The CURRAHEES now have an Honorary Colonel of the Regiment. He is LTG(R) David E. Grange, Jr. General Grange took the 2-506th Infantry to Vietnam, as their commander in December 1967 and commanded them during their baptism under fire. He was selected from a list distinguished former commanders by the new CURRAHEES. A biographical sketch of General Grange follows.
David E. Grange, Jr. was born in Richmond Hill, New York, on 9 April 1925. He attended high school in Sayville, Long Island, New York. He joined the Army in June 1943 and served as a Parachute Infantryman in Europe taking part in the Rome Armo, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe campaigns. After the war, he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, and in 1949, left Fort Bragg to attend the Army's Officer Candidate School at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry on 19 May 1950. In Korea, 1950 51, he served as a rifle platoon leader in the 187th Airborne Regiment. Later, on a second Korean war tour, 1952 53, he commanded a rifle company in the 17th Infantry Regiment. Upon return from Korea in 1953, he was a Ranger instructor at the Army's Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1955, he attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, and upon completion in 1956, volunteered for Special Forces duty. General Grange served with Special Forces at Fort Bragg until 1957 when he was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group in Germany. After three years in Europe with the 10th Special Forces Group, he returned to the United States to attend the 1960 61 Regular Course at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following graduation in June 1961, he was assigned to the Pentagon for duty on the Army General Staff. In 1963, General Grange was assigned on his first tour to Vietnam as a member of the Department of Defense's Research and Development Field Unit as an Airborne/Ranger/Infantry advisor. He returned in 1964 to an assignment with the US Army Combat Development Command as the Army Liaison Officer with the US Air Force's Special Air Warfare Center and Tactical Air Warfare Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In 1966, he was moved to Fort Bragg to become the Assistant Chief of Staff, G 1, of the 82nd Airborne Division. When the 101st Airborne Division was alerted for movement to Vietnam in 1967, General Grange was selected to command the 2nd Battalion, Airborne, 506th Infantry. He took command in August 1967, and on 2 December 1967, took his battalion to Vietnam. General Grange returned to the United States and a Fort Knox assignment in December 1968, where he served as Director of a special course for Vietnamese and Laotian Company Grade Officers in the Allied Training Department of the Armor School. He next attended the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, graduating in June 1970. General Grange returned to Vietnam for his third tour in June 1970 where he again served with the 101st Airborne Division, consecutively commanding the Division Support Command and the 3rd Brigade. Upon his return from Vietnam, he was assigned as the Director, Ranger Department, US Army Infantry School, and served in that position from July 1971 until September 1973. In October 1973, he assumed the position of Assistant Division Commander (Support) of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson. Colorado, and subsequently Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver) in September, 1974. General Grange was next assigned as Chief of Staff, I Corps (ROK/US) Group, Camp Red Cloud, on his third tour in Korea, on 15 August 1975. He served in that position until June 1976. General Grange assumed the position as Commanding General, US Army Readiness and Mobilization Region VIII, with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, in June 1976. He left this command on 7 January 1978 to return for his fourth tour to Korea, where on 18 January 1978, General Grange assumed the position as Commanding General, 2nd Infantry Division. On 15 June 1979, General Grange assumed command of the US Army Infantry Center, Fort Benning, Georgia. In August 1981, General Grange became Commanding General, Sixth US Army, Presidio of San Francisco, California. On 16 February 1984, he left the Sixth US Army for Washington, DC, to become Chairman, Coordinating Activity for Historical Observances, serving as principal assistant to the Secretary of the Army for coordinating and executing support for observances of World War II historical events. He retired on 30 June 1987 at Fort Benning, Georgia and currently resides in The Plains, Virginia. General Grange has completed the Advanced Infantry Officer Course; the Regular Command and General Staff College; the Army War College; Airborne School; Ranger Course; Special Forces Officer Course; the Strategic Intelligence School; and the Russian Language Course. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska, and the Advanced Management Course, University of Pittsburgh. General Grange has been awarded the following decorations: Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Army Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster; Distinguished Flying Cross; Soldier's Medal; 28 awards of the Air Medal with V; Bronze Star Medal with V and four Oak Leaf Clusters; Joint Service Commendation Medal with V; United States Army Commendation Medal with V and four Oak Leaf Clusters; United States Air Force Commendation Medal; and the Purple Heart. France has awarded him the Legion of Honor in the degree of Officer. Korea has awarded General Grange the Wharang Medal with Gold Star, the Kuksun Medal and the Cheonsu Medal. Vietnam awarded him the Gallantry Cross with two palms and Silver Star, and the Military Honor Medal, First Class. General Grange is a master parachutist with combat jumps in World War II (Europe), Korea, and Vietnam. He holds the Combat Infantry Badge with second and third awards. General Grange is a veteran of twenty campaigns in three wars as an Infantryman. General Grange is married to the former Lois M. Okvist and has three children: David Lawrence, Suzanne Elizabeth, and Henrietta Marie. His primary hobbies are fishing, hunting, and horseback riding.