U.S. Green Beret completes Royal Thai Army Ranger school.
A member of the Green Berets has become the first American to graduate from the grueling Royal Thai Army Ranger training school program and said the brotherhood he forged with Thailand’s soldiers and people would last forever.
“It is a lifetime bond here. I will always remember these guys, and I will always keep in contact with them. It is like brother-to-brother mentorship,” the American soldier told a United States military publication.
As a member of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), a unit similar to Seal Team Six, the U. S. Department of Defense said his identity must remain classified.
The commanding officer of the 1st Special Forces Group said, “The skills that he comes back with and the relationships he forged while there will better prepare both countries to operate with each other for our mutual defense. He is a tactical and cultural diplomat for our country and Army.”
Thailand is the oldest treaty partner of the U.S. in Asia, and the two countries have had formal military cooperation for over half a century. Both countries’ soldiers have served side-by-side in a number of conflicts and many United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The two countries co-host Cobra Gold, the largest annual multinational military training exercises in Asia and the Pacific.
The last American soldier to undergo Thai Ranger training was 40 years ago, but the program took a different form then. The Green Beret is the first U.S. servicemember actually to graduate from the program. Of 198 soldiers who undertook the training, 187 graduated.
The publication described the Thai Ranger training program as grueling. It consists of different phases: mountain, forest, swamp, maritime and urban combat.
The American trooper performed so impressively that he not only earned a Thai Ranger badge, he was awarded recognition as the program’s distinguished graduate.
“The Green Beret was recognized as a valued teammate whom instructors came to rely on. As the course progressed, instructors placed him in key positions to facilitate the successful completion of missions within his platoon,” the publication wrote.
The Royal Thai Army said, “The Green Beret’s conduct demonstrates the value the U.S. Army places on equal partnership in support of the U.S. – Thai alliance.”
Photo courtesy of https://www.army.mil/article/242206/