BONIFAY — Retired Army Ranger Danny David told of the trials, tribulations, triumphs and tears of the progress and importance of the United States Army Rangers during the Bonifay Kiwanis Club’s July 10 meeting.
David began with a video captured by his son’s helmet camera during his tour of Afghanistan.
“The only way you can get a feel for what they do is by seeing it with your own eyes,” explained David. “As you can see they are checking where they walk because there are land mines. Six months before he went to Afghanistan he was in ranger school; he’s only 23 years old.”
He said that the Army Rangers first formed during the early days of America.
“Before that we had the organized battle tactics of the Europeans with bright uniforms and well formed front lines for straight-forward battles,” said David. “Their encounters with the Indians made that useless with their camouflaged attacks and ambushes. That’s when Rogers Rangers started the Rangers, using the discipline of the Europeans with the tactical maneuvers of the Indians.”
During World War II, he said William Darby modernized the Rangers creating an elite group to be the “spearhead” of United States Army in tactical combat, with their training being extremely strenuous and often dangerous.
“If you see someone with a Ranger badge, that means they’ve been through some stuff,” said David. “They know what it’s like to be hungry.”
He said 85 percent of their work is done at night and work in teams of five to six men.
“One of the missions my son went on was to recover four vehicles that were ambushed and ended up in a firefight that lasted eight hours,” said David. “No one on his team was injured, thank God, and eight enemy soldiers were killed.”
After he was done speaking someone in the audience asked the difference between the Army Rangers and the Green Berets.
“They’re trained for specialized foreign tactics, like raids and training,” said David.
He was also asked the difference between Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.
“They’re really a surgical strike team that are trained at the ocean and tortured for weeks,” said David. “We affectionately call them World Class Athletes with Guns. They’re the ones that if you were being held hostage they can ambush a place and kill everyone that needed to be killed and leave those that need to be alive, alive; it’s far more surgical with them.”