Originally created 03/20/01

Army's Mad Hatter

The U.S. Army leadership is acting like the "Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight." First, Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki ordered that the black beret, worn exclusively by the Ranger units, be issued to all soldiers as a way to prop up sagging morale.

Then, the Army ordered the new black berets be manufactured in Communist China.

Now, as if to demonstrate a complete lapse of judgment, the Army has backpedaled. Black berets will go to GIs, but Ranger units will now get to wear spiffy new tan berets.

Active Rangers take the ill-conceived decisions in stride. They publicly say it's not the beret that makes the soldier anyway; privately they feel disrespected. The tan beret is merely a booby prize to cover the mess created when Shinseki started the public relations debacle, and Rangers know it.

We have a new hat design for the clueless brass who came up with this Mad Hatter scheme: It's the shape of a cone and has the word "Dunce" inscribed on it.


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