If “Time in Battalion” were the measure of who won the game of life then CSM Michael T. Hall would have won in a route. CSM Hall served over 21 years of his 32 year Army career in the 75th Ranger Regiment serving in every possible leadership position; including 4 years as the Regimental CSM. When you add up his time as the JSOC and USASOC CSM, Mike served over 28 years in the Special Operations community and was the longest serving USASOC CSM in its’ history. So the next time you have the argument with a fellow ranger about “Time in Battalion” or “Back when it was hard”, look around and make sure Mike Hall is not in the room.

It is often said that good CSMs must be able to remember everything and everyone. I don’t know if this is true or accurate; but I can tell you that in 2002 while he was walking through the C-JSOTF in Afghanistan Mike walked right up to me and asked how I was doing. Sure this may not be difficult if you serve with a Soldier throughout your military career; but after not seeing someone for over 13 years that is an impressive feat. CSM Hall was gracious enough to sit down and give me an interview that lasted over 3 hours. We talked about his life as a Ranger, leadership, the history of the Regiment and how Special Operations has changed over the last 3 decades. This is part 1 of that interview.


Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview and congratulations on your induction into the Ranger Hall of Fame (RHOF); is this something that you expected or was it a surprise at the time?

I knew I was nominated and received a call from Joe Mattison I think you know Joe and then a call came from the Ranger Regiment, so I am not really sure who did the nomination packet; I think it was the Regiment though. The RHOF had been mentioned and you kind of knew it would happen, just not when; I really did not follow it and then it just happened. 

Did you expect to go in with General McChrystal, General Abizaid and I think there were a few other guys from your peer group?

I expected to go in with General McChrystal a bunch people had talked about that quite frankly, so going into the RHOF with him was expected. General Abizaid I was not expecting to go in with, really wasn’t sure when he retired or was eligible, he was one of those guys you figured was already in.

I think you mentioned in another interview that you have always been big on ceremonies, formal promotion events and the like; how was the ceremony and what were some the things going through your mind as the events unfolded at Ft. Benning?