Several important days in the history and lineage of the 3rd Ranger Battalion happened on October 3rd. 

The U.S. Army Rangers date back to the Colonial Days before the American Revolution when the British raised a company of New Hampshire woodsmen who became an independent Ranger Company under Major Robert Rogers. 

“Rogers’ Rangers” were greatly valued by the British during the French and Indian War for their skills at reconnaissance and at conducting light infantry operations. The British then expanded the Rangers into 14 different companies that took part in 14 different engagements during the war. Rogers’s writing on his 28 “Rules of Ranging” is still in use today by Army Rangers. 

Rangers appeared briefly in other American wars during the 19th century. Yet, it wasn’t until World War II that the Rangers began forming the Ranger Battalions we’re used to today. Following the lead of the British Commandos, the United States formed the 1st Ranger Battalion in England under the command of William O. Darby. The 1st Battalion fought with distinction in North Africa. 

Because of their success, Darby quickly formed the 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions. Combined with the 1st they made up the Ranger Force. The Rangers fought in Sicily and later in mainland Italy in early 1944. The 3rd Ranger Battalion was wiped out at the bloody battle of Cisterna. 

But in 1943, another unit, which would be indelibly tied to the Rangers and the 75th Ranger Regiment, was born. That was the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), better known as “Merrill’s Marauders.” They were formed in late September and shipped to Burma.

During the fighting there, the Marauders had to deal with the Japanese, a 1,100-mile trek to their objective, and tropical diseases that decimated their ranks. For their accomplishments in Burma, the Marauders were awarded the “Presidential Unit Citation.” The award is still worn by members of the follow-on units on their uniforms. The Marauders also have the extremely rare distinction of having every member of the unit receive the “Bronze Star.”

The unit was disbanded and consolidated with the 475th Infantry on August 10, 1944. On June 21, 1954, the 475th was redesignated as the 75th Infantry. It is from the redesignation of Merrill’s Marauders into the 75th Infantry Regiment that the modern-day 75th Ranger Regiment traces its current unit designation.