What do you know about army rangers? What is the history of this special Army Unit?
Who are army rangers? It`s one of the most elite group of soldiers that exist in the army of the world and especially in the United States Army. This term was unofficially used since the early 17th century. The first army rangers who existed in the world were English soldiers in Philip`s War. They were commonly used in French and Indian Wars. There were military companies which were named Rangers in America since American Revolution. Army Rangers` history can be counted for almost five hundred; they were served as one of the most elite groups of soldiers for England, Canada, USA and other English speaking countries.
Rangers were primarily served in wars between colonists and Natives. The British military servicemen were not ready to fight with Native tribes of America. Rangers were managed to control large territories of the American frontier. Rangers could be named full-time service soldiers, who were employed by colony governors to protect citizens of the colony from Natives. They were commissioned to build fortifications on the frontier line. They were developed from mere soldiers to the frontline defenders and protectors of colonists. They managed to warn people about raids for their villages. They were also trained to be perfect scouts and could train the colonial militia.
The earliest mention about Rangers was in 1622. As it was mentioned that the first military training for this group was prolonged for 14 weeks. Moreover, these men were usually experienced in Europeans Warfare. It seems that Army Rangers were just men who couldn`t leave their military career in the past. Therefore, they needed to continue this career on the other side of the planet. It`s not easy to live like this for the whole life, and it means that a person who decided to connect the life with military career.
The father of American rangers and all Rangers for the world can be named Colonel Benjamin Church. He was a captain for the first Ranger for in the USA. Church and his company were stationed in the Plymouth colony. He was later employed for the company raid to Acadia. He was named as one of the best military officers during Queen Anne`s War and King William`s War. He provided a basis for the army rangers for the next decades. Even today`s army rangers and navy seals use the basics of military training, tactics, and strategies for the military combat. That explains why they army rangers in combat can show much of performance.
Benjamin Church designed his task force specifically to combat with native Americans. He showed that if colonists army and military men have a desire to fight back natives, then they should fight like natives. Therefore, Rangers became army rangers specifically with tutoring of Indian allies. It means that first Rangers were dependent from their enemies. Indian allies also were dependent on their Western “friends.” It means that mutual coexistence for Natives and Europeans was quite possible for some time. Still, there were also cases when natives tried to fraud their new Rangers’ friends and tried to ambush them.
Church was a pioneer for the new strategy and tactics. He was the first person who could manage to mix colonists and natives into one single unit. He managed to lead their force against hostile native tribes in America. Church mentioned many successful operations against natives in making the frontier wider for colonists. Nevertheless, it was not the first real success and real combat for their military forces. Army Rangers’ weapons were much better than simple tools from Indians. Therefore, they managed to fight people with almost sticks and stones. The real combat was expected for them for the next several years.
American Revolution Army Rangers
In the very beginning of American Revolution Rangers Army Robert Rogers who was a leader of army rangers for that time offered his service to George Washington. Nevertheless, Washington refused this offer as he feared that Robert was a spy for the crown. It provided Army Rangers no choice then to join loyalists. While Robert Rogers served to the loyalist, he also prepared some fantastic operations against American Forces. He was also responsible for catching Nathan Hale, one of the most famous spies for that time. Not all army rangers were ready to fight together with loyalists. Later, at the end of the war, General Washington ordered to form a reconnaissance group for several missions. This unit was known under the name of Knowlton`s Rangers. It was credited as the first Army Rangers’ unit in the USA. Nevertheless, they were frequently used for intelligence and reconnaissance. The army rangers for that time are considered to be the most accurate prototype of today's` Rangers in the USA and other countries. Knowlton`s Rangers provided the first idea for the reconnaissance together with intelligence in the army of USA.
In 1812, the USA formed six companies of Army Rangers who considered to be mounted infantry. Their primary function was protecting The Western Frontier. It was noted, that for the next ten years it was formed ten more companies of Army Rangers. The ranger companies showed their great abilities in combat and especially fighting in the mountains. Their confidence in battle provided them some fame amongst their fellows in combat. It should also be mentioned that they were not provided as mere soldiers. They had a special training connected with fighting in mountains and Army Rangers’ weapons, and equipment was different from other soldiers.
American Civil War
Most famous Army Rangers fought for the Confederate state of America. One of the new pioneers in tactics and guerilla company was John S. Mosby. He designed quick striking forces that could surely destroy an army. He managed to fight back many crucial points for the American Civil War. The civil war showed that striking force of army rangers could possible provide panic to the army. When the American Civil War was over. More than hundreds ex-confederate army rangers joined the USA army. They provided further military training to new generations of Rangers.
World War Two
The first Ranger Battalion was recruited on June 19, 1942. The 34th Infantry Division provided More than eighty percent of men for this battalion. The first fifty American Army Rangers were selected and dispersed in Canadian and British Commandos for 1942nd Dieppe Raid. These were the first American soldiers who hit the ground for the Nazi army in 1942. They provided a basis for the next invading forces. It could also provide good performance for the Allies. They showed that Army Rangers can be still elite forces and manage battles with Nazis forces.
Colonel William Orlando Darby led the 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions in North Africa and Italy. Unfortunately, these two units were defeated at the Battle of Cisterna, many of them were captured. Directly after this battle, the remaining forces of army rangers were absorbed by First Special Service Force. It`s the Canadian-American special force group formed at the end of the second world war. Their commander was Brigadier General Robert T. Frederick. Their military experience and battle skills provided the knowledge for the few next generations of patriots. Their efforts were especially noticeable at the end of the World War Two.
Two Separate Rangers Army Units fought in the Pacific Theater. The first Ranger Battalion was formed out of the 98th Field Artillery. This artillery unit was reformed to the 6th Ranger Battalion. They led attacks on the Philippines. This Battalion was deactivated on the 30th December 1945 in Japan. Nevertheless, they showed their strength and military skills in fighting with Japanese. They also performed few raids on Japanese soil. Their forces were one of the main groups that provided a serious problem to Japanese. Still, The Pacific Theater also showed that Rangers had some problems with fighting on the sea.
Lead the way
One of the most special things for every ranger is their motto. It was born not so much time ago. There are different theories about how their moto was born. Still, they prefer to stick to the most appropriate version of getting their Motto. It happened on 6 of June 1944. Omaha Beach, Dog White sector, Invasion of Normandy. The Brigadier General Norman Cota approaches Major Max Schneider. The last one commands the 5th Rangers Battalion. Cota asks Schneider: “What outfit is this?”, Schneider gives the answer: “5th Rangers, Sir!”. Cota gives a reply: “Well, goddamnit, if you`re Rangers, lead the way!”. Here how Rangers motto was born: “Rangers lead the way!”.
At the very outbreak of Korean War, a new unique Army Ranger Unit came to play. Its commander was Second Lieutenant Ralph Puckett. His Eight Army Ranger company was created in August 1950. This company was later served as a role model for the next Rangers Army units. These units were organized into companies, where they used to be formed into self-contained battalions. Then they were attached to large units to serve us special operation units within measures of reconnaissance.
According to the history annals, additional six companies were formed during next several months after starting The Korean War: First to Fifteenth Rangers Army Company and eight Army Raider Company. The Army Chief Staff gave Rangers Training Program the green light at Fort Benning. They were assigned to John Gibson Van Houten. This program was eventually split to send the men into Korea. It was eventually seen, that next generations of Army Rangers should be trained by 7th Ranger Company and 3rd Ranger Company. Where their brother in arms should have fought on new wars.
The new Rangers were formed in October 1950. There were volunteers from 82nd Airbornes and 505th Airborne Regiment who formed the very basis of new Army Rangers. They were initially designed to 4th Ranger Company. It was interesting to see a new unit formed; that can be called all-black 2nd Ranger Company. All groups of the 5th and 8th Ranger companies completed their training at the beginning of November 1950. According to the military documents, they joined their brothers in arm on the battlefield of Korea. They joined the company of other Army Rangers in The Korea War on 20 November 1950.
During the Korean War, Rangers managed to fight communists. They patrolled, scouted, probed, ambushed and attacked Communist forces connected with Chinese and Korean. According to the current data, 12th North Korean Division headquarters were destroyed by the 1st Rangers. They also provided support operations to help allies in their battles against communist troops. It also provided them new tactics that they managed to use during The Korean War. They also provided some education and training to the allies. It means that some special groups in The South Korean Army were formed basically in the USA Army Rangers example. They even exist today and perform duties in protecting their country.
LRRP or us they known as Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (the another name for them is Lurps) were formed according to the new program of the USA in the period of the Cold War. They were formed at the beginning of the sixties. They were provided to hold the ground in Europe in a case of war conflict with the Soviet Union and their allies from the Warsaw Pact. They were meant to provide quick strikes on the Soviet Union ground. It also meant that they prefer to hit and run tactics then to stay on the land for a long time.
LRRP platoons were attached to every division and brigade during The Vietnam War. They provided perfect performance during patrolling on the long range distances. It was a necessary condition to provide that kind of patrols during the sixties as the satellite communication can be only witnessed in movies. One of their most successful operations during The War was seizing “Signal Hill.” It was a densely forested mountain that served as a fortress for communists. Nevertheless, 1st Air Cavalry Division`s Company E together with 52nd Infantry LRP managed to capture this hot point and get the communists out of the forest.
The Official Name Rangers, the units of LRRP managed to achieve in 1969. It was a decision made by the new U.S. Army Combat Arms Regimental System. These units were reformed to 75th Infantry Regiment or Rangers. All personal was retrained to the mandatory airborne qualified. According to data, Fifteen companies of Rangers. The genealogy of this regime was linked to the first Rangers in 1860. They were formed like independent special operation companies to fight in wars. They also received a new type of training that included fighting in dense and humid conditions.
Also, they saved scouting and reconnaissance roles for their formations. Army Rangers managed to provide special security missions and terrain assessment if it`s needed. They can undertake recovery operations. They tapped North Vietnamese Army with their communication lines. They managed to lure out many soldiers of Vietcong. Army Rangers formed their modern look in operations during Vietnam war. Therefore, there started to be used in their modern way as a special operation group that can manage any fighting in terrain. They also provide patrol service on the territories under the management of the USA.
Army Ranger Training
The first Army Rangers training began in 1950. Their primary base for that time was Fort Benning Georgia. They trained with Airborne companies. Still, they were formed as Ranger Training Command. The first class rangers were graduated on November 1950. In 1951, the first official Army`s Infantry School established the Ranger Department under the government of the USA directive. The first Ranger class unit was conducted in January-March 1952. It meant that their training was prolonged by one month. The complete training was provided up to fifty-nine days. Army Ranger`s training was voluntarily at that time.
In 1966, the Army Rangers were provided with a new system of education. It was seen by General Ralph E. Haines, Jr., that Army needs more rangers in its ranks. According to this initiative. The new army units were managed to provide new operations in the lands beyond measures of the USA. The Ranger Department became a current training unit for many ranger’s battalions. These units provided modern state rangers companies. Their students can be seen in many army units as commanders for the army. Ranger Units military ranks are quite different from one another. It`s also seen that these army units can get a special training delivered specific for adaptation to several harassment conditions.
It should be noted that in August 2015, Rangers school provided first two women rangers in history. It`s understandable that Army and Military service is usually for men. Nevertheless, this new generation of Army that can also consist out of women can provide a good chance that Army Rangers may provide elite army forces consisted not only of men. It also means that women can perfectly conduct even the most severe army training. Still, there is a competition between Navy seals and army rangers.
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