running up that hill
- Jan 3, 2007
- in Wonderland, with my Alice
FORT BENNING, Ga. (USASOC News Service, Sept. 21, 2010) – In a ceremony, rich in history and tradition, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment held a change of responsibility ceremony Sept. 14.
On the hallowed grounds of the Ranger Memorial, Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley K. Meyers handed over the reins of 3rd Ranger Battalion to Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Noland in an early morning ceremony.
“The one thing that separates the United States Army from any other force is not our equipment, nor our officer leadership, and not the motivation of our Soldiers and Rangers,” said Lt. Col. Mark O’Donnell, 3rd Bn., 75th Rgr. Regt. battalion commander. “Rather, it is the competence and professionalism of our Noncommissioned Officer Corps. And nowhere is that Corps stronger than the 75th Ranger Regiment.”
Superb NCO leadership begins at the top with men like Meyers, he said.
“As a mentor and coach, there is none better,” O’Donnell said. “After 26 years of service, and five years in different units as a command sergeant major, his advice is sound, relevant and always insightful. Command Sgt. Maj. Meyers has been a trusted advisor, an incredibly selfless member of our command team, and most of all, he’s been a great friend.”
The 3rd Ranger Battalion has a storied history that started in World War II and continued with Panama, and then Somalia, where the battalion engaged in an 18-hour fire fight against an entire city to retrieve fallen comrades. The battalion spearheaded Operation Enduring Freedom with an airborne assault into Objective Rhino and led the way into Western Iraq when they captured and defended Haditha Dam.
“And now nine years into the United States’ longest war, we have the men who stand before you today,” said Meyers. “These are not boys or kids which has become common terms used to describe the younger Rangers that make up our ranks.”
“After you have been shot at by enemies whose sole purpose in life is to kill you and destroy that which you hold dear, and when you have weathered the emotions that go with losing a brother-in-arms, you are no longer young,” said Meyers. “When you have seen horrible things and experienced death at a personal level, you tend to leave youthful things behind; you become men, veterans and warriors.”
In the nine years of combat, Rangers have established themselves as the nation’s premier direct action raid force.
“These men took the fight to the enemy’s back porch to places where other units wouldn’t go to conduct a battle handover with us,” said Meyers. “When others would designate areas as ‘No Go’ areas, these Rangers would go to root out the enemy.”
Targeting high value targets across Iraq and Afghanistan, 3rd Battalion has conducted more than 2,500 raids during its 14 combat deployments resulting in the killing or capturing of thousands of key al-Qaeda, Taliban and other insurgent leaders.
“I have had the absolute privilege over the last two years to go with these men on some of their missions and I have been able to observe them on the battlefield and witnessed the most awe inspiring actions,” added Meyers. “These men execute missions almost on a nightly basis and at times the battalion as a whole has executed 10 missions in a night.”
Meyers concluded his remarks with a quote from Gen. Creighton Abrams, “There must be within our Army a sense of purpose and a dedication to that purpose. There must be a willingness to march a little farther, carry a heavier load, to step out into the dark and unknown for the safety and well being of others.”
“You men are the living embodiment of that charter,” concluded Meyers.
Meyers next assignment is as command sergeant major for Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
As the battalion said goodbye to Meyers, they welcomed back Command Sgt. Maj. Eddie Noland who is no stranger to 3rd Bn. Noland served as a platoon sergeant in two line companies and as first sergeant in Company A.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Noland frequently served as the senior enlisted advisor to task force commanders, and brings an interesting perspective and insight to the battalion,” said O’Donnell. “As the regimental commanding officer is fond of saying, with great opportunity comes great responsibility also. We have a lot to do, and a deployment awaits us a few short months from now. I’m thrilled to have you on board and look forward to the months ahead.”
Keeping his remarks brief, Noland said, “It is truly the greatest honor I’ve ever had. I look forward to closing and destroying the enemy with you. Rangers lead the way!”