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One of 10 draftees still in Army retires
Charleston Daily Mail ^ | today | staff

Posted on 03/29/2007 3:05:36 PM PDT by Rodney King

One of 10 draftees still in Army retires by By The Associated Press Print Story Email Story FORT BLISS, Texas -- Robert Rangel was a college student trying to "fly below the radar" when his draft number came up in 1967.

"I got caught," he said with a wide smile.

Caught, as it turns out, for 40 years.

Chief Warrant Officer Rangel was one of just 10 draftees still in the Army when he retired Wednesday, according to Fort Bliss officials. It was unclear whether the other draftees have served as long as Rangel; the draft ended in 1973.

Rangel, of El Paso, said the prospect of being drafted was terrifying after watching numerous friends "coming home in coffins."

But he opted to stay well beyond the required two-year hitch because "I started enjoying my job and the people I worked with."

He's been deployed to nine combat zones, from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf. Maj. Gen. Robert Lennox, the Fort Bliss commanding general, described Rangel as the "foremost expert" on air defense systems at the West Texas post, the current home of the Air Defense Artillery Center.

Michael Zaborowski, a retired lieutenant colonel who has known Rangel for more than a decade, said he has long been impressed by his dedication. "I did 20 years and I thought that was a lot," he said.

Rangel retired a few months before his 62nd birthday, when he would have been forced to do so under Army regulations.

His mother, who attended his retirement ceremony, was relieved the day had finally come. "That was a long time that I worried," Adelina Rangel said softly.

Rangel's years in the Army included more than 200 parachute jumps with a special forces unit in Vietnam and Cambodia, time in battle zones, a firsthand view of the crumbling of the Berlin Wall and a tour in the first Gulf War.

Now his priority is to take care of his mom and tackle some projects.

Tops on the list is restoring a 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury. He parked it in his mom's barn when he went off to basic training.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: american; hero
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I'm not an army guy, but don't they ever promote you if you have been in that long?
1 posted on 03/29/2007 3:05:37 PM PDT by Rodney King
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To: Rodney King
but don't they ever promote you if you have been in that long?

He was a Chief Warrant Officer.

2 posted on 03/29/2007 3:09:22 PM PDT by chesty_puller (USMC 70-73 3MAF VN 70-71 US Army 75-79 3d Inf Old Guard)
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To: Rodney King

El Paso Bump.


3 posted on 03/29/2007 3:09:46 PM PDT by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG-49) Freedom's Fortress)
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To: Rodney King

Makes me scratch my head and wonder how he got the way he is.


4 posted on 03/29/2007 3:10:30 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: chesty_puller

Is that above an NCO?


5 posted on 03/29/2007 3:10:52 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Rodney King
What rank do you think a Chief Warrant Officer is Rodney??
6 posted on 03/29/2007 3:11:03 PM PDT by geo40xyz (218->121 democRAT's 'OWN DEFEAT' and blood of American soldiers in Iraq will be on their hands)
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To: Rodney King
Chief Warrant is a pretty impressive rank - warrant officers are effectively officers but are not commissioned as such. They don't really command but they perform important technical tasks that might oridinarily require a commissioned officer to deal with. For example, helicopter pilots are often warrants.

My nephew once complained warrants are basically enlisted guys with officer perks. He was oversimplifying more than a little of course.

7 posted on 03/29/2007 3:11:22 PM PDT by AzSteven (Any animal is gifted by God with claws and teeth for their defense. The good Lord gave us a brain to)
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To: Rodney King

Yep


8 posted on 03/29/2007 3:11:28 PM PDT by chesty_puller (USMC 70-73 3MAF VN 70-71 US Army 75-79 3d Inf Old Guard)
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To: Rodney King
yes, three steps above the highest NCO
9 posted on 03/29/2007 3:13:01 PM PDT by geo40xyz (218->121 democRAT's 'OWN DEFEAT' and blood of American soldiers in Iraq will be on their hands)
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To: Rodney King

Ask any CWO5 and he will tell you it is above a general. Most generals will agree.


10 posted on 03/29/2007 3:13:16 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Support your local EOD Detachment)
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To: Rodney King

Chief Warrant, is not a buck private! Some men just stand a little tailer than other equals and here is one of them.


11 posted on 03/29/2007 3:13:48 PM PDT by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: Rodney King

This picture is from 1969.
I remember it well.
Almost surreal to think about it now.
Your fate was determined by some suit picking a numbered
ping pong ball out of a gold-fish bowl.
12 posted on 03/29/2007 3:14:03 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th
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To: geo40xyz

OK, I apologize and confess my ignorance.


13 posted on 03/29/2007 3:14:52 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: U S Army EOD

You ask any SMA, CWO-5,or O-10 and you will get three answers, they all think they are god.


14 posted on 03/29/2007 3:15:18 PM PDT by aft_lizard (born conservative...I chose to be a republican)
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To: Rodney King

This fella had the best of both worlds,,,A Chief Warrant,,He was Top Dog....In '71 only 3 people in our Company were draftees,,The Draft was winding down,


15 posted on 03/29/2007 3:15:54 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: Rodney King

Surely you jest.


16 posted on 03/29/2007 3:15:57 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: AzSteven
For example, helicopter pilots are often warrants.

Really? When I was a kid I always wanted to be a helicopter pilot. I figured I had to go to West Point or Annapolis and my mother wouldn't let me (really). Damn, I would have just enlisted if I could have been a helicopter pilot.

17 posted on 03/29/2007 3:16:20 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Rodney King
I think that's the highest you can go without a college degree. A Warrant Officer isn't really an officer in the same sense as a Lieutenant, Captain, Major, or Colonel. It says he was drafted while he was a college student, and maybe he decided he liked the Army and didn't want or need to finish college.
18 posted on 03/29/2007 3:16:49 PM PDT by lesser_satan (FRED THOMPSON '08)
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To: Rodney King

Valid question from your perspective, but he did well. And, I bet, he carried more weight than much higher ranks where ever he was. Many a Sgt has carried a Lt or Cpt.


19 posted on 03/29/2007 3:16:49 PM PDT by doodad
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To: Rodney King; SandRat

He is CWO. Not too shabby, imho.


20 posted on 03/29/2007 3:17:11 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Rodney King
Is that above an NCO?

He's about on par with a Major / Lt Colonel ... he just does not have a commision and is not in the officer chain of command.

Think of him as a Master Plumber, Master Electrician or master machinist.

21 posted on 03/29/2007 3:17:23 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Democrats in Republican Clothing ... DIRC ... They are the knives in the back of the GOP.)
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To: org.whodat

Some men just stand a little taller than other equals and here is one of them.

Found his spot ,,did'nt he,,,?


22 posted on 03/29/2007 3:18:47 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: Rodney King
Damn, I would have just enlisted if I could have been a helicopter pilot.

You needed 60 hours of college to get into the warrant program.

23 posted on 03/29/2007 3:18:48 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Democrats in Republican Clothing ... DIRC ... They are the knives in the back of the GOP.)
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To: Rodney King

There are only 4 levels of warrent officer.He is at the top rank, can't go any higher unless he went to OCS and was commissioned as an officer.


24 posted on 03/29/2007 3:18:53 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

There are 5 levels now in the Army. CWO-5 is a rank.


25 posted on 03/29/2007 3:19:29 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Democrats in Republican Clothing ... DIRC ... They are the knives in the back of the GOP.)
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To: Rodney King

Would like to see that Plymouth..?


26 posted on 03/29/2007 3:19:55 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: Rodney King

All you had to do was enlist and pass the Officer Candidate test with a score of 120. I did, and went to helicopter pilot school instead of OCS. Never regretted it.


27 posted on 03/29/2007 3:21:30 PM PDT by calex59
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To: geo40xyz

What's the equivalent rank of a Chief Petty Officer?


28 posted on 03/29/2007 3:21:35 PM PDT by Thumper1960 (Unleash the Dogs of War as a Minority, or perish as a party.)
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To: aft_lizard

An old saying went, "You can always tell a Warrant. You just can't tell 'em much."

E5 CW2 & 04.


29 posted on 03/29/2007 3:21:57 PM PDT by leadpenny
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To: Centurion2000

Ok, I haven't been in for a few years and WO-4 was it when I got out. Thanks for the info.


30 posted on 03/29/2007 3:22:17 PM PDT by calex59
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To: AzSteven

Warrant Officers can be in command under certain circumstances.


31 posted on 03/29/2007 3:23:12 PM PDT by leadpenny
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To: Thumper1960

Not Navy, but I believe CPO can go to E-9 today..


32 posted on 03/29/2007 3:24:44 PM PDT by geo40xyz (218->121 democRAT's 'OWN DEFEAT' and blood of American soldiers in Iraq will be on their hands)
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To: Rodney King

One of the smartest and best educated groups I ever met were all Warrant Officers in the CID. They have PHDs on staff.


33 posted on 03/29/2007 3:25:12 PM PDT by wtc911 ("How you gonna get back down that hill?")
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To: Rodney King

Rangel's years in the Army included more than 200 parachute jumps with a special forces unit in Vietnam and Cambodia




There were only a handful of combat jumps during the entire Vietnam conflict, and if he'd been on every single one, he'd have had nowhere near 200. They must be talking about training jumps, which is a little misleading given the context.

Nevertheless, thanks to Chief Rangel for his service, and best wishes for his retirement.


34 posted on 03/29/2007 3:25:16 PM PDT by kms61
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To: calex59

I re enlisted from civilian and did the same thing.

WORWAC 66-11.


35 posted on 03/29/2007 3:25:25 PM PDT by leadpenny
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To: Rodney King
One idea behind Warrant officers is that some jobs take a lot of technical skill. If you train an enlisted person to do the job, they have "up or out" rules, and may quit for a better paying job in the private sector, so you lose the member, and have to train a replacement.

If you train a commissioned officer to job, they have "up or out" rules and are kicked out if they don't get promoted. But they don't get promoted if they don't go to different schools, and don't hold several jobs demonstrating wide competence. Either way, the Army loses the member from the technical slot, and has to train a replacement. Warrant Officers, WO1-WO5, are supposed to have the perks on an officer, but still be able to just do their job and not worry getting their ticket punched by holding a new position every 18 months.

People who should be Warrant officers, but aren't, for historical reasons, are JAGs, Chaplains and Doctors.

36 posted on 03/29/2007 3:25:31 PM PDT by Pilsner
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To: Centurion2000

You needed 60 hours of college to get into the warrant program.
Not always,,I was offered the School(was a Spec 5),turned it down,,dumbest thing I ever did,,this was in '77,still can't think of anything dumber,,but the packet was ready,kind of want to think it was an honor to be selected..


37 posted on 03/29/2007 3:26:17 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (When the Last Two Prophets are taken, there will be no Tommorrow!)
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To: AzSteven
My nephew once complained warrants are basically enlisted guys with officer perks. He was oversimplifying more than a little of course.

My uncle used to claim that warrant officers were the only people in the Army that retained their balls as (he claimed) they were to be addressed as “mister” rather than “sir.” Maybe that was just “at the time”…

38 posted on 03/29/2007 3:26:25 PM PDT by Who dat?
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To: Centurion2000
Think of him as a Master Plumber, Master Electrician or master machinist.

_____________________________________________

Or a Master Detective.

39 posted on 03/29/2007 3:26:43 PM PDT by wtc911 ("How you gonna get back down that hill?")
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To: Rodney King
Tops on the list is restoring a 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury. He parked it in his mom's barn when he went off to basic training.

Thanks for posting this great story! Wonder what the total number of Viet Nam era draftees went on to serve until retirement.

40 posted on 03/29/2007 3:27:33 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: silentreignofheroes
Rules do change!! In 1958, as a E-1 and no college, I was offered a Warrant Officer slot to go Army Aviation but I was starting a six month electronics class which was what I had signed up for...
41 posted on 03/29/2007 3:31:41 PM PDT by geo40xyz (218->121 democRAT's 'OWN DEFEAT' and blood of American soldiers in Iraq will be on their hands)
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To: Rodney King
but don't they ever promote you

My brother came out a Warrant Officer. He was a dogface in 1969 and spent 2 tours in 'Nam, 16 years in Germany, and retired after he was sent stateside post a Desert Storm tour. He was a tank guy for his entire enlistment and is now a contractor to the Army. I wish I had his pension and knowledge. He worked damned hard for his rank -- it came with a lot of respect from his commanders.

42 posted on 03/29/2007 3:33:19 PM PDT by Glenn (Annoy a RudyBot...Think for yourself.)
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To: Rodney King

Yes.

It's O-level pay, w/out being in the command structure.

Most helo pilots (myself included) start of as either LT or WO, and it's really personal choice more than anything.


43 posted on 03/29/2007 3:33:50 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: Rodney King

I watched a full bird get brow beat pretty hard by a CWO4 when I was in the Marine Corps. It was fun to watch.


44 posted on 03/29/2007 3:36:42 PM PDT by Gum Shoe
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To: calex59
Wrong! W1 Warrant Officer; W2 chief Warrant Officer; W3 Chief Warrant Officer; W4 chief Warrant Officer; and W5 Master Warrant Officer. Then comes 01 second lieutenant and then 02 first lieutenant then Captain. Got this right out of a FACT book.
45 posted on 03/29/2007 3:38:20 PM PDT by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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To: Rodney King

Doesn't anyone see the irony in the fact that his name is Rangel?


46 posted on 03/29/2007 3:38:59 PM PDT by digger48
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To: aft_lizard

I was always smart enough to treat them like one.


47 posted on 03/29/2007 3:39:29 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Support your local EOD Detachment)
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To: Centurion2000
...he just does not have a commision...

I've read all the comments here and it has been a real education for me. As a female I've been clueless about most of this but have always been curious about these "titles". I just have one more question, and I'm sorry if it sounds stupid, but....does commissioned mean college?
48 posted on 03/29/2007 3:39:50 PM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
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To: Rodney King

My memory is gettin a little hazy, but I seem to recall the WO's were always equal opportunists.
They could equally tell officers and NCO's to get stuffed, with damned near immunity.


49 posted on 03/29/2007 3:40:22 PM PDT by stylin19a (If you are living on the edge...MOVE OVER ! Some of us are ready to jump !)
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To: Repeal The 17th
This picture is from 1969.I remember it well.

I remember it well myself.I read my number (327) in the Louisville Courier Journal as I sat on my foot locker at Fort Knox,KY having just completed my 3rd week of BCT.

I cried myself to sleep that night because the only reason I joined was because I assumed that I'd be drafted.

50 posted on 03/29/2007 3:41:37 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
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