refer to themselves as Rangers.

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      “So of course she denigrates other’s accomplishments…”

      24K Projection like what we see from a certain Moonbat from UC Berzerkely!

    • MI Ranger says:

      True Only Army Mom, most SNCOs who have been to Ranger School but did not additionally volunteer to join the Regiment will say they are Ranger Qualified only, not Rangers. Only Officers tend to grandstand on saying they are Rangers, because in order to make it to CPT in the Infantry you are required to attend and graduate from Ranger School.
      It would be like a person that works for the FBI to say they are an Agent! Not unless you specifically carry their credentials! Or someone that works for the Central Intelligence Agency to say they are an Agent (at which time they would get called in to for a “Polly” and they would ask him what country they are working for?)[sorry insider joke]!

      • Only Army Mom says:

        MI Ranger
        exactly. Not to disparage the many fine TAH deplorables who attained Officer rank, or those with whom I am personally acquainted (and are equally deplorable), but puffery does seem more common amongst those with jewelry on their uniforms. It also seems rare amongst those who were prior enlisted.

        Like those who get a doctorate that is not medical who insist on being called “Dr.”. If you have a PsyD or a EdD, particularly from an institution that operates primarily online, it is pretentious at best to insist on being called “Dr.” outside of your clinical practice or role as an educator/administrator. I had a few PsyD’s as professors and it was a telling moment when they would correct students who called them “Professor”. Equally telling were those who didn’t have the PsyD or EdD who corrected student with, “Nope, just Professor”.

        I feel this Ranger Qualified vs Ranger is very much the same. But, to be fair, saying “Ranger Qualified” to most civilians fails to convey what it means to be able to say “Ranger Qualified”. This…”person” Ms. Wonkette is a case in point.

        • rgr1480 says:

          I feel this Ranger Qualified vs Ranger is very much the same. But, to be fair, saying “Ranger Qualified” to most civilians fails to convey what it means to be able to say “Ranger Qualified”

          Yeah, I just tell them I only graduated Ranger School. That seems to be enough.

          (I do wear a lapel pin … so the subject sometimes comes up)

        • MI Ranger says:

          Only Army Mom,
          As a former NCO and Officer I would say it is not about the bling, but about the process that got you there. The mentality of earning the money you make as compared to having it handed to you (Old Money compared to Self Made Millionaire).

          However, your comparison with academic degrees is unfair, since the Doctorate and PhD existed in academic circles before their were doctors of Medicine (MD). The snobberies of academics will always exist, and since they are looking down upon you for daring to question their qualifications (by not addressing them as such) it would be well of you to respect their proclivities if you want something from them…if not keep poking the bear!

          I say this as I experienced the same when I was in the Regiment. I injured my back during a jump and got sent home from Pre-Ranger when it was discovered I had two herniated disks which were being aggravated by the activities we were doing (nice way of saying extreme physical exercise meant to smoke you). I did not get to go to Ranger School (until later). Rangers were expected to call anyone who had a Tab by their rank and the rest by the term Ranger. Some young Specialists who had been able to compete Ranger School but had not yet been promoted to Sergeant (it was automatic once they went to the NCO board as the Tab qualification maxed out your points) were upset that I was not giving them their due respect when I was on CQ (Charge of Quarters) duty. CQ was the guy that spent 24hr duty at the desk to the barracks and went to find people if chain of command called the barracks (or friends and family at night).
          Instead of confronting me, like a normal person, they felt it necessary to jump me downtown after they were drinking and let their girlfriends kick me while I was held down. If you read my comment above, you will note I mentioned some people that had their right to wear a Ranger Tab revoked… well they exited the Regiment and Army shortly thereafter. While I was not vindictive, their NCOs and Officers recognized that you should not beat a person trying to recover on a profile who manages all the funds for the unit and can have undue influence on which unit gets money to buy toilet paper and other necessities at the end of the month. Not to mention it was not in keeping with the Ranger Creed.

      • Hondo says:

        Well, MI Ranger, there is also that and the pesky fact that there aren’t that many IN commissioned officer billets in the entire Ranger Regiment. Needs of the Army dictates that most new IN officers will be sent elsewhere; it also guarantees that only a relative handful of IN officers will ever serve in the Ranger Regiment.

        Last time I checked, a soldier (whether officer or enlisted) can only request a particular assignment. However, DA cuts assignment orders based on needs of the Army – and last time I checked, once issued compliance with orders wasn’t exactly optional.

        • rgr769 says:

          It has always been very difficult for tabbed infantry officers to get assigned to any 75th Inf. Regt. unit. This was true even back in those Viet of the Nam Times. I tried to get a slot three times to join three different Ranger Companies. I was finally selected as a Ranger company CO by our
          Division CG and G-2 out of about a dozen CPT’s. But I had to extend my tour by three months. It was well worth it, as it was the coolest job I had in the RVN.

          • MI Ranger says:

            Hondo and RGR769,
            Agree with both your comments. There are a lot more NCO billets than Officer (all Regiment Officer and NCO billets are coded V (Airborne Ranger)) just like the rest of the Army. You can volunteer (DA4187) to go to the Regiment and must be selected to get there (go through an assessment). DA will not just send you to Regiment…they actually have recruiters that go out and talk to folks to get them to volunteer (like cooks, mechanics, and PAC clerks). The NCOs are required to go to Ranger School and I remember our legal clerk held the record for longest time at Ranger School (over a year) after he made SGT, and the senior PAC clerk is the only person I ever heard of “not completing” all of the RIP requirements and still going to a BN. They tried to work with him for two years before they finally sent him back to the Army for not meeting their requirements (not V qualified). The guy just could not road-march.

      • 5JC says:

        MI Ranger, not so much on the FBI example. A better example might be if someone completed the FBI training academy but never became an agent for whatever reason.

        The FBI has many training programs for non-agents.

        • MI Ranger says:

          5JC, you are correct that the comparison is not the same. Since a Ranger assigned to the Regiment is still a Ranger regardless of whether he was able to attend Ranger School (though it is required to be an NCO or Officer). I myself fell in to that category until I was able to attend Ranger School on my way out (probably the first and won’t likely to happen again thanks to two none Infantry types that tried to follow my path and failed).

          Yes, the FBI and other agencies have lots of people that work for them but are not sworn Agents or Case Officers.

  12. David says:

    Salon, along with Grio, Quartz, and various others, would be called Marxist rags were they print.

    One would think someone should point out to this “fabulous” (read: fat) cow that compared to the millions who served, specops folks are the Tony/Oscar winners. Hats off to ye!

  13. LC says:

    This came up just a few months ago here, too:

    • RGR 4-78 says:

      Has been a topic of discussion probably since before I served and quite possibly since before I was born.

      • Claw says:

        Just to put a date on it, the Ranger Tab (8455-253-5978) was approved for wear by the Army Chief of Staff on 30 October 1950.

    • Mason says:

      Thanks LC. I knew we had talked about it recently, but I couldn’t find it last night while writing this up.

  14. justplainjason says:

    Tom Cotton is an asshole. I have no strongly held opinions on the scroll vs tab rangers. I just drove a truck.

    • USMC Steve says:

      Seriously, go fuck yourself. You are becoming tiresome, and contribute little so far. And your opinion is not necessary. You and Lars should get together and screw each other in the ass. Enjoy your bogus president, and all he does to you in the name of progressivism and stupidity.

  15. Martinjmpr says:

    I have to ask a question of the group here, though: Do you extend the same courtesy to those who are not Republicans?

    Because I have heard other military members mock or denigrate the service of tabbed Rangers like Jason Crow, simply because Crow is a Democrat.

    Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. I never went to Ranger school and have nothing but respect for those who did and who wear the tab, ditto for those who served in the Regiment, whether tabbed or not.

    But lets at least be consistent. In my opinion, Cotton is entitled to call himself a Ranger, as is Crow. As is, for that matter, ret. Gen Shinseki, who also wore the tab and earned unmitigated derision from this board (among others) for his decision to adopt the black beret Army-wide.

    • USMC Steve says:

      I doubt Shinseki got crap for being a ranger, rather for his efforts to fuck up the Army, which he did rather well I think the beret nonsense was just the most publicized but it also defined him, as an incompetent who was all about political correctness, rather than combat efficiency. I would suspect the hate that Crow gets is for being a fuck up and a dem and aiding and abetting in turning America into another third world shithole. Given the Ranger ethos and creed, his aligning himself to the social democrat party is even more egregious and unforgivable.

      • Green Thumb says:

        I wonder whatever happened to that E-4 who ordered all of those Chinese made berets?

        What a goat fuck that was. And what a goat fuck SGM of the Army Jack Tilley was as well. Turd.

        • 3/17 Air Cav says:

          Green Thumb……..I went school with Jack Tilley. How in the hell he ended up being the Sgt Major of the Army is beyond me. Back in the day he was a little hood, and a complete asshole!

        • timactual says:

          But it was an EMERGENCY! It was of critical importance those berets were available in time for the Army’s birthday. Morale would have suffered, otherwise! And American sources weren’t available because all the high-tech beret technology had been sent to China.

    • OWB says:

      I have no problem with applying the same standards to everyone. Those who do not are using something other than standards.

      I will leave it to you Army types to sort this one out. I don’t appreciate anyone who claims service they did not perform. I, as others, are led to jump to a wrong conclusion when we discover that “I was a Ranger” can mean “I was trained but never actually served as a Ranger.” Why not simply say the latter instead of implying more by using the first?

      Oh, well. Everyone who served during Vietnam can have “Vietnam” on their headstone. I won’t because I don’t want anyone who looks at it down the road thinking that I served IN Vietnam. I didn’t.

      • Daisy Cutter says:

        You can always get them to engrave “VIETNAM TIMES” – I hear that’s trending. 😉

      • timactual says:

        I can claim to have attended Ranger school multiple times. Not as a student, though. My unit supported the Ranger school, among others. I did manage to steal some of that Ranger training, though. Enough to earn at least the RA part (you have to be real old to get that one). We did manage to get more food and sleep, although I still lost some weight. I did the hunger and sleepless part in other units.

        • Mason says:

          I was once sent by my civilian employer to some training in Long Beach. Since this is right next to Coronado, I liked to tell people we were “trained by SEALs.” 😉

  16. Andy says:

    It is of my opinion that if one is Air Assault, Airborne, or Ranger badged or tabbed that they are indeed qualified. The o ly difference is that they are currently in a unit that requires such qualification, therefore, qualified is the same as being. Like I said, this is my opinion and you can agree with or you can be wrong.

  17. I guess now I will Cotton up to Cotton about his Ranger status.

  18. Poetrooper says:

    All ol’ Poe knows is that back in 1959 when I was a brand-new, eighteen-year-old paratrooper, we referred to any NCO or officer wearing the tab as an “Airborne Ranger” and I don’t believe there were any Ranger-designated battalions operational at that time. I certainly don’t recall seeing many scrolls, a few from WWII and the Ranger companies that fought in Korea, yet we used the title “Ranger” routinely, and quite respectfully, too, in referring to tabbed soldiers.

    In my post-military, civilian career I called on Ranger doctors and PA’s at the Ranger Schools at Benning, Dahlonega and Eglin as well as have those at the 75th Ranger Regiment at Benning and down in Savannah at Hunter AAF, and never even thought about differentiating among them as to their status as Rangers.

    They have always, ALL, been Rangers to this old once-upon-a-time Airborne Infantry NCO, who in his professional dealings with his military clients always paid very close attention to proper protocol and nomenclature, knowing how important that was to my acceptance and success.

    Think about this: Are those who operate the Ranger Schools not called Ranger Cadre? Do you suppose they don’t consider themselves Rangers simply because they’re not assigned to the Regiment?

    Anybody here or at Salon care to tell them they’re not?

    • Poetrooper says:

      “…as well as those at the 75th…”

    • Dave Hardin says:

      I never realized we had Paratroopers jumping out of Hot Air Ballons, who would have thunk it.

      So much has changed since those Right fellows came along.

      (said with a loud voice for the hard of hearing)

      • rgr769 says:

        The Brits were still doing balloon jumps in 1969. I was all chuted up to do one, but the fog layer at the DZ caused it to be cancelled. The British Army was doing them as a cost saving measure, according to our jumpmaster Color Sgt.

        • Dave Hardin says:

          That is something most do not know. I wonder how many can jump out of one at the same time.

          • rgr769 says:

            One at a time through a hatch in the bottom of the gondola. They say it is creepy because you have a sense of falling one doesn’t experience going out the jump door of a moving aircraft. I don’t recall how many men the jumpmaster said fit in the gondola. The balloon is on a winch which lowers it to load each stick.

        • Green Thumb says:

          Scotts as well.

      • Poetrooper says:

        Dave, between you and Lars, poor ol’ Poe’s the Rodney Daingerfield of TAH…😜

    • SteeleyI says:

      Another great point that leads to a lot of confusion.

      We had separate Ranger companies in Korea, but they were all deactivated before Vietnam. So, for a while we had Ranger School but no official Ranger units.

      In Vietnam we initially had provisional LRRPs that were eventually redesignated as separate lettered companies of the 75th Infantry (Ranger). These formed the basis for the modern Ranger battalions.

      Meanwhile, divisions formed provisional LRS detachments, some of whom traced their lineage to the Vietnam Ranger companies. These were officially organized in the ’80s- the 82nd LRSD in the Grenada invasion was a provisional unit at the time.

      So, there are official Ranger units, provisional Ranger units, LRS units that have Ranger lineage, and everything in between.

      If you recall, this was the source of the controversy over David Hackworth’s eligibility to wear the Ranger tab- he was ‘awarded’ the tab on the basis of combat service in a provisional ‘Raider’ company, which turned out to be unauthorized, even though he had in fact served in a Ranger company but did not earn the CIB during that tour.

  19. Commissar says:

    Fuck this debate again.

    He was a ranger qualified officer who served in combat. He did not serve in combat as a ranger.

    A semantic distinction but one he knows how to navigate accurately. And he should do so.

    Still, for a far right asshat he has more integrity than most of his ilk. And more integrity than the entire MAGA movement.

    • SFC D says:

      There it is, boys and girls. The discussion is over. The Commissar has made his decision, uttered his decree, and it shall be so. Hear and obey, peasants!

      • rgr769 says:

        I wondered when he would show up and enlighten us about things he never accomplished, since he was a leg REMF.

        • Commissar says:

          I was neither a leg or a REMF.

          And what I wrote was accurate,

          • Skyjumper says:

            “I was neither a leg or a REMF”

            And yet, you still were never awarded a CAB.

            Care to regail us with your daring-do tales of heroism again, Mr. “five-jump chump”?

            Why don’t you go play in the corner with your medic bag and practice giving yourself suppositories…..
            as usual.

            • timactual says:

              “They also serve who only stand and ‘bate”.

              (apologies to John Milton)

            • Commissar says:

              Not five. Not even close.

              The fact that I was not awarded my CAB was an administrative error.

              There is a command sergeant major, who has direct knowledge of my service in Iraq that wants to make sure I get awarded it but, honestly, it is not much of a priory for me this long after the fact.

            • OldManchu says:

              He tackled a terrorist once. True story.

          • OldManchu says:

            You couldn’t lead Infantry beyond 1LT because you didn’t have your Ranger Tab.

            • Green Thumb says:

              Still the same more or less.

              Tabless CPT’s get HHC or maybe D Co (if they have anti-armor experience). You might make Major if you have some salad, but that is it.

    • MarineDad61 says:

      I’ve been waiting months to plop this 10 hour song where it fits.
      you have a way of sounding almost correct,
      and then turning it into leftwingnut Trump Derangement Syndrome.
      Enjoy yourself some Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop.
      10 hours worth.
      Because you earned it.

    • Sarge says:

      The Cocksucker in Chief has spoken.

    • Commie-Tsar says:


    • Ret_25X says:

      Thank you for your half witted assessment, Dumbkopf.

      Now sit your REMF ass down and be quiet while the professionals discuss this.

      You are an insufferable blow hard, lying, asshat.

      That you believe you are in a position to comment on whether anyone is a liar or not is an amazing indication of your complete lack of self awareness.

      Now sit down and shut your pie hole.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hey, got tabbed… next issue!

  21. stoutguy says:

    If all politicians miltary service claims were scrutinized equally I would have no problems with the viewpoint made. Why not also bring up Vietnam Era vs Vietnam Vet? Or what about disabled veteran vs service connected disabled? What happened to researched articles? I dislike the multitude of opinion articles being passed around researched articles. Or I am more disappointed that they are being passed along as researched articles?
    As a non combat MOS former soldier, I have a problem calling myself a combat soldier even though I served in several combat zones. Some say you aren’t a combat soldier without a CIB or the new CAB. But I served before CAB was a thing.
    Prior to serving in Somalia I respected the CIB over the EIB. After Somalia I tended to have more respect for those who earned the EIB over those with CIB. Same might be said of an opinion that finishing Ranger school is more respectful than being in Ranger Regiment. Or do you have to have a Ranger Regiment combat patch? I’m sure there are Ranger qualified, served in Ranger Regiment, but deployed with a unit other than a Ranger Regiment. Is saying combat Ranger stolen valor?
    Will the combat patches soldiers wear be scrutinized next? I still don’t know the rule of what combat patch a soldier should or could wear. I guarantee most wear the one that is most respected or prestigious.

    • MarineDad61 says:

      Combat shoulder patch is theater unit, not MOS nor duty.
      I don’t believe anyone here argues combat (unit) shoulder patches.
      Yes, 1 word makes a big difference.
      I am combat zone veteran, not combat veteran.
      Even members of my own unit pulled the embellishment on this one,
      and some have turned to bullshit stories of action that never happened.
      Others chronicled here (Les Brown from Elko, Nevada comes to mind)
      use and abuse this distinction,
      and pull the fleece on those around them.
      Worse, Les Brown wasn’t even a combat zone veteran.
      Unless guarding a base and drinking beer in Germany is somehow combat.

      • Poetrooper says:

        “Unless guarding a base and drinking beer in Germany is somehow combat.”

        Well, it was in the mid-40’s…😉

        • MarineDad61 says:

          It was 1991.
          We’re talking about Les Brown,
          of the Elko POW*MIA Awareness Asses,
          the Desert Storm Times Veteran,
          he of the phony badass black leather vest,
          with DSV 4 ribbon patches,
          CIB pins and patches,
          bird Colonel on his cap,
          and combat shoulder patch on his schoolchildren hugging BDUs.
          Perhaps why NO ONE would write his obituary.
          (Just checked.)

      • timactual says:

        Having done a tour in Germany I can tell you that with all the fine beer, wine, and other fine potables, along with schnitzels, wurst and other yum-yums, the “Battle of the Bulge” was a real tussle. Got a bad case of PDSD there (Post Dramatic Stress Disorder).

      • stoutguy says:

        When in Somalia, I fell under CENTCOM. The CENTCOM patch was tan and brown, even on BDUs. I had my share of harassers telling me I had an unauthorized color combat patch on my BDUs for many years after that. Makes me think if I ever became a politician a person with no firsthand knowledge of the military could call something like that stole valor . That is what’s going on with this story.

    • steeleyI says:

      Soldiers can wear any combat patch they are authorized to wear (just not all at once).

      The policy is actually pretty broad- there is no time requirement, and there are no orders issued (typically). That said, units will often have a combat patch award ceremony after being in theater 30 days.

      The ‘Combat Patch’ (technically Shoulder Sleeve Insignia- Former Wartime Service)policy is widely misunderstood and sometimes abused.

      Basically, guys were wearing multiple combat patches for the same deployment, usually favoring a unit they perceived to be ‘cooler’ than their actual unit.

      The Army has since cleaned this up, and Soldiers are only authorized one patch per deployment.

      As an example, a Soldier assigned to a NG BCT deploys to Iraq and the brigade is OPCON to the 82nd for 6 months, with the battalion cross attached to a 2ID BCT. Halfway through the deployment, 1st CAV RIP/TOAs with the 82nd as the Division HQ.

      The Soldier comes back and alternately wears four different combat patches. Not cool.

      • SteeleyI says:

        I stand corrected- as of February 24th 2021, it will be the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Military Operations in Hostile Conditions.

        Also, the Army Green uniform is in and the Expert Soldier Badge, Military Horsman Identification Badge, and Master Gunner Identification Badge are all authorized for wear.

        Oh, and men can wear clear nail polish, breastfeeding women can wear a special undershirt, and we can’t call a bad haircut faddish or eccentric anymore.

        • rgr769 says:

          Where do I get that Military Horseman badge, cuz I died with Custer four times at the re-enactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn in ‘99. I have more years in service as a horse soldier than anyone at Ft. Hood or TOG’s caisson platoon.

  22. Eric (the OC Tanker) says:

    I spent a lot of time running along tank trails in M60’s and M1’s at Ft Carson, Ft Knox, Ft Polk(X2) Ft Hood, Baumholder MTA, Graff MTA and Wildflicken MTA. I have spent many a day and night on fog watch (forgot the generator amd cord for the range fans) There for I hereby declare My self a Class A, Type 1 style II TANK RANGER!! (All shall tremble before the ‘running tank’)/s

    Driver, back up, displace to battle position 17. C-92 this is Red2, set, REDCON 1

  23. sbalm says:

    This just aired a few minutes ago – Senator Tom Cotton was asked about his military claims. Sorry for the quality. It was a matter of speed over quality.

  24. steeleyI says:

    To really understand this you have to understand why the Army has Ranger school and what it does with the graduates. Ranger school exists to produce Ranger qualified leaders for the Ranger regiment AND conventional units in order to spread the Ranger ethos in all units, especially the light infantry. It is often called the Army’s premier small unit leadership course.

    Army infantry officers are ‘highly encouraged’ to go to Ranger school as soon as they complete BOLC. Many of them will recycle at least once, and quite a few will recycle two or even three times because if they show up at a conventional unit like the 82nd they will not be given a rifle platoon.

    This is because Army infantry battalions have a certain percentage of the 11A (Infantry Officer) slots coded for a Ranger qualified officer, and units like the 82nd and 101st will have almost all Ranger qualified PLs and company commanders as well as a high percentage of NCOs.

    In addition, officers and NCOs don’t go straight to the regiment. They have to serve successfully in a conventional unit, then attend RASPII, and if selected they go to the regiment. NCOs can be ‘home grown’ within the regiment, but they have to complete both Ranger school and RASP II to serve as a leader.

    Even the battalion commanders have to have a successful conventional infantry battalion command- and pass RASP again- to command a Ranger battalion.

    The confusion also comes because Ranger school is unique among SOF training (i.e. SEAL, SF, PJ, Raider) in that it does not produce an MOS but rather a skill identifier. If a sailor goes to BUD/S, he (or she) comes out a SEAL. If a cook completes Ranger school, he is still a cook- a badass cook, but a cook nonetheless.

    That said, my experience has been that Ranger qualified Soldiers who have not been to regiment generally refer to themselves as Ranger qualified, not as Rangers, especially when talking to someone in the Army. However, they are Rangers- I think a Ranger qualified officer or NCO serving in a Ranger coded billet in an Infantry unit has a pretty good case to call himself a Ranger.

    I’ve never seen anyone correct a Ranger qualified Soldier who referred to themselves as a Ranger. Soldiers that served in the regiment but did not earn a tab call themselves Ranger.

    • Hondo says:

      I’ve never seen anyone correct a Ranger qualified Soldier who referred to themselves as a Ranger.

      Pretty much the same here.

      To amplify one point steeleyl makes above: circa 2011, Ranger School classes averaged around 366 individuals; there were 11 per year. The historical graduation rate has been 50% (the early 2010s had graduation rates closer to 40%). That means in recent years somewhere around 1,600 to 2,000 individuals likely graduated from Ranger School each year.

      There are only around 3,600 military positions in the entire 75th Ranger Regiment. Simple arithmetic says it’s impossible for all Ranger School graduates to serve in the 75th without causing a completely unacceptable degree of personnel turnover (around 50% per year).

      • Poetrooper says:

        Depend on Hondo to deliver the numbers…😁

      • rgr769 says:

        For clarification, one may complete and graduate Ranger School and not be awarded the tab. The non-tabbed survivors of my class have the same graduation certificate as the tabbed classmates. Anyway, that is how it was back in the 1960’s and ’70’s

        There are only about 26 to 30 officer slots in each Ranger battalion. So, if you include the Support Battalion and Regt. HQ, I would imagine less than 180 of that 3600 are commissioned officer positions.

        • Hondo says:

          It’s likely a bit more than that, rgr769. In the late 1980s – when the 75th had an authorized strength of 1,853 military personnel – there were 156 commissioned officer positions.


          However, that was before the Support Bn and numerous additional assets were added to the 75th to nearly double its size (nearly 3,600 military positions are authorized today). I’d guess somewhere around 250 to 300 commissoned officer billets exist in the 75th today. (MTOE authorization numbers aren’t as easy to find for units today, as DoD seems to make far less specific info of that type public today than it did 30 years ago.)

          Still, your basic point is correct: only a tiny fraction of the Army’s strength – whether officer or enlisted – is assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. The chances of getting assigned to that unit are pretty remote, even if one actively seeks same.

        • SteeleyI says:

          My battalion SIGO was one of those guys. He was Signal, branch detailed to Infantry, so he went to Ranger school right out of IOBC.

          He passed all his patrols with no bad spot reports, but was peered twice in Swamp phase (to be fair, he was a monumental prick), which meant that not only did he do Swamps twice, but he was also facing a Day One recycle- this is when they still had Desert Phase, by the way. At this point he said ‘screw it, I’m going Signal anyway’.

          So, he completed the course but not satisfactorily so no certificate, no tab.

          I had another buddy that completed the Q course but ‘cheated’ on the long walk. One of his classmates (who ‘cheated’ with him) turned him in as they were doing final evals in preparation for graduation.

          The commandant graciously offered him the opportunity to start over, but he declined…

  25. Poetrooper says:

    Wow, I’m impressed, Steeley: a clear concise explanation of the situation based on your considerable experiences and knowledge, without once sneering at a single troop.

    Keep it up–you’re clearly capable of contributing a lot of solid military information to TAH readers if you can just control your propensity to condescend.

    I like the sharp, informative Steeley.

    The sneering Steeley? Not so much…

  26. oldgeezer says:

    Maybe the press should spend as much time/resources with Blumenthal? They haven’t said shit about him ever even though he is a lying scum bag.

  27. Slow Joe says:

    Too many comments.
    Didn’t read them all, so maybe someone said this before.

    I don’t know what the hell the Army legally call Rangers, but on the practical side, there are several terms that are used:

    Graduated from the school: Ranger qualified.

    Serving in one of the bats, regardless of tab or scroll: Ranger. As in real Ranger.

    Tabbed and Scrolled, regardless of if still serving in a Ranger Battalion: Ranger, as in real Ranger.

    Served in a bat, got scrolled, but never earned the tab: “what the fuxk are you?” “Where is your tab?” “OMG, what the fux did you do over there?” ” Why the hell didn’t you get your tab?” Or some variation of it.

  28. Daisy Cutter says:

    Top Ex-Military Officials Defend Senator Tom Cotton Against ‘Absurd’ Hit Piece On His Military Career


  29. AW1Ed says:

    David sends us this link with more support for Senator Cotton.

    Former Ranger and SOCOM commander calls out Democratic congressman over ‘dumb’ military service spat with Sen. Tom Cotton
    Ryan Pickrell,David Choi

    A former head of US Special Operations Command weighed in on the debate over Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s service record.

    After an article called into question Cotton’s reported characterizations of himself as an Army Ranger, Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, a former Army Ranger, told him he shouldn’t call himself a Ranger.

    Retired Gen. Raymond Thomas, a former Ranger who commanded SOCOM, called the debate “dumb” and told Crow that he needs to focus on more important things.

    Yahoo Link

    Thanks, David.

  30. Poetrooper says:

    According to Salon, Cotton’s not a Ranger simply for completing Ranger School, yet that same site had no problem referring to the FEMALE graduates of that same program as guess what?

    Would you believe as RANGERS?????

    “Salon described the Ranger School’s first female graduates as “U.S. Army Rangers” and lists contributor Erik Edstrom as an “Army Ranger,” though he was not a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, according to his bio.”


    Hypocritical liberals once again–if it fits their social narrative it’s fine–if it doesn’t, it’s horrible dishonesty.