WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. Army Rangers Veterans of World War II, in recognition of their extraordinary service. All members of the World War II-era Ranger Battalions were volunteers, whose service contributed greatly to the military success of the United States and our Allies.
“The Army Rangers of World War II valiantly put their lives on the line, serving in some of the toughest conditions to bring us to victory,” Senator Hassan said. “These brave service members deserve to be recognized for their heroic actions, and I am proud that the Senate has passed this bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to these exemplary men. I urge my colleagues in the House to pass this bipartisan legislation without delay.”
“Army Rangers fought in some of the most challenging operations of World War II and helped to lay the groundwork for our modern special operations forces,” Senator Shaheen said. “The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow and the service and sacrifice of our World War II Ranger units certainly makes them deserving of such a distinction. I’m pleased the Senate passed this bipartisan bill to ensure they receive the recognition they’re due – our nation is forever in their debt.”
The first Army Ranger combat operations took place on August 19, 1942, when 50 Rangers took part in a raid on the French coastal town of Dieppe. Rangers went on to serve in major combat operations in both the European and Pacific Theaters. The units formed the basis of current day Army Ranger battalions.
Senators Hassan and Shaheen are committed to ensuring that veterans are properly recognized for their bravery. In December, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. Army’s 5307th Composite Unit, more commonly known as “Merrill’s Marauder’s.” The Merrill’s Marauder’s Congressional Gold Medal Act recognized the extraordinary service of nearly 3,000 U.S. Army Special Forces volunteers whose successful efforts to drive a much larger Japanese force out of Myanmar, then called Burma, in World War II proved critical to Allied success in the theater.