Ranger Buddies Reunited At Fort Hood
(April 21, 2011)
From left to right: Capt. William Soto, the
executive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd
Special Troop Battalion; 1st Sgt. John Edwards, of A Company, 1st
Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment; Lt. Col. Mark Davey, commander of
2nd STB, 2nd BCT, and Lt. Col. Chip Daniels, commander of 1st Bn.,
5th Cav. Regt., stand together in front of the 1st Cavalry Division
memorial, April 14, 2011. All four of these soldiers graduated from
the same Ranger Class in 1994 and now serve together in the 2nd BCT
nearly 17 years later.
FORT HOOD, Texas (4/18/2011) -- Odds are a funny thing. The odds of
winning the lottery can be millions to one, but somebody will win.
Maybe that someone is next door.
That is the case for Ranger
Class 12-94, where two battalion commanders, a first sergeant and a
company executive office all find themselves in the same brigade
combat team nearly 17 years after graduating Ranger School.
Lt. Col. Chip Daniels, commander of 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry
Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division; Lt. Col.
Mark Davey, commander of 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT; Cpt.
William Soto, the executive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters
Company, 2nd STB; and 1st Sgt. John Edwards, of A Company, 1st Bn.,
5th Cav. Regt., are
all now part of the Black Jack Brigade; defying the odds even more
by working out of the same headquarters building.
“Ranger class 12-94 was nothing out of the ordinary,” explained Daniels.
“The class began as all do; the premier training event for small unit
leaders. The odds were when our...soldiers finished the course, their
chances of seeing each other again were good, but serving together, in
the same brigade, and the same building—that's a winning ticket!”|
None of these soldiers had really stayed in contact over the years,
making there meeting all the more surprising for them.
up here one week before the change of command, and I saw Chip's name and
thought it looked familiar, but it didn't click,” said Davey. “We saw
each others face and instantly recognized.”
Later, Daniels and
Davey recognized Soto and Edwards, and the group has been reliving
memories ever since.
“The reunions have been interesting,” said
Daniels, who remembers one story particularly vividly.
group was slugging through the Florida swamps, and after days without
sleep, I was beginning to hallucinate. Because of this, I kept wandering
off and the instructors finally got so angry that they forced us all to
tie into a giant rope and continue moving while attached together. After
hours of getting caught on trees and stumbling around, we were finally
allowed to disconnect and sleep wherever we could.”
none of the other soldiers knew it was Daniels fault at the time, they
have since learned and have thanked him for one of their more miserable
Although Ranger school was a long time ago for these
soldiers, the memories and friendships they forged there are still
“I think I know him [Daniels] as well as some of his
friends that have known him for years because I've seen him at his best
and worst,” said Davey.
“We've shared some pretty rough times
together,” said Soto. “Now that we know that we went to Ranger School
together we can look at each other and say ‘I went through the same
things you did.'”
“I didn't think I would end up working with any
of them,” said Daniels. “I've seen someone I was in Ranger School with
maybe once or twice before this. For there to be so many of us [here],
it will probably never happen again.”
What makes it especially
unique, according to Edwards, is the fact that while he and Soto were
both infantry, Daniels was an armor officer and Davey was a military
intelligence officer, two fields that didn't commonly go through Ranger
school at the time.
“The oddity is that we are together and from
so many different branches,” he said.
With Ranger School long
since passed, these soldiers will continue to forge new memories
together as they work alongside one another and continue to prepare for
Article and photo by Army Spc. Justin A. Naylor
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
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