Fort Benning, GA (March 31st, 2014) – Change is in the air at the Army’s elite special operations direct action raid force, the 75th Ranger Regiment. Since the inception of the modern Battalions, Rangers have prided themselves on not only meeting standards, but also consistently exceeding them. As the Army releases the updated AR 670-1 with new standards on appearance and grooming, the Regiment has responded in kind with new and higher standards of their own.
Included in the new regulation are increased hair length standards that effectively raise the Army’s sideburn length to that of the Regiments current haircut “Blue Book” standard. Not to be outdone, the Regiment has released a new policy letter stating that Rangers have thirty days to become compliant with the “new-old” standard: the “High and Tight”. The Regiment has not worn the high and tight since 2003, but Rangers will be filling barbershops every Sunday afternoon once again for a fresh haircut before the start of the workweek. One senior NCO from the 3rd Infantry Divisions ‘Warrior Leader Course’ was excited about the change, “After all these years of fighting the war, Rangers have lost sight of what is really important: discipline and standards. There is no better way to display that you have discipline and standards than to have a fresh high and tight! And frankly, I’m sick of seeing these guys show up to our NCOES course with their muscles and long hair!” Many Rangers did not share his enthusiasm though. One disgruntled Ranger remarked, “If we are being forced to return to these old standards, can we at least get the Ranger panties back?”
Despite the sudden return to the old haircut standard, that change pales in comparison to the second policy letter released, which sent shockwaves through the Ranger community. The new Army regulation lays out more strict rules on the wear of tattoos on soldiers. The Regiment, in an attempt to out-do the “Big Army”, has given their Rangers a new policy letter that states, “Rangers will not have any tattoos on their body regardless of their placement. Rangers who currently have tattoos have thirty days from the effective date of this letter to remove them, or face a release from the Regiment.”
Inquiries flooded the chain of command about the new policy letter, concerned about the vast majority of the Regiments Rangers who currently have tattoos – many covering entire limbs. The response? “We have hundreds of volunteers for the Regiment every month, we will simply replace those who refuse compliance.”
The change will no doubt result in many Rangers looking for employment elsewhere, and the announcement already has some dropping paperwork to do just that. “I never thought I would leave Regiment like this, but I think going to Civil Affairs will really compliment my extensive training in the art of shooting bad guys in the face.” One thing is for certain; change is on the horizon everywhere in the Army. One can only guess what additional changes will come as a result of the world becoming more safe and increasingly devoid of violence and foreign aggression.