FORT BENNING, Ga. (USASOC News Service, May 18, 2015) -- On a drive home from a major training exercise, Capt. John McDougall, 2nd Ranger Battalion chaplain, gave thanks in prayer for the safety of his Rangers over the previous weeks, and realized that his recent experiences had a basis for a book.
"As I drove up the Cascade Mountains, I started thinking about how much my Rangers resembled Jesus -- selflessly willing to give their lives for other," McDougall said. "God took this simple thought and then inspired me to write an entire allegory about how Jesus was like an Airborne Ranger."
McDougall, a United States Military Academy graduate, recently published Jesus was an Airborne Ranger, a faith-based illustration of the warrior ethos of Jesus Christ's ministry in relation to the mentality and characteristics of the members of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
McDougall, who has served as 2nd Ranger Battalion's Chaplain for three years, was inspired to write the book when he realized that his Rangers were generally unaware of the strength of Jesus as depicted in the Bible.
"My desire to write the book came from the realization that the Jesus of many churches is a weakling -- someone that our Rangers cannot relate too," McDougall said. "I wanted to introduce them to the Warrior Christ that I see in the Bible -- someone bold, disciplined and unafraid."
Upon returning home from that battalion exercise, McDougall, a native of Seattle, Wash., sat down and wrote the outline to the book. As a member of America's premier special operations raid force, McDougall decided to use the back drop of a quick-strike assault to illustrate the ministry of Jesus.
"The book is filled with Ranger attitudes, culture, and anecdotes as a way to set up the metaphor with Jesus," McDougall said.
Throughout the book, McDougall mixes in challenges and triumphs faced by modern day Rangers, such as Medal of Honor recipient retired Master Sgt. Leroy Petry and current Ranger Master Sgt. Raymond Castillo.
McDougall said the title of the book was easily developed from his memory of the familiar Ranger Regiment song, "Jesus was an Airborne Ranger." The traditional song has been repeated on planes and military buses as Rangers from the Regiment have transited the globe in training and combat during the past 30 years.
McDougall has served more than 10 years in Airborne and Ranger assignments. He has deployed numerous times in support of the Global War on Terror and is currently deployed to Afghanistan as the Regiment's deployed chaplain.
Disclaimer: This article highlights the professional work of a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and is not an official U.S. Army or Department of Defense endorsement of the book, Jesus was an Airborne Ranger. The book reflects the views of the author and not those of the U.S. Government, DoD, or the Army.