Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Rangers' (3) Currently Viewing: 1 - 3 of 3

July 24, 2014 at 1:42pm

2-75th Ranger Regiment changes hands at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

James B. Bartholomees assumed command of 2-75th Ranger Regiment from Col. Gregory K. Anderson, July 24 at JBLM. Photo credit: Richard Baker

During a week of hot weather, heavy clouds and a cold snap threatening when Lt. Col. James B. Bartholomees assumed command of 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment from Col. Gregory K. Anderson, July 24 at Watkins Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, he inherited a unit with a long and proud fighting history. The 2nd Ranger Battalion is the second of three elite special operations commando battalions belonging to the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment. Guests huddled together and waited for rain as events of the battalion were related.

World War II brought about a need for special units and, along with the 5th Ranger Battalion, was quickly formed at Camp Forrest, Tenn. Only the best soldiers are chosen for special commando units and the 2nd Ranger Battalion felt like the best of the best when they were trained and sent to Great Britain to prepare for the D-Day invasion. Six Ranger battalions were eventually formed during the war.

Lt. Col. James Rudder attempted to land three companies of the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Pointe du Hoc during the invasion. Nothing goes as planned, especially during war, and several landing craft capsized drowning soldiers and losing supplies. Any chance at surprise was lost when the remaining unit landed an hour late. Undeterred, the remaining 190 men scaled rope ladders and completed their mission by disabling a battery of captured French artillery used by the Germans and pointed at Utah Beach. The cost, however, was high and only 90 soldiers were able to continue the fight and held off German counter-attacks for three days. After being brought to strength, the battalion continued to fight in the Hurtgen Forrest and led the assault on Hill 400 at Bergstein.

>>> Col. Gregory K. Anderson and Col. James B. Bartholomees watch over the 2-75th Ranger Regiment change of command ceremony at Watkins Field, JBLM, July 24. Photo credit: Richard Baker

The 2nd Battalion was reactivated as an elite combat unit at Joint Base lewis-McChord Oct. 1, 1974 and considered "world-wide deployable" by the Chief of Staff of the Army. In 19 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, they have conducted more than 3,500 raids against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. One company is always available for deployment within 18 hours, the remainder within a day.

For Lt. Col. Bartholomees, the change of command is almost like a homecoming. He served with the regiment as a rifle platoon leader, as the battalion logistics officer, and ranger rifle company commander. He was later assigned as the battalion liaison officer followed by executive officer. After moving to regimental headquarters he served as senior liaison officer, operations officer, executive officer, and regimental deputy commander. Many men know and respect him as an honest, intelligent, and fair commander. He returns that respect.

>>> Col. Gregory K. Anderson salutes the 2-75th Ranger Regiment during the change of command ceremony at Watkins Field, JBLM, July 24. Photo credit: Richard Baker

On three occasions, outgoing commander Col. Anderson deployed three times with the unit to Afghanistan. He will continue his military career by attending the U.S. Army War College before commanding the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy.

During the ceremony, the band sparkled, the troops looked smart, and even the rain held back out of respect for one of the finest fighting units in the military. At the completion of the ceremony, the sky broke apart and the sun shone through. No change of command has been better orchestrated.

April 27, 2014 at 9:22am

Tacoma run honors former JBLM soldier Pat Tillman

Yellow shirts bearing the number 42 ??" Tillman’s football jersey number at Arizona State University ??" bore tribute to Tillman’s influence. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Homage.

It is a Middle English word that sums up yesterday's run honoring Pat Tillman.

A noun, homage means a special honor or respect shown publically.

The signature fundraising event of the Pat Tillman Foundation, the run - Pat's Run - is traditionally held in April at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

A standout scholar and football player at Arizona State University, Tillman played professionally for the Phoenix Cardinals.

After the attacks of 9/11, Tillman remarked to a reporter, "At times like this you stop and think about just how good we have it, what kind of system we live in, and the freedoms we are allowed.  A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars, and I really haven't done a damn thing."

Placing his NFL career on hold, Tillman enlisted in the Army.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

On April 22, 2004 Tillman died in Afghanistan due to fratricide.

>>> A participant in Pat's Run, named in honor of Pat Tillman, crosses the finish line at Thea Park.

His friends and family started the Pat Tillman Foundation to carry forward Tillman's legacy of serving to the fullest by providing military veterans and spouses who embody the principle of service the educational tools and means to reach their potential.

"There was nothing negative about him," commented Tyler Renner, an Air Force reservist. "He was living for others, not for himself, and that is what we honor."

Through a partnership with the ASU Alumni Association, a number of "shadow runs" are held in cities across the country.

This year marked the run's 10th anniversary, and more than 30,000 runners participated nationwide.

The runs are casual, fun runs held in parks.

>>> The Tacoma version of Pat's Run began in Thea's Park at 9 a.m. April 26. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Approximately 80 runners and walkers showed up at Tacoma's Thea's Park early Saturday morning to raise money for the foundation which funds the Tillman Military Scholars program.

"It's great to be here, to give back," said 1st Lt. Jason Wagner, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, before the start of the 4.2-mile run. "I am one of the scholars who received money from the program to help pay for law school."

According to a statement issued by race promoters, more than 230 Tillman Military Scholars from 34 states have received $3.2 million.

"It is a privilege to publically pay homage to him," said Renner before beginning the run. "His is a cause worth preserving."

>>> Spc. Brandon Judd, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, picks up a flower honoring the Boston Marathon after finishing Pat's Run in Thea Park.Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> TRVLSQD members pack up their gear before shouldering rucksacks and a 150-pound log in memory of a friend's father and in support of the Tillman Military Scholars program.Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

February 1, 2014 at 1:34pm

Photo Hot Spot: 2-75th Ranger Regiment train at Fort Hunter Liggett

A U.S. Army Ranger assigned to 2-75th Ranger Regiment, moves across a ridge line during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

As you read in the After Action report in this week's Ranger newspaper print edition, the Rangers from the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, are conducting a military training exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett and neighboring Camp Roberts, of the California National Guard. The exercise runs through Feb. 5, and includes units from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, from Fort Campbell, Ky., and Air Force Special Operations Command from Hurlburt Field, Fla. Rangers are being tested on their combat skills in a simulated urban environment similar to those they may find during combat missions. This is a routine military exercise conducted periodically to maintain a high level of combat readiness for the Rangers.

The U.S. Army has uploaded several photos of the 2-75thRanger Regiment at Fort Hunter Liggett on its Flickr page.

>>> U.S. Army Rangers, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, advance toward their objective during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. Rangers conduct rigorous training to maintain their tactical proficiency. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

>>> 2-75th Rangers prepare to provide suppressive fire for an assault element advancing on the objective during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Jan. 22. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

>>> 2-75th Rangers exit a cleared building after a live fire exercise on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan 23. The dry climate along with the intense training was the cause of this Ranger's nosebleed. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

Click here to see more awesome photos of the 2-75th.

LINK: Walkie Talkie Flickr

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