Rangers Lead The Way!
Senator Ernst of Iowa has re-introduced bill S.1872 in the Senate to award the Congressional Gold Medal to all members of the WWII Ranger Battalions. Representative Jason Crow of Colorado has reintroduced a similar bill H.R.3577 in the House. There were at least seven West Point graduates in those WWII Ranger Battalions: COL Bill Darby ’33, who was the first WWII Ranger battalion commander; LTC Hank Mucci ’36; CPT Ralph Colby ’40; MAJ John Dobson ’39; LTC Robert Garrett ’41; CPT James Greene Jun ’43; and CPT John Raaen, Jr. Jan ’43 pictured.
The Congressional Gold Medal, when awarded, will be presented to all WWII Rangers collectively. This is an honor much deserved by these WWII Ranger veterans for their combat actions in all overseas theaters; for their six night-time assault landings; and for their recognition through eight Presidential Unit Citations. These are the Rangers who climbed the cliffs, neutralized the guns, and about whom President Reagan spoke in 1984 in his famous “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc” speech. These are the Rangers, led by COL Hank Mucci, who freed 516 Allied POWs at the Japanese Camp at Cabanatuan before they were to be executed.
These are the Rangers who led the way off of “Bloody Omaha” Beach and gave today's Rangers their motto of “Rangers Lead The Way!” There are only 19 known WWII Rangers still with us today out of the almost 7000 who volunteered to serve in WWII Ranger units, and one of these is MG (R) John Raaen, Jr., last member standing from the class of Jan ’43.