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75th Ranger Regiment awarded three campaign streamers

FORT BENNING, GA. (Army News Service, June 30, 2006) – Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker presented three campaign streamers yesterday to the first Army unit to receive the streamers for the Global War on Terrorism conflict, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As Col. Paul LaCamera, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, passed each battle streamer, Schoomaker attached it to the unit colors during a ceremony at Fort Benning, Ga.

According to information released by the Army’s Human Resources Command, the 75th Ranger Regt., is the first Army unit to be awarded the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom streamers. One other unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas, was approved for the Operation Enduring Freedom campaign streamer.

“This is a great day not only for Fort Benning, the Rangers, but also for the Army,” Schoomaker said. “I cannot think of a better place and a better way to recognize this great unit. Truly, the 75th Ranger Regiment leads the way and we are very, very proud of it.” The battle streamer ceremony was a prelude to the 14th annual Ranger Hall of Fame induction program hosted by the Ranger Training Brigade here.

Highlighting the unit’s combat successes in Afghanistan, Iraq and other geographic regions, each campaign streamer marks combat deployments of the 75th Ranger Regt. since October 2001 to the present.

“Since the onset of the Global War on Terrorism, the men of the 75th Ranger Regt. have been constantly engaged in this conflict,” said LaCamera. “They executed the first combat jump into Afghanistan and engaged the enemy in some of the harshest terrain. In Iraq, they led the initial push deep behind enemy lines to seize airfields and other key terrain in the western desert.

These battle streamers represent the hundreds of air assault raids and thousands of direct action raids that our Ranger have successfully conducted to kill or capture our nation’s worst enemies. The have proven that Rangers are a premier raid force.”

Before this latest historic event in Ranger history, the last battle streamer was presented to the Rangers for their participation in Operation Just Cause, Panama.

Honorary colonel of the Regiment, Ralph Puckett, described today’s Rangers as “ … the best individual soldiers I have ever seen and the Regiment is the best light infantry unit I’ve ever seen.”

In October 2005, the Secretary of the Army authorized award of campaign participation credit to Army units. Based on eligibility requirements published by HRC, Army units must have served in the area of eligibility in support of the GWOT conflict, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom to qualify for campaign participation credit and a battle streamer. The GWOT campaign streamer recognizes units’ deployments to other geographic regions outside Afghanistan and Iraq. Regardless of the geographic region, or number of deployments, units will receive only one streamer each for the GWOT conflict and for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

According to historical information, the 75th Ranger Regt. conducted multiple combat airborne operations and conducted sustained combat operations with more than a third of its force and surged the remainder of the Regiment at least four times. More than 70 percent of the Regiment’s Soldiers have conducted multiple combat deployments with many of the Soldiers now departing on their fifth and sixth deployment.

Sgt. 1st Class Randy Duncan, who is assigned to the 75th Ranger Regt. Headquarters and has been a ranger for 12 years, said the streamers are a welcome recognition of the unit’s support to the GWOT conflict.

“We concentrate on the basic tasks and the caliber of Soldiers we get due to our screening and selection process. The combination of those two things dictate why we are the premier raid unit in the military now,” he said.

Currently, Rangers are conducting sustained combat operations and are deploying from multiple locations in the United States, a task that is unprecedented for the Regiment and the Army.

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