RANGER AGAINST WAR: Across the River <

Monday, September 24, 2012

Across the River

 --U.S. Special Operations Forces in Guatemala

 Take me to the river and drop me in the water
Dip me in the river, drop me in the water
Washing me down, washing me down 
--Take Me to the River, Talking Heads 

Let us cross over the river,
and rest under the shade of the trees
--General Stonewall Jackson's last words 

O brothers let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
Come on brothers, let's go down
Down in the river to pray 
--Down to the River to Pray, 

This is a Ranger challenge.

Fact:  200 U.S. Marines were deployed earlier this month in Guatemala. (This is not the Rio Grande.)

The Mission: To analyze and critique the above photo for mistakes, errors and any observations.  Please state your assumptions, both positive and negative, which validate your critique.

Bonus question: Does a soldier fight as he is trained?


  • This is a combat patrol to gain contact with the enemy.  
  • They have dropped their gear at an objective rally point (ORP)
  • This patrol will then conduct a combat mission.  This mission could be a raid, ambush or recon mission.

That is your starting point, Ranger readers.

Prize: The winner will be awarded the book, Special Forces -- The Changing Face of Warfare, by Mark Lloyd. Prize will be awarded at week's end.

Good night and good luck.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 Too many guys in the water at once
2 No ear protection
3 No protection of any kind
4 Posing for a picture in the water

At least he has his dust cover closed...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 11:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Yeah, my thought was "why are three guys in the linear danger area?"

They look real bunched up, as well, but that's hard to tell from a photo.

The lead guy has his weapon pointed out to his left but is scanning to his right, covering the same sector as the guy behind him. Again, hard to tell if this was something he was doing regularly or whether the camera just caught him at a bad moment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 3:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

And this is a personal peeve; the sunglasses. My old platoon daddy was a fanatic about them; his point being that if you were out in the sun all well and good, but what would happen if you ran off the paddy into the jungle? Dark as a hole in there - how the hell do you see through those Ray-bans? Or do you stop in the middle of a firefight to take 'em off?

I realize that these Oakleys are SOP now, but my old reflexes still jump when I see them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 3:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Look at the rifle-any comments?
What other gear do you see that's inappropriate or incorrect?
Sorry i haven't replied sooner but i've been having blogger difficulties.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 9:39:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Nothing that jumps out at me. I guess that a 2012 SOP would require all the ballistic protection vests and such, but this was what I went to the field with in the Eighties, so it looks jake to me, old fart that I am.

The guy in the foreground looks like he's carrying the grenade launcher, or is that just a trick of the photo?

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...looks like the lead is wearing gloves...not something I would have expected, but I know just enough to get in trouble! GSJ

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 5:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

I commonly wore gloves in the jungle - there's just WAY too many things that will bite you/sting you/slash you. But I also made sure that I cut the fingertips off so as not to lose dexterity. Those standard-issue gloves are way too thick, way to easy to fumble stuff...

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 7:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

To all,
i'll write a response on RAW.
will do so soonest.

Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 9:39:00 AM GMT-5  

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