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Tom Hanks into Army's 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.

Each year, the Army's elite Ranger units and regimental associations nominate a small number of Ranger Hall of Fame candidates, who are then scrutinized by a selection board. All but honorary inductees like Hanks have to be graduates of the Army's grueling Ranger School at Fort Benning, or they have to have served in a Ranger unit.

The latest 17 inductees were mostly career soldiers, ranging from generals to sergeants. The only civilian was U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall (news, bio, voting record), whose district is in the middle Georgia, including Macon. Marshall is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, Ranger school graduate and member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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