75th Ranger Regiment
The 75th Ranger Regiment is capable of executing any special operations or light infantry mission requiring a mature, competent, highly disciplined, and lethal force to ensure the precise application of combat power in politically sensitive environments. To achieve this, the Regiment must be extremely proficient in complex operations during both day and night, in all weather conditions and across all terrain. The Ranger Regiment is the world's premier light infantry fighting force, specializing in raids and assault missions deep inside enemy held territory. An expert in short-notice combat deployments, the Ranger Regiment is a rapidly deployable strike force and is the largest special operations combat element in the US Army. The Regiment uses specialized equipment, operational techniques, and multiple modes of infiltration to capture or destroy hostile forces.
The 75th Ranger Regiment is composed of a Regimental Headquarters, 3 ranger infantry battalions and a special troops battalion. The 3rd Battalion and the Special Troops Battalion are located with the Regimental Headquarters at Fort Benning Georgia, while the other 2 battalions of the Regiment are geographically dispersed. The 75th Ranger Regiment is a flexible, highly trained and rapidly deployable light infantry force with specialized skills that enable it to be employed against a variety of conventional and Special Operations targets.
The Regimental Headquarters consisted of a Command Group, normal staff positions (S-1 through S-5), a fairly robust communications detachment, a fire support element, a reconnaissance detachment of 3 6-man teams, a cadre for the Ranger Training Detachment (RTD), and a Company Headquarters. Additionally, the Regiment had the capability of deploying a planning team consisting of experienced Ranger operations, intelligence, fire support, communications and logistics planners. The team could deploy on short notice with USASOC approval, to theater SOCs to plan ranger operations during crisis action planning for contingency operations.
Each of the 3 ranger battalions were identical in organization. Each battalion consisted of three rifle companies and a Headquarters and Headquarters Company. Each battalion was authorized 580 Rangers. However, the battalions might be up to 15 percent over-manned to make allowances for schools and TDYs. Ranger infantry battalions were light infantry and had only a few vehicles and crew-served weapons systems. Standard weapon systems of the units have include: 84mm M3 Ranger Antitank Weapons Systems (RAWS), 60mm mortars, 81mm mortars, 120mm mortars, M240B machine guns, Mark 19 Mod 3 40mm automatic grenade launchers, and FIM-92 Stinger Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).
The 75th Ranger Regiment's mission is to plan and conduct special missions in support of US policy and objectives. These operations are conducted by specially trained, equipped, and organized forces against strategic or tactical targets in pursuit of national military, political, economic, or psychological objectives. They may support conventional military operations or they may be performed independently when conventional forces cannot be used.
The flexibility of the Ranger Force requires it to perform under various command structures. The force can work unilaterally under a Corps, as a part of Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF), as an Army Special Operations Task Force (ARSOTF), or as an Army component in a Joint Task Force (JTF). Historically, it is common for the Ranger Force to conduct forced entry operations as part of a JSOTF, then become placed under the operational control (OPCON) of a JTF to afford them the capability to conduct special operations/direct action missions.
Special military operations conducted by the 75th Ranger Regiment include strike operations, usually deep penetration, and special light infantry operations. Strike operations include raids, interdiction, and recovery operations. Special light infantry operations include many of the light infantry missions assigned to airborne, air assault, or light infantry battalions and brigades. These operations are conducted in support of the AirLand Battle at all levels of intensity.
The importance the Army places on the 75th Ranger Regiment means that it must possess a number of capabilities. These capabilities include: Infiltrating and exfiltrating by land, sea and air; conducting direct action operations; conducting raids; recovery of personnel and special equipment; and conducting conventional or special light-infantry operations. Other missions of the Regiment include: Airfield Seizure, Special Reconnaissance, Clandestine Insertion, and Sensitive Site Exploitation.
The 75th Ranger Regiment provides the national command authority (NCA) the ability to move a credible military force quickly to any region in the world. The Regiment uses the entire spectrum of intelligence support, from national systems to organic assets. Ranger units maintain a readiness posture that supports their immediate commitment to battle once deployed. They are often tailored for specific missions and may require augmentation from external sources. Tactical mobility may be augmented by USAF or Army special operations aviation (SOA) aircraft.
As part of the deployment strategy developed during the 1980s and 1990s, one ranger battalion was always in an advanced readiness condition as the Ranger Ready Force (RRF), available for immediate worldwide deployment. A second battalion was prepared to deploy later and a third battalion to follow. The regimental headquarters maintained command and control, liaison, communications, and reconnaissance elements immediately available for deployment. Higher status of readiness in response to specific world situations could be achieved.
Before taking over the duties of the RRF, battalions were required to do the following: Complete preparation for oversea movement (POM) qualification, to include an individual records check and required inoculations; test fire all weapons, confirm battlesight settings, and repair or replace faulty weapons; assemble and load on pallets the unit basic load (Classes I and V) and other supplies and equipment; check unit-derived packing list components for accountability and serviceability; and prepare special operations troop listings.
In order to maintain advanced readiness conditions, ranger battalions were rotated as the RRF. Ranger units could maintain an increased readiness condition for long periods, but this condition was not maintained longer than needed. The effort to maintain this level of readiness degraded the unit's training and effectiveness. If the needs of the operations dictated long periods at the highest readiness condition, provisions were then made for sustainment training. Also, added support was required from the RSE.
The Army maintained the Regiment at a high level of readiness. Each battalion could deploy anywhere in the world with 18 hours notice. The N-hour sequence was a departure time sequence designed to help the ranger force complete all required deployment actions within a certain time. The length of the N-hour sequence depended on the readiness condition of the battalion before deployment. The N-hour sequence began when the battalion was alerted and ended when the first elements departed. The N-hour sequence did not include travel time to the objective area.
To maintain readiness, Rangers trained constantly. Their training encompassed arctic, jungle, desert, and mountain operations, as well as amphibious instruction. The training philosophy of the 75th Ranger Regiment dictated the unit's' high state of readiness. The philosophy included performance-oriented training emphasizing tough standards and a focus on realism and live-fire exercises, while concentrating on the basics and safety. Training at night, during adverse weather, or on difficult terrain multiplied the benefits of training events. Throughout training, Rangers were taught to expect the unexpected.
All officers and enlisted soldiers in the Regiment were 4-time volunteers, that is to say they had volunteered for the Army, Airborne School, the Ranger Regiment, and Ranger School. Those volunteers selected for the 75th Ranger Regiment were required to meet tough physical, mental and moral criteria. All commissioned officers and combat-arms NCOs had to be airborne and ranger qualified and have demonstrated a proficiency in the duty position for which they were seeking.
Upon assignment to the Regiment, both officers and senior NCOs would attend the Ranger Orientation Program to integrate them into the Regiment. ROP familiarized them with Regimental policies, standing operating procedures, the Commander's intent and Ranger standards. Enlisted soldiers assigned to the Regiment went through the Ranger Indoctrination Program. RIP assessed Rangers on their physical qualifications and indoctrinates basic Regimental standards. Soldiers had to pass ROP or RIP to be assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Junior enlisted soldiers who were not Ranger qualified also had to attend a Pre-Ranger course, which ensured they were administratively, physically and mentally prepared before they attended the US Army Ranger Course. The result of this demanding selection and training process was a Ranger who could lead effectively against enormous mental and physical odds.
Rangers received authorization through AR 670-5, Uniform and Insignia, dated 30 January 1975, to wear black berets. Previously, locally authorized black berets had been worn briefly by the 10th Ranger Company (Airborne), 45th Infantry Division, during the Korean War before their movement to Korea; Company F (LRP), 52d Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, in 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam; Company H (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division, in 1970 in the Republic of Vietnam; and Company N (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade, in 1971 in the Republic of Vietnam. Armor and Armored Cavalry personnel wore black berets as distinctive headgear until Chief of Staff of the Army Bernard W. Rogers banned all such unofficial headgear in 1979.
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