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Ernst, Duckworth, Black, Cohen Advocate for WWII U.S. Army Ranger Congressional Gold Medal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators and combat veterans Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with U.S. Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Steve Cohen (D-TN), today introduced bipartisan legislation to award the U.S. Army Ranger Veterans of World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal.

“Each time I greet veterans visiting the World War II Memorial as part of an honor flight, I am reminded that the greatest generation is getting smaller every day. We cannot let another year go by without recognizing the sacrifices and heroic actions of these brave Army Rangers. While we can never say thank you enough for the impact and influence of the World War II Army Rangers, awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to these veterans is a small token of appreciation from a grateful nation,” said Senator Ernst.

“U.S. Army Rangers bravely wore the uniform of this great nation and participated in some of the most important battles of World War II,” Senator Duckworth said. “The impact and influence of these elite soldiers and the sacrifices they made to protect their fellow Americans cannot be overstated, and I’m proud to join Senator Ernst and Representatives Black and Cohen in pushing for these veterans to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.”

"I am proud to honor the brave volunteers of the Ranger Battalions who fought in some of the most important battles of World War II and trained at our own Camp Forrest in Tennessee. The service and sacrifices of America’s greatest generation helped make our nation the safest and most prosperous nation in the world. The Rangers played an integral role in seizing key terrain ahead of our allied forces and greatly contributed to America's success; they are heroes and their stories inspire us. We must do all we can to honor and thank them for their service," said Representative Black.

“I’m proud to sponsor the U.S. Army Rangers Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act and to pay tribute to the service of the battalions of Ranger light infantry commandos, many trained in Tennessee, that helped liberate North Africa, Europe and the Philippines in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. As the World War II generation grows smaller each day, it is right to acknowledge its sacrifices and give those remaining the thanks of a grateful nation,” said Representative Cohen.

Read the full text of the bill here.

Background on U.S. Army Rangers in World War II:

In World War II, the U.S. Army formed six all-volunteer Ranger Battalions and one provisional battalion. The initial concept of Ranger units drew both from the British method of using highly trained “Commando” units and the American military tradition of light infantry for scouting and raiding operations that went back to the 1700s. These brave soldiers participated in some of the most important battles of World War II.

Army Rangers served in some of the most important battles throughout World War II, including at the D-Day landing, the Sicily campaign and in the Philippines, where they liberated more than 500 prisoners of war from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.