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The Family Crowder
R.A. Crowder (1901-1972) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Saturday, 24 January 2009 15:10

Biography taken from In the Line of Duty by Lewis C. Rigler

Robert Austin Crowder was otherwise known as Bob, Captain, and to his old friends, "Snap." Though I had occasion to call him by all three names, my favorite name for him was another, "Number One Man." Crowder was my friend and co-worker for over thirty years, and for fourteen of those he was my Captain.

Captain Crowder was a true peace officer, one of the most dedicated Rangers I ever knew. More than once, Bob said he wouldn't trade his Ranger job for the Presidency of the United States. I believe the Number One Man would have worked for no pay at all. 

Why would I refer to Bob as Number One Man? When I entered the Rangers, there were six companies, each with a captain, but with no seargents. The captain was frequently away due to illness, vacation, or assignment; at that time a captain took on investigations just as a Ranger private did. The man who took over for the captain during these absences was called the Number One Man because the captain and the other Rangers recognized in him that essential quality of leadership.

The Number One Man served as a buffer between the men and the captain, often acting as a one-man grievance committee. Thus the Number One Man was unique -- he was efficient only if he could have the ear of the men and also as the captain. Bob Crowder was as good a Number One Man as any I have known. His sense of responsibility was evident in his definition of a Ranger: "A Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority. This ability must be proven before a man becomes a Ranger." "Snap" had that ability. 

Last Updated on Monday, 26 January 2009 11:29
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