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1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment

The 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment was first organized on 3 October 1943 in the Army of the United States in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as an element of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional). It was consolidated on 10 August 1944 with Company C, 475th Infantry (first constituted 25 May 1944 in the Army of the United States), and the consolidated unit designated as Company C, 475th Infantry. It was inactivated 1 July 1945 in China. Between the service of this unit and the honors assumed from various consolidations, the unit colors carried streamers for participation in 16 campaigns during the Second World War: Algeria-French Morocco (streamer with arrowhead indicating participation in the initial assault), Tunisia, Sicily (streamer with arrowhead), Naples-Foggia (streamer with arrowhead), Anzio (streamer with arrowhead), Rome-Arno, Normandy (streamer with arrowhead), Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, New Guinea, Leyte (streamer with arrowhead), Luzon, India-Burma, and Central Burma.

Again, due to various consolidations, the unit carries honors for 4 campaigns during the Korean War: CCF Intervention, First UN Counteroffensive, CCF Spring Offensive, and UN Summer-Fall Offensive. The unit was redesignated on 21 June 1954 as Company C, 75th Infantry and allotted on 26 October 1954 to the Regular Army. It was activated 20 November 1954 on Okinawa and inactivated there on 21 March 1956 on Okinawa.

The unit was activated on 1 February 1969 in Vietnam and inactivated there on 25 October 1971 in Vietnam. During the conflict in Vietnam, the unit was awarded streamers for participation in 7 campaigns: Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII, and Consolidation I.

While inactive, the unit was redesignated on 31 January 1974 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Infantry, and activated at Fort Stewart, Georgia with its organic elements concurrently constituted and activated. Its activation came as a result of Headquarters, United States Army Forces Command's 25 January 1974 publication of General Orders 127, directing the activation of the 1st Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger), with an effective date of 31 January 1974. Chief of staff of the Army, General Creighton Abrams had recognized the need for a highly trained and mobile reaction force in the fall of 1973, and had directed the activation. The unit was the first battalion-size ranger qualified unit since World War II. Selection began the following February and personnel assembled at Fort Benning, Georgia, to undergo the cadre training from March through June 1974.

On 1 July 1974, the Battalion parachuted into Fort Stewart, Georgia, where the battalion was stationed until moving to Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, an associated facility, in September 1978.

1st Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry was first called upon in 1980, as elements of the Battalion participated in Operation Eagle Claw, the Iranian hostage rescue attempt. The groundwork for the Regiment's special operations capability was laid during training and preparation for this operation. Rangers and other special operations forces from throughout the Department of Defense developed tactics, techniques, and equipment from scratch, as no doctrine existed anywhere in the world at the time.

The combat effectiveness of the Battalion let to its subsequent deployment to the island of Grenada on 25 October, to rescue United States citizens and restore democracy. During this operation, code-named Operation Urgent Fury, the 1st and 2d Ranger Battalions conducted a daring low-level parachute assault (500 feet), seized the airfield at Point Salines, rescued American citizens at the True Blue Medical Campus, and conducted air assault operations to eliminate pockets of resistance.

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Infantry Regiment was consolidated on 3 February 1986 with former Company A, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion. Company A, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion had been first constituted on 27 May 1942 in the Army of the United States as Company A, 1st Ranger Battalion. It was activated on 19 June 1942 in Northern Ireland. The unit was redesignated on 1 August 1943 as Company A, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion, before being Disbanded on 15 August 1944. It was reconstituted on 1 September 1948 in the Army of the United States as Company A, 1st Infantry Battalion, and activated in the Canal Zone. It was inactivated there on 4 January 1950. It was redesignated on 25 October 1950 as the 1st Ranger Infantry Company and allotted to the Regular Army. It was activated on 28 October 1950 at Fort Benning, Georgia and inactivated on 1 August 1951 in Korea. It was redesignated on 24 November 1952 as Company A, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion. Company A, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion was consolidated on 15 April 1960 with the 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Special Service Force (first activated on 9 July 1942), and the consolidated unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. It was again consolidated on 6 June 1960 with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 77th Special Forces Group (first activated on 25 September 1953), and the consolidated unit was designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, with its organic elements constituted on 20 May 1960 and activated on 6 June 1960.

The lineage and honors of former Company A, 1st Ranger Infantry Battalion were withdrawn on 3 February 1986 from that of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, as part of the consolidation with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Infantry. The consolidated unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, with the remainder of 7th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces thereafter having a separate lineage.

The 1st Battallion took part in Operation Just Cause, along with the entire Ranger Regiment, in which US forces restored democracy to Panama. Rangers spearheaded the action by conducting 2 important operations. The 1st Battalion, reinforced by Company C, 3rd Battalion, and a Regimental Command and Control Team, conducted an early morning parachute assault onto Omar Torrijos International Airport and Tocumen Military Airfield, to neutralize the Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) 2nd Rifle Company, and secure airfields for the arrival of the 82nd Airborne Division.

From 12 February to 15 April 1991, elements of Company B, and 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm. They conducted raids and provided a quick reaction force in cooperation with allied forces against the opposition forces loyal to Saddam Hussein. The unit suffered no casualties during the operation.

In December 2001, after the events of 11 September 2001,, elements of Headquarters and Headquarters Company and Company A deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In 2002, the entire Battalion returned to Afghanistan to support the continuing war on terrorism.

In 2003, 1st Battalion participated in combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, conducting missions across the entire country of Iraq. The Battalion participated in the operation that secured Private First Class Jessica Lynch.




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