Hero of the Week Lance Vogeler

Updated: October 11, 2010

Since 9/11 Sgt. 1st Class Lance H. Vogeler deployed for twelve combat tours, four to Iraq and eight to Afghanistan, twelve.  The 75th Ranger Regiment, because it’s a Special Operations unit, doesn’t deploy to theater on a standard timeline the way that the 101st or 82nd does.  To give you some perspective, having served in the Regiment, I can assure you that SFC Vogeler spent well over three and a half years since September 11th, 2001 in a war zone.

Over one third of his life since this nation was attacked was spent putting rounds down range and defending the freedom we all hold so dear.  Spent feeling the grit of sand on his face from a dust storm or helicopter landing, hearing rounds crack over his head so often it became common, going through cycle after cycle  to get ready for and then deploy to combat.  Growing from a private or tabbed spec-4 to a team leader to a squad leader and finally to a PSG, leading men into harm’s way the entire time.

You can’t read a story about SFC Vogeler without reading how devoted and loving a father and husband he was.   His family by all accounts was the center of his life, and it showed in how hard he worked to be a father and husband when he wasn’t deployed in our nation’s service.  When he died he left two children, a wife, and soon to be born baby behind.  Having such a great family is no easy task with the extremely high divorce rate amongst Special Operations troops.

SFC Vogeler was so respected for his faith and the strength of his character he was ordained as a minister, mostly so he could perform the rites of marriage for his troops.   Search his name and you’ll read the stories of how his guys might not have always believed as he did, but he was the only person they’d have trusted to officiate the day that they said “I do.”

Part of me isn’t sure how to finish this up.   How to convey to anyone reading this just how incredibly dedicated a guy like a Lance Vogeler is.  To tell you how much everyone in our nation should be thanking whatever God they believe in that we have men like him kicking doors down in the middle of the night and teaching young Rangers how to do the same.   To show you just how hard it is day in and day out to grind the way he did, as a member of the Ranger Regiment for our freedom.

I personally didn’t know SFC Vogeler, but if I’d remained on active duty and had been blessed enough to stay in the Ranger Regiment, I’d be in roughly the same spot he was in that day in the Helmand Province.  Same pay grade, same level of responsibility, same everything.  I loved being a Bat Boy, hands down the greatest time in my life.   I also haven’t forgotten how hard it was.  The all night patrols, the marathon marches, week after week of getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night in training and in combat to do things I still can’t believe I was able to do in the middle of the night under a set of PVS-14’s.  I did it for 5 years and two tours.  He did it for nine years, twelve tours.  I led a team, he was leading forty hard charging muldoons out into harm’s way, and until he died you’d never have known he was doing it.

Isaiah 6:8 goes: “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me.”

SFC Lance Vogeler went again and again and again to keep us free and to keep us safe.  People wonder sometimes why I am so proud to have served in the Regiment, it’s because I was blessed enough to serve with men like him.

Rest in peace brother, and one for the Airborne Ranger in the Sky, you will be missed.





  1. mindy1

    October 12, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Awww we lost a good one 🙁

  2. Dave

    October 12, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I knew Lance and his wonderful wife and mother to be, Melissa. He was an outstanding Ranger, Husband, Father and caring member of civil society and will be missed by all here. Not only those who served along side in 1/75 by those he and his family touched here in the Savannah, GA area.

    Sua Sponte

  3. Josh

    October 12, 2010 at 7:55 am

    RIP Lance….RLTW

  4. SSgt J.Lynch (retired)

    October 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I know a lot of RANGERS and they are the best!! I’ll pray for his family and allthe troops we have over there. I served in panama,honduras,sini and Desert storm it’s hard to lose another outstanding soldier. May GOD bless him and his family. RIP SFC Lance you will be missed!!!

  5. Jim

    October 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm


  6. Tim & Donna Vogeler

    October 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Thank You for your great story honoring our son, SFC Lance Herman Vogeler.
    We enjoyed reading it. With Love and blessings to all the Rangers ‘specially those who fought aside him on that terrible day.

  7. jeredoc

    October 15, 2010 at 4:25 am

    nice i ask and who for the future hero ?
    great !

  8. Katherine

    October 15, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Thank you for the beautiful story on an amazing guy. His loss leaves a hole in our hearts and lives. You couldn’t help but love Lance if you met him.
    RIP Lance, we miss you!

  9. SSG Mac

    October 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    No I was not a Ranger. I was a regular Mechanized Infantry Grunt. From Saw gunner to driver and Bradley Gunner. I have served in quite a few great units the 11th ACR to name one. I just wanted to be the best Mechanized Infantryman I could be. Now I am a reservist served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a signal soldier and now getting ready to go to Drill Sergeant School.

    The Ranger is a step above and beyond even those in the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne and the 101st Airborne Division. Leadership being the key lesson learned. Tactics and skills perfected and continue to be trained and learned. Training received to do things us regular grunts dream about when we go to sleep.

    I have known many Rangers all tough, determined and dedicated. SFC Vogeler is one of those NCOs that many should mold themselves after. I did not know him but now I wish I did. We can all learn a few lessons from an NCO such as him.

    Here is one for the Ranger in the sky. May he Rest in Peace. True heroes are hard to come by. He is one.

    SSG Mac

  10. Sarah Bustin

    October 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I knew Lance well and I just have to say that the way you paid honor to him in this writing, it was absolutely perfect. You brought the family man and the warrior together very well. Lance would have been proud and humbled by this tribute. He would have said “he was only doing his job,” and he would have loved what you had to say about him.

    You’ve heard the saying, “Behind every great man there stands an amazing woman.” I believe with all my heart that this was written about Melissa. She is a truly beautiful soul with the courage and strength I could only dream of.

    The world lost a true hero and a friend on October 1st, but heaven gained a super-hero with wings. Until we meet again, my friend.


  11. /

    October 19, 2010 at 4:56 am

    he was one of the rare people that actually made you glad to be in battalion. didnt know him that well but i knew that much

  12. SSG Dunlap

    May 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    SFC Vogeler and his family were recognized today at his brothers graduation from Army basic training. It is Memorial Day weekend how awesome it was to hear about him. I am amazed in the strength of his brother and family. His brother leaves for Airborne school today(HOOAH). It is always great to hear about truly great NCO’s that lead the way everyday.

    RLTW !

    God bless Lance, his soon to be Ranger brother, and the entire Vogeler family

  13. Matt

    June 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

    I had the distinct honor to get to know Lance while we were students at the Maneuver Senior Leaders Course back in 2010. While we weren’t in the same small group, it was such a small class, as are most courses like this, that you got to know a lot of the guys there. When I heard about his death I was shocked.

    As this article states, it’s hard “to convey to anyone reading this just how incredibly dedicated a guy like a Lance Vogeler is.” He was out-going, friendly, down-to-earth, and just a great guy to hang around with. Even though he was an 11C and I’m an 11B, and our careers had taken us on vastly different routes, I’m still honored to have known him for the very short time I did, and the world lost an incredible hero the day he was taken from us.

  14. Daniel H Lyne

    October 2, 2013 at 1:19 am

    This was a great write up & tribute to describe a very humble Ranger who everyone loved. Lance was a one of a kind guy. I had the honor of serving multiple tours with him at 1/75th Ranger Battalion. He will forever be missed and his legacy will live on at 1st Battalion, not just in the mortar platoon, but throughout the entire Battalion- he will always be remembered for his selfless service and his disire to teach and mold those under him, and most importantly his faith and his unwavering divosion to his Family. You are severely Missed Brother Lance, Gone but Never Forgotten – RLTW and see you up there in Valhalla someday, Brother – DHLyne Former 1/75th Ranger (04′-13′)

  15. Omar-Samir Badr

    October 2, 2013 at 11:31 am

    SFC Vogeler was an amazing man, soldier, and father. We miss him as 1/75 continues the fight and those that knew him remember what he brought to the fight and helped make this country a better place. My deepest respect to his family that survives him and those that honor his memory.

    -Badr 1/75 (2001-’07)

  16. Charlie Harp

    October 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Since everyone else has covered the standard stuff (all great by the way)…Here a few other things.
    -Loved Golf and had a Happy Gilmore swing that would put many others to shame, this was typically completed with a cigarette hanging out his mouth an classic rock playing on the ipod stero that we always had while golfing.
    -For some reason he was into RollerBlading…always told me he was sponsored by K2 at some point (or maybe could have been sponsored)
    -He was UBER excited about his son Colin being born…Lance was always great with my two boys, he use to give then Demo classes while we were grillin and drinking beers in our backyards. He never got to met his Son…think that kills me the most.
    -Truly a uninque person
    -Miss you Ranger Buddy, you helped old Pladoon Sarge out more than you know.
    -Harp(1-75 MTR PSG 2008-11)

  17. Mark H. Vogeler

    October 2, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    As one of Lance’s uncles, I thank everyone for your great, heartfelt comments. Every day I wear Lance’s bracelett with pride. When I put that bracelett on every morning I remember my conversations and emails with him about accepting and getting closer to God. Even with his high energy, occasional craziness, and intense dedication there was a Peace around him, even as a kid. He was a natural, born leader, even in high school.

    I am proud and thankful to know him, and I am proud of his parents, Tim and Donna. I am also very proud of his brother Christopher and pray that he is kept safe as he serves this country.

    To everyone who has served and who are serving, please accept my gratitude. Seems like when people join our services they are joining the world’s police force. For my part I raise money for groups that serve the military and their families.


  18. Bronwen Pritchard

    October 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    My son Hugh Williams served with Lance so I had the privilege to meet and know him, Melissa and Colin. He was smart, kind, and handsome, with a ready smile and quick sense of humor, dedicated and strong, ready to serve without hesitation; born of wonderful parents, and brother to Chris, who is now serving. I consider myself blessed to have met and known him; I think of him all the time, as one who is not here and should be, October 1, 2010, 3 years ago, he lost his life serving this country, protecting our rights. I will never ever forget him! Never! RLTW

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