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RANGERS IN COMBAT- Endorsements & Reviews


Bob Kerrey

The former U.S. Senator from Nebraska is a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions as a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in the Republic of Vietnam. He is also a U.S. Army Ranger School graduate. Kerrey is currently the president of The New School, a university in New York City.


No doubt people who have completed U.S. Army Ranger training, as I somehow managed to do three decades ago, will be attracted to Rangers in Combat.  John Lock's abiding sense of purpose is to tell the story of the Army Rangers with as much detail and knowledge as possible.  My hope is this book will be read by a larger audience, especially those whose responsibility it is to decide how to protect the people of the United States and our interests from hostile and dangerous enemies.


Mr. Lock is correct when he says that a study of training and operations—past, present, and future—provides us with an opportunity to be inspired by the "incredible courage, ability, and heroism of the U.S. Army Rangers."  Such inspiration is needed when we consider the nature of the challenges our nation faces.  And it is worth remembering as we civilians struggle to remain sufficiently grateful for our freedom and safety.


Mr. Lock brings a soldier's sense of honor, loyalty, and determination to his role as a writer.  He has studied the record with the intention of illuminating the path ahead.  Thoroughly researched, finely written, and historically fascinating, Rangers in Combat is filled with riveting stories and thoughtful observations.


Tucked inside these stories are worthwhile lessons even if your day-to-day life does not include military service. These are things learned, remembered, and applied by everyone who has been a Ranger.  Every Ranger is taught to acquire the right sense of urgency when given responsibility for a task, pay attention to the details of the work needed to succeed, and apply the techniques of good planning.  Most important, every Ranger is given the chance to lead and to follow; nothing teaches you more about being a good leader than following someone who isn't.  Rangers in Combat is an impressive and invaluable contribution, and a powerful tribute to the countless sacrifices of men and women in uniform.



Book Review of John D. Lock’s Rangers In Combat: A Legacy of Valor

Association of Graduates, United States Military Academy, West Point


What ingredients make an elite organization truly elite?  The answer is by no means easily discernable.  Practically every country in the world has its own elite forces, which possess various degrees of competency.  If it were a matter of dedicated financing, resources, equipment, and training, U.S. Army Rangers would not have emerged as one of the world’s premier combat organizations.  In fact, much of the American experience with Ranger units reveals a motley collection of small contingents, often slapped together in the midst of a conflict, and tasked to complete perilous missions with little or no support.


It is this history that Rangers in Combat by Lieutenant Colonel J. D. Lock examines, covering the exploits of Rogers’ Rangers during the French and Indian War to the 75th Ranger Regiment during the early months of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Deviating from the traditional approach of simply relating historical events, LTC Lock provides a refreshing framework using the following themes to underscore how U.S. Army Rangers have become the premier military force of modern combat: Leadership, Determination, Survival, Intrepidity, Initiative, Boldness, Training, Fearlessness, Endurance, Daring, Valor, Personal Courage, Heroism, Planning, Cojones!, Confidence, Sacrifice, and Brotherhood.


Within this framework, LTC Lock assigns a theme to highlight a Ranger attribute during a particular conflict.  The striking feature of these attributes is the crucial role that perseverance and fortitude plays during operations.  As Rangers in Combat subtly evokes, military competence alone is not enough to ensure success.  It takes dogged determination to succeed against daunting odds.  History is replete with the failures of competent units that lacked these traits to push on despite hardships and misfortunes.


For most of their history, American Ranger units have been accustomed to operating with insufficient supplies, equipment, intelligence, and even manpower.  They learned to depend on themselves, often operating independently for weeks at a time.  It is this tradition that modern Rangers fall back on, and these traits then define why today’s Rangers are different from other elite organizations.  Even if they were not the best equipped, resourced, and trained combat force in the world, U.S. Army Rangers would still dominate their adversaries.  As LTC Lock illustrates, their tradition demands it.


Rangers in Combat is filled with thrilling and fast-paced action, placing the reader in the moccasins or boots of those that shaped American history.  LTC Lock adroitly weaves tactical lessons in his observations at the end of each chapter.  These insightful nuggets provide the interested reader with tactical guideposts.  Indeed, this book serves not only as a history book, but also as a tactical manual for specialized operations.


In short, Rangers in Combat is a superb book for the professional library as well as for military instruction.  It has promise as an American military classic.




What makes them heroes?

Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor

By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)


Written by former Army noncommissioned officer and former assistant professor of the US Military Academy at West Point J.D. Lock, Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor is a survey of the lethal battles, acts of heroism, and faithful dedication of the U.S. Army Rangers, who have placed their lives on the line against crushing odds for more than 200 years of American history. In scrutinizing their courage, Rangers in Combat examines the question, "What makes them heroes?" The answer lies in the many examples of the Rangers' intrepidity, initiative, training, fearlessness, endurance, planning, confidence, sacrifice, brotherhood, and other powerful qualities, examples drawn from battles throughout historical record from the French and Indian War to both World Wars, the Korean War, the modern-day war on terror, and more. Black-and-white photographs are interspersed amid the examples, observations, and portraits of incredible individuals in this shining tribute to the men who have given, and continue to give, their all for their country.








5.0 out of 5 stars

An OUTSTANDING tribute!!!!! July 20, 2007

By A. Customer

I loved this book! I have always been sort of a dreamer when it comes to military history and have often wondered what some of our brave soldiers of the past must have gone through, especially those of the civil and revolutionary war eras. Still like a young kid I often put myself in their place when engaging a good, vivid book about their trials and tribulations. This is such a book, and it deals with the some of the toughest of the tough, our Rangers, from past to present.

I was specifically intrigued and glued to the book covering the "Black Hawk Down" situation in Somali. I've seen this movie many times, but reading about it.....I was glued to the book. So much not covered in the film version. Such great detail and vivid images. It thought I was there.

J.D. Lock, the author, is a retired lieutenant colonel and former assistant professor of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He took me from the beginning stages during the French and Indian Wars right up to Operation Enduring Freedom. You can feel this book. The action in Korea, the mishaps in getting our Rangers into Grenada. All there.

Hats off to an outstanding book!

Jim Stewart, Board Member, Book Reviewer, Military Writers Society of America (author of "The Ghosts of Vietnam")



5.0 out of 5 stars

'A Patriot' and a 'Talented Teacher' December 18, 2007

By Terry L. Decker

In LTC.JD Lock's attempt to impart the history of the 'U.S.Rangers' (of which he is one) he has succeeded in relating not only the long and distinguished history of the Rangers but also gives us in doing so a real look at the heart of the 'Citizen Soldier'. Our U.S. servicemen from inception to present day have displayed by and with their service what it is that has made and kept this country 'The Greatest Nation in the World'.
Personal responsibility, honor, duty and service to nation!!!(all good words to remember) RLTW
Thank you for your book, and your service Col. Lock

Tom Hanks

...a class act reply to receiving a courtesy copy of Rangers in Combat

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