Rogers' Rangers and the Mentality of the Modern Firefighter, Part II

How many times have we gone to that same address for bells? How many times have we gone out for the odor of smoke in the building, and with a glance at a watch, easily surmised that it will be food on the stove? “Odor of electrical”? We laugh at it.


"I can just remember Sgt. Eversman telling me, you know, "Moore, find some cover. Moore"- you know, because I was out in the open. And it still didn't register, you know, what was going on until people started getting hit." Ranger Specialist Jason Moore, Chalk 6

On Sunday, 3 October 1993, Rangers of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, along with various Delta Force operators, Special Operations Aviators, Air Force Para Jumpers and Navy Seals left in the daylight for a raid that was assumed to take approximately one hour. 17 hours later, 18 American soldiers were killed, dozens wounded, over two days of what is still considered the most intense firefight since the Vietnam War. There has been much written about the assault as well as the production of the movie Black Hawk Down. In this second part, we'll compare how the Army looked at problems in Mogadishu and problems the fire service encounters with line of duty deaths.

"I don't think anything could have prepared us for what happened on the 3rd. Prior to the third we had done 6 other missions in Somalia; all went very well. No one was injured. We did start to become confident. Maybe we should not have gone out in daylight, but we had a mission to do. I don't think our confidence level had anything to do with what occurred on the 3rd. It may have affected the decision to launch the attack, but once we were on the ground it just didn't matter."
Ranger Specialist Jason Moore, Chalk 6

The military mission in Mogadishu, Somalia, was part of the larger mission that made up Operation Restore Hope. The Special Forces in the operation were identified as Task Force Ranger. Their mission, at the behest of Admiral Jonathan Howe (special representative to the U.N. Secretary General), was to capture Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his staff. The initial use of military muscle was easily available at the moment the United Nations issued an "arrest warrant" for Aidid. On 12 June 1993 Spectre gunships destroyed Aidid's radio station. Cobra helicopter gunships destroyed Somali National Alliance targets while forces on the ground assaulted other targets. The following day, Spectre gunships destroyed Aidid's home and headquarters. Two days later Aidid's deputy had his home leveled by the Spectres and Cobras. Almost a week later, buildings used by Aidid and Ato his treasurer, were assaulted by Spectres and Cobras again, as well as by armor from Pakistani and Moroccan forces under U.N. command. With war being literally declared by both sides, Task Force Ranger was quietly deployed in August of 1993 to conduct "snatch and grab" operations to get Aidid primarily, and his staff, if he couldn't be found. The U.S. military had come to the gunfight not with just a six-shooter, but with a Gattling gun as well.

" But I really didn't feel very differently about that (increased armament on helicopters). I think we'd all gotten a little complacent. We all thought that since nothing serious had happened before, nothing was going to happen this time out, regardless of these changes."
Ranger Sergeant John Bellman, Combat Search and Rescue Team, Super 68

How many times have we gone to that same address for bells? How many times have we gone out for the odor of smoke in the building, and with a glance at a watch, easily surmised that it will be food on the stove? "Odor of electrical"? We laugh at it.

This content continues onto the next page...