Army Rangers: History, Tradition and Cool Facts

That gold and black tab on the sleeve of a soldier’s uniform that says RANGER means a lot. That soldier has been trained in means and ways that many humans could never handle. Maybe you don’t hear much about Army Rangers, but trust me, they are defending your freedom 24 hours per day and 8 days per week. I threw an extra day in, because that is how hard the soldiers who wear that Army Ranger tab work. They are dedicated to the United States Army, and to the citizens of the U.S.A.

Today, we are going to look at history, tradition and cool facts about the Army Rangers.

Army Ranger History

The history of the Army Ranger can go back to even before the United States was a free nation. The first Rangers were led by Colonel Benjamin Church. The Plymouth Colony Governor commissioned Church in 1676 to battle Indians who were attacking British settlers. Church used the idea that he needed to train his Rangers to war just as the Indians warred. Friendly Indians were employed to train these soldiers.

Robert Rogers was a Ranger and established Rogers Rangers in 1751. It is Rogers who was the base of the modern Army Rangers. As a matter of fact, Rogers wrote the 28 Rules of Ranging, and this is given to Army Rangers upon graduation.

Rogers offered he and his Ranger troops to General George Washington during the Revolution, but Washington was suspicious and declined. Rogers took his troops to the British side. It was Rogers Rangers who captured Nathan Hale.

The main idea with Army Rangers is guerrilla warfare. Francis Marion of South Carolina who was known as the Swamp Fox, could also be credited with one of the first true Ranger units.

From that point on, Rangers have been involved in nearly every war and battle the United States Army has been involved in.

  • War of 1812: There were 10 companies of Rangers.

  • Black Hawk War: Major Henry Dodge led a battalion of Rangers.

  • Civil War: The majority of top Rangers fought for the Confederate Army.

  • World War II: There were no actual Rangers in WW I, but WW II had Ranger companies developed when Major General Lucian Truscott proposed it to General George Marshall. Rangers battled in both Europe and the Pacific and were highly successful. It was at Normandy when the Ranger motto was developed. Brigadier General Norman Cota told the Commander of the 5th Ranger Battalion, Major Max Schneider, “If you are Rangers, Lead the Way!” From that time forward, the Ranger motto is Rangers Lead The Way.

  • Korean War: This was the start of the new Ranger system. Instead of having their own battalions, Ranger companies were attached to large units.

  • Vietnam War: Rangers performed patrolling that only they could handle in this war that utilized their guerrilla tactics in huge ways.

  • Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terror: Army Rangers have played a huge part in the Middle East. There have been Ranger’s using their skills in the Middle East since the beginning of the chaos there.

Army Ranger Tradition

Army Rangers are within the 75th Ranger Regiment. One of their top traditions is the Tan Beret they wear. This beret reflects the original leather caps that were donned by Rangers of old. The 75th Ranger Regiment is broke down into 4 Battalions. They are:

  1. Regimental Special Troops Battalion based at Fort Benning, Georgia

  2. 1st Battalion based at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia

  3. 2nd Battalion based at Fort Lewis, Washington

  4. 3rd Battalion based at Fort Benning, Georgia

The Army Ranger creed must be memorized by all Rangers. It is:

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster, and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong, and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress, and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.

More Ranger Facts

To become an Army Ranger in the 75th Ranger Regiment, you must fill these requirements:

  • Be male. Females can become Rangers, but not with the 75th.
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Secret security clearance.
  • Be on active duty and volunteer.
  • No pending justice issues within prior 24 months.
  • GT score of 105+.
  • PT score of 240+.
  • PULHES of 111221 or higher.
  • Airborne qualified.

Ranger training is intense. The soldier will complete basic and AIT. Upon completion of AIT, they will complete Airborne School and from there the soldier will start RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program) which will determine if you have what it takes to be a Ranger. For 4 weeks, the candidate will go through a plethora of training that will test the body, mind and emotions.

If you can pass the tests which include:

  • 60% on the APFT.
  • 70% on all exams.
  • 5 mile run in 40 minutes or less.
  • 3 road marches with one being 10 miles.
  • Complete the Combat Water Survival Test.

Only the best soldiers can wear the Ranger tab. Some of the soldiers who wore this tab were:

Final Thoughts

Any soldier who wears the RANGER tab has every right to be proud. It takes a special person to endure the training and fortitude to become an Army Ranger.

We would love to hear more from any of you who wear that tab. What is it like being an Army Ranger? Is there any more information you would add to this article?

Please post your comments or questions below.


Rangers Lead The Way!

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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