Monday, February 5, 2007

The Way of the Ranger

“Arms once taken up should never be laid down
but upon one of three conditions:
A safe peace, a complete victory or an honorable death.”

Jeanne Albret

It was not surprising that last minute changes meant I would go to MacDill Air Force Base instead of Fort Stewart, Georgia. Since I have already been mobilized in the past, the process can be expedited, so I will drive over to Tampa tomorrow.

In reflecting on the long road I have traveled since I first entered the Army in December, 1968, I recalled the Ranger Creed. This was created after I became a Ranger back in 1970, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Today's Rangers have become new legends in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. The 75th Ranger Regiment and the Rangers who are spread throughout other Army units have waged a difficult and bloody war. They have lost many of their comrades, but other men still step forward to fill the ranks.

When you read the creed, you can understand to some degree the dedication and courage required to become one of these special operations warriors:

The Ranger Creed

"Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight; I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy, and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor."

"Rangers Lead the Way"

SFC Chuck Grist

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