WASHINGTON – On the heels of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, retired lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), is teaming up with her fellow female combat veteran, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), on bipartisan legislation to award the U.S. Army Ranger Veterans of World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal.

“Whether meeting Iowa veterans who are visiting the WWII Memorial as part of an honor flight or awarding a well-deserved service medal back home, I’m often reminded of the unparalleled courage and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. It’s time we recognize the sacrifices and heroic actions of our brave Army Rangers. And while we can never say thank you enough, awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to these veterans is a small token of appreciation from a grateful nation,” said Senator Joni 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, including D-Day 75 years ago last week,” 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 in pushing for these veterans to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.”

Read the full text of the bill here.

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

To help counter the growing threat of Nazi Germany, the U.S. military formed the 1st Ranger Battalion 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.

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.