75th Ranger Regiment
Ranger history predates the Revolutionary War. In the early 1600's (1639-1718), Capt. Benjamin Church and Maj. Robert Rogers both formed Ranger units to fight during the King Phillips War and the French and Indian War. Maj. Robert Rogers wrote the 19 standing orders that are still in use today.
The Continental Congress formed eight companies of expert riflemen in 1775 to fight in the Revolutionary War. In 1777, this force of hardy frontiersmen commanded by Dan Morgan was known as The Corps of Rangers. Francis Marion, "The Swamp Fox", organized another famous Revolutionary War Ranger element known as Marion's Partisans.
During the War of 1812, companies of United States Rangers were raised from among the frontier settlers as part of the regular army. Throughout the war, they patrolled the frontier from Ohio to Western Ill. on horseback and by boat. They participated in many skirmishes and battles with the British and their Indian allies. Many famous men belonged to Ranger units during the 18th and 19th centuries to include Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln.
The Civil War included Rangers such as John Singleton Mosby who was the most famous Confederate Ranger during the Civil War. His raids on Union camps and bases were so effective, part of North-Central Va. soon became known as Mosby's Confederacy.
After the Civil War, more than half a century passed without military Ranger units in America. However, during World War II (1941-1945), the United States, using British Commando standards, activated six Ranger infantry battalions.
Maj. (later Brigadier General) William O. Darby organized and activated the 1st Ranger Battalion on June 19, 1942, at Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. The 1st Ranger Battalion participated in the North African landing at Arzeu, Algeria, the Tunisian Battles, and the critical Battle of El Guettar.
The 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions were activated and trained by Col. Darby in Africa near the end of the Tunisian Campaign. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Battalions formed the Ranger Force. They began the tradition of wearing the scroll shoulder sleeve insignia, which has been officially adopted for today's Ranger battalions.
The 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions participated in the June 6, 1944, D-Day landings at Omaha Beach, Normandy. It was during the bitter fighting along the beaches that the Rangers gained their motto, "Rangers, lead the way!" They conducted daring missions to include scaling the cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc, overlooking Omaha Beach, to destroy German gun emplacements trained on the beachhead.
The 6th Ranger Battalion operated in the Philippines and formed the rescue force that liberated American Prisoners Of War from a Japanese POW camp at Cabanatuan in Jan. 1945. The 6th Battalion destroyed the Japanese POW camp and evacuated more than 500 prisoners.
The 75th Infantry Regiment was first organized in the China-Burma-India Theater on Oct. 3, 1943 as Task Force Galahad. It was during the campaigns in the China-Burma-India Theater that the regiment became known as Merrill's Marauders after its commander, Maj. Gen. Frank D. Merrill. The Ranger Battalions were deactivated at the close of WWII.
The outbreak of hostilities in Korea in June 1950 again signaled the need for Rangers. Fifteen Ranger Companies were formed during the Korean War. The Rangers went to battle throughout the winter of 1950 and the spring of 1951. They were nomadic warriors, attached first to one regiment and then to another. They performed "out front" work – scouting, patrolling, raids, ambushes, spearheading assaults, and as counterattack forces to regain lost positions.
Rangers were again called to serve their country during the Vietnam War. The 75th Infantry was reorganized once more on Jan. 1, 1969, as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System. Fifteen separate Ranger companies were formed from this reorganization. Thirteen served proudly in Vietnam until inactivation on Aug. 15, 1972.
In Jan. 1974, Gen. Creighton Abrams, Army Chief of Staff, directed the formation of a Ranger battalion. The 1st Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry, was activated and parachuted into Fort Stewart, Ga. on July 1, 1974. The 2nd Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry followed with activation on Oct. 1, 1974. The 3rd Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger), and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Infantry (Ranger), received their colors on Oct. 3, 1984, at Fort Benning, Ga. The 75th Ranger Regiment was designated in Feb. 1986.
The modern Ranger battalions were first called upon in 1980. Elements of 1st Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger) participated in the Iranian hostage rescue attempts.
In Oct. 1983, 1st and 2nd (-) Ranger Battalions spearheaded Operation Urgent Fury by conducting a daring low-level parachute assault to seize Point Salines Airfield and rescue American citizens at True Blue Medical Campus.
The entire 75th Ranger Regiment participated in Operation Just Cause. Rangers spearheaded the action by conducting two important operations. Simultaneous parachute assaults were conducted onto Torrijos/Tocumen International Airport, Rio Hato Airfield and General Manuel Noriega's beach house, to neutralize Panamanian Defense Forces. The Rangers captured 1,014 Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW), and over 18,000 arms of various types.
Elements of Company B, and 1st Platoon Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment deployed to Saudi Arabia from February 12, 1991 to April 15, 1991, in support of Operation Desert Storm.
In August 1993, elements of 3rd Battalion, and 75th Ranger Regiment, deployed to Somalia to assist United Nations forces in bringing order to a desperately chaotic and starving nation. On October 3, 1993, the Rangers conducted a daring daylight raid with other Special Operations Forces. For nearly 18 hours, the Rangers delivered devastating firepower, killing an estimated 600 Somalis in what many have called the fiercest ground combat since Vietnam.
On November 24, 2000 the 75th Ranger Regiment deployed Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment (RRD) Team 2 and a command and control element to Kosovo in support of TF Falcon.
War on Terror
After the events of September 11, 2001, Rangers were called upon to lead the way in the War on Terror. On October 19, 2001, 3rd Battalion and 75th Ranger Regiment spearheaded ground forces by conducting an airborne assault to seize Objective Rhino in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On 28 March 2003, 3rd Battalion employed the first airborne assault in Iraq to seize Objective Serpent in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Ranger Regiment has remained continuously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, closing with and destroying the enemies of our nation on joint special operations direct action missions on a nightly basis. Effective May 18, 2011, the Ranger Regiment will have been in 3500 continuous days of combat operations.
Due to the changing nature of warfare and the need for an agile and sustainable Ranger Force, The Regimental Special Troops Battalion (RSTB) was activated July 17, 2006. The RSTB conducts sustainment, intelligence, reconnaissance and maintenance missions which were previously accomplished by small detachments assigned to the Regimental headquarters and then attached within each of the three Ranger battalions. The activation of the RSTB signifies a major waypoint in the transformation of the Ranger Force from a unit designed for short term "contingency missions" to continuous combat operations without loss in lethality or flexibility.
In addition, through its continuous combat operations in Afghanistan, the 75th Ranger Regiment remains the Army's elite Special Operations direct action infantry force, capable of planning and executing complex worldwide operations in high-risk, uncertain, and politically sensitive areas. It is constantly transforming to meet future operational requirements without sacrificing mission success.
The regiment's four battalions, geographically dispersed throughout the U.S., can deploy anywhere in the world for no-notice missions. Their capabilities include direct action raids in limited visibility, adverse weather, varied terrain and complex operating environments to capture/kill designated targets and/or seize terrain and strategic installations.
Capable of infiltrating by land, sea or air, the 75th Ranger Regiment is trained on a wide variety of mobility platforms and operates fully integrated with supporting agencies and other Special Operations Forces as required. The unit has an intensive regimental assessment and selection process where only the most exceptional officers, non-commissioned officers, and Soldiers are selected to serve.
From the arduous training to the continuous and demanding worldwide deployments, the Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment continue to demonstrate their motto, "Rangers Lead the Way!"Back to Top
2nd Ranger Battalion
75th Ranger Regiment
Following the lead of 1st Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry, on October 1, 1974, 2d Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry was formed and stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. 2d Ranger Battalion trained to meet the same standards and perform the same missions as 1st Ranger Battalion. This was initially accomplished in February and March 1975 by training a group of cadre at Fort Benning, Georgia. The training formed a solid core of leaders capable of instilling Ranger values and doctrine in the first volunteers of the Battalion. The first official training for the entire Battalion began in April 1975. Standards were at each element level beginning with individual training and finishing with an externally evaluated battalion training exercise in December 1985. At the completion of the training exercise the Chief of Staff of the Army declared 2d Ranger Battalion "world-wide deployable." This marked the start of a series of rigorous training events conducted world-wide and under varied environmental conditions, all completed to the Ranger standard. The "new era" of Ranger training began circa 1980 with a focus on special operations training. The Battalion continued to train worldwide and participated in many significant events, to include combat, shows of force, and demonstrations of various duration. Key regions the Battalion worked in include England, Thailand, Central and South America, and Africa.
2d Battalion was called, along with 1st Battalion, 75th Infantry on October 25, 1983 to make a low level parachute assault (500 feet) on Point Salinas Airfield, on the Island of Grenada during Operation Urgent Fury. The two Ranger Battalions seized Point Salinas Airfield in order to rescue American medical students at the True Blue Campus. 2d Battalion then conducted follow-on air assault operations to eliminate pockets of resistance. The unit returned to Fort Lewis following the operation and continued to train on conventional and special operations tasks.
On December 20, 1989, the entire Regiment participated in Operation Just Cause with 2d Battalion and 3d Battalion conducting a parachute assault onto the airfield at Rio Hato to neutralize the Panamanian Assault Force, 6th and 7th Rifle Companies and seize General Manuel Noriega’s beach house. Following completion of these assaults, the Rangers conducted follow-on special operations missions in support of Joint Task Force South. In September 1994, the battalion deployed in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. Additionally, while training at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama in December 1996, the battalion was called upon to quell rioting inside Cuban Refugee camps during Operation Safe Haven.
The War on Terror
Following September 11, 2001 and up to the present day, Rangers of 2d Battalion have been intensely involved in the War on Terror. The demands on the Rangers of the Battalion remain unprecedented in these perilous times. They have been deployed more frequently than at any point in the modern era of the history of the unit, and remain "on call," ready to go anywhere in the world within an incredibly short period of time.
In March 2002, the Rangers of 2d Battalion deployed for the first time to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom. During this deployment the Battalion conducted numerous air assault raids, patrols and ambushes against enemy forces.
In December 2002, elements of the Battalion again deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In February 2003, Company C and elements of Headquarters and Headquarters Company conducted an airborne insertion into Southwestern Afghanistan to capture or kill a lead operational planner who was responsible for the attacks on our country, September 11, 2001. He was captured within three days of the airborne assault.
In March 2003, the remainder of the Battalion deployed to combat in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the initial invasion and subsequent campaign, the Battalion executed numerous historical missions. 2d Battalion participated in the first deep, cross border raids. They were on the first helicopters going into Baghdad and established the base of operations for special operations in this theater.
2d Battalion was later involved in the first operation to capture a known and wanted terrorist, and participated in the rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch.
In the history of the modern Rangers, this was the first time that a Ranger Battalion conducted combat operations in two separate theaters of war.
From November to December 2003, the Battalion once again deployed to Afghanistan, this time to hunt the enemy in the most remote and inhospitable areas of this country. Unhindered by extreme altitudes and bitter cold, the Battalion conducted mountain patrols at altitudes of 9,000 feet, mobile patrols through major population centers, air assaults and direct action raids onto heavily defended objectives.
From March of 2004 to the present, 2d Bn., 75th Rgr. Rgt., Rangers have routinely deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror, conducting air and ground assault raids, combat patrols, and other special operations.
Company D, 2d Ranger Battalion was activated on November 28, 2007 to provide an additional Ranger Rifle Company to increase combat power in the Ranger Battalion. Company D, 2/75 conducted its first combat deployment since World War II in April 2008. Company D, derives its unit history from the World War II Rangers specifically Companies D, E, and F, 2d Ranger Battalion, that stormed the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc at Normandy Beach on D Day, June 6, 1944.
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry served as the weapons squad leader in 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2d Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. This was the same platoon in which 1st Sgt. Bud Lomell, a Distinguished Service Cross recipient, served as the Platoon Leader on Company D’s first combat mission; climbing the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and personally knocking out the guns over watching Utah beach. Sgt. 1st Class Petry’s actions and the men of 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2d Ranger Battalion are in keeping with the discipline and legacy left by their Ranger forefathers from World War II.
In almost ten years of combat, Rangers have established themselves as the nation’s elite Special Operations direct action infantry force, capable of planning and executing complex worldwide operations in high-risk, uncertain, and politically sensitive areas. Targeting high value targets across Iraq and Afghanistan, 2d Battalion has conducted more than 2500 raids during its 14 combat deployments resulting in capturing or killing of thousands of key al-Qaeda Taliban, and other insurgent leaders.
Since September 11, 2001 2d Battalion Rangers willingly face the fiercest enemies at great risk to themselves and have been a pivotal role in the War on Terror. From the arduous training to the continuous and demanding worldwide deployments, the Rangers of 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment continues to demonstrate their motto, "Rangers Lead the Way!"Back to Top
Descriptions and symbolism of the unique Ranger insignia.
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Description: A black cloth triparted arced scroll with narrow red fimbriations and a 1/8 inch (.32cm) black border 1 29/32 inches (4.84cm) in height and 3 11/16 inches (9.37cm) in width overall inscribed "75 RANGER RGT" in white letters.
Background: The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the 75th Infantry on 26 Jul 1984. It was redesignated on 14 Feb 1986 for the 75th Ranger Regiment. The shoulder sleeve insignia for the 1st, 2d and 3d Ranger Battalions were approved on 26 Jul 1984.
Distinctive Unit Insignia
Description: A gold color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned as follows: Quarterly Azure (blue) and Vert (green), between in the first and fourth quarters a radiant sun of twelve points and a mullet Argent, a lightning flash couped bendsinisterwise Gules fimbriated Or.
Symbolism: The colors blue, white, red and green represent four of the original six combat teams of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), commonly referred to as Merrill's Marauders, which were identified by color. To avoid confusion, the other two colors, khaki and orange, were not represented in the design, however, khaki was represented by the color of the uniform worn by US forces in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. The unit's close cooperation with the Chinese forces in the China-Burma-India Theater is represented by the sun symbol from the Chinese flag. The white star represents the Star of Burma, the country in which the Marauders campaigned during World War II. The lightning bolt is symbolic of the strike characteristics of the Marauders' behind-the-line activities.
Background: The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved on 18 Mar 1969 for the 75th Infantry. It was redesignated for the 75th Ranger Regiment on 3 Feb 1986.
Coat of Arms
Shield: Quarterly Azure and Vert, between in the first and fourth quarters a radiant sun of twelve points and a mullet Argent, a lightning flash couped bendsinisterwise Gules fimbriated Or.
Crest: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure, issuing in back of an embattlement of a tower with six merlons Or a pedestal Gules supporting a chinthé affronté of the third in front of a torteau within an annulet of the Second.
Motto: SUA SPONTE (Of Their Own Accord).
Shield: The colors blue, white, red and green represent four of the original six combat teams of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), commonly referred to as Merrill's Marauders, which were identified by color. To avoid confusion, the other two colors, khaki and orange were not represented in the design; however, khaki was represented by the color of the uniform worn by US forces in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. The unit's close cooperation with the Chinese forces in the China-Burma-India Theater is represented by the sun symbol from the Chinese flag. The white star represents the Star of Burma, the country in which the Marauders campaigned during World War II. The lightning bolt is symbolic of the strike characteristics of the Marauders' behind-the-line activities.
Crest: The organization's service in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II is represented by the chinthé (a gold Burmese lion). The blue annulet symbolizes the Presidential Unit Citation awarded for service at Myitkyina, Burma, the "gateway to China." The gold embattlement in base refers to the unit's combat service in Vietnam while the six merlons represent six Valorous Unit Awards; the two Meritorious Unit Commendations earned by elements of the regiment are denoted by the scarlet disc at center.
Background: The coat of arms was originally approved for the 75th Infantry Regiment on 27 Jul 1954. It was amended to add a crest on 23 May 1974. On 3 Feb 1986 the coat of arms was redesignated for the 75th Ranger Regiment.Back to Top