By Tracy A. Bailey
75th Ranger Regiment Public Affairs
FORT BENNING, Ga. (UNS News Service, Jan. 17, 2007) – Command Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall, US Army Special Operations Command command sergeant major, retired Jan. 17 at Fort Benning, Ga., with the same unit where it all began 32 years ago—with the men of the 75th Ranger Regiment. He served as the Army Special Operations Forces senior enlisted Soldier at Fort Bragg since November 2001.

“I got to A Company, 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry and on my first day, had the 10 best friends I had ever had in my life,” said Hall.

“Those friends, along with my NCOs, leading the way taught me what was expected, you did it or you did not and if you did not, well we did without you before you got here,” he said. Hall did not expect to make the Army a career.
“I came in during a time in our nation’s history where it was expected that you would serve your country.
“You served, you grew up and then you got on with life. You asked for nothing in return, because, well it was the service,” said Hall.

For Hall, one thing led to another, and he stayed 29 years longer than he expected.
“It went by very, very quickly. I think it was because I served with good people, not just good Soldiers, but good people.

“Mostly because I was lucky enough to start with the 1st Ranger Battalion,” said Hall.
Hall attributes his successes to the Ranger leaders who mentored him. “I had great leaders who all contributed to who I am today. Each had an impact on me as a person, and - oh yea - as a Soldier and leader,” he said.
“However, it was mostly the Rangers; I put on green leadership tabs in 1978 as a corporal. Rangers were the ultimate job satisfaction of serving others, taking care of them.” “I was always lucky to have great commanders that let me do what I thought had to be done,” Hall said.

One of those "great commanders"; life long friend, mentor and leader was on hand to send Hall off with a Ranger farewell.
“Serving from a time when the Ranger Battalions had just been reestablished as unequaled light infantry, to a time when they reflect the most cutting edge tactics of complex joint special operations, Mike has been the continuity of leadership, values and mission focus that is uniquely reflected in the Ranger Regiment” said Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Joint Special Operation Command commander. McChrystal served as the 10th Colonel of the Regiment from June 1997 to July 1999 with Hall as his Regimental Sergeant Major.
Hall, who spent more than 17 years with the Ranger Regiment, perfected the doctrine, taught the tactics and mentored many successive leaders during his time in the Army. “It was an amazing feat, accomplished with little fanfare but unceasing sacrifice and effort,” the general said. You could say that Hall is leaving the ranks today but that is not the case, according to McChrystal. “Some of Mike is in every Ranger here today and every Ranger everywhere.”
“When Ranger machine guns fire in Afghanistan because they are properly oiled, or a squad leader drills his Rangers in preparation for a raid in Iraq, a bit of Mike is there,” he said. “It is the legacy of the finest Solider I’ve ever known,” said McChrystal.

“It’s been real, and it’s been fun, and it has been, real fun. After 32 years, and almost 30 years of wearing green tabs, I’m done,” said Hall.
Hall is the example that Rangers, Lead the Way.
He and his wife Brenda plan to spend their retirement in Nashville, Tenn.

Thank for you service and sacrifice to our great Nation.

May his retirement be filled with family, friends, compatriots, and blessings from high above.