TO FIGHT WITH INTREPIDITY - Endorsements & Reviews
Harold G. Moore
Lt. General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Co-author of the New York Times Best Seller
We Were Soldiers Once…and Young
Only a proud American Army Ranger could have authored such a superb book. Only a proud American Army Ranger could clearly capture in writing the brotherly love, pride, discipline, respect for and loyalty to one another, and belief in the vital importance of mission accomplishment that pervades all U.S. Army Ranger units.
This book, meticulously researched and brilliantly written, is a gold mine of information on American Rangers. Want to know the fascinating details of Rogers' Rangers and their 43 Battle Honors, and the shrewd tactics of Francis the "Swamp Fox" Marion? It's all here. The astonishing exploits of Rangers in World War II, and their controversial usage in Korea? All here. Operations of the American Ranger companies in Vietnam are highlighted with descriptions of gallant deeds. Want to know the details on the tragedy of April 1980 at Desert One in Iran; the bravery and foul-ups in the October 1983 Grenada operation, and the actions of Rangers in Panama and Iraq? Read this book.
For me the most enlightening--although depressing--part of Lieutenant Colonel Lock's book is his recounting of the results of the ill-fated altruistic commitment in 1992 of U.S. military forces, into harm's way, in the loser's game of Somalia--a Fourth World tribal country shot through with deadly internecine politics and motives of different tribes, clans and their leaders. In Somalia, humanitarian and nation-building actions by foreigners, backed up by combat troops, were viewed as threats to their power by clan leaders and outside interference in the internal affairs of their country. Anti-U.N. and anti-American propaganda increased and by late summer of 1993 had escalated to ambushes, mortar attacks, mine explosions, and firefights. "Mission Creep" had taken over. The shocking result was that terrible 1993 October day in Mogadishu when eighteen Americans were killed, seventy-three wounded on a mission which had nothing whatsoever to do with any U.S. national interest. Lieutenant Colonel Lock's vivid, heartbreaking descriptions by name of the actions of men who were killed, wounded, or survived the most vicious battle since Vietnam are absolutely riveting. His thoughtful, candid analysis of the entire Somalia commitment and the 3 October 1993 tragedy is extremely perceptive. In these years of shrinking American Armed Forces being sent into
costly and sometimes dangerous "Operations Other Than War" across the world, Senior U.S. Political, Military, and Cabinet leaders would be well advised to study carefully Lieutenant Colonel Lock's writing on the Somalia disaster.
This book will be a valuable addition to any Military bibliophile's library and is a must for those who want to know more about U.S. Army Rangers.
A fascinating and informative history of the most elite of the Army’s troops. A good read for any student of the warrior ethic.
Colin L. Powell,
General, U.S. Army (Retired)
A fine tribute to a great outfit. From the Revolution to the present, the U.S. Army Rangers have been at the cutting edge. Lock tells the story with skill and passion.
Stephen E. Ambrose
This work of Lieutenant Colonel John Lock puts the reader on the front lines with some of the most courageous men in history—the U.S. Army Rangers. To Fight With Intrepidity…provides a compelling look at a very vital combat force.
Former U.S. Senator
Lieutenant Colonel Lock has provided an exceptional history of our nation's Army Rangers. It is a work and tribute long overdue. I recommend it for anyone interested in our nation's military history.
Former U.S. Senator
Medal of Honor recipient
Lieutenant Colonel John Lock's To Fight with Intrepidity... is a great achievement. For the first time, the history of the world's premier light infantry force has been written. His scholarly researched description of Rangers in combat through the centuries establishes the rationale for the vigorous training that aspirants for the coveted Ranger Tab and Ranger Scroll endure. This tough, realistic training and the great demands that Rangers place on themselves are the reasons `Rangers Lead the Way!'
Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)
Honorary Colonel of the 75th Ranger Regiment
The history of American Rangers is the history of America. When Americans go to war, Rangers lead the way. Now one of their own has taken time to tell their stirring story. And what a story it is! Ranger School graduate John D. Lock writes with an authority and attention to detail certain to make this the definitive history of America's oldest military elite.
Author of Savage Peace
This book is by far the best all-inclusive history of any facet of combat arms that I have ever read. Lock has meticulously researched and presented the entire history of the US Army Rangers in this long awaited book. In short, To Fight with Intrepidity... is a smartly compartmentalized, thoroughly exhaustive, and intellectually stimulating volume on the history of the US Army Rangers.
Dominic J. Caraccilo,
Author of The Ready Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division in Desert Storm
A must read For all military enthusiasts, April 05, 2007
Terry L Decker, Life Member D.A.V.
Being a Retired Army LTC,and a Ranger makes 'John D Lock' highly qualifyed to write this very inclusive history of the U.S.Rangers, from inception in 1622 through and including the famous ' Blackhawk Down ' incident. To any student of Military works, and in specific the U.S. Rangers [you cant find a work better than this]!
Intriguing and Inspiring story, January 28, 2007
Whether you are currently a Ranger or aspiring to become one at some point in the future; whether you served in the military or are a military enthusiast, "To Fight With Intrepidity" is a great read. You will find it has detailed information on the formation and evolution of the Rangers in a way that keeps you interested without any extra marketing fluff. It is the story alone - one that will let you come face to face with men who lived and died, some even before the birth of the United States. But you will make a connection with these men, and come to understand and appreciate their valor and sacrifices, and realize their validity in our day and age.
LTC Lock reveals lessons for today's light infantry, August 13, 2000
Sam Damon Jr. (Fort Bragg, NC)
LTC Lock has done in a compact form a BDU pocket-sized complete history of the U.S. Army Rangers, this quantification is usually what we praise, but we forget the quality of his writing when he does this. We need to realize what is it that we want to learn from Army Ranger history other than the predictable HOOAH! stuff?
LTC Lock in his book reveals an aspect of light infantry operations we simply do not understand today with our men turned into pack mules with "100 pounds of lightweight equipment". Read his accounts of Roger's Rangers and you will see a light infantry that could "fly" on its feet through the woods and outfight the Indians. The recent film, "Last of the Mohicans" best captures this capability. This was a Ranger infantry that was willing to use unusual mobility means, also---boats, ice skates, snow shoes, living off the land--all to get that mobility edge over the enemy. In WWII, Darby used speed-marches and carts to carry mortars/ammo to close on enemies rapidly to gain surprise/violence of action. Merrill's Marauders used mules to carry 75mm pack howitzers and supplies to penetrate deep into the jungles of Burma and take Myitkyina airfield from the jungle-seasoned Japanese. In Five major (WALAWBUM, SHADUZUP, INKANGAHTAWNG, NHPUM GA, & MYITKYINA) and thirty minor engagements, they defeated the veteran soldiers of the Japanese 18th Division (Conquerors of Singapore and Malaya) who vastly outnumbered the Marauders. Always moving to the rear of the main forces of the Japanese, the Marauders completely disrupted the enemy supply and communication lines, and climaxed their behind the lines operations with the capture of Myitkyina Airfield, the only all-weather airfield in Northern Burma.
These lessons need to be applied to today's light infantry that is still over-looking the capability modern mountain bikes and carts with oversized tires could give an Airborne Ranger-type force to close on an enemy after insertion out of detection range by parachute/airlanding aircraft.
My only fault with the book is that it doesn't clearly lay-out the roles/missions dilemma current Ranger infantry is in---it really has 2 types of missions:
1.) on one hand its America's shock troops storming defended high-value targets alone or as a spearhead for other troops (WWII Commando mindset),
2.)on the other, it has to be able to "Range" across the land as light infantry for days at a time to raid/recon (traditional Ranger missions).
These two missions are different and require different mindsets and equipment---and this is why TF Ranger in Somalia did not have armored fighting vehicles--because it was not seen as appropriate for "Rangers to do mech" if one was defining the unit by traditional roles/missions. However, shock troops need shock action and that means Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) and shielded men, which Rangers lead the U.S. military by employing for the first time rifle-caliber resstant body armor and having the physical conditioning and willingness to take Soldier's load risks to go into battle with it. AFVs are not popular in the minds of some Rangers, but its necessary to successfully perform shock action missions in urbanized terrain. Other elite units in the world can ride AFVs without their image suffering. Walking is not always the best way to "range" across the battlefield, as Ranger gun-jeeps, RSOVs (Land Rovers) and HMMWVs attest from combat in Iran (Desert 1), Grenada (airlanded from C-130s), Panama (parachute air-dropped) and Iraq (Desert Storm). But these are unarmored vehicles not up to the task of advancing in the face of concentrated enemies and their fire. LTC Lock in his superb chapter on the Mogadishu raid expertly outlines why Rangers should have had armored vehicles and that they would have prevented 1-18 men dying that day. His Somalia chapter is as good as Bowden's entire book, "Blackhawk Down!" and in some ways better---because it doesn't mince words and gets to the point that AFVs were needed in the force structure.
If America's light infantry forces would look back via LTC Lock's fine book into its methodology of Roger's Rangers; it will find the mindset needed to make it the most mobile and hardest-hitting infantry on earth that can range across the terrain quick enough to defeat the stalemate sensors and optics will create against a slower moving force. If these forces will understand that as Col Daniel Bolger states in Death Ground: America's Infantry in battle: "Ranger tabs don't stop bullets", and accept a modest number of air-droppable and helicopter transportable light tracked AFVs into its force structure for its own organic shielded mobility and heavy firepower, it will have learned well from its Somalian ordeals and be ready to lead the way! into the 21st century.
Review from a Ranger perspective, March 30, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
Ranger units have always put tremendous emphasis on history and tradition as an aspect of pride in duty, and that's where this work has real value. Academic critique from recreational readers won't reflect this --it's just another book; however; Rangers and men in the Special Ops business out there will see much deeper meaning in it. If you want to take pride in wearing the beret a step further (whether today or years ago), read Lock's book. There are nearly four centuries of tradition behind the Ranger Creed and Roger's Standing Orders: Learn the history.
A great book on what it means to be brave, October 22, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
This book cover the hundreds of years that the Army Rangers or similar units have been fighting with tremendous bravery. Lock begins in the French and Indian War with Rogers' Rangers and continues all the way to the Rangers exploits in Somalia in 1993. Overall, it is a very fascinating book involving many fascinating - but unknown - heroes. Just to be a Ranger is to be a hero, and Lock shows that very well. The only complaint is he goes on for far too long on the French and Indian War. This is not all bad, though. Although that war is considered boring, he shows the incredible bravery of Rogers and his men. Despite the outdated war, bravery of men is still very modern. I would read this book again if I had the patience to read 400 pages of the same material again.
This is a very enthusiastic Book., July 26, 1999
Bryan Ferreira (Foz do Arelho, Caldas da Rainha Portugal)
If before i wanted to be a Ranger after reading this Book i want to be it even more!! With out any question this is a Book that puts you inside the realaty of being a Ranger and fighting for it's Values.It provides you with long hours of excitement. Rangers leed the Way.
For all students of the warrior ethic, January 3, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
For those who don't know, the legendary US Army Rangers are the most highly trained infantry unit on earth. The Rangers are also the proudest unit in the US Army due to their long and colorful history that dates all the way back to the 1600's. This book is an exhausting and detailed history of the US Army Rangers. By reading about the horrific battles the Rangers have fought (including the one at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan) you will instantly respect the heritage and culture of the Army Ranger. So read this book and then knock out a hundred pushups for the Rangers! Hooaah!
A "Must Read", for serious students of military history, September 4, 1998
Reviewer: A reader
LTC John Lock has been there and done that. Both as a United States Army Ranger and as a military historian. While the reading drys out occasionally you can refresh yourself by stepping back and putting the words on the page in the context of the time and place the men were performing their deeds. From Major Rogers and the French-Indian War to Saving Private Ryan to the two Medals of Honor awarded in Somalia, Lock covers the entire history of the United States Army Rangers.