Rangers Helping Rangers

Rangers climbing the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc
DDay75 Rangers at Pointe du Hoc (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

For those Rangers and other veterans looking for help, there are several Ranger based organizations out there to reach out to. If you are a Ranger that has had a brother reach out to them for help and not known where to look, here is a quick reference to the organizations that I have heard of or interacted with. Most of these organizations focus on the transitioning Ranger (veteran), but that doesn’t mean just the soldier leaving the military. Most of us have left the military and managed to stay afloat either on our own or by other influences. Some of us get lost or pulled under because all we were doing was treading water, and some us stronger Rangers were able to tread water for a long time before we just got too tired to keep our heads above water.

I will preface this list of organizations with the primary organization that we all should be linked into, the brotherhood. I have called on and linked back up with Rangers I haven’t talked to since leaving the Regiment or after a long break in contact and it was like we had just talked the week prior. I have also met and assisted many Rangers on social media, local area link ups or chance contacts from friends and work. What I am saying is, ‘Be a good Ranger Buddy’. The following will be a list of organizations with descriptions pulled mostly from their websites.

Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, INC. is an active duty, casualty assistance, recovery, transition and veterans organization that provides financial support, beyond that which the Government And Veterans Affairs can offer, to U.S. Army Rangers and the families of those who have died, have been disabled or who are currently serving in harm’s way around the world. They also work directly with the U.S. Special Operations Care Coalition to assist U.S. Army Rangers. Programs include; Ranger Transition ProgramWounded Ranger Recovery ProgramRanger Chaplain ProgramRanger & Family Health & Wellness Program, and Gold Star Program. The organization is a way for the family and friends of Sgt. James J. Regan to give back to his brothers.

The Darby Project

The Darby Project serves U.S. Army Ranger School qualified soldiers and soldiers serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Their mission to facilitate a successful transition from Active Duty to a civilian life filled with hope and purpose is accomplished through their Ranger Functional Fitness programs and events; connecting them to fellow Rangers, educating them about resources available to Rangers & their families from various businesses and organizations and ultimately empowering them to lead the way in their communities. The Rangers return on investment to the U.S. Army is leadership. Soldiers deserve the best-trained leaders our Army has to offer. Those leaders are Rangers. The Darby Project is the veteran-led extension of the Army’s investment. The Darby Project Sets the Example for Others to Follow by building Rangers for Life. Here is a link to businesses and organizations that support The Darby Project and the mission. The Darby Project is part of the GallantFew Family of Organizations. Ranger veteran, founder and Executive Director of GallantFew, Karl Monger realized as GallantFew grew that he needed a Ranger specific organization and founded The Darby Project.

GallantFew

The GallantFew with a mission to facilitate a peaceful, successful transition from military service to a civilian life filled with hope and purpose. They accomplish this through a “Revolutionary Veteran Support Network® of programs and organizations including; The Darby ProjectThe Raider ProjectWings LevelVet RecWomen with A Mission ProjectRun Ranger RunVETXPODescendants of SpartaGallantFew Functional FitnessAirborne Ranger in the Sky and Law Enforcement Education.

US Army Ranger Association

U.S. Army Ranger Association’s (USARA) main focus is preserving the history and heritage of the U.S. Army Rangers by strengthening the relationships among all Rangers past and present, foster camaraderie among those that have earned the title of U.S. Army Ranger and to provide an extended community for all U.S. Army Rangers and their families. USARA has a scholarship program for dependents of members or Fallen Rangers and a Ranger Assistance Program. USARA established its Ranger Assistance Program (RAP) in 2010 for the purpose of providing immediate, short-term financial assistance to active duty and veteran Rangers, as well as their immediate family. The RAP is intended to provide emergency assistance, financial and otherwise, in an effort to ensure that every Ranger is afforded the opportunity to take a knee, get a sip of water, return to the fight, and drive on to the Ranger objective. The RAP is wholly funded by donations from USARA members as well as individuals and corporations that support the Ranger community.

Three Rangers Foundation

Three Rangers Foundation has a vision to provide the best experts, advice, and assistance in every aspect of the transition journey; spiritual, physical, behavioral, employment, financial, legal, family, and education. The focus is to specifically help Rangers, Ranger Gold Star Families from the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, to include Veterans of affiliated supporting units. These selfless servants are consistently called onto be the tip of the spear, who “shoulder more than my share of the task” and subsequently are the most heavily burdened with the rigors of combat. The needs of these warriors are unique and assisting their transition back to civilian life is a primary focus of the foundation. TRFs mission is Empowering Veterans, Gold Star Families and affiliates of the 75th Ranger Regiment to achieve lifelong success. Their programs include a veteran development program, support for the 75th Ranger Regiment in the form of Ranger For Life, Veteran in Need, Gold Star Program, Behavioral Fitness and a mentorship program.

Sua Sponte Foundation was created to provide assistance to the men and families of the 1st Ranger Battalion. With the support of donations from individuals and businesses, the Sua Sponte Foundation provides; maintenance and care of the 1/75 Memorial site to the highest standard, helping the men and families of 1/75 in times of crisis, hosting and sponsoring events that serve to increase the morale and cohesiveness of both the men and families of 1/75.

Pointe du Hoc Foundation

The Pointe Du Hoc Foundation An inspiring community of volunteers and sponsors committed to 2nd Battalion Rangers and families. The Foundation was established to recognize and commemorate the special operations warriors of 2nd Ranger Battalion. The all-volunteer organization was formed in 2011, and partners with government and community leaders, local and national businesses, and friends of the battalion, providing support to Rangers and family members who served honorably in 2/75. The foundation provides support through their programs for the Ranger Scholarship Fund, a Life Skills Series for the Rangers, Unit Moral Activities both pre and post deployment for Ranger Families and sustaining the 2/75 Memorial.

There are several other Ranger owned or formed groups and businesses that support the veteran community. ReGroup4vetsVeterans Xtreme AdventuresRanger RoadScroll FactoryAmerican Trigger Pullers are among them. There are also social media groups that link up for social events and comradery, based on regional locations. These are a good way to build a support network for both mental well-being and business opportunities. Get out there and support your Ranger Buddy or those that do. And most importantly, if you need help, reach out. There is no reason to attack these problems alone.

“I will never leave a fallen comrade…”

Please comment below if you know of other Ranger owned organizations or businesses that support the community and don’t forget to post a link. RLTW!

Originally posted on ArmyRanger.com November 2019

Day Trip to U.S. Elite Gear

US Elite HQ
Representing Spotter up at U.S. Elite announcing their support of Warriors Heart Foundation

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to make the drive up to New Jersey and spend the day with U.S. Elite and see some of the good things happening with them. Steve Keefer, owner of U.S. Elite, invited Spotter Up to be present when they announced the first of three initiatives that will be part of their quest to find their Higher Purpose. In attendance were several officers from the local and Regional SWAT teams, a former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik and his son (Newark PD SWAT officer), former members of the SOF community, U.S. Elite team members from out of state and product representatives Steve and Hugh from Amer Sports (Arc Teryx, Salomon and Suunto). Steve brought in Brad to share his story of recovery and how Warriors Heart Foundation saved his life.

Warriors Heart Foundation
U.S. Elite Partners with Warriors Heart Foundation, donating 275 boots and counting

Brad opened up to share with all of us how addiction had taken hold of him and where it had taken him. He has been sober for 337 days (and counting) since leaving the Warriors Heart facility in Bandera, (near San Antonio) Texas. While in treatment, Brad had a roommate from a SOF unit also dealing with addiction. His roommate had shown up with his only pair of footwear, the same boots he had deployed with. They in rough shape and far from serviceable. Brad ordered a pair of Salomon Forces boots from U.S. Elite to give his roommate to start his journey to recovery. Brad did this 3 more times while at Warriors Heart to give his brothers solid footing on their path forward. Steve and U.S. Elite has since shipped $50,000 of Salomon Forces footwear to Warriors Heart Foundation, that’s 275 pairs, each with a handwritten card for the recipient. Steve’s goal is to continue to donate boots to the recovering warriors by donating a percentage of every sale of Salomon Forces footwear from U.S. Elite to provide a pair for every participant. With this being only the first of three initiatives, that Steve and his team has for giving back to the community he continues to serve, I am looking forward to the other two.

Sua Sponte Mark II
Close up of the U.S. Elite exclusive Salomon Forces “Sua Sponte Mark II” *notice their logo on the tongue

U.S. Elite is the only company to have partnered with Salomon for an exclusive variant of the Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid; the Sua Sponte. The Sua Sponte comes in Wolf Grey and is only available at U.S. Elite. They now have the Sua Sponte Mark II, (XA Forces Mid non-Gore-Tex) in the same exclusive Wolf Grey with the current Salomon upgrades to the sole, added abrasion resistant medial and toe protection and black accents. While at this event, Amer Sports regional sales managers were on hand to speak to the focus for the coming year for Arc Teryx LEAF and Salomon Forces and share a little company history. The Forces line is focusing on protection for its law enforcement users by adding anti-slip, anti-static and anti-puncture properties to their soles. The Forces line has been around since 2015 with reduced logo signatures and upgraded durability, but Salomon has been making footwear for military users since the early 2000’s. Arc Teryx will be re-introducing the Spinx combat pants due to demand from some of its DoD clients. Arc Teryx started the LEAF (Law Enforcement Armed Forces) program in 2003 offering low-vis logo and subdued color schemes. To speak to their quality, there is an Alpha Jacket that has been on deployment and in use for over 16 years, getting handed off to the incoming war fighters. These brands only exemplify the quality of gear and the service that Steve is maintaining both in his company and customer service but also in his resolve to give back to the community.

Conversation with Steve Keefe, Owner of US Elite
Convo and Chill

This was a great trip to meet a fellow 2/75 Ranger, his team and some industry professionals while representing Spotter Up. I got to spend some time talking with Brad after he shared his story. You could really hear and feel the passion and focus he has looking for every opportunity to pay it forward. This embodied the atmosphere found in the offices of U.S. Elite, taking care of and giving back to the community they serve both locally and globally. After all the news and business was taken care of, I was invited to dinner at the Front Porch Pub. A perfect end to the day, sharing some beers, stories and time with the team and the reps from Amer Sports. If you haven’t checked out U.S. Elite, please go stop by their website or social media feeds. They carry top quality brands, sold at competitive prices and their customer service is top notch.

*All photos provided by U.S. Elite staff

Originally posted on Spotterup.com October 2019