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John T. Reed’s review of the book The Coveted Black and Gold [U.S. Army ranger tab]

Posted by John T. Reed on

My birthday gift from my ranger buddy is a book about ranger school based on the diary of a West Point cadet who went there in June and July 1980 while he was a cadet on summer leave. My ranger buddy and I and about half of our West Point class went there in Class #69-3 in August, September and October of 1968.
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First, giving up your summer leave to go to ranger school strikes me as certifiable insanity. You have plenty of time to go through such crap after graduation. For my class, we got 2nd lieutenant pay and it delayed our going to our first unit and to Vietnam. Is it some sort of sacrilege? If you are eager to go to your first unit and to Vietnam, you are at least a bit nutty. You will better serve the unit and your Vietnam unit if you have a normal amount of training and experience when you arrive. Why get there early? To show off. If you are so eager to get into “action,” skip West Point.
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I am 22 pages into the book. Clearly, it is the official party line and the Hollywood hype version. My article on ranger school is athttps://www.johntreed.com/…/65802307-elite-military-units-a…
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My article is most certainly NOT the party line. One quote in “JD Lock’s” book is that it is the “seminal” work on the subject. My lengthy web article is one of the only works on the subject. So is Lock’s. So it strikes me as a bit much to call either or any others as “seminal.” They are for certain few in number. When the number of ranger books is just one or two, they are likely both “seminal.”
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If you are interested in ranger school—especially in attending it—read BOTH my article and Lock’s book. For the purposes of this article, I guess I should change my name from John T. Reed to JT Reed so I sound as macho as Lock.
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I graduated from West Point June 5, 1968. I entered ranger school in August 1968 Class #69-3. So did my West Point classmates who chose Armor, Engineers, and Signal Corps as their branch. The rest of my West Point classmates were in the class behind me.
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I was awarded the ranger tab on the aristrip at Eglin AFB at the end of the course and later learned, to my amazement, that my ranger buddy and I had both been recommended to be brought back to the ranger school as instructors! Thank God our being instructors there never happened. I wanted nothing to do with ranger school either in 1968 or later. 
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They also had a contest to see who could throw a grappling hook tied to a rope over a higher ledge. Only two in my ranger class did that. I was one of the two.
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They claim to be all volunteer. Bull! I was forced to go there by my choosing the signal corps. I could have chosen Military Intelligence or some other non-ranger required branches and thereby gotten out of going to ranger, but that would have put me into the Infantry for my first two years and into Vietnam sooner. It might have gotten me killed in Vietnam. Infantry had the highest KIA rate in my class.
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I do not know how many of my West Point or other classmates flunked ranger, but it was significant. Was I better then them. I was better than several of my West Point classmates who refused to carry the radio or M-60 machine gun when it was their turn. Sons of bitches. As far as the others who did not get the tab, I would say who passed and who flunked seemed to me to be random. But they almost certainly had a flunk quota that had to be filled so those who passed could brag about how super duper they were to have passed. Bullshit! Other than those shirkers, if you can go through four years of West Point, you can pass ranger school.
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Lock says only 25% pass on the first time. That is what my West Point classmates and I did. When we were there, there were no second chances. I wince at the thought. If you crawl naked over broken glass for a month but “flunk,” you get to crawl naked over broken glass for ANOTHER month, maybe to “flunk” again. No thanks.
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I never wore the ranger tab except briefly just before I got thrown out of the Army for “defective attitude” four years later. My JAG lawyer ordered me to do it for the hearing on his theory that it might cause the hearing board to like me. I laughed. They did find me “not guilty” of refusal to expend effort—damned nice of three non-West Point, non-airborne, non-rangers to declare that I was “not guilty” of refusal to expend effort—so maybe wearing the tab worked to that extent. Whatever. I did not wear it in the 82nd Airborne or when I was a platoon leader in Vietnam or when I was a company commander back in the states after Vietnam. It is now in a gray locked metal shoe box they issued to us at West Point along with my other military detritus like dog tags, ribbons, rank insignia, name tags. 
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I always thought that wearing stuff like that reminded me of the cub scouts. Grown-up civilians do not wear a Harvard MBA badge or a County Little League All-Star medal or a CEO of a prior Fortune 500 corporation ribbon. I am a grown-up civilian.
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Lock says not to assume that the leadership techniques he used should not be assumed by readers to be the best ones. He said leadership is individual to each leader. That is correct and good advice.
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What leadership techniques did I use in ranger? I have nothing to say about that. I just was myself and did what seemed needed at the moment. I did not do a lot of navel gazing about leadership. A lot of WPers DO do a lot of navel gazing about that.
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Lock says there are no secret to ranger school. I thought there were a few and I revealed them in my article. No big deal.
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Lock says the Ranger Creed is sacrosanct. It’s first sentence is a lie for many like me who were forced to go to ranger school. It says we were all volunteers. They wish.
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The creed brags at length about what great super soldiers we were. The honest version is we had two months of infantry training combined with severe sleep and food deprivation for maybe half the course. If two months training makes you superman, bring me some kryptonite to test my super powers.
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The creed says I will never leave a comrade behind. That is an improper policy. See my article: https://johntreed.com/…/66446147-john-t-reed-s-comments-on-…
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By the way, that creed was written six years after I graduated from Ranger School.
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On page 28, Lock says in June 1967 ranger school became mandatory for all officers with a Regular Army commission (technical term). So why are they claiming it was all volunteer? Because I volunteered to go to West Point? And how come my WP classmates who did not choose a combat arm, but who did get an RA commission, not have to go to ranger school?
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There was temporarily a desert phase in Ranger School after I graduated. They later ended it. Rangers cannot operate in Desert. They have to hide.
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Lock says on average, ranger students lose 30 pounds during the 61 days of the course. I would have guessed a little less than that. I would also say that I doubt that any legitimate medical doctor would approve of such a rapid weight loss.
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Lock constantly refers to the tab as the “coveted black and gold.” It’s orange, not gold. And protesteth so much that it must be called “coveted.” 
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If it was so coveted, why does he need to keep saying that. Looks like he will use that phrase, and never tab or Ralnger tab, for the whole book. Pretty tedious. And coveted by whom? 14-year-old boys would be my guess.
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There are 19 test you must pass to get the tab on page 34. They look like a very pale version of the requirements to be an Eagle Scout. One, for example, is to do six chin-ups. I doubt there was ever a time before I was about 50 when I could not do six chin-up. And I was not working out as a kid.
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The book makes much of the notion that the more you train the less you bleed in combat. It is not that linear.
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I know that well from a non-military context. I played and coached football for many years. I wrote eight books on football coaching.https://www.johntreed.com/collectio…/football-coaching-books
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In football, we film our upcoming opponent’s game the week before we play them. Then, in practice that week, we have our players pretend to be the upcoming opponent and run the opponent’s offense, defense, and special teams.
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And that is crucial to football success. But practice time is precious. The military guys speak of training as if you had an infinite amount of time to get ready. We had three days each week in freshman football.
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In reality in the 82nd Airborne and in Vietnam, I was never allowed to train my troops except for one ad hoc mission where I had to get a team of A/N GRC 26-D radioteletype operators ready to deploy to a joint US/ARVN ranger operation at Bunard, Vietnam. I mainly focused on the task of transporting the equipment, about the size of a pickup truck RV, it fit into the back of a 2 1/2-ton truck, and restoring it to service after a rough take-off and landing in a C-130. We ran the equipment over rough road then tried to fire it up. It would not work. We figured out what was broken then got extras of that part. Then we tested it again over rough road. Eventually, we identified all the parts that were likely to break during the flight and either gave them special protection or made sure we had extras. In the event, shortly after we landed, we had the GRC 26-D doing its job, because we did that training and testing. Most rewarding thing I ever did as an officer, but a rare oasis of actual doing what being an Army officer is supposed to be about.
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Did I learn how to do that at Ranger? Hell, no! At West Point? No. It was just kind of common sense from thinking it through. In Lock’s book, the message is sort of any unpleasantness they subject you to at West Point or ranger school is great training that may save your life in combat. My experience in Vietnam was all but unrelated to my training in ranger school or West Point.
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One main point is that training at Benning, Dahlonega, and Eglin ain’t Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq. To be valuable, it is best that training be in the same sort of terrain and climate. Training also ought to be joint. Combat is. But training is almost never joint. In Vietnam, the Army worked a lot with the Air Force; on the coast, with the Navy. Also we worked with Army medical people in Vietnam, but never in ranger school. You could train for ten years in the US Army and easily end up in combat where hardly any of the training was pertinent to your combat.
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Apparently, West Point and the Ranger regiment give their guys who are going to ranger school a lot of prep—weeks of practice in map reading and other early ranger school challenges. We had no such prep in 1968.
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At West Point and ranger school now they have a combat water survival test. We seem to have had the basic idea but I do not recall that name for it.
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Lock frequently mentions ranger students doing skits for the instructors. He says the instructors loved them. I remember no such in our ranger class. The closest we came was my ranger buddy and me. 
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We composed two songs about ranger school. The instructors heard about them and made us perform them for them. They were quite entertained. Maybe that is how we two signal corps guys got recommended to be instructors at what was then an infantry school.
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Here are our two songs:
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“Rangers in the Night” sung to the tune of “Strangers in the Night”
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Rangers in the night
Exchanging azimuths
Wandering through the night
what were the chances
We’d be resupplied
Before the night was through
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Ranger Handbook sung to the tune of Greenback Dollar
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Don’t give a damn about a ranger handbook
Use it fast as I can
’Cause C-ration paper’s in short supply 
And I ain’t gonna wipe it with my hand,
Oh no
I ain’t gonna wipe it with my hand
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Thank you. Thank you very much. We’ll be here all week. 
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I surmise this was Lock’s first book, and that he had no editor. Again and again he writes things that I do not understand—and I am a fellow West Point grad and an a ranger school grad. He writes as if the only readers will be fellow members of his ranger class.
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He needed to make sure laymen and military other than his classmates understand the book. Maybe a majority of the sentences in the book are unclear.
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Example on page 66 talking about skits they put on for the instructors:
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“Today, the caterpillar one proved to be excellent. But, then again, considering who and what we are, our criticism maybe when one considers our malformed sense of humor.”
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“One” what? Skit? What is the “caterpillar” skit? I tried to look it up in his index but this non-fiction book has no index. I do not believe he ever mentioned the word “caterpillar” before.
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And who are the “we” and “our” referred to in the second sentence? We squad members? We platoon members? We Ranger school students? We West Point cadets? 
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This is incompetence on Lock’s part and that of his editors. They should have asked the questions I just asked, and done so 39 years ago.
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The instructors seem to be constantly making the students do push ups and other punishment. We did some of that, but nowhere near as much as this 1980 class did. 
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Apparently, they could quit. We could not quit. If they had punished like this for hours at a time daily, I would have quit and told them I came to learn how to patrol behind enemy lines. If I wanted to do pushup all day, I did not need ranger school and they could shove their phoney “school” up their ass. Apparently no one in this 1980 class had the gumption to call Lucifer Effect on the instructors and quit. Those who quit just did it out of weakness according to Lock. I say Lock STAYED because of weakness.
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They did artillery. We did at West Point but not in Ranger. They called artillery in on themselves. They were in a bunker. They adjusted 105mm fire. But the call in on themselves included 155mm and 8 inch rounds. I was platoon leader in a mixed heavy artillery battalion in Vietnam—8" and 175mm. The bunker has not been built that I would sit in if 155 and 8-inch rounds were going to be fired at it. That is a reckless “training” session. He said the latter rounds were really loud. No shit? I have two hearing aids in part from being at Fire Base Wade when the 8-inch and 175mm rounds were OUTgoing, not INcoming.
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Lock seemed to have much of what I recall none of—free time—as in writing letters and such. Maybe I just don’t remember it, but my memory is that only happened between the Benning-Mountain and the Mountain-Eglin phases. About four hours each.
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He also says a lot about his particular group not cooperating and working well together. In my ranger class, maybe half were my West Point classmates. We had done the cooperate-and-graduate routine at West Point to the point where it was ingrained. And I think it’s fair to say that the rest of the guys in out ranger class followed the unconscious example of us West Pointer. The mountain instructors did not like us West Pointers and said our morale was crap but admitted we got the job done. I think we were just too impervious to their harassment. We had been through plebe year and we “no excused” them to death. They had no answer to that and were frustrated because their shtick was to ask why then attack us for making an excuse. But we NEVER made an excuse which left them sputtering.
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On page 70, Lock complains about having to walk to a bivouac in the dark. My recollection is that ranger patrols were almost nothing but walking in the dark. He then adds, “A harbinger of things to come?”
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Uh, yeah.
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When they arrived, they had tp put up their pup tents in the dark. Tent? Rangers had tents in 1980? We never had anything to do with a tent in 1968 ranger school. One night in the mountains they told us we could lie down and sleep. We usually had to sort of steal sleep. That night, it saw about 40º and raining. We had no tents, raincoats, or sleeping bags. I asked, “Where?” the other student pointed at the ground which was covered with about 12 inches of soaking wet leaves. So I laid down on my space blanket in the west leaves and curled into a fetal position. As I suspected, inside the space blanket like a baked potato in aluminum foil, my body heated the 40º water to body temperature and I slept.
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Freaking pup tents!? Like that kept you dry?
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Lock and his classmates have trouble staying awake in classes. Well, then they are not learning. We were sleep deprived on patrols, which we needed once to learn how to deal with it. Depriving people of sleep on days when classroom instruction is on the schedule is a contradiction in terms, an exaltation of masochism over pedagogy at an institution with the word “school” in its name. Stupid.
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Lock was in the Army for four years before going to West Point. I was a high school senior when I entered West Point at age 17. It took me about ten days in my first unit, the 101st Airborne Division, where I went for 30 days in the middle of my four years at West Point, to figure out that I wanted nothing to do with the Army. I figured I would graduate, do my five years and get out. After four years, Lock still had not figured that out. He was all excited about firing an M-60 machine gun at aggressors on a patrol then all excited about being delivered to a mock assault in a huey chopper. Oookay. I spent half my tour in Vietnam in Hueys, Chinooks, and Loaches. It got old during the FIRST such flight. Lock sounds like a middle schooler with his enthusiasm for weapons fire and chopper rides.
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It rained on Lock on the 13th day. He does not like getting wet and seemed surprised by it. Somehow, even though West Point cadets now attend Ranger during cadet days in the hundreds, no one told him what ranger school was like? It rains as much as it always has on the east coast—about 40 inches a year—like at West Point. Only ranters are not allowed to have enough sense to get in out of the rain. You just do everything out in the rain with no tent or rain pants or sleeping bag. You just stand there and get wet then wetter. Or you lie down and sleep in the wet leaves. It is common, if not the rule, when on patrol. Ranger school is conducted outdoors without roofs, tents, umbrellas, or rain gear—like a football game on a real grass field only without the locker room or those huge sideline coats.
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Lock talks much about a swamp at Benning. We had a dry swamp at Eglin. I recall only flat ground with pine trees and scrub oak at Benning.
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Lock chewed out his patrol mates just before they rated each other. He was rated the bottom by one and near the bottom by about half the guys in his group. It goes into your overall grade to determine if your pass or fail.
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I recall getting kudos on the rating for managing to get some extra food out on a couple of patrols. In one case, I had an extra canteen and turned it into a secret food container. In another I had a big package of Oreos and simply hid it in a pile of leaves next to a guy whose stuff had already been checked. I promised to give him some if it worked. Later on the patrol, I astonished him by keeping my promise. He was not a WP grad.
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The food I managed to take on the first day of a couple of patrols was insignificant calorie-wise, but as with POWs, it was a great psychological victory over the “screws.”
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I was shocked by something he said about peer ratings. Apparently, at West Point now, you have to rate at least one company mate in the top one and at least one at the bottom of the group you rate. To protect everyone in the company from washing out on lack of leadership, each cadet rates the guy ahead of his name alphabetically at the top and the guy just behind him alphabetically at the bottom. That gives everyone one of each such ratings.
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Wow! We did them honestly when I was a cadet and in ranger school. I am impressed by the cleverness of the system Lock describes, shocked that the officers at West Point have been too dumb to see and stop it, and disappointed that the cadets are all engaging in a fundamentally dishonest conspiracy to defeat a legitimate rating requirement. 
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We called getting a bottom peer rating at West Point being poopsheeted because you had to write a little essay on those you rated at the bottom. If I recall correctly, I got poopsheeted twice in four years at West Point. One was a classmate who disliked me. I do not know who. They were anonymous. 
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Another was a guy in the class ahead of me whose only complaint was that I “just seemed to exist.” That probably just meant he and I were never in the same division of barracks in Central Area, never on the same table in the mess hall, and never on the same intramural team. In other words, he knew nothing about me and rated me the worst based on that. The Tac said I needed to work on that. I said, “No, I don’t, sir. He’s probably corps squad (intercollegiate athlete who eats at special tables and who never plays intramurals) and just never was around me. He really just rated me ‘unknown,’ not bad.”
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He says they wore rain gear on the first day in the mountains instead of their ranger ponchos. I bought a US Navy rain parka (a canvass Ike jacket with a hood) as recommended by a Class of ’65 guy in a letter to my class before we went to ranger school. But we were not allowed to have ponchos and we had no other rain gear. The only thing helpful for rain I saw at ranger school was the navy parkas. Most guys in my ranger class had no navy rain parkas because of being non-West Point or arriving too late—having been forewarned, my West Point class bought them all out a few days before the reporting date. 
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Lock said they were bothered by a insect he calls chiggers. He said he heard you could ward them off by eating matches because they have sulfur and chiggers stay away from sulfur. He also said they need oxygen so if you paint the skin above where they burrowed into you, with nail polish, you will kill them from oxygen deprivation. He ate a book of matches for that purpose and painted parts of his body with clear nail polish. He got sick apparently from the matches. He seemed to think the nail polish worked.
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I am stunned to hear such nonsense coming from a West Point graduate. It is what I would expect from the dumbest enlisted man. Lock was an enlisted man for four years before West Point, so maybe he did get it from one of them.
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I do not know if chiggers exist or if they are repelled by sulfur. If they are, and there are no contraindications, the Army should give sulfur supplements to soldiers. We got salt tablets and malaria pills in Vietnam. I took them religiously and did not get malaria and had no heat injuries.
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If sulfur is good, eat an egg yolk. You get a normal mess hall breakfast at ranger school on non-patrol days. Eggs are probably available on each of those days.
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Here are the contents of a match: The head of safety matches are made of an oxidizing agent such as potassium chlorate, mixed with sulfur, fillers and glass powder. Red phosphorus is highly toxic and flammable. Glass powder is what it sounds like. Lock is an idiot for swallowing that and putting it into his book without an admonition not to try this at home.
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Regarding the nail polish. If chiggers need oxygen, it is in every cell in the body brought there by blood. Nail polish might block oxygen on a porous hard surface, but I doubt it works on a moving, flexible surface like skin. No matter, the hole through which the chigger entered the body would likely fill up via the self-repairing capability of human skin. And as I said, blood delivers oxygen everywhere in the body all the time.
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Lock needs to add to his book that these anti-chigger steps are total nonsense that readers should not mimic what he did. Better yet, remove all mention of them from the book. West Point should do a recount of Lock’s grades.
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What I did for safety in ranger school was often use an anti-bacterial spray whenever I got a scratch, which was frequent. Guys who did not were often swollen, I should have also sprayed my hands in spite of no scratches. We all got a flesh-eating bacterium on the palms of our hands and fingers that is a common problem with soldiers who cannot bathe regularly for long periods, like ranger school. 
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I also wore glasses with elastic that kept them from being ripped off my face. I should have gotten two pair of prescription sports goggles. I should also have taken multivitamins, although the idiots who run the school would probably have confiscated them.
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Lock and his buds eat C-rations a lot. I thought the Army got rid of those. That was all we had. They had MREs and LRRPs, too, which we did not, but also C-rats. I was surprised by that.
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Lock eats coffee and cocoa packets. We were starving on patrols. We tried to eat coffee, but found it useless as were the C-ration cigarettes. I remember no cocoa packets. We also had non-dairy creamer which we avidly ate. Lock says he is making cocoa and coffee into some sort of upper drug which is helpful for getting by. Never heard of that. Our hunger pangs were not interested in coffee. And we would have regarded an upper is an additional hassle.
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On patrol, Lock and his buds keep setting up camps. I remember no such thing. We stopped. A new patrol leader was named for the resupply patrol (me once). A minimal number of guys went out to meet the partisans who resupplied us. The instructor left and we got a new one. 
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This happened every 24 hours. Meanwhile, the main body of students tried to sleep with no instructor around during the resupply patrol. We did not camp. We just stopped and slept while the instructor and a handful of guys went to get new supplies and a new instructor.
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Lock said he walked over trees rather than around them. NEVER step on a fallen tree. Many contain bees nests and the hive will attack you if you step on them the tree trunk. Step OVER them, NOT on them. I am not sure whether Lock knows that. Again, his writing is unclear.
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We were told never to use a trail to avoid being ambushed. Lock bitches about not having a trail on one occasion. WTF?
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He is point man when he is patrol leader. I do not believe we ever considered such a thing. Point man has to focus on that. Patrol leader has other duties.
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My ranger school was an odd thing. #1 I did not want to be there and made no secret of it. Bad attitude? I got the tab and was recommended to be brought back as an instructor. I do not know what percentage get that. 
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#2 I did not care if I got the tab. My [bad] attitude was that it was beyond my control so I was not going to worry about it. Plus I was going to get out of the Army ASAP and I did not plan to wear the tab if I got it. I figured this was a miserable enough experience without worrying about getting the tab. Worrying about the tab would make it even worse. 
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#3 Not giving a damn is often misinterpreted as extreme confidence. When I got word I was patrol leader for resupply I was pissed. I took my time going over to see the instructor and get the map coordinates of the resupply point. Once, he sent a messenger to tell me I’d better hurry up. I did not. 
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I picked all guys from my branch who had selfishly taken two airborne slots when we chose assignments at West Point thereby preventing classmates from getting any. They knew I did not like them from my chewing them out at the branch drawing. Not conducive to getting a great performance out of them.
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Furthermore, I took the absolute minimum of rangers needed to carry the big boxes of supplies such that I would have to carry one even as leader. I wanted to maximize the number of guys who could stay behind and sleep. I did have to make it on time to the rendezvous point. God help the resupply patrol leader who does not get his guys their food and ammo.
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When I finally got to the instructor, he said I was in big trouble and we might not make it on time. I waved off his concern with a “Don’t worry about it. We’re fine.” 
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We headed out and the point man came back and said there was a road. “Take it,” I snapped, thinking that would cost me the tab. Then he came back and said “There is a river or wide stream.” I told one guy to go right and another to go left and find a bridge. The left guy found a bridge. We crossed it.
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By taking the road and the bridge, we were now ahead of schedule. We arrived at the road the partisans were on. We could see them in the distance. But they could see us, too, if we crossed the road there. So we moved in the woods away from them until we put a bend between us and them and crossed to road quickly in one “to the right flank, march” maneuver.
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Now we were early, so we circled around behind the partisans and came at them from the opposite direction they expected. We stopped with about ten minutes left before the scheduled meeting with the partisans.
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The instructor opened the map and asked, “Where are we, ranger?” “Right there” I said pointing without hesitation. He was suspicious. “How do you know that’s where we are?”
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I smiled and gave him a quick lecture on intersection and resection and demonstrated using each to pinpoint exactly where we were. He was floored. “Outstanding map reading, ranger” he said. “Outstanding!”
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I did not mention that at West Point in June after my sophomore year, we all had to teach a class. My assigned subject was “Intersection and resection.”
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He thought we were going to be late. In fact we were early AND circled around and came from behind. I did that by ignoring the admonition to stay off the trails and roads. I figured that would flunk me and all I wanted was just get it over with. 
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Apparently, he was not bothered by roads and was instead all about getting there on time and map reading. He thought I was the coolest cucumber and most confident, cocky and competent ranger he had ever seen, I suspect. 
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Nah, I just did not give a shit. I got map reading from day one at West Point. I could read a map like reading a comic book. Plus, I had the good luck of having been assigned exactly the pertinent subject for my June 66 class teaching project. Another of the guys I selected for the resupply was appointed to lead us back and I was a load bearing mule for that trip. I have no idea how he was graded. Never knew. Did not care.
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Like I said, I think the giving out of tabs and flunks was random among my fellow West Pointers. Some of the non-West Pointers were doing almost everything for the first time. Good luck with that.
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I originally intended to read the whole book. I read most of it, but I am tired of it and depressed by it. If I had it to do over, I would have tried harder to avoid Ranger School. It is too dangerous, too useless for lesson that would profit you in other aspects of your life. It is a Zimbardo Lucifer Effect activity. Shame on those who depict graduating from it as a great accomplishment that made you a better person. That was one of the basic problems with the mindset of West Point. There, anything that annoyed or harassed cadets was considered to be good on the grounds that it built character. Some things, maybe most things that are annoying or harrassing are no beneficial, they are just annoying or harrassing. Ranger school is mainly torment for torment’s sake. I never coveted the ranger tab and I did not wear it after I got it. It is a badge of buying into obvious Army bullshit.
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Give me the same time period and I would produce a course that made the students far better soldiers, graduated a far higher percentage of those who started, and did not kill anyone or cause everyone to lose 25 pounds and did not deprive students of rest and adequate food.I coached 16 football teams. We had to use our time wisely, not drive players off the team with unnecessary Bataan Death March ordeals, and put our training to the test in nine or ten actual games against opponents, not “aggressors” who took a fall every time we attacked them.

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