DL man contributes to Rangers book

When Detroit Lakes native Nick Green joined the army shortly after his 2001 graduation from high school, he had no inkling that the United States was about to embark on a global war against terrorism.

When Detroit Lakes native Nick Green joined the army shortly after his 2001 graduation from high school, he had no inkling that the United States was about to embark on a global war against terrorism.

His first day of infantry school just happened to fall on Sept. 11, 2001 - the day that the first successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil was launched and implemented, to the horror of every living U.S. citizen.

“I actually thought at first that it (the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon) was some type of scenario they were running for our training,” Green recalled.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. And as the reality set in, Green and his fellow enlistees were not only filled with outrage, but a dawning sense of eager anticipation.

“We joined the infantry and we were going to war,” he said. “It was exciting.”


From there, his experiences would eventually lead him to the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, and deployment to the battlefields of Iraq.

His story, and about 30 others, are detailed in fellow Army Ranger veteran Marty Skovlund’s new book, “Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror.”

“This book is a collection of 30 of us (former Rangers), telling our stories in our own words, from our eyes,” Green said.

Green will be escorting Skovlund in a whirlwind tour of Detroit Lakes this Thursday, Jan. 8, which will culminate in a visit to Book World on Washington Avenue for a book signing, from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We will be at Noon Rotary and doing radio and TV interviews,” Green said.

He and Skovlund met a few years ago at a conference for veteran business owners.

“We really hit it off,” he said.

It’s not too surprising, as both happened to be former U.S. Army Rangers who served in the 75th regiment.


“He (Skovlund) was 1st Ranger battalion, I was 3rd Ranger battalion,” Green said. “He was in a little longer, at a later time than me.”

Skovlund was in the process of writing his book, and asked Green to participate.

“I tell a small portion of my story in that book… I wrote one segment,” Green said.

The full story is a bit longer than that, of course.  After completing his infantry training, Green signed up for airborne school, to become a paratrooper. And he wasn’t quite done yet.

“From there I went on to Ranger indoctrination,” he said. Green’s ultimate goal was to become a U.S. Army Ranger - something that only a handful of those who entered the training managed to accomplish.

“Ranger indoctrination has a 75 to 95 percent attrition rate,” he said - which means that only 5 to 25 percent of those in each class are expected to complete the training and become a Ranger.

Green was one of the few to accomplish that task. He would go on to complete three tours of combat - two in Afghanistan, and one in Iraq. It was the latter tour that was “by far the most exciting,” he admitted, and it is that tour he details in his segment of Skovlund’s book.

In Iraq, Green was one of the Rangers assigned to the original Team Baghdad - a special operations unit whose particular specialty was “high value target takedown and hostile airfield seizure.”


“It’s a direct action unit,” Green said. “They’d knowingly send us into a hostile area without any type of preparatory fire or air support. They just sent us right in against them.”

In other words, he spent a lot of time operating behind enemy lines. While some might find that a daunting, even terrifying assignment, Green did not.

“The kind of person that goes through that (Ranger training) kind of craves danger and excitement,” he said - and Green was no exception.

“In joining a Ranger unit, you know that at some point you will be kicking down a door and shooting someone in the face, and you have to be fine with that,” he said.

Green continued to serve with the Rangers until 2005, when he eventually ended up back in Detroit Lakes.

“I was injured during my last deployment, so I came back home, went to college, met my wife,” he said.

Green eventually ended up rejoining the family business, Green’s Plumbing & Heating, which he had been a part of since childhood.

“I grew up working in the family business,” he said. “I’m a fourth generation master plumber.”


And now, a published author as well.

“It’s only about six pages long,” he said of his contribution to the book.

But in those six pages, quite a story is told, as you can see for yourself. The book “Violence of Action” is available at Book World in Detroit Lakes and at most other area book outlets, as well as online.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes .

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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