US Army Rangers 1989-2015
Panama to Afghanistan
Osprey Publishing, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2016, 64 pages
Book Review published on: March 24, 2017
Leigh Neville’s US Army Rangers 1989-2015 is an excellent continuation of the history of the Rangers in the Osprey Series. This work is highly illustrated by Peter Dennis and is a great overview of the general history for the Rangers during the specific twenty-six-year period from 1989 to 2015. The book shows how the Rangers and their employment over this period consistently evolved keeping the Rangers a relevant and significant force in the U.S. Army. It is evident throughout the book that Neville builds a case for the thesis that Rangers are a significant Army formation that excels in its missions over the last twenty-six years.
Martin Windrow, a series editor for Osprey, brings together Neville and Dennis to collaborate on the continuing storied history of the Rangers. Neville is an experienced researcher and author of recent military history. His expert knowledge and associated pictures combined with Dennis’s illustrations provide an easy-to-read historical timeline to depict how much the Rangers and their operations have changed over this time period. Neville has the ability to provide the appropriate detail in limited space to provide a great overview and does so for an expansive audience.
Appropriately written for a wide audience, this book is capable of placing in the young adult section of the library or military-specific bookstores. Readers of all ages, levels of experience, and backgrounds can gain insight from this publication. The detail about different events is specific enough to provide the reader with good general understanding of the Rangers evolution. Neville also provides the reader with more opportunities to research within the reference section.
Due to the style of the series that Osprey is looking for, Neville is unable to give detail and depth to the Rangers over this broad period. Rangers are a learning organization, constantly changing, it is impossible to capture all the changes in both training and deployment. Constantly deployed since 11 September 2011, the extent of Ranger employment is monumental. Other mediums and publications are dedicated to details of Rangers missions like “Gothic Serpent,” which only receives a couple pages here. Unfortunately, the numerous missions and extraordinary actions of individual Rangers are too great to communicate in this style of book.
Neville’s work shows how Rangers and Ranger units secured a prominent place in history during this time. Their constant evolution to maintain relevance during peace and combat have secured their place in the Army. This is an excellent read for understanding of the evolution of Rangers from 1989 to 2015. Recommended for all ages, the pictures and illustrations bring detail to the story that inspire the reader to read and learn more about the storied Rangers.
Book Review written by: Lt. Col. Joe Schotzko, U.S. Army, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas