The 75th Ranger Regiment is the US Army's preeminent direct action raid force, and has the additional distinction of being the only continuously deployed unit in support of the Global War on Terror. American Ranger units have a storied history going back to the founding of our country.
In 2001 the black beret, the unofficial symbol of Ranger units since the 1970s, was authorized for wear Army-wide. The 75th Ranger Regiment switched to the tan beret, and it has since been the headgear associated with these elite soldiers. The tan beret has come to symbolize the modern Ranger and the sophisticated training, equipment, and tactics developed and honed over a decade of steady combat deployments.
The 75th Ranger Regiment is unique in that all of its members, including support personnel (intelligence analysts, cooks, mechanics, parachute riggers, etc.), must pass the same selection course as the infantry soldiers to earn assignment to a Ranger Battalion of the 75th Regiment. This is a point of pride in the unit, because it is unique when compared to other similar special operations units.
Support personnel in Army Special Forces Groups (Green Beret) are not graduates of the Q-Course. Support personnel in Navy Special Warfare units (SEALs/SWCCs) are not graduates of BUD/S or BCT. In all cases, the only people authorized to wear the distinctive headgear or insignia of the unit are the graduates of the respective selection programs.
When the switch to the tan beret occurred, the language specified that the beret was authorized for "all Ranger units." This included members of the Ranger Training Brigade (RTB), the unit responsible for administering the US Army's famed Ranger School. RTB is a wholly separate organization with no ties to the 75th. This is not a unit that deploys to combat, and its instructors and support personnel rarely come from or are later assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Due to the vague language in the order that authorized tan berets, soldiers who have not completed RASP wear the same headgear that the Rangers of the 75th Regiment earned by passing the official selection process.
This generation of Rangers that have only known combat deserve to have a truly distinct symbol of their dedication and sacrifice. The tan beret is that symbol. It is the symbol that we donned upon graduation of RASP (or RIP), it is the symbol we donned when we laid our fallen comrades to rest, and it is the symbol future Rangers will don as they continue the proud tradition of "Leading the Way."
We respectfully ask that the receipt and wear of the tan beret be limited only to those who have successfully graduated the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program or its predecessor, the Ranger Indoctrination Program.