It’s not often I come across something so profound that it makes me take a step back and just say: “Whoa! That was deep…” To me it came in the form of a Facebook post by Dalton Fury, author of Kill bin Laden, Black Site, and the newly released Tier One Wild (just made NYT Best Seller!).
Mr. Fury posted what he dubbed the “The DF Dozen – Leadership Secrets for Everyone“; a brief write-up of 12 leadership secrets he developed and utilized while serving in the Rangers and in Delta. Now this little write-up isn’t going to be a break down of Dalton Fury’s philosophies, if you want to read them I recommend liking him on Facebook or checking them out here. What I want to talk about is a specific reference in his post about the aftermath of the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.
“…on a hot autumn day on a remote parade field at Ft. Benning, GA, Garrison told the 700 members of the 3rd Ranger Battalion that we were as close to America’s Foreign Legion as you could get. He went on to say that our job was to fight the dirty little wars that nobody else wanted, was capable of, or could stomach. He finished by telling us that if we couldn’t handle the potential consequences of the business, or if our families couldn’t, then we needed to find alternative employment. Nobody expected Garrison to shoulder the blame, but he did it anyway, and still to this day he is considered to be one of the finest leaders ever to command Delta Force.”
I have never heard of the 75th referred to as America’s Foreign Legion, but it is probably the absolute best description of what the 75th is (hence why my mind was blown). Now please don’t start comparing the French Foreign Legion and their training and capabilities with the Rangers because the two units are also very different. But the culture, traditions, and espirit de corps is very similar! The French Foreign Legion gets all the dirty little wars that the French government won’t commit its traditional forces for. It’s one thing to have a foreign Legionnaire get killed in some African brush war and it’s another thing entirely to have a French soldier get killed in that same conflict. Sad I know, but it’s also the cold hard truth. Obviously the Rangers of the 75th are not a bunch of foreign berserkers, we are Americans. But our status in SOCOM gives the government more leeway to send us to go and skull-stomp random belligerents around the world without too much raised eyebrows back in the States.
As America’s Foreign Legion, we have been called to help recover hostages in Iran with Delta, jump into Panama, jump into Grenada, hunt warlords in Mogadishu, invade Afghanistan, and undertake the tough and dangerous hunter/killer raids in Iraq. Over the years the 75th has been given warning orders to go and stir things up in many other unfriendly nations that for some political reason or another were cancelled. I’m referring to the planned combat jump into Haiti in 1994, the attack against Vietnamese POW camps in the mid 80s (I will write about this later on), and many other places that remain classified to this day.
Yes we are a special operations unit, but we are also an elite light infantry unit and the next time somebody asks me what the 75th is all about. I’ll simply tell them we are America’s Foreign Legion.
Rangers Lead the Way!
Marche ou crève! (March or Die!)