The book by journalist Mark Bowden and later the movie “Black Hawk Down” chronicled the battle in harrowing detail, memorializing it and contributing to its enduring legacy in both military and civilian circles.
Mogadishu emphasized the importance of the human terrain and the challenges of the counterinsurgency mission, he said.
After 9/11, as the Global War on Terror unfolded nearly a decade later, several Mogadishu veterans were in key positions of leadership in the ranks.
“They hammered home to us the criticality of being comprehensively ready, how being an expert in the basics was fundamental, and how personal and professional discipline, especially in combat with our indigenous partners, was paramount to success,” Beaudette said.
Individuals interviewed, and multiple case studies of the battle repeat that same takeaway — realistic training and repetition to the point of mastery were crucial.
“The Ranger Regiment’s ability to learn from the tactical lessons of Mogadishu was absolutely critical in preparing us for combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly in the early years of the conflicts,” Tegtmeier said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Reese Teakell was still a teenager when he deployed with 3rd Ranger Battalion to Somalia. Some of his noncommissioned officers had combat experience from operations in Grenada or Panama, but many had never seen a firefight. But they had all been brought up by the Vietnam generation, who drilled into them the importance of rigorous training.
“There was a warrant officer who told me this: He said, ‘Hey, make sure you’re ready to go. Nobody improves in a firefight. You go into the firefight with the skill and knowledge you’ve trained with,’ ” Teakell said. “Don’t use the time you have to prepare lightly.”