Wednesday 21 August 2019

Two emerge from gruelling test to earn Army Ranger green berets


Irish Army Rangers in training. File photo
Irish Army Rangers in training. File photo
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

The two latest members of the Army Ranger Wing have been presented with the coveted green beret - the only survivors of 33 who set out on a 42-week training course.

The attrition rate of 94pc underlines the gruelling tests that face applicants to join the special operations force. The induction ceremony on the Hill of Allen prompted the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, to tweet that the spot was the seat of Fionn Mac Cumhaill in the heartland of the legendary Fianna.

He described the successful candidates as elite warriors and paid tribute to all 33 who had undergone the course.

This is the last selection course for the Rangers before members of the Wing fly out to war-torn Mali, described as the most dangerous UN mission.

At least a dozen Rangers will be among the 14-strong contingent being deployed with the Minusma peace enforcement mission from September after the move was given the "triple lock" approval of the UN, the Government and the Dáil.

The Cabinet approved the recommendation of Defence Minister Paul Kehoe that the Rangers should be deployed on a four-month rotation over two years.

Irish Independent

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