Skip to comments.One of 10 draftees still in Army retires
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.
Don't dish if if you can't take it.
At least now you know a person could volunteer for the draft back then. Nothin' funny about it.
I was a two year RA, no choices of course. But the best plans of mice and men go astray :^(
If you only agreed to the two years you took what they gave you based on your test scores..
That I remember,,Never knew the scores but had talked to dudes that had 2 yr tours..I don't remember voluntering for the draft..
When I was in the USMC in 1971, they were RIFing officers left and right, too. My boss had three different ranks in one day. They RIFed him from Captain to W-2 and promoted hime to W-3. He sure hated to give up those railroad tracks.
BTW, I was a draftee myself. Yes, into the Marine Corps. Later served 13 years with the Army National Guard. I might even be in to this day if they had wanted old fat bastards like me back in '92.
Had to have it due to the Shipboard Radar??
As funny as it may sound it was very possible to "volunteer" for the draft. I know. I did it.
For most young men at the time you registered for the draft at 18, got your draft card, and waited.
Or you went to college (or some other qualifying school) and got a 2S deferment.
Or you visited your friendly recruiter and volunteered.
Or you called your local draft board, as I did, and asked them to send you a draft notice. I had mine in a matter of days and two weeks later was a "US" with a two year commitment like all the other draftees (unlike volunteers who were RAs with 3 and 4 year obligations).
you make me curious now .... what year was that?
I've tried to tell 'em Colonel. What did you do during that two years to switch over?
Don't dish if if you can't take it. What does that mean..?
You never could volunter to be DRAFTED..Draft is involuntary..
Wake up and read the thread, rookie.
Tell me that to my face.!!I'll gladly shake your hand..
Hubba Hubba, gotta give it up for the Sun City...
Man do I miss the Cattlemen's out in Fabens and the State Line out on...well, the State Line!
Naw, I was an Aviation Electrician...
First you tell me to kiss you lily white ass and now you want to shake my hand. Make up your mind.
My last 22yrs. with the Gov. was at Rucker working on the Sims..But electronics is electronics..,,, an electron can only flow one way unless unconventional electronics is taught,, which was thrown at us...
My Dad retired a CW4 after 22 years of service. The way he explained the commissions is Warrent Officers are commissioned by the Sec Def while Commissioned Officers are commissoned by the POTUS.
During the draft, there was no college requirement to qualify for OCS. You just had to pass the aptitude test, the physical and a very brief psychological evaluation. Now, however, most OCS applicants must have a college degree although some exceptions are made for enlisted personnel who have otherwise distinguished themselves.
If you got through the 6-month OCS (which had a very high drop out rate, often 50% or more) you received a "commission" as an officer in the US Army.
A "commission" (as opposed to a "Warrant") has a very specific connotation. It is issued on behalf of the President of the United States and conveys to the "commissioned" officer certain rights and priviledges which the "warrant" officer does not receive.
CW3s and above though still called Warrant Officers are officially Commissioned officers under the new rules. 2LTs find out in a hurry that crossing a CW3 or higher is the dumbest and most painfull of actions in what could be a VERRRRRRRRyyyyy shortened tour of service. Not only will they get their butts chewed on "with all due respect SIR!" but CW3s and up usually have the General's ear.
Forget it ... Must have ticked you off...Not worth it...!Have a good life..
I haven't heard that. 'course I haven't stayed up with the Army Times for years.