The term “ranger” originally comes from soldiers who ranged across all sorts of terrain.
Candidates must pass the “mountain phase” of instruction at the 5th Ranger Training Battalion at Camp Merrill outside of Dahlonega, Georgia, before they become U.S. Army Rangers.
Camp Merrill is where Rangers are taught to win battles in mountainous conditions. They must accomplish this incredibly challenging training with almost no sleep, few meals and zero comforts that you and I take for granted.
Camp Merrill held its almost-annual open house on April 26, 2014, in order to show the public a bit of what goes on in the North Georgia Mountains. I am thankful the Rangers allowed me access to share these photographs with you.
There are several important elements to winning wars in inaccessible mountains:
- Get to the battlefield safely.
- Win the battle.
- Get the heck out as fast as possible, while you’re being shot at.
- Thank God, if you survive.
There are military acronyms for everything. No doubt there are a few for this operation, where Rangers are flown to a clearing in the mountains and rappel down a rope before regrouping. I am not certain what it’s called, but this is what it looks like.
(Click on the pictures for larger versions.)
Here’s Plan B:
- Fly a helicopter in really low to the ground.
- Stop for a moment.
- Rangers jump out and prepare for battle.
- The helicopter heads for the hills.
- In a matter of moments.
The final step seems much harder than merely getting to the battlefield and winning the battle: getting out afterward.
Here’s how that’s done … by the Rangers. Please don’t ask anyone else to do this for you.
Rangers lead the way!
Next time you see a Ranger buy him a meal … or a new car. They all deserve our gratitude.