US Congressman Attends Graduation of 141 Rangers at Tha U Wah Training Camp

31 December 2019

Karen State, Burma

The new rangers, instructors, and guests at the ceremony
The new rangers, instructors, and guests at the ceremony

On 27 December 2019, 99 new rangers comprising 22 teams, and 42 advanced rangers, stood at attention on the drill field of FBR’s Tha U Wah Training Camp in Karen State, to be honored for completing the Free Burma Ranger Servant Leadership and Relief Team Training. 

This year we were honored by the presence of Congressman Ralph Abraham from Louisiana who came to encourage the rangers and learn more about how to help people under attack by the Burma Army. Congressman Abraham traveled into camp by foot, boot, raft, and foot again, inspiring and educating the new rangers.

He shared about faith and the founding of America and how George Washington’s humility, leadership, and faith enabled the Revolutionary Army to defeat the British at Trenton at great odds. He encouraged the young rangers that just as brave and committed young people helped make America, the future of Burma is also in the hands of these young rangers. During the graduation he talked about teamwork, again drawing from United States history, and stood in solidarity with the rangers and ethnic leaders.

Congressman Abraham addressing the rangers at graduation
Congressman Abraham addressing the rangers at graduation

After graduation, Congressman Abraham took part in a memorial for Zau Seng, our Kachin videographer and medic who was killed in Syria, as we put his ashes in the river that he loved that runs through our camp. This ceremony followed Zau’s cremation and funeral service last month in Syria.

Before he went to Syria this year, Zau Seng helped train these rangers. After the ceremony for Zau, we conducted a baptism for four rangers who gave their lives to Jesus. As the Congressman is a veterinary and medical doctor, he went from the baptism to inoculate the horses and mules which the rangers will use on the upcoming mission to carry supplies.

The newly baptized rangers with friends and guests
The newly baptized rangers with friends and guests

We thank God for Congressman Abraham and all that he has added to the training and the teams. He is an ambassador of love, freedom, and hope.

This training was the end of more than two and a half months of training that had begun on this same field with opening ceremonies on October 16.

By the end, the rangers had completed classes and practical work in topics including the following:

  •      Ethnic Unity
  •      Leadership Principles
  •      Map Reading and Drawing
  •      Compass Reading
  •      Land Navigation
  •      GPS (Global Positioning System) Use
  •      Landmine Removal
  •      Swimming and Lifesaving
  •      Solar Power and Battery Management
  •      Human Rights Violations Recording and Reporting
  •      SALUTE Reporting
  •      General Reporting
  •      Video and Photography
  •      Medical Training
  •      Field Training Exercises
  •      Physical Training
  •      Rope Bridge Building
  •      Poncho Raft Use
  •      Rappelling
  •      Good Life Club Training
Rangers testing their new swimming and river-crossing skills
Rangers testing their new swimming and river-crossing skills

Men and women from the Arakan, Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Lahu, Lisu, Naga, and Shan ethnicities all came to be trained. Eleven ethnic organizations were represented this year.

There are three requirements for FBR team members:

1) They must be literate in at least one language, to be able to send out reports.

2) They must have the physical and moral courage to be able to do physically hard and dangerous missions, and cannot run away from the enemy if the villagers they are helping cannot run.

3) They must do this work for love; they are not paid by FBR.

The new rangers are now leaving to begin their first missions. Thank you for being in this with us and please continue to pray with us for these new rangers and for freedom for them and their country.

Congressman Abraham with the Eubank family and Eliya, the first ranger.
Congressman Abraham with the Eubank family and Eliya, the first ranger.
Peter, Suu, and Sahale Eubank open the graduation ceremonies by carrying in FBR, Louisiana, Karen, and Kachin flags
Peter, Suu, and Sahale Eubank open the graduation ceremonies by carrying in FBR, Louisiana, Karen, and Kachin flags
Peter Eubank helps open the ceremony by carrying in the FBR and Louisiana flags
Peter Eubank helps open the ceremony by carrying in the FBR and Louisiana flags
Toh, the director for the Jungle School of Medicine-Kawthoolei, inspects a patient as part of JSMK's medic-training program
Toh, the director for the Jungle School of Medicine-Kawthoolei, inspects a patient as part of JSMK’s medic-training program
The Eubank family at the new Zau Seng memorial wall at their TUW Camp home
The Eubank family at the new Zau Seng memorial wall at their TUW Camp home
The Zau Seng Memorial Hall at Tha U Wah Camp
The Zau Seng Memorial Hall at Tha U Wah Camp
Dave Eubank and Pastor Edmond baptize Ray Khin, a medic from the Jungle School of Medicine-Kawthoolei
Dave Eubank and Pastor Edmond baptize Ray Khin, a medic from the Jungle School of Medicine-Kawthoolei, one of four rangers who were baptized