FBR Graduation: 205 Rangers Graduate as FBR Celebrates 25th Anniversary:

Ukrainian Friend Speaks at Graduation as New Friendships are Forged in the Jungle

17 January 2022

Karen State, Burma

In a year that marks 25 years since the founding of FBR, we graduated the largest group of new and advanced Rangers ever. On 30 December 2022, 205 Rangers comprising 37 new Ranger teams and 71 advanced Rangers from seven ethnic groups, graduated the Free Burma Ranger Servant Leadership and Relief Team Training. As began last year, teams of Burman ethnicity from the major cities of Burma were among the graduates, another sign of how the Burman people have been standing together with the ethnic groups and against the Burma dictatorship and army since the coup of 1 February 2021.

A special visitor at this year’s graduation was Julie, a friend from Ukraine who recently met another FBR friend as he helped in Ukraine and they were married soon after. She then wanted to come to Burma to encourage the people here. Julie’s father is on the frontline in Ukraine and her brother-in-law was killed earlier this year. She had the opportunity to speak to all the students and told them how Ukrainians know the suffering of war and are very sad for the people of Burma. She reminded them how God has not forgotten them and God is with the people of Ukraine and Burma. She said her hope is in Jesus and she, as a Ukrainian, stands with the people of Burma and for their freedom.

The men and women Rangers were from the Arakan, Burman, Dawei, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, and Shan areas of Burma. People of different faiths joined the training and all are welcome. Eleven of the Rangers became new followers of Jesus and were baptized at the end of the training. The training lasted three months and the first and last lessons are: love God, love and forgive each other, pray and don’t give up. These new Ranger teams will now go to help people displaced by new Burma Army attacks in three different areas.

Courses taught:
• Ethnic Unity
• Leadership Principles
• Mule and Horse Packing
• Map Reading and Drawing
• Compass Reading
• Land Navigation
• GPS (Global Positioning System)
• 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
• Five Field Training Exercises
• Physical Training
• Rope Bridge Building
• Poncho Raft Use
• Rappelling
• Good Life Club Training

There are three requirements for FBR team members: 1) They must be literate in at least one language for reporting and medical work. 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 teams will now go on a joint mission to give help, hope, and love to people under attack. Once finished with the mission, they will return to their home areas, ready to conduct missions there. They will have learned and practiced many new skills to be able to help their people in any kind of crisis, as well as having gained new relationships of love across ethnic lines. Both these skills and relationships will be of vital importance as the Rangers serve those in need. 

Thanks and God bless you,

Dave, family and FBR

Group photo on graduation day.
Students practicing land navigation.
Advanced students during their medical training.
Students practicing rope climbing.
Rappelling, swimming, and rope bridge training at the river.
Training in horse- and mule-packing.
Students practicing medical care during their final exercise.
Rangers practice rescuing villagers during a village attack simulation exercise.
Ukraine friend who joined us for graduation.
Ukraine friend joined us for graduation.
One of 11 Rangers baptized by Karen pastor, Edmond.
Christmas in Burma.
Opening ceremonies of sports day.