Thursday, December 27, 2007

Check out "Weaponology 2" on the Military Channel

I became an Army Ranger in June, 1970 (Ranger class 13-70) while stationed at what was then the “Ranger Department” at Fort Benning. At the time there wasn’t a Ranger Regiment and the only active Rangers were either with me at the Army’s Ranger School, assigned to one of the Army’s regular or airborne units or serving in one of the Ranger Companies in Vietnam.

Although I didn’t serve with those legendary Ranger units (I was a platoon leader with the First “Air” Cav), my Ranger training helped me adapt to the brutal war in Vietnam. With the mentoring of a couple of excellent sergeants, then-Lieutenant Grist began his real education in the craft of war.

Remembering the lessons of some of history’s famous Rangers like Major Robert Rogers of the legendary Roger’s Rangers of the mid-1700s, I learned to read the signs left by the enemy on jungle trails (“trotters” as we referred to them). My sergeants also taught me the art of locating bunker complexes, how to recognizing the smell of the enemy (which is determined by both heritage and diet), the necessity of thinking like a warrior every minute of every day and many, many other things that helped ensure our survival in combat.

I'm nothing special - just an old soldier who’s been around long enough to have served in both Vietnam and Iraq. There are untold numbers of others who have served in more wars and who endured many more horrible experiences than me. I have known or talked to many of these soldiers and I am awed by their courage and sacrifice.

Over the last year, I’ve discovered that participating in the world of blogging opens doors to many parts of the world. Emails from various countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have inspired me to continue to write about the War on Terror. Veterans and active members of our military and the military of other nations have written to share experiences or give support to our troops.

One of the emails came from a British production company that films the series "Weaponology" which can be viewed on the Military Channel. They were filming the second season of this program, Weaponology 2, which would focus on the various special operations forces throughout the world. One program was about the Army Rangers. I guess they couldn’t believe an old Ranger from the 1970s was still serving in the Army.

When this company asked to interview me, I had to go through my chain of command in the First Army all the way to the commanding general, Lieutenant General Russel Honore, to get permission for these guys to talk to me. The interview finally took place at the Orlando reserve center and the Army Ranger program first aired on December 18th.

So if you happen to watch this program on the Military Channel and you see a few segments with some old soldier named Grist – yeah, it is this old Vietnam/Iraq war veteran. (The above photo is me in Vietnam in 1970.)

SFC Chuck Grist

1 comment:

  1. Saw it tonight - nice work. Wished they went into a little more detail with you as to what has/hasn't changed over the last 38 years.