Rangers and Spouses from the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, headquartered at Fort Benning, Georgia, enjoyed a unit Chaplain led date night event October 24, 2019.
After a fun, mystery-solving activity at Escape This Live Columbus, Epic Restaurant, Columbus, Georgia, hosted the 18 couples for a delicious, fall-themed meal. Chaplain Bo Waldo, RMIB Chaplain, wrapped up the evening with a discussion on the stages of marriage.
"This was a fantastic event!" Kathryn, a Ranger spouse said . "There was a perfect ratio for the amount of activities and training that we did."
Events like this are nothing new to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Ranger Unit Ministry Teams have calendars full of fun, relationship-building training events scheduled year round. In any given year across the Regiment, hundreds of Rangers and their Families take part in Chaplain hosted training events. For the RMIB though, this particular date night marked the first of many to come.
RMIB is no longer in a provisional status and now stands as the newest asset to the military's premier special operations direct action raid force. Its mission is to recruit, train, develop, and employ highly trained and specialized Rangers to conduct full spectrum intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, and electronic warfare operations in order to enhance the Regimental Commander's situational awareness and inform his decision-making process.
Former regimental commander, Col. Marcus Evans, said of the RMIB: "The battalion is designed to further professionalize the Regiment's Intelligence Warfighting Function, align home-station training and capabilities against the 75th Ranger Regiment's Joint Forcible Entry and surgical combat operations, and incentivize the recruitment of unique specialties to support the U.S. Army's premier light infantry assault force."
With frequent deployments and specialized training courses in support of the forward fight, Rangers and Families of the RMIB greatly benefit from events like date nights, spouse retreats and other family events.
"These events are a fantastic way to facilitate our Rangers to invest in their spouses and families," Lt. Col. Tim Sikora, Regimental Military Intelligence Command Commander said. He attended this date night with his wife, Kristi. "We try to attend as many Chaplain events as possible and always come out a stronger couple while enjoying the fellowship of our Ranger Families."
Waldo, who planned and executed this event, is currently serving as the first Chaplain to the RMIB.
"It has been so exciting for me to be a part of this incredible team, and pave the way for future RMIB UMTs," Waldo said. "The Rangers are so dedicated to their work, it is great to see them open up and enjoy themselves with their spouses at an event like this."
Childcare was provided through Child and Youth Services, Fort Benning. The evening began at Escape This Live, where groups of couples worked together in teams to crack codes, unlock clues, and solve murder mysteries--to escape their themed rooms within the 60 minute time limit. One team got out with 27 seconds to spare!
Over at Epic Restaurant in Uptown Columbus, owners Jamie and Melissa Keating hosted the RMIB couples for a gourmet, three-course meal in their private library room. Beginning with a delicious baby kale and squash salad, servers then brought out a trio entrée of filet, stuffed chicken, and deep fried cheddar cubes stuffed with pulled pork. To cap off the fall-themed dinner, pumpkin crème brulee was served inside baby pumpkins!
"This food is amazing!" "The presentation is beautiful," were among the many praises for the meal.
While couples scraped the last of the crème brulee from their pumpkins, Chaplain Waldo set up for the training portion of the evening, with the assistance of Spc. Jacob Szydel, Religious Affairs Specialist and Mr. Ricky Potts, Regimental Family Readiness Support Assistant.
With cups of water in varying degrees of temperature on the tables, couples individually tested their temperature gauging skills. Potts announced the thermometer readings of the different temperatures, and those with the closest Fahrenheit (temperature) won prizes.
What was the point? Waldo invited couples to take the temperature of their marriages. Just as couples felt different temperature readings of the water cups, they have different readings on how each felt they were doing in their marriage.
Talking through the orientation, tourist, disillusionment, and resolution stages of marriage, couples considered both what stage they were currently in, and what their experiences were of past stages.
As one couple took away from the training: "Marriage life is comprised of different stages, and some will be repeated. The important thing is to remember what brought you together and constant communication is essential through all stages of life and marriage."
"You might have different thoughts than your spouse with certain marriage areas, and it's a good idea to communicate and gauge where each other is at," one spouse said.
Awareness and understanding of these things help couples to endure the challenges that different seasons of life bring, especially while serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment. "We had a lot of fun, and it was also very informative," Lt. Devin and Sarina Oliver said. "We've been saying 'thank you' all night to each other. We look forward to more in the future!"
"This is why we do events like this," Waldo said. "So that our Rangers and their Families are stronger, more resilient, while having a good time, making memories together."