- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More than 2,500 have signed on to a petition that calls for only those in the 75th Ranger Regiment to don the tan beret — and nobody else.

“It’s one of those things that annoys battalion Rangers because we take so much pride in the tan beret,” said Patrick Nelson, a former Ranger who penned the petition on Change.org, The Army Times reported.

In it, he calls for only those who have gone through and successfully completed the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program — or the previously dubbed Ranger Indoctrination Program — to be allowed by military rule to wear the cap. Anyone who wants an assignment with the 75th Ranger Regiment and its three battalions has to go through RASP.

But currently, anyone assigned at the regiment and at the Ranger Training Brigade gets to wear the hat — and Mr. Nelson wants to limit that allowance and take away the rights of RTB soldiers who haven’t completed the specific Ranger program to wear the beret.

The Ranger Training Brigade runs Ranger School, but it’s completely unconnected to the 75th Ranger Regiment, Mr. Nelson said.

“The first thing I would say is it’s definitely not about taking anything away from RTB and what they do,” Mr. Nelson said, The Army Times reported. “I’m a graduate of Ranger School. I’m immensely proud of earning my Ranger tag. But that’s what you get when you go through Ranger School. When battalion Rangers go through RASP, our goal is to go to battalion, become a special operations Ranger. The symbol that we apply that is the tan beret.”

He also said the awarding of the tan beret is “a big moment” for RASP graduates, The Army Times reported.

Meanwhile, the 75th Ranger Regiment has distanced itself a bit from the hat flap.

“This is being done by an organization not affiliated with the 75th Ranger Regiment,” Lt. Col. Brian DeSantis, a spokesman for the regiment, told The Army Times. “It’s not something we’re behind or supporting.”

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