11.07.19

Senator Baldwin Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Award WWII U.S. Army Ranger Veterans with Congressional Gold Medals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today announced her support for bipartisan legislation, led by Senators and combat veterans Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), to award the U.S. Army Ranger Veterans of World War II with the Congressional Gold Medal.

There are approximately 40 living WWII Army Ranger Veterans, including 94-year-old Ranger Rene G. Kepperling from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Ranger Kepperling was a sniper and French interpreter for headquarters company, 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion, during World War II. He was among the American soldiers who courageously charged across the beaches of Normandy, France, during the D-Day landing 75 years ago.

“The brave veterans who served as Army Rangers during World War II have earned this long-overdue recognition,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan effort so we can honor their service and sacrifice to the freedoms we all cherish.”

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. These brave soldiers participated in some of the most important battles of World War II.

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 war camp.

This bipartisan legislation is supported by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Descendants of World War II Rangers.

Cosponsors include Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), James Risch (R-ID), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The full text of the legislation is available here.