In Honor of Pat Tadina
A Great American Soldier
November Company Rangers
A LRRP, LRP and Ranger legend has gone home today.
At 44 continuous months, Pat was the longest continuously serving Ranger in Vietnam.
Fluent in Vietnamese, Pat was known to dress in the clothes, uniforms and weapons of the enemy, and (leaving his team not far away) walk into their camps or ambushes, talk to them, then initiate an attack. He was and remains a real legendary warrior.
From the National Infantry Museum: “When SSG Patrick Tadina arrived in Vietnam, he didn’t look tough enough to be a member of the elite United States Army Rangers. The paratrooper from Honolulu, Hawaii was quiet and soft-spoken and stood at five foot five. He only weighed 130 pounds. But both he and his exploits are legends in the Ranger world, where the motto is “Rangers Lead the Way.”
For more than five years, frequently dressed as a North Vietnamese soldier in either black pajamas or NVA khakis, with a floppy hat and sandals, Tadina led long-range patrols deep into North Vietnamese territory on raids and reconnaissance. These patrols were small and able to stay undetected for long periods of time. He also carried a 60 pound rucksack and a communist rifle. Because he was able to pull off the look of a North Vietnamese soldier, enemy troops relaxed when they saw him. He would quickly get off a round, killing enemy troops.
His service made him the longest continuously serving Ranger in Vietnam. While a team leader in Vietnam, he never lost a man.
Tadina had served the in the Dominican Republic before going to Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, he stayed in the military and went on to serve in Desert Storm. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major, the Army’s highest enlisted rank, and in 1995, he was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame. During his years of service he received two Silver Stars, 10 Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts.
Rangers lead the way – and Patrick Tadina lived up to that motto … this is what Honor looks like.”