CSM (R) Jeff Mellinger

Season 1 | Episode 43
2h 20m | Nov 4, 2023

In this episode, we dive into a discussion about the Legends of the 75th Mental Health Round Table, sharing Jeff's insights and reflections on this important event. We also unveil our plans for the future of these round table discussions, hinting at exciting developments.

The conversation takes a poignant turn as we explore the prevailing undercurrent within the Army—specifically, the challenges soldiers face when seeking help and the importance of creating a supportive environment. We address the topic of PTSD, delving into its risks and consequences, and underscore the vital role of staying connected with our fellow Ranger Buddies during challenging times.

Jeff shares his remarkable journey, beginning with being drafted into the Army during the Vietnam era. Despite his initial intentions, he found himself stationed in Germany as an admin clerk, where he encountered a disheartening environment rife with drug issues and corrupt leadership. However, a transformative leadership team's arrival brought about a positive shift in his perception of service. A chance meeting with a Merrill's Marauder introduced him to the world of Rangers, prompting his reenlistment for 1/75. Yet, unforeseen circumstances led him to 2/75.

Upon joining the Ranger Regiment, Jeff immediately sensed a distinct culture marked by discipline and influential leaders who left an indelible mark on him. We explore the fundamental principles of tactics and training that shaped 2/75, as well as the early days of the Ranger Creed. This entailed rigorous training to master combat skills and weaponry, setting the foundation for excellence.

During this episode, we unearth an intriguing piece of Ranger history, delving into the story of RCSM Greg Birch. Jeff shares his insights on the inception of the Ranger Creed within the regiment, revealing that it wasn't initially taken very seriously. However, a determined commander and a grueling long run brought about a shift in perspective and a newfound commitment to the creed.

We also discuss the implementation of the Blue Book and the significant addition of the clause concerning negligent discharges. Jeff provides a candid account of some of the most challenging moments in his Ranger career, shedding light on how he and his fellow Rangers coped with loss. While these were undoubtedly tough situations, they ultimately became catalysts for learning and growth, ultimately strengthening the organization.

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Legends of the 75th