Static Line
25th Annual Best Ranger Results and Contributors
By Ross Hall


Static Line Ranger Column 21
July 2008
By Ross Hall

Greetings to all Airborne personnel!
There are many Airborne Associations whose members span 60 years and more of combat jumps. Those Associations are all about brotherhood and camaraderie and keeping the memories alive. The members try to get together as much as possible, some once a month, some once a year. It is perhaps inevitable that some discord will arise over what time and what place to hold a gatheringóand who gets to attend.

The US Mountain Ranger Association has just that problem, and though we manage to resolve it peacefully each year, it keeps coming back. The USMRA is hosted by Camp Frank D. Merrill, home of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion. Itís a great place to be. Camp Merrill holds an Open House every spring, and thousands of people show up to see demonstrations of all types for several hours, and then they all go home. Well, almost all of them.

The USMRA also holds an annual event called the Critter Cookout, usually on the same day in essentially the same place as Open House, where we cook and eat anything thatís not beef. Weíve been accused of scraping the roads for some of the meat, but itís really fresh kills from around the southeast brought in by Rangers of all ages. We have everything from rattlesnake to wild hog, and plenty in between. We have a great time. The event goes through the night and there may be a little partying going on. Itís an event for Rangers, but it has been severely diluted by non-members.

Rangers come from far places to attend the Open House and the cookout, so we try to have them on the same day. Unfortunately, that means many civilians are showing up at the chow line and the food runs out before everybody gets to eat, not to mention trying to have a conversation in the middle of several hundred people.

Yet, the post NCO Club is right close by, and that is powerful incentive when positioning thirsty forces with females in tow.

We considered shifting the location, but keeping it on the post, such as going to the end of the airstrip where a fairly large open area exists. However, if the students are in cycle there are going to be helicopters buzzing around at all hoursóand the NCO Club is at the other end of the strip. You might have a Black Hawk land on your head.

A few times weíve tried holding the cookout in other places or on other days, but there is always something wrong with where and when, such as no parking on the grass, no fires or no bathrooms.

If we hold it on a day other than Open House, then Rangers coming from far off may not be able to attend both. If we hold it way out in the woodsóa favorite optionóthen RVs, some cars, and those who have too much fun canít easily navigate the narrow goat-path leading to this paradise in the north Georgia Mountains.

What to do?

Some Rangers want their families to eat critters and enjoy the afternoon, but then as night falls they want everybody but Rangers to leave. Some donít want anybody but Rangers there at all. After all, it is a Ranger gathering geared toward brotherhood. Some donít care as long as they get to eat possum and quail and elk and whatever else.

This year maybe 70 Rangers showed up to eat. We fed maybe 400 people. Little kids were everywhere, and they werenít Ranger kids. People left over from Open House appeared, plates in hand, and ate like, well, wild hogs.


Meanwhile, USMRA spent a lot of money and man-hours putting this thing together for the members, who had to wait until half of them were asleep before they could sit around the campfire and tell lies. Thatís important, because you donít get a chance to sit with your brothers very often.

Itís like having your in-laws show up just as the viagra is kicking in. Sure, youíre glad to see them, just not now.


9 January 2007

Members of the U.S. Mountain Ranger Association (USMRA),

I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the donation of $2000.00 you made to the 5
Ranger Training Battalion for use in assisting battalion families in need during this Holiday
Season. Your contributions allowed the Company First Sergeants to identify and help more
members of their companies than would have been possible without your generous contributions.

Enclosed with this letter, are two checks totaling $1000.00 to be deposited into the Christmas Fund for this year. This donation was made by John Heath SR. of REMAX 400 North in Dawsonville, as a result of a program his company runs to assist the USMRA. As you may remember, he proposed during the annual meeting held during the Open House this past year that he would donate 10% of his companyís commission on any sale made as a result of a referral from a member of the USMRA or member of the battalion. This check is proof that he is serious about his offer. In total, John has donated over $4000.00 to the USMRA over the past 36 months. This is a relationship I hope you maintain as an organization after my departure.

The USMRA has accomplished a great deal for this battalion. Most members of the battalion donít understand how much you really do, or where the support they receive outside the military programs come from. I know you all prefer to remain in the shadows and not be recognized, so from me to you, I will simply say, thank you for all the intangible things you do for this battalion and Ranger families.

Glenn Legg
CSM, USA
Command Sergeant Major


8 January 2007

Mr. Henry Ostaszewski,

I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the donation of $1000.00 made in your name to the U.S. Mountain Ranger Association (USMRA) through John Heath SR., and REMAX 400, for use in assisting 5 Ranger Training Battalion families. The USMRA is a non-profit organization which is in existence to support and assist Rangers and their families and this donation will directly benefit the Rangers of 5 Ranger Training Battalion. I am amazed the support we receive, in many forms, from the Dahlonega and Dawsonville communities and individuals such as you, that help Rangers and their families. Again, thank you for helping the battalion chain of command take care of Rangers and Ranger families. Generally this type of donation is used to help families during the holiday season and will be earmarked for that purpose during the 2007 holiday season. Again, thank you.

Rangers Lead the Way!

Glenn Legg
CSM, USA
Command Sergeant Major


28 February 2006

Members of the U.S. Mountain Ranger Association (USMRA),

I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the donation of $5300.00 you made to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion for use in assisting battalion families in need during this Holiday Season. Your contributions allowed the Company First Sergeants to identify and help more members of their companies than would have been possible without your generous contributions.

In particular this Holiday season, your contributions made difference. As some of you know, one member of the battalion had his home burn down in December, rendering all his family possessions a total loss. Today, I am returning $600 to the Christmas fund for use next year.

I am amazed a relatively small organization such as the USMRA is able to do so much for so many Rangers and their families. We were careful to insure the assistance did not make the families uncomfortable to accept. Again, thank you for helping the battalion chain of command take care of Rangers and Ranger families.

Rangers Lead the Way!

Glenn Legg
CSM, USA
Command Sergeant Major

Michael D. Pemrick
LTC, IN
Commanding


11 June 2005

Al Parten presented the Lumpkin Band of Gold with our check during their Fund raising car wash. Mr. Miller, the Band Director expressed his gratitude and wants to thank all the Members of USMRA for the money. Lumpkin County Band of Gold consistently participates in the patriotic parades. Thanks LCHS! (Click on photo to enlarge)


30 December 2004

What follows is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Ross Hall with Ranger Jack Daniels:

"That Mountain Ranger Association is the finest Ranger organization going. Because they're more concerned about each other. That Sergeant Major Legg was almost dumbfounded when he found out how much money had been collected (at the last meeting). You don't find any other Ranger organizations that do that--they get along, they don't fuss, they don't fight, they don't say bad things about each other. They're not always hunting to try and get over on somebody else."

"I've taken up for a lot of people who have been maligned, but I say that about the Mountain Ranger Association because I've never had to do that. I've never had to say anything at all in defense of another individual because all the brothers are honorable. They're all concerned about each other. You hear a lot of joking, a lot of laughing, and I go down there once a month just to purify my soul."


16 December 2004

Members of the US Mountain Ranger Association,

I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the donation of $1671.00 you made to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion for use in assisting battalion families during the Holiday Season. Your contributions allowed the Company First Sergeants to identify and help more members of their companies than would have been possible without your generous contribution. I am amazed a relatively small organization such as the USMRA was able to do so much for so many Rangers and their families. Again, thank you for helping the battalion chain of command take care of Rangers and Ranger families. Rangers lead the way!

Douglas L. Flohr
LTC, IN
Commanding


23 December 2004

I attended Mountain Ranger school ( part of class 1-81 ) as a freelance photojournalist for Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Humping a ruck through the Chattahoochee National Forest, night rappel on Yonah, all great memories. They made me an honorary ranger, gave me a tab and said, "You got good legs, Pop" (I was 38 at the time). I consider that my greatest compliment.

"Rangers lead the way...."

Jim Peden
USN/USMC Vietnam Era

 
 

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