RONKS, PA – Nearly 7,000 miles away from his comfortable farm home in Ronks a local llama is doing his part in the fight against terror.
Sergeant Diego Mignon is not your typical South American camelid. He is a highly trained and weaponized llama raised right here in South Central Pennsylvania.
Before joining the Army Sergeant Mignon was simply know as Diego the llama. But his owner knew there was something special about him.
“Diego was very strong and determined from a very young age. He also possessed a moral compass higher than any I had ever seen in another llama or alpaca. When I saw him rescue a herd of goats from a pack of marauding pit bulls I knew that Diego was bound to do special things.” said Brian Garber who raised Diego from birth.
In 2014 Garber reached out to the United States Army about Diego.
“We were certainly skeptical at first, I mean, a battle llama? Can this be real?” explained United States Army Colonel Sam Trautman.
After a mental screening and physical fitness test Diego found himself on his way to Fort Bragg in North Carolina for training in Special Operations and Counter-terrorism.
Col. Trautman highlighted some of the training that Sergeant Mignon completed. “He is an expert in guerrilla warfare. The best with guns, knives, his bare hooves. A llama who has been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land. To eat things that would make a billy goat puke. He has been trained to kill. Win by attrition.”
By November of 2016 Sergeant Diego Mignon found himself on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq where he has reportedly killed more than 200 ISIS and Taliban fighters.
Sergeant Mignon’s current tour in Afghanistan is scheduled to end this January. He intends to return to his Ronks home for a little rest and relaxation before returning to his next mission.