75th growing, more opportunities.

C

Caspersen

Guest
Anybody here that is actively in Regiment? I was wondering how the 7-man squads are set up? Just nix the riflemen or what?

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Roll with the Rangers

The 75th Regiment is growing — and the job opportunities are, too
By Sean D. Naylor - snaylor@militarytimes.com
Posted : August 25, 2008

There are 789 more opportunities to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, which added that number of troops as part of an expansion to make it more operationally flexible.

From junior soldiers to those well along in their careers, both officers and enlisted, those opportunities are broadly available in a range of positions.

“There’s absolutely greater opportunity to join the regiment for [military occupational specialties] of all types,” said Lt. Col. Joe Ryan, the regiment’s deputy commander.

Once in the regiment, soldiers can qualify for re-enlistment bonuses of anywhere from $3,000 to $22,000, depending on specialty, rank and years in service.

But the expansion has also forced the elite airborne unit to cut the size of its infantry squads.

The 75th, often referred to simply as “the Ranger Regiment” because there is only one, is headquartered at Fort Benning, Ga., and has three infantry battalions, one each at Benning, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., and Fort Lewis, Wash. Elements from the regiment usually deploy and fight as part of special operations task forces put together by Joint Special Operations Command.

The regiment’s expansion, which began Oct. 1 and was completed last month, involved adding a fourth line company to each infantry battalion, as well as the activation of a Special Troops Battalion. That brings the regiment’s overall strength to 3,009, about one-third of which can be expected to turn over every year. That drives an ongoing need for troops to fill vacancies and thousands of soldiers are put into the Ranger Regiment accessions pipeline every year.

The expansion marked the first major change to the Rangers’ force design since the activation of the regimental headquarters and the 3rd Battalion in 1984, according to Lt. Col. Chris Stone, the regiment’s executive officer.

The new force design enables the Rangers to do things they needed to but couldn’t with the pre-existing force structure, Ryan said.

Ryan explained the advantages of the new design in terms of an acronym that describes a targeting process and is gaining currency in the military: F3EA, which stands for “find, fix, finish, exploit and analyze.”

“We’ve always been good at the ‘finish’ side, and that’s always been our bread and butter here in the Ranger Regiment,” he said. “What we’ve done is we’ve taken the other four pieces of that model — the ‘find’ and ‘fix,’ in terms of the enemy, and then the ‘exploit’ and ‘analyze’ side as well — and grown those areas to complement the strength that we’ve had in the ‘finish’ realm of F3EA.”

Previously, Ryan said, the Rangers were forced to rely “on outside agencies and other capabilities” to provide them with information required to attack a target, and then to take any information gained in that attack, analyze it and turn it into other targets. The regiment’s growth (which includes additional military intelligence soldiers) allows the regimental headquarters and its infantry battalions to handle many more of those tasks themselves, he said.

Doing the job better
Although Ryan did not specifically discuss how the Rangers fit into JSOC operations, he acknowledged it was “fair to say” that the changes also make it easier to build a special operations task force around the regimental headquarters or any of its infantry battalions.

“One of our mission-essential tasks has always been to operate as a SOTF, and we’ve always been able to do it,” he said. “What the [additional force structure] provides us with is just the ability to do it better.”

The expansion also gives the regimental staff the ability to operate “across the tactical and into the operational levels of war,” Ryan said. “To either do it independently or to augment others in doing it.”

The additional company per infantry battalion carries clear advantages, Ryan said.

“What that allows a battalion commander to do is apply more force and more troops to those problems that require it across the spectrum of everything that we do,” he said.

In each battalion’s case, the new company — called D or Delta Company — was phased in over a six-month period, culminating in a certification exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., according to Stone. The first battalion to be certified was 2nd Battalion, in January, followed by 3rd Battalion in May and 1st Battalion in July, a timeline driven primarily by the battalions’ deployment schedules, Ryan said.

Once certified, each battalion deploys to Afghanistan for its first combat experience with the new company, Ryan said.

“The terrain obviously at the National Training Center replicates [Afghanistan] incredibly well,” Ryan said. “That has been a huge success.”

The other major component of the regiment’s expansion has been the creation of the Special Troops Battalion, which has four subordinate companies that were previously detachments under the regimental headquarters: the reconnaissance, military intelligence and communications companies, as well as what is now called the regimental operations company, which used to be the training detachment.

The operations company serves as the headquarters company for the Special Troops Battalion, but its most important function is running the Ranger Indoctrination Program, or RIP, and the Ranger Orientation Program, or ROP — pronounced “rope” — as well as the course that prepares the regiment’s soldiers for Ranger School, Ryan said. The purpose of RIP is to train, assess and select newly assigned junior enlisted soldiers in Ranger Regiment history, traditions, policies and basic Ranger skills. ROP exists to train, assess and select officers and non-commissioned officers for service in the regiment.

Both RIP and ROP are seeing a significant influx of soldiers resulting from the expansion. The Rangers’ need to attract physically fit, mentally driven soldiers is greater than ever.

Straight into Rangerdom
About 75 percent to 80 percent of the regiment’s junior enlisted infantrymen join via initial entry contracts, Ryan said. The remainder come from the larger Army, either soldiers re-enlisting to go Ranger, or transferring laterally from other units using Department of the Army Form 4187 — “Personnel Action,” he said. For a unit to release a soldier to try out for the Rangers requires the approval of the soldier’s brigade commander, he added.

Although the regiment is looking for high performers from conventional Army brigades, Ryan said, because it seeks to recruit them at the end of their brigades’ life cycles, when units are returning from deployments, friction with conventional Army commanders is minimized.

“The conventional Army has been more than supportive of our growth,” Ryan said. “They realize there’s only one Ranger Regiment in the Army ... and they don’t want to screw this one up.”

Previously, the regiment had what Stone described as “an informal agreement” with the Army that allowed the Rangers a 7 percent overage of Skill Level 1 combat arms soldiers.

“Now that became part of the formal MTOE [modified table of organization and equipment — essentially, the unit’s force design], so that we were authorized an additional 7 percent overage of Skill Level 1 infantrymen,” he said. “That gave us the authorizations for the bodies and the equipment that allowed us to have some flexibility in people being deployed or in schools or other things like that.”

However, the expansion has not been without cost.

“Not everything’s been a good news story,” Ryan said.

Most notably, in order to free up the manpower to fill the Delta Companies, the regiment cut the size of its rifle squads from nine soldiers to seven.

The decision wasn’t taken lightly, Ryan said. “We really looked at the missions we were undertaking, the platforms we were using to deliver Rangers to the battlefield, in terms of vehicles and helicopters ... and we said, ‘Can we afford to go to seven men in order to effect the unit growth?’ and we determined a few years back that yes, we could, and we could still accomplish those missions.”

There have been “isolated occurrences” of platoons deploying with even fewer than seven men in a squad, “but by and large the squads are deploying at the seven-man level,” Ryan said.

The successful deployment to Afghanistan of the reorganized 2nd Battalion, with its seven-man squads and D Company, convinced the regiment’s leaders that the concept was sound. Nevertheless, they are eager to return to the nine-man squad as soon as possible.

“Over time we realized that the flexibility we gain from having nine-man squads and the combat power we’re able to bring to bear on the battlefield is obviously greater in a nine-man squad than in a seven-man squad,” Ryan said. “So what we are looking at now is a potential return to the nine-man squad in order to align Ranger platoons with their infantry counterparts in the rest of the Army ... That’s the proven model that the infantry has succeeded with over the years, and it’s working for everybody forward today.”

The search for support troops
But for all the difficulties inherent in cutting each infantry squad’s strength by more than 20 percent, filling the increased number of slots for support troops in the regiment has proven even tougher.

“The accession of the other [i.e. non-infantry] MOSs that we now either require for the first time or we require more of, that’s been the greatest challenge,” Ryan said.

While the Rangers have relatively few problems attracting hard-charging young infantrymen, finding support soldiers willing and able to make it through the physical challenges of RIP and live the Ranger lifestyle has been considerably more difficult.

About one-third of the 75th is made up of support troops; the rest are combat-arms soldiers.

“We did not grow sufficiently in some support areas,” Stone said. But, he added, although the regiment could have asked for additional support slots, those “are the areas that we always would have difficulty in recruiting anyway ... Adding authorization for additional truck drivers doesn’t mean you’re going to necessarily have additional truck drivers.”

Historically, the regiment has found it hardest to fill its 42-series (administrative) and 92-series (supply) MOS positions — “the PLL [prescribed load list] clerks, the supply sergeants, the cooks,” Stone said, adding that the regiment has often been forced to fill support slots with infantry soldiers. “It may reduce the quality of the food you get ... but the show must go on,” he said.

Stone sought to dispel a misconception that apparently hinders the regiment’s recruiting efforts. It would be a mistake for soldiers to think that “you have to come into this organization as a private in order to be successful,” Stone said. “That is not the case.”

The regiment’s command sergeant major, Douglas Pallister, did his first Ranger tour as a staff sergeant, Stone noted, adding that there are other sergeants major in the regiment who entered the unit at a similar stage of their careers.

Numbers help tell the story of the personnel challenge facing the Rangers. Accessions Command issues roughly 4,000 Ranger contracts a year, Stone said. “If we’re giving out 4,000 contracts a year and we have 3,000 billets in the organization, obviously a significant amount of those people do not make it through the pipeline,” he said.

For those recruits who show up for the Army, make it through initial entry training, then graduate airborne school, the attrition rate in RIP is about 50 percent, Ryan said.

The biggest factor that prevents soldiers from completing RIP or ROP is “physical training issues,” Ryan said. “The reason why a kid will come to RIP and not make it is, he just can’t maintain the physical standard that the course requires.”

The difficulty in filling the support slots prompted a debate in the regiment about whether “to hold everybody to the same standard” or to put the support troops in a support battalion “and not require them to maintain the Ranger standards that we require of the numbered battalions,” Ryan said.

In spring 2005, then-regimental commander Col. Paul LaCamera made his decision, which was later confirmed by his successor, current regimental commander Col. Richard Clarke.

Ryan summarized that decision as “simply that we’re going to have one standard in the regiment, and it’s going to be the tan beret standard, and it’s going to be the same standard we’ve always held Rangers to, and if a kid who’s an 88 Mike [motor transport operator] or a 52 Charlie [utilities equipment repairer] or a 13 Fox [fire support specialist] or an 11 Bravo [infantryman] doesn’t meet it, he’s not going to get a tan beret and he’s not going to be in the unit.

“So we do not have any non-tan-beret wearing soldiers in the Ranger Regiment. Every Ranger in the organization has earned the tan beret through graduation from RIP or ROP and will continue to do so.”

This approach held two major advantages, according to Ryan.

“One, it’s maintained our unit integrity, in terms of knowing that when you ask for a Ranger you’re going to get one, whatever his MOS is,” he said. Second, he added, “It’s proven to a lot of these kids that they can do it ... When they put that tan beret on, they’re pretty proud of themselves and what they’ve been able to do. It just does a lot for the unit and morale and esprit de corps.”

Joining the regiment
Despite its popular reputation, the 75th Ranger Regiment is not made up of just grunts and other hard-core combat types.

The 75th includes soldiers across a spectrum of other job specialties, from truck drivers and parachute riggers, to water treatment specialists, radio and electronics specialists and more.

If you’re interested in joining the 75th, you can use this phone number and Web site to find out more about what’s required and what to expect:

706.545.5124

https://www.benning.army.mil/75thranger/content/recruiting/index.htm.
 
B

Boondocksaint375

Guest
I think we had like 2 non-tabs at one point. It sucked because SP4's and TL's were stuck pulling ammo deatil due to lack of privates lol. Of course now they have STB.....but yeah you are probably right about the turnover effect.
 
L

Looon

Guest
Back in my day, being in weapons squad and getting to Ranger School took fucking forever. Most of the time I was there, the only tab was the squad leader.
 
C

Caspersen

Guest
Its nothing new, I have seen it done since I first got to Batt. Shit, I have been part of a 5 man GOD Squad.

When we returned from deployments and the stop-losses were over we had understrength squads, but it wasn't the infantry standard. I'm just wondering how they are standardizing/doctrinating the setup (if they do keep it).

Nix the rifleman?

Still four squads to a platoon or has that changed?

Weapons Squad would kind of suck without an AB...

Just trying to satisfy my curiousity and minor questions I had after reading it
 
L

Looon

Guest
Weapons Squad would kind of suck without an AB...
I was an AB for a short time before I made AG. When I was an AG and then a Gunner, I didn't have an AB. It's nice to have one, but not absolutely necessary. A two man gun team can still function to standard. I can't speak for the big Army though.
 

275ANGER!

Angry Member
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When we returned from deployments and the stop-losses were over we had understrength squads, but it wasn't the infantry standard. I'm just wondering how they are standardizing/doctrinating the setup (if they do keep it).

Nix the rifleman?

Still four squads to a platoon or has that changed?

Weapons Squad would kind of suck without an AB...

Just trying to satisfy my curiousity and minor questions I had after reading it

I know what you are asking and I tried to refrain from saying because of the prying eyes on TTPs. As far as I know Regiment has not standarderdized or doctrined, its all technique. Even if they did I will bet not everyone is following. You play with the cards dealt.

Example: When I arrived to my squad my TL was carrying a 203. Was that happening in all the squads or teams? No. It was a technique he liked. On one deployment I was the only one carrying a MK46 in the squad.

As far as weapons squad goes its not that bad. We have the use of the MK48 and 240. I would let my AG carry the MK48 while I had my M4 to mark targets for him. When we brought out the 240 I would handle it most of the time. We have lighter tripods that cut the weight in half of the old ones which allows for more rounds.

Platoons/Squads/Teams change TTPs just to meet the needs of the mission. Some have gone as far as mimicking certain units that work in small elements.

I know this is not going to satisfy your craving but hope you get the idea that we adapt to what is needed whether it was nixing the rifleman or having a TL carry a 46 <---I have seen it done.
 
C

Caspersen

Guest
I know what you are asking and I tried to refrain from saying because of the prying eyes on TTPs. As far as I know Regiment has not standarderdized or doctrined, its all technique. Even if they did I will bet not everyone is following. You play with the cards dealt.

Example: When I arrived to my squad my TL was carrying a 203. Was that happening in all the squads or teams? No. It was a technique he liked. On one deployment I was the only one carrying a MK46 in the squad.

As far as weapons squad goes its not that bad. We have the use of the MK48 and 240. I would let my AG carry the MK48 while I had my M4 to mark targets for him. When we brought out the 240 I would handle it most of the time. We have lighter tripods that cut the weight in half of the old ones which allows for more rounds.

Platoons/Squads/Teams change TTPs just to meet the needs of the mission. Some have gone as far as mimicking certain units that work in small elements.

I know this is not going to satisfy your craving but hope you get the idea that we adapt to what is needed whether it was nixing the rifleman or having a TL carry a 46 <---I have seen it done.

Got it boss, wouldn't have pryed at you for answers if I had known you weren't sure you wanted to post them.
 

pardus

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Messages
10,155
Respectfully, if I had any reason to believe my questions were neglecting OPSEC, I wouldn't have asked them. 2/75 covered what I was asking more or less.

Respectfully, that reminder is going to be a constant on this forum, get used to it and don't question it.
You obviously asked something that was potentially breaching OPSEC, hence 2/75's answer.


Eyes open, head on a swivel, mouth restricted.
 

tjwest

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God Squad

I think we had like 2 non-tabs at one point. It sucked because SP4's and TL's were stuck pulling ammo deatil due to lack of privates lol. Of course now they have STB.....but yeah you are probably right about the turnover effect.

I haven't heard the term God Squad in forever. I can't recall a time when I was ever on one that was even close in 1st Plt. It seemed like we were always shot on tabs.
 
I

INFLT

Guest
My name is Matt and I am an Infantry Platoon Leader stationed in Korea. I initially chose this place so I could do my year and go straight to one of the Ranger Battalions. Now, even though I just got offered Mortar PL I am worried because no amount of schools can beat experience or a CIB and combat patch. I am on this site to ask advice on how to get my foot into Ranger Regiment.
 

Doc P

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My name is Matt and I am an Infantry Platoon Leader stationed in Korea. I initially chose this place so I could do my year and go straight to one of the Ranger Battalions. Now, even though I just got offered Mortar PL I am worried because no amount of schools can beat experience or a CIB and combat patch. I am on this site to ask advice on how to get my foot into Ranger Regiment.

Volunteer.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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My name is Matt and I am an Infantry Platoon Leader stationed in Korea. I initially chose this place so I could do my year and go straight to one of the Ranger Battalions. Now, even though I just got offered Mortar PL I am worried because no amount of schools can beat experience or a CIB and combat patch. I am on this site to ask advice on how to get my foot into Ranger Regiment.

I posted a bit in your Intro thread. Good luck.

https://www.infantry.army.mil/75thranger/content/recruiting/index.htm
 
I

INFLT

Guest
thank you

Thank you Freefalling but my issue is what can I do to separate myself from all the other PL’s who are competing. I WILL not have a combat patch and have no idea how to separate myself. I have Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger, IMLC (soon), and Anti-Armor. But all this bling doesn’t mean anything anymore because of the war. So how can I show that I would be worthy to lead Rangers? I can do well in garrison all I want but I wont make it to theater and back before I make captain and once that happens I am screwed.
 
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