Texarkana

Texarkana, Texas – Jake Bequette is NOT a Former Army Ranger, says Fort Benning, Brig. General & Special Operations Command

Texarkana, Texas 2022-05-20 20:12:00 –

Voters deserve to know the truth, but Jake Bequette is still hiding from lies he told at the beginning of his campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

And statements from a brigadier general and the public affairs specialist for Fort Benning – home of the famous 75th Ranger Regiment – have poured cold water on his claim of being a Former Army Ranger.

So how do we know that Jake Bequette is not an Army Ranger and that he has just been playing one on TV?

Bequette lashes out

Yesterday, Bequette released an angry video tirade from the passenger seat of a vehicle. He showed disgust for a campaign mailer that alleged he lied about his military service dates and that he is not a Former Army Ranger.

Today, he demanded that an opposing campaign disavow the campaign mailer that arrived in the mailboxes of Arkansas voters.

Curiously, he never mentioned or addressed that he lied about his military service dates at the start of the campaign.

It has been almost 300 days since an allegation of stolen valor was made by a Department of Defense source in an article on the conservative website National File. The article’s headline is “Arkansas Senate Candidate Claimed He Joined Army In 2015, Actually Joined In 2017.”

Ranger controversy

The term “Army Ranger” is something citizens have heard concerning Jake Bequette’s candidacy from the beginning of his campaign.

In truth, Bequette only attended the 61-day Ranger school that is open to everyone in the military – including Marines and the Navy. He never served as an Army Ranger.

His claims to be an Army Ranger stem entirely from completing the roughly eight-week Ranger School. If this completion makes Jake Bequette an Army Ranger, it would also make any Marine or Navy soldier who graduated from Ranger School a U.S. Army Ranger. This would be ludicrous.

The Jake Bequette/Army Ranger issue also hit the national stage when Fox News removed and replaced a headline called Jake Bequette, a “Former Army Ranger” on April 2, 2022. Click here to read more

Fort Benning tells it straight

In early April, Texarkana News reached out to Fort Benning, the home of the 75th Ranger Regiment and the aforementioned Ranger School. We told them Jake Bequette’s claim of being an Army Ranger (without telling them his name).

Josef Cole, the public information specialist at Fort Benning, took about 9 days to return our message. But he did answer the question. He said a person with Bequette’s resume should not be called or calling themselves an “Army Ranger” or “Former Army Ranger.” 

“It would not be accurate to refer to them as a “former Ranger” or “Ranger,” Cole said.

And he went even further. The Fort Benning official said if Ranger School is mentioned, all other service details should be included so that the person served in the 75th Ranger Regiment does not give the impression. 

“When not discussing the individuals’ Ranger training, it would be best to identify them by rank and name, and add unit of assignment as applicable,” Cole added. 

A brigadier general’s opinion

Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who attended Ranger School himself, said it is “overstating” for someone with Bequette’s resume to say he is an Army Ranger.

“Unless you served in a Ranger battalion, I think you’re overstretching your claim. I’m Ranger-qualified, and I always stipulate that. I never served in a Ranger battalion,” he told the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Gen. Bolduc has five Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. He ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire in 2020 against another candidate who had also attended Ranger School. The General called his opponent out for calling himself an Army Ranger in a television advertisement.

The General said he was still troubled that his opponent was calling himself an Army Ranger in a U.S. Senate race.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command weighs in

In 2020, the Washington Post discussed the “Army Ranger” issue. After much trying, the newspaper received a response from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command about who should be called an Army Ranger regarding a political candidate claiming he was one.

The answer: “A graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger Course is ‘Ranger qualified,'” the U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesperson said.

“Anyone who is serving or has served within the 75th Ranger Regiment is a U.S. Army Ranger,” the spokesperson added.

Where is a photo of Bequette in the Ranger beret?

How do we really know that Jake Bequette is not an Army Ranger? It’s because he never wore the famous Ranger tan beret.

Also, does Jake Bequette have any stories from his service as an Army Ranger? Of course not, because he never served as one.

During the first week of April, Texarkana News spoke to some real Army Rangers in the 75th Ranger Regiment, and we showed them Jake Bequette’s campaign content.

What upset the actual Army Rangers we spoke with the most was a photo on Jake Bequette’s website that labels him “Retired Army Ranger.”

“The only thing ‘Jake the Fake’ has retired from is the truth,” one person angrily replied. “Being a Ranger is our life… not just something you do for a few weeks and then use for personal and political gain.”

Bequette called himself “Retired” Army

Before he announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, Jake Bequette was a guest on several TV programs where he was called “Former Army Ranger” and “Retired Army Ranger.” He never corrected one person who called him these titles. Even in mid-May 2022, he continues to receive praise for being an Army Ranger on camera, and he apparently has never corrected anyone.

On July 12, 2021, Jake Bequette even told Little Rock’s KATV that he was a “RETIRED Army veteran.” This video is on the KATV website at about the 2:50 minute mark.

One of the Fort Benning Army Rangers we spoke with in early April 2022 said: “You cannot be a ‘Former Army Ranger’ if you never served as an Army Ranger.”

Another person said: “And purposefully placing a photo with misinformation on your site saying you are a ‘Retired U.S. Army Ranger?’ Stop it – just stop it.”

Amazingly, Jake Bequette has never removed the offending photo that upset the 75th Ranger Regiment soldiers from his website – even though the article that discussed it was published on April 4, 2022. Click here to read.

Of course, there is no proof that Jake Bequette, who served just over three years, ever “retired” from the Army. So this is just another lie.

A misleading article

The website Red State published an article today titled: “We have the documents.”

Apparently, Jake Bequette provided documents stating that he went to Ranger School and earned the Ranger tab – which signifies the completion of the leadership school.

But these articles just prove that he attended Ranger School – which everyone already accepts. Moreover, the article shows no proof that Jake Bequette was part of the 75th Ranger Regiment – because he never served with the regiment.

In fact, graduating from Ranger School makes you “Ranger-qualified,” the Fort Benning official said.

“It would be most correct to refer to them as “Ranger qualified” with regard to successful completion of Ranger training,” Fort Benning’s Joe Cole told Texarkana News on April 11, 2022. However, as mentioned above, Cole said Bequette should not be described as an Army Ranger.

The Red State article also does not mention the most worrying claim on the campaign mailer that upset Bequette. This concerns the lie on Jake Bequette’s website about his military service dates.

It’s just not true

At the beginning of Jake Bequette’s campaign, he claimed to join the military in 2015. 

At the same time, he also falsely claimed (in MANY interviews) that he left professional football and “then” went into the military.

This is a lie he has likely told dozens of times. The truth is that Bequette was cut from the practice team of a professional football team in 2015 and received an injury settlement.

Jake Bequette then went to law school in Washington, D.C. Yes, Washington, D.C. – the “swamp.”

However, you would never know this from watching Bequette’s campaign. In fact, he has hidden this during the campaign’s entirety – probably because he has campaigned heavily against the “swamp” of Washington, D.C.

Texarkana News reached out to the Office of the Registrar at Georgetown University to confirm Bequette’s attendance at the law school, which could be described as the “swampiest” in America. The university official said it must have permission from the student to release any detail and that they make no exceptions for political candidates. 

However, we confirmed Jake Bequette’s attendance at the Washington, D.C. law school from four reliable sources. See the bottom of the page for details.

Bragging Bequette

Over the last few months, Jake Bequette’s penchant for embellishing his life has become noticeable to many. In an article titled “Jake Bequette brags about money and diamonds at a political conference,” a day he spent at CPAC in Orlando (Feb. 2022) was examined. Click here to read.

It is unknown how Jake Bequette could go from being “Ranger qualified” to posting a photo on his campaign website that allows people to believe he is a “Retired Army Ranger.” But maybe the embellishment and bragging illustrated in other areas are clues to how we got here.

A diversion

In many respects, the Army Ranger issue is being used by Bequette to divert attention from the most significant issue. 

You see, the most problematic lie is the one that Bequette told when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate with false dates of military service. His bio said he entered the military in 2015, and it conveniently covered up the fact that he had attended law school in the “swamp” of D.C. during that period.

Jake Bequette and his campaign have never responded to this issue in almost 300 days since it was first brought up on July 26, 2021, in the National File. Click here to read.

The only statement we have ever seen about this issue from anyone associated with Bequette is a “No comment.” This lie led major publications to pass on the false 2015 date, including the Army Times, NBC Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Military Times. Click here to read about this.

For almost two weeks, the lie remained on the campaign website at the start of the campaign. During this time, Bequette bragged on Twitter that his campaign had raised over $250,000 in the first week. But, of course, this begs the question: Were the donors ever informed of the lie?

More embellishment

This week, Jake Bequette (May 18, 2022) sent an email to Arkansans that said: “Jake is the ONLY conservative in the race.” 

U.S. Senate candidate Jan Morgan was shown the email on Facebook and responded today: “He’s lied about his military service, lied about his Super Bowl record, lied about being a retired Army Ranger. Why would you expect him to be truthful in an email?”

The response from Jan Morgan shows the comparative weakness of Jake Bequette.

Does anyone in Arkansas believe that Jan Morgan would let an allegation of stolen valor from the conservative website National File linger for almost 300 days with no response? 

Of course not, Jan Morgan would address the issue forthrightly. If she made a mistake, she would own up to it. And if she was right, she would defend her position. This is why a Jan Morgan victory in the Arkansas Senate race could cause a political earthquake. Click here to read more.

So far, Jake Bequette has not come clean – even as the 300th day since the allegation was made approaches. But, of course, this could be emblematic of how Bequette would treat issues as a U.S. Senator.

Would he continue to leave Arkansas voters frustrated by avoiding tough questions for almost a year – or even forever – without any comment?

Sadly, evidence from 33-year-old Jake Bequette’s campaign suggests that he would disappoint.

Editor’s note: Below are the links before and after the headline and story change by Fox News.
1. Link to article updated by Fox News on April 2, 2022, which removed the title “Ranger”: https://www.foxnews.com/media/gwen-berry-flag-protest-olympics-jake-bequette-biden

2. Link to the original article as it was from June 29, 2021, to April 1, 2022 – Screenshot was taken March 25, 2022: https://web.archive.org/web/20220325232108/https://www.foxnews.com/media/gwen-berry-flag-protest-olympics-jake-bequette-biden
Sources: The references below briefly mention Jake Bequette’s time at Georgetown in Washington, DC. 
1. “Ex-Hog empties nest,”  Jimmy Carter, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 4, 2017.
2. “Former Patriots DL Jake Bequette announces run for Senate in Arkansas,” Nick O’Malley, MassLive, July 12, 2021.
3. “From Patriot to patriot” Jeff Howe, The Athletic, November 7, 2019.
4. “Former Patriots defender Jake Bequette is finding success and happiness in his new career,” Brend Buchmasser, PatsPulpit, November 11, 2019.

Quote from Josef Cole, Public Affairs Specialist Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning – home of the 75th Ranger Regiment and Ranger School to Texarkana News: “It would be most correct to refer to them as “Ranger qualified” with regard to successful completion of Ranger training. When not discussing the individuals’ Ranger training, it would be best to identify them by rank and name, and add unit of assignment as applicable. It would not be accurate to refer to them as a “former Ranger” or “Ranger.”

Jake Bequette is NOT a Former Army Ranger, says Fort Benning, Brig. General & Special Operations Command Source link Jake Bequette is NOT a Former Army Ranger, says Fort Benning, Brig. General & Special Operations Command

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