By CH (LTC) Brandon Richard Moore (Chaplain Corps)June 12, 2019
CH (CPT) Ryan Mortensen, the Chaplain for the 75th Ranger Regiment's Regimental Special Troops Battalion (RSTB) and the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion (RMIB) had the opportunity to travel to Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day with his command teams. The trip consisted of Leadership and Historical training and the highlight was connecting present Rangers to past Rangers from 75 years ago.
Overall, the journey had many highlights, the first of which was the opportunity to climb Pointe du Hoc to reenact the climb and honor the past Rangers who climbed those cliffs in a hail of gunfire and grenade explosions. CH Mortensen was able to provide the invocation at the 75th Anniversary of Pointe du Hoc ceremony. There were over 1000 in attendance, including; the French mayor of the town, several dignitaries, WW II veterans, and SOCOM leadership.
Another major highlight was during the 75th anniversary of D-Day ceremony CH Mortensen helped escort the only two surviving Ranger veterans from Pointe du Hoc off stage then participated in presenting the POTUS an artist's painting of Pointe du Hoc. During this occasion, the 12 Rangers present had the opportunity to exchange words, shake hands and were even presented a coin by the President.
"This event was an honor that goes beyond words", Chaplain Mortensen said, "Between the official engagements and events we were able to connect with hundreds of people from all around Europe who were dressed up to reenact the period, this presented multiple opportunities to listen and learn about stories of WWII from different perspectives. It was truly fascinating. This experience was so humbling, and I am extremely honored to have been part of it!"