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question about US military Rangers - Page 2

post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
Go forward, look around, see stuff. Report back. Decide whether an Abrams can be effective 'up there'.

Or we (often) drop tons of bombs, artillery, or close air support from helos or fixed wing aircraft, etc.

edit - yes I think this goes to the idea of having a large pool of troops (specialization) as well as having a large group of military assets (recon on the ground could lead to a cruise missile fired from a ship or submarine).

ok, and not to get so isoteric, but isn't there a unit of the airforce that does this, specifically?


I pretty much understand, I am just sort of curious - I don't think that US recon forces in peacetime do reconosaince of potential enemies, that doesn't seem to be the way the US military works. but if recon guys do nothing but recon, it seems that some very well trained people would spend time underemployed. but, honestly, I have a very poor grasp of how the US military works.
post #17 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayland View Post
I served in the 1/75 Ranger Bn (Airborne) from 1982-1985. I was in B Co., Weapons Platoon. I know that was a long time ago and things have probably changed quite a bit, but much remains the same. According to the US Army 75th Ranger Regiment website, the mission of those units is:

The 75th Ranger Regiment's mission is to plan and conduct special missions in support of U.S. policy and objectives.

Pretty open-ended huh? They do what they are asked. When I was in, we concentrated on airport siezures and snatch missions mostly. The idea of the airport siezure is that Rangers would parachute in, take over a small airport (in some 3rd world country like Grenada) and gain control. Afterwards, more traditional infantry troops might take over and the Rangers would leave. Snatch missions involved dropping in quickly and taking back a hostage.

The mission has changed a bit. They now do short-term contingency missions (as above) in addition to continuous combat operations (including recon). There are only 3 Ranger Battalions with about 500-600 soldiers each, so the unit isn't big enough for full-scale operations.



Completion of Ranger School results in the Ranger Tab. While Ranger School is based on small-unit infantry tactics, it is really a leadership school. Many officers go through Ranger School upon graduation - even though in areas outside of combat missions. Again, it's really about the leadership development.


thanks - actually, this is the most confusing thing - If you had asked me 2 weeks ago about rangers, I would have said pretty much exactly what you said, including that ranger school for non ranger infantry officers was, essentially, leadership school. this individual I talked to confused me, and I am wondering now if he was just full of shit.

Quote:

Service in a Ranger Battalion results in the Ranger Scroll. All officers and NCO's have gone through Ranger School prior to being assigned to a Ranger Battalion. Upon meeting some pretty stringent requirements, privates without a ranger tab are assigned to the ranger battalion. They get "trained up" and are sent off to Ranger School within 4-8 months. They come back with the tab above the scroll.

Having the tab and never having served in the Ranger Battalion means you are Ranger qualified and is very respectable. Having the tab and having served in the Ranger Battalion means you are a Ranger...period!


in the IDF, everyone starts as an inlisted man, and then as a sargent - so you can serve as an inlisted man in an elite unit, then as a sargent in an elit unit, then go on to be an officer in a line infantry unit, or sometimes even in a tank unit - yoni netanyhu went on to be a tank battalian comander after serving as a platoon leader in a recon unit and a paratrooper company commander.

Quote:
As an aside: serving in elite units is much more about mental strength than physical strength. You don't have to be big (I weighed 147 lbs. - I was slightly smaller than normal), but you have to have intestinal fortitude. It's all about not quitting. That's what weeding out is all about; getting rid of those don't have what it takes. If they quit in training, they'll quit in battle.

no what you mean - I inlisted at 132 pounds, myself.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
ok, and not to get so isoteric, but isn't there a unit of the airforce that does this, specifically?

I don't really know The rotary-wing close air support is all Army anyway. Well, except for the helos that are Marines, but you get the idea.

The Air Force has a small special ops community (not widely known, in part, because they don't have video games named after them) that have special reconn abilities.

The Air Force also has the Pararescuemen (PJs), but I don't think they do recon either. You never really hear about them, they don't show up in video games or movies, and they are probably the most under-rated of the special forces community. They were involved in the Battle of Takur Ghar in Afghanistan (along with two SEAL teams, Rangers for support, Australian special forces doing reconn, and who knows what other groups), and I believed they may have siezed the Bagram airport when the war in Afghanistan started.

My understanding is they are sort of like super-duper paratroopers. The best the Air Force has at jumping out of airplanes, landing behind enemy lines, and often doing search and rescue. But they aren't usually "looking for a fight" and would much rather avoid it.
post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
My understanding is they are sort of like super-duper paratroopers. The best the Air Force has at jumping out of airplanes, landing behind enemy lines, and often doing search and rescue. But they aren't usually "looking for a fight" and would much rather avoid it.


I think, that again this is not personal knowledge, the the airforce has two on the ground "camando" type units - one does search and rescue and one helps guide in bombers for airstrikes, including checking weather conditions on the ground and pointing targets with lasers. it would make sense for them to have a unit to take and hold airbases, too, but I don't know. I dont think that the US has ever had to think about refuling from an enemy airbase, which would be a different mission than holding a base for landing ground troops and supplies.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
I don't really know The rotary-wing close air support is all Army anyway. Well, except for the helos that are Marines, but you get the idea.

The Air Force has a small special ops community (not widely known, in part, because they don't have video games named after them) that have special reconn abilities.

The Air Force also has the Pararescuemen (PJs), but I don't think they do recon either. You never really hear about them, they don't show up in video games or movies, and they are probably the most under-rated of the special forces community. They were involved in the Battle of Takur Ghar in Afghanistan (along with two SEAL teams, Rangers for support, Australian special forces doing reconn, and who knows what other groups), and I believed they may have siezed the Bagram airport when the war in Afghanistan started.

My understanding is they are sort of like super-duper paratroopers. The best the Air Force has at jumping out of airplanes, landing behind enemy lines, and often doing search and rescue. But they aren't usually "looking for a fight" and would much rather avoid it.

PJ's are kind of like super specialized medics. They also do search and rescue stuff for downed pilots. PJ's are quite often attached to Ranger units as medics. Reference the movie Blackhawk Down. The medic that is trying to save the Ranger (that ultimately bleeds out) who was shot in the leg, they guy whose artery they couldn't clamp. That medic was a PJ.

In Iraq we still use Rangers as perimeter security for SF forces (usually composed of Coalition SF troops and Iraqi SF troops) while SF forces conduct raids.
post #21 of 51
Ranger school is considered an advanced infantry leadership course at Fort Benning, Ga. It varies in length, when was in it started at 56 days and then got lengthened to 72, then shortened again when they took out "prairie" phase in Utah. If you are an Infantry branch officer-you will go to Ranger school, lest you are satisfied with with attaining the rank of O-3 (Capt.) for your career. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranger_...#Benning_Phase

Once complete, you are authorized to wear a Ranger "Tab" above your unit patch (on the left shoulder). At ranger school, they teach you patrolling ad nauseum-Raids, recon, ambush, patrol base and all the cool guy action stuff that goes with it-Aussie Rappeling, fries, spies, stabo, etc. IF you are airboren qualified, you jump into your next phase. Citi phase was at Camp Darby, GA; Mountain Phase-Dahlonega, GA, Swamp Phase/Jungle phase-Camp Rudder, Fl, Prairie Phase-Dugway Proving Ground-UT and desert phase at Ft. Bliss, TX. You learn both recon and direct action.

Ranger school is hard, expecially in the winter-next to no sleep, no food, heavy rucks/combat loads, going from patrol, to patrol, to patrol-out in the elements. People used to die every once in a while in this school. In fact, I was friends with one of the RIs who was on a patrol where a Ranger student died-DA was investigating his shit until he go out.

Its one thing to sit at our computers and talk about it, but wait to you see guys after 3 days with no sleep starting putting quarters into trees in the middle of the night-what that fuck are you doing ranger? Getting a coke sgt-you want one? Yeah, you start hallucinating after a while and doing some strange shit! Got to crap while while on the ambush line-tough shit-hold it. When the rain comes -or snow or worse yet-freezing rain-and you are lying in a patrol base shivering to keep warm-but can't put on any rain gear or poly pro-b/c that would violate security-you just suck it up, get sick and really have a shitty experience or quit. IF you get hurt and have to recycle, you go to the gulag-which sucks. No matter how tire you are-when your name gets called and you get assigned the next mission-you heart starts pounding and adrenaline starts going. It will get you through.

Now, to call one self a "Ranger" in the Army implies that you are in Ranger Battalion-1, 2nd, or 3ed Bat. If you are not in a Ranger Bat, you aren't a Ranger- Period-you just went to Ranger School-which is open to all combat arms MOSs and even some non-combat arms jobs-keep in mind, I got out several years ago, at this point, so this shit has probably changed by now. Great school, great combat leadership training. to say you are a ranger when not assigned to a ranger bat can get you your ass kicked real fast!

Once assigned to Ranger bat-enlisted go to RIP-ranger indoc program-to make sure you aren't wimp and that you have the metal to be there-also, you don't wear your beret until passing RIP. Officers and NCOs go to ROP-Ranger orientation program-a lot different-but still a prereq to wear the beret. Then you go to Ranger school when a slot opens up. You get treated like shit until you are Ranger qualified! So, there is plenty of incentive to go as fast as possible.

Ranger bat used to specialize in air field siezure and Tier 1 asset support-security. We had a SGT guy who had been in Battalion since the 80s-he said Ranger Bat had totally changed since when he first started. With Iraq going on, I am sure all this shit changed again-its evolved to meet the needs of current combat conditions. All infantry units can do recon, raid, ambush, etc. But, depending on the unit you are assigned to, how missions are assigned depends on how the unit is configured. Just because the elements of patrolling are all the same-Planning, recon, security, and control-you can fuck up an ambush real quick like if you are just used to doing recon, and vise versa b/c actions on the Objective are quite different. which is why certain platoons or companies may specialize in a particular area or skill-such as cold teams, Webco-not we be chillin-Weapons platoon, etc.

Ranger battalion is one of the best airborne light fighter units in the world-highly trained, highly motivated with the best equipment uncle sam can provide. If you positively, absolutely want it destroyed over night-send Ranger Battalion.
post #22 of 51
Hello,

Some people on here provided some spectacular replies already. Most of what I am about to state, may have been covered in prior replies , but I'll just offer up some points that I consider to important and concise.

First, my source of information...so that you guys know that I'm not talking out of my ass...(I say this because people can get real touchy about subjects such as these).

I grew up with a very close friend who served in Bravo 1/1st Battalion/ 75th Ranger Regiment (HAAF Savannah, GA). (That should be enough info for those poster's who know "what's up" regarding this type of thing.)

There are two types of people who the public refers to as "Army Rangers":

(1) There are soldiers (usually officers) who attend "Ranger School"...graduate, and are able to wear the Ranger "Tab", (black and gold, or yellow). This course is difficult, and very desirable...but is not considered the pinnacle of being an army ranger. (No disrespect meant, whatsoever...there are simply differences in the two "types".)

(2) There are soldiers who are actively serving in one of several units comprised of what could be called "Active Army Rangers" (this is not the correct terminology). These brave men have completed Infantry School, Airborne School, RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program)...and are then sent to a specific unit such as the "1st Ranger Battalion" which is stationed in Savanna, Georgia.

Once they reach this unit, they continually undergo training day in and day out. This may include working to receive their EIB or "Advanced Infantry Badge", extensive weapons training, grueling physical training, advanced tactics, some language training, further "parachute training, Land Navigation courses, Jiu Jitsu, etc.

The point is that these men train day in and day out to achieve a high degree of "readiness". While in the unit, these men must be prepared to deploy at a moments notice.

The men in these unit's are authorized to wear another "Ranger patch" called the "Scroll", which shows what specific unit they are in. These men consider themselves to be "actual" Rangers. A slogan which helps to explain this difference between these men and those who only went through the "Ranger" course is as follows..."the tab is an award...the scroll is a way of life".

So, what are these men doing currently? (I don't want to hear anything about OPSEC, b/c nothing I am going to explain is sensitive.)

In our current war, they are working with various Special Forces groups, CIA, etc. in order to hunt down and eliminate (or detain) suspected terrorists, or HVT's (High value targets)...Think Bin Laden. Basically they are spending their time doing raids on houses and compounds, trying to capture terrorists and gather intelligence...which will eventually go up the food chain to the real decision makers.

These men live by the slogan "Sua Sponte"...which basically translates to..."of their own accord". The idea behind this is that they are highly autonomous, and complete their orders to the highest standard, without being told a second time.

They are some of the finest men that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. They know that their job is serious business, and that they are prepared to complete it at any cost.

*Sometimes you will hear people say things like..."I heard that a Navy Seal could kill an Army Ranger in a barfight", or..."My uncle is in a Marine Recon. unit, and he is better trained than Chuck Noris"..."Blah, blah, blah"...etc.

In reality, all of these groups work together to support the goals of the US government, and if anybody ever says any BS like that, or openly brags about being in a "Special Forces" unit...you can be rest assured that they are basically mentally deficient. In reality the men and women in SOCOM (special operations command) are generally humble and mature individuals with a high degree of character.

To all who served, thank you for your service. and as my friend always tells me..."RLTW". - out.
post #23 of 51
YOU TRACKIN' HOOAH?

Like a VCR, Hooah.

Super Duper Paratrooper
post #24 of 51
As some have mentioned the tab means completion on the Ranger Course. Most Infantry officers will try and get through the course due to the fact that their men will have more respect for them as soldiers, and leaders. Being an officer is hard, you always have to be better at everything, or at least be equal.
post #25 of 51
Rangers are members of the 75th Ranger Regiment, however the title also is applied to graduates of the US Army Ranger school. It is possible to serve in Ranger Regiment and not go to Ranger school, and most Ranger tabbed individuals dont serve in Ranger Regiment. Ranger School is a TRADOC school that teaches Vietnam era tactics and leadership. Pulled straight from the official website http://www.soc.mil/75th%20Ranger%20R...0Regiment.html The 75th Ranger Regiment is a lethal, agile and flexible force, capable of executing a myriad of complex, joint special operations missions in support of U.S. policy and objectives. Today’s Ranger Regiment is the Army’s premier raid force. Each of the four geographically dispersed Ranger battalions are always combat ready, mentally and physically tough and prepared to fight the War on Terrorism. Their capabilities include air assault and direct action raids seizing key terrain such as airfields, destroying strategic facilities, and capturing or killing enemies of the Nation. Rangers are capable of conducting squad through regimental size operations using a variety of infiltration techniques including airborne, air assault and ground platforms. The Regiment remains an all-volunteer force with an intensive screening and selection process followed by combat-focused training. Rangers are resourced to maintain exceptional proficiency, experience and readiness. The 75th Ranger Regiment is a proud unit and a team of teams serving the Nation - Rangers Lead The Way!
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I think, that again this is not personal knowledge, the the airforce has two on the ground "camando" type units - one does search and rescue and one helps guide in bombers for airstrikes, including checking weather conditions on the ground and pointing targets with lasers. it would make sense for them to have a unit to take and hold airbases, too, but I don't know. I dont think that the US has ever had to think about refuling from an enemy airbase, which would be a different mission than holding a base for landing ground troops and supplies.

USAF PJ's are as stated super duper paramedics but are also fully qualified special forces troopers. They are quite offten attached to other special forces teams because they are valued for their fighting skills and the're medical training.

The other group you're refering to are USAF Combat Controllers. They too are fully trained special forces troopers but are also fully qualified air traffic controllers. From what I understand when the Rangers jumped into Granada it was USAF Combat Controllers who controlled the planes.

I also very much +1 the fact that USAF special forces is almost unheard of. In fact if you were to conduct a poll I do believe that most people would have no idea that USAF has not one but two different types of special forces troopers. There is also a componant of USAF special forces that are the pilots and gunners for the helicopters used to insert special forces teams as well as the search and rescue birds.

USAF also have the Forward Air Controllers who deploy with mostly Army and Marines and they are the ones who direct in the air support on the battle ground. While not considered special forces they live and train with which ever parent group they are attached too.

As far as designating a target with a laser goes I believe all specal forces know how to do that and have been tasked to do so at one time or another. Same goes for reconnaissance missions.
post #27 of 51
post #28 of 51
interesting reading
post #29 of 51
http://johntreed.com/ranger.html

This is a great article about the US Army Rangers, very contrarian and well-written. Basically, the gist of the article is that Rangers aren't all they're cracked up to be, along with most "elite" military units. Try not to read it with any preconceived notions in mind and I think you'll be very impressed.
post #30 of 51
My cousin was Pararescue. Nicest guy in the world. Could put a guy on each shoulder and run. I think there's some cross talk in the thread on the difference between special forces and specialized/elite units within a branch. It's also been 10 years since the start of the war, and what was true early on isn't as true any more such as targeting and use of precision munitions. Some of the other branches and specialties have to do with history - the USAF came out of the Army and has always had a closer relationship with them, just as the Navy and Marines have a special relationship.
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