Tom Hanks into Army’s Ranger Hall of Fame

Tom Hanks has been inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame.

Actor Tom Hanks was inducted Thursday as an honorary member of the U.S. Army’s Ranger Hall of Fame for his accurate portrayal of a World War II Army Ranger company commander in the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and for his continued commitment to honoring those who served in the war.

Besides his role in “Saving Private Ryan,” Hanks was cited for serving as the national spokesman for the World War II Memorial Campaign, for being the honorary chairman of the D-Day Museum Capital Campaign, and for his role in writing and helping to produce the Emmy Award-winning miniseries, “Band of Brothers.”

Hanks, who was unable to attend the induction ceremony, becomes the first actor to receive such an honor.

Certainly, a well-deserved honor given Hanks’ contributions to raising awareness of the heroism of WWII soldiers. Still, I’d have waited to induct him for an occasion when he could fit it into his schedule.

The honor is not totally unprecedented. George M. Cohan, who wrote a series of patriotic songs that inspired the WWI and WWII generations, including “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, “Over There,” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” was honored with a Congressional Gold Medal (not, as popularly believed owing to the film “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” the Medal of Honor) by FDR.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bhoe says:

    Certainly, a well-deserved honor given Hanks� contributions to raising awareness of the heroism of WWII soldiers. Still, I�d have waited to induct him for an occasion when he could fit it into his schedule.

    Come on! This guy is a super-liberal dingbat who has been a finaceer for such patriots as Hildebeast Clinton, Diane Dumbstein, Ozone man Gore, and Coward Kerry.

    This is shameful.

  2. Stevely says:

    Bhoe-

    Better to be silent and suspected a fool than open your (virtual) mouth and confirm it.

  3. BigDog says:

    I thought the entertainment types were supposed to “shut up and sing”.

  4. McGehee says:

    I thought the entertainment types were supposed to �shut up and sing�.

    Have you ever heard Tom Hanks sing?

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Lon Chaney was made an “honorary Marine” for his portrayal of a Marine sergeant in “Tell It To The Marines” (and for striking up a friendship with Marine General Smedley Butler during the filming).

    Unlike most of his film portrayals Chaney played the part without film makeup.

  6. Dean Esmay says:

    Hate to be contrarian, but the site you link on Cohan’s award is overly harsh on the entertainer. The medal he was given is formally known as the “Congressional Gold Medal of Honor,” informally and more commonly called simply the “Congressional Gold Medal.”

    You can read about it here and here.

    It is obviously not the same thing as the Medal of Honor, which is given to combat veterans for extraordinary valor. But it’s not wrong to say that someone was given the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, because that’s what it’s called. Whether it should be called that or not is another subject, but it’s been known as the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor ever since it was given to its first recipient–George Washington.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Interesting. I Googled it because I had it in the back of my head that Cohan was given the MOH, which didn’t make sense in hindsight.

  8. Christopher says:

    Way to go, Tom Hanks! Just couldn’t fit it into your schedule huh? No way to make it? Thats such BS!

  9. James Joyner says:

    Christopher: For all we know, Hanks is filming a movie halfway around the world and would be holding up an entire crew if he flew out for this. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t go to something like this if he could do so.

  10. Christopher says:

    yea, a movie. That is very important indeed. And since we don’t have jet airplanes or anything like that, and an actor’s time is soooo precious, yea I get it, I get it.

    I wonder if his liberal politics and that he is against fighting terrorism and wouldn’t want to be seen at a military event, I wonder if that has anything to do with it. hmmm?