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Letter: The Most Elite of the Elite

To the Editor:

Your Sept. 28 story about Kevin Price, Dartmouth’s 31-year-old undergrad and walk-on varsity football player, is inspiring, and bravo to the college for admitting this veteran of the U.S. Army’s deservedly celebrated Rangers. One imagines the wisdom of former Dartmouth President Jim Wright at work here, and it’s reasonable to expect that Dartmouth will benefit every bit as much as Price and his family from their time in Hanover.

That said, one caveat: Your piece includes the opinion that the activity of the U.S. Army’s Ranger units “brings to mind the much-publicized raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, except that the Rangers don’t have nearly the preparation time or backup when they appear out of the night.”

Hmmm. Here’s another difference: The much-publicized raid on the bin Laden compound was conducted by our Naval Special Warfare Development Group, popularly known as Seal Team Six. Whereas your article refers to Ranger training graduation rates as being 50 percent, for SEALs it’s about half that. And of those who become SEALs, about one in 10 will succeed in joining Seal Team Six, and that by invitation. So it’s about 50 percent vs. 5 percent admittance rate. The Naval Special Warfare Development Group does intensive prep and includes backup when it has the opportunity because it’s sent on the most important missions; that’s due to its members’ extraordinary aptitude, training and skill.

God bless our U.S. Army Rangers; with the utmost respect for all members of our armed forces, I would suggest that the only really appropriate comparison to Seal Team Six in the U.S. military is the Army’s Delta Force. Rangers, great; Seal Team Six and Delta, greatest.

Chris Weinmann

Norwich

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