Former Army Ranger Paul Lozier was accused by an online blog last week of lying about him being a Ranger. The accusation was spurred during a political argument on Facebook, when the owner of the blog that seeks out those who claim stolen valor posted about Lozier, publicly calling him a fraud. After presenting his case and discussing his two years within the Regiment, the accusations continued. The problem? Lozier was an actual Ranger and he wasn’t lying about anything.
The conversations on the blog’s comments then began to get strange, potentially pointing toward a fundamental misunderstanding of what a Ranger even is by the accuser (a tragic misstep in the case of someone tasked with calling other people out). The writer of the article claimed that he had “spent 18 months in 1/75th” but has “never referred to [himself] as a Ranger,” insinuating that Lozier should also not consider himself one. In an interview with SOFREP, Lozier freely admitted that he did not serve on a deployment and he did not get his Ranger tab … he said he was seriously injured in the mountains phase of Ranger School, suffering a fall from a high incline. However, all of that is irrelevant as those are not requirements for the Ranger title and they never have been — passing RIP or RASP and earning your scroll is what earns the title of “Ranger,” not to mention time served in the actual 75th Ranger Regiment.
The original author has since removed the post and all traces of it on his site. However, word has gotten out and there are corners of the internet still claiming Lozier was lying about his military background.
One point of contention was that RIP was not on his military records. SOFREP interviewed multiple Rangers from several generations (Lozier was a late ’80s Ranger), and those who had gone to RASP and RIP in later years all had their respective classes in their records. However, every Ranger from the late ’80s to the early ’90s that went through RIP did not have it in their records, including their DD-214s. This includes Rangers that fought in Panama. It would seem that either this was a common error, or that the Army didn’t start including it until later, as it was simply a very long and arduous entry exam into a unit, not technically a school like Sniper School or SERE (though that has since changed).
Another was that “Ranger School” was not in his records. Of course it wasn’t, and Lozier never disputed that fact. Lozier was an RTO for Regimental HQ and then got out after two years, moving to another place in the Army. RTOs are not only a functioning part of Ranger Regiment, they are absolutely necessary to the fight and the Regiment only uses actual Rangers for their RTOs. The GoArmy website defines it as such: “The 75th Ranger Regiment requires that its leaders attend the U.S. Army Ranger School, but it is not a pre-requisite to join the Ranger Regiment, or participate in RASP.” Joining the Regiment is the key phrase there — just like if you were to get assigned to the 82nd Airborne for two years, you could obviously say you were in the 82nd Airborne. If you were assigned and served in a Marine Corps unit, regardless of any deployments or higher schools, you were still a Marine.
SOFREP spoke with three Rangers that served with Lozier, either going through RIP with him or being assigned to his unit. On top of the assertions made above, they confirmed that he indeed served in the Ranger Regiment for the time that he claims. Lozier has had a rocky past, but this does not in any way dismiss the actions and accomplishments he achieved while in the military.
Blogs like these do great things. They call out and often even encourage and help with legal action against offenders who go beyond abusing their first amendment rights, and break the law. For example, it is a crime to lie about military service if you gain anything tangible from it — that is considered a type of fraud, not just lying. Some of these sites lead the charge in seeking out and putting away these fraudulent individuals.
But as Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” False claims toward actual service members can seriously damage their reputations. Like it or not, we live in an age where damning “evidence” online can ruin future career prospects, and seriously hurt your name in general. In this case, the post was taken down fairly quickly, but it serves as a serious reminder that just as much care should be taken in ensuring the validity of these accusations, as is taken to pursue and hunt down the liars.
Lozier and many in the Ranger community are continuing in efforts to clear his name.