'We Want to Put Our Rangers Front and Center'

A VFW Life member and Afghanistan War veteran created a company that uses Army Ranger tactics to help fellow Rangers succeed in their transition to the civilian world

When Afghanistan War veteran Tony Mayne retired from the Army after more than 20 years, he vowed to continue serving fellow Rangers by sharing his invaluable knowledge.

Understanding the complexities of a journey from service member to civilian, Mayne resolved to help the Rangers population through a “Ranger For Life” concept he began developing while serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment’s public affairs staff in 2014.

Former Ranger teaches other rangers
Tony Mayne provides a transition overview to noncommissioned officers of the 1st Security Advisory Brigade during their NCO Academy on Oct. 13, 2021, at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“I knew Rangers were not aware of the resources available to them due to my day-to-day interactions,” said Mayne, who deployed with C Co., 3rd Ranger Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. during the initial airborne assault on Objective Rhino in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on Oct. 19, 2001.

Mayne knew the Army’s “Soldier for Life” program was a good starting point, but he believed service in the 75th Rangers provided the foundation for success.

“We look at ourselves as Rangers first,” said Mayne, a Life member of VFW Post 665 in Columbus, Ga. “Soldier for Life can work if it is tailored to the unit level. That’s why we developed the Ranger For Life concept as a retention and transition program.”

The program, which the 75th Rangers officially established in 2019 to both help with civilian transition and expand retention through the Phalanx program for Rangers who want to remain in the Army, follows a holistic approach comprised of five key elements for transition. For Mayne, who retired in April 2020, those five elements became the pillars upon which his Columbus-based company, Ranger For Life LLC, was created in July 2020.

“Employment and education are the easy parts of transition,” Mayne said. “Our Ranger For Life holistic approach is comprised of the big five — networking, continuing education and initial employment, VA integration, financial literacy and holistic strength training of the body, mind and spirit.”

Operating out of the Ranger Outreach Center in Columbus since its inception in 2020, Mayne’s company has continuously developed contacts and boasts a diverse array of professionals, businesses and organizations ready to assist Rangers with their transition.

As its CEO, Mayne also has partnered with GallantFew Inc., and Three Rangers Foundation to enhance the effectiveness of providing Rangers with a pathway to success as they enter the civilian world.

“GallantFew, Three Rangers Foundation and Ranger For Life LLC have a 100 percent employment placement and/or enrollment in a chosen field of study for the more than 400 transitioning Rangers we have seen six months prior to Expiration Term of Service,” said Mayne, who has served as GallantFew’s programs director since April 2020.

Mayne attributes the growing success of the partnership between these veteran-based organizations to networking, a staple of his Ranger For Life concept and one learned from his time at Clemson University and The Ohio State University, respectively.

"Like at universities, we are building the alumni network,” Mayne said. “Every successfully transitioned Ranger is a spokesperson for the regiment — that is recruiting. A well-transitioned Ranger is a potential Ranger volunteer — that is relationship building through mentorship.”

From transition support for the individual to training solutions scalable for large-sized organizations, Mayne believes his Ranger For Life approach can help navigate a post-military career without hiccups.

“It’s not mandatory for Rangers to see us, so once a Ranger takes the GallantFew self-assessment test, steps in the doors of the Ranger Outreach Center or signs up for our elite courses, watch out,” Mayne said. “A Ranger who seeks assistance has already overcome the biggest hurdle in transition — fear of the unknown.”

In spreading the word, Mayne also created A More Elite podcast in May 2021, which welcomes guests to share their personal journeys as examples of perseverance. The podcast episodes air every Thursday at noon ET on Apple Podcasts.

“Our desire is only to see our Rangers and their families continue to serve our great nation and thrive in the process,” Mayne said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of people who can make an impact across many industries. We want to put our Rangers front and center.”

For more information on how Ranger For Life injects the holistic wellness practices of Rangers into America, visit www.rangerforlife.com.

This article is featured in the 2022 April issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Ismael Rodriguez Jr., senior writer for VFW magazine.