The Evolution of The 75th Ranger Regiment


Verified SOF
Apr 26, 2012

I was recently having a discussion with another forum member who was requesting that I write an article about how the 75th evolved during the War on Terror. You know, how we went from choking on mosquitoes in patrol bases at Benning to blowing down douchebag's front doors and laying down some shit for a living. Those of us who experienced it know that a ton changed, in my case just from 2003 to 2006. It looks like the Regiment has continued to evolve in leaps and bounds since then. My question to the community is, barring OPSEC issues, what aspects of the Regiment do you think I should focus on for this article? Obviously we went from high and tights to normal haircuts and even beards in some cases but that's superficial compared to everything else. What aspects of training and combat do you think I should highlight? The idea here is to help educate all those dumbasses out there who think the 75th is a second string security element for Delta.

Thanks in advance,
Compare and contrast.... How does RASP function now as opposed to when George Conrad started the Regt level RIP/ROP? Talk about the individual - discipline, uniforms, equipment, vehicles, and such. There is LOT that you won't be able to cover because of OPSEC.

Your target audience is on this site or for publication? Just people that are here are pre-Regt will find those differences interesting. For the dumbass crowd; a short explanation of where Rangers fit into the escalation of force matrix may be in order.
I suspect that even former Regiment guys would learn something from an article like this, I bet that researching this will be an eye opener for me as well. For the most part though, our audience probably will not be former Rangers but rather the public at large who is interested in Special Operations and kids who are thinking of signing on the dotted line. The tone would be informational/educational but I'm sure it would attract plenty of readers from the SOF community as well. The evolution from Battalion RIP to Regiment RIP to RASP is definitely an important topic.
I'd be interested in reading. Would be a interesting read to go along with the Dick Couch book that's coming out soon.....though July is not soon enough for me, I'm not a patient man :p
Regiment's role in theater has changed drastically from the days of OEF I, something to definitely point out.
From airfield seizures and patrols to HVT raids? I was in RIP during OIF I so I just missed out on some stuff...
I can only make observations that cover from 2006-2010, but here they are:
- During this period the weapons exponentially improved. Weapons went from standard M4A1 14" assault rifles, to M4's with free floating barrells, 10 and 14" barrels, and many non standard items on the weapon. The SCAR also came into play, along with the MK13 replacement of the M203. We went from the PEQ-2's, M68's, and Surefire's to LA-5's, EOTECH/ELCAN's and smaller lights. I saw an increase of only 30 pistols per company to enough to issue one to every man in the company (including supply guys and training shop). The MK-47 replaced the Mk19, sniper weapons systems improved, and night vision went from PVS-14's to your option of 14's, 15's, AVS-6's or PSQ-18's. We went from H&K mags to the P-mags.
- Communications improved. I won't go into specifics, but everyone has peltors and radios now. The stuff that the FO's and Commo guys used got smaller and more capability.
- Battalion became gradually less obsessed with uniformity, and, within reason, gave guys the lee-way to do what made sense. The crye multicam came into use, modifying helmets how you saw fit, wearing what boots were best for you, painting and setting up weapons and other equipment, and basically modifying anything you wanted as long as it made sense to do it (it has and continues to be unnaceptable to do something just because you think its cool).
- The hazing and general treatment of new guys improved significantly. This isn't meant to be a "back when it was hard" anecdote, but guys are just generally treated much better and part of the team, and it is more conducive to learning. Do guys still get the piss smoked out of them for fucking up? of course. Do you still get fucked with? yes. But not the same way it was. I feel like Batt./Regiment has become much more professional in this way.
- PT has gotten smarter. Instead of running like a mad man all week, guys are much more in tune with functional fitness, running, lifting, swimming, and getting injuries treated when appropriate. They have incorporated an entire staff for improving fitness and health, and I think guys are less likely to let an injury go untreated.
- Training is of course very focused on the current operating environment and top notch. I firmly believe (and this is not a slight to any other sof unit out there) that a Ranger strike force is the most effective/lethal/precise direct action element in the U.S. military today, with the exception of one notable unit up at Bragg (who coincidentally recruit very heavily from the 75th). The focus on DA missions and the training to go with it is exceptional. There has been an increased emphasis on pistol marksmanship, which was at one time seen as unnecessary. The Regiment now utilizes a variety of civilian-run shooting courses for pistol, Close Quarters, and long range shooting. I would also say that there has been an increase on emphasis to learn languages, especially with the implementation of the Ranger Language Program.
- I believe medical training has continued to improve. Obviously the bare minimum for all Rangers is to be RFR certified (which happens in RASP), but many go on to get NREMT-I as well. The medics are all obviously top notch and have an exceptional amount of trauma experience. I found that I and many other guys trusted our medics more than the average doctor at the hospital or E.R.
- Emphasis on non-traditional/ non-standard skill sets has increased. I won't go into details, but they are doing training on things now that was not done when I first got there.
- Regimental and Battalion leadership have been put into positions of increased responsibility overseas, and oversee units that most might find surprising.
- Company Commander slots are for Majors now, and Battalion Commander is usually a full bird or LTC (P) now. I don't believe this was the case when I first got there.
- The average Ranger has become more flexible. Going from the mentality of going explosive on every target, to now fully integrating with HN forces and doing call outs shows the maturity of the force and what it is capable of.
- The variety of missions has increased. While I was there I saw Rangers do personnel/equipment recovery/CSAR, hostage rescue, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, cross border stuff, low vis stuff, FID, SR, obviously DA missions, as well as larger scale hits on large concentration of enemy pax.

This is just some stuff off the top of my head, and edited for opsec as well, but overall the Regiment has changed a lot, and I am sure there are many things that I don't know about. I was in the same company the whole time, and don't necessarily know what other things went on for other guys. I will say that the modern breed of Ranger is the most violent of any unit I have been around, and it creates for a very unique type of unit. Everyone wants to kill bad guys and has the means to do so effectively, from the supply guy to the 11B in a line squad.
That all is really quite interesting there goon, and I for one appreciate the answers. Out of curiosity, what is the general age of those you saw in the regiment, and what were the widest differences in age from lowest to highest for active members of the regiment that you witnessed?
I also think it is noteworthy to mention average combat experience. This is strictly only what I observed, and definately was not the rule:
- Team Leaders had an average of 3-6 deployments under their belt
- Squad Leaders 5-9
- PSG's 7-12
- 1sg's 6-9
The average I would say was 20/21 to 30. On the young side you would see 18, on the old side 40's (this was not just senior enlisted either)

Interesting. Appreciate the answer! Keep feeling like at 28 when I decided to go back into the service and if I really pushed for/was considered for opt.40 I would be "old, withered and used up" age wise in their eyes lol! Silly thought I know but still.....
Great info Goon! On the deployments, are these short rotations 3-6 mths or long rotations 12-18 mths? It's seemed like most of the Rangers I saw were in and out, except for TF guys, who seemed to have longer deployments.
Great info Goon! On the deployments, are these short rotations 3-6 mths or long rotations 12-18 mths? It's seemed like most of the Rangers I saw were in and out, except for TF guys, who seemed to have longer deployments.
They were 6 months.
That's hardcore! I went through RIP in 2002 with two former Rangers looking to get back in, both of whom had jumped into Panama. One made it, the other didn't.