Every unit has rivals internally and the 75th Ranger Regiment is no exception. It has always been about pride in your Battalion, company, platoon, and squad. 1st Batt guys talk trash about about 2nd and 3rd Batt, 2nd Batt guys talk trash about 1st and 3rd Batt, and 3rd Batt, well 3rd is just better than the other two. There is always a verbal and physical war that is raging within each Battalion. It’s not about who is actually the superior company or platoon, it’s about bragging rights.

(Image Courtesy of: GIPHY.COM)

In each company the platoons have a specific designated area that most refer to as the platoon AO. Many of these AOs have a boundary. This boundary generally consists of a piece of 100 mph tape running across the floor. Think of this boundary as an invisible wall. If you are a private from another platoon, you don’t cross that boundary! Not for anything…well, unless a superior NCO tells you, you don’t cross that line. Why? Because if you don’t obey the unspoken rule, pain and possibly unconsciousness will ensue.

As a young PFC, I remember the time my team leader told me to go and borrow the broom and dust pan from 1st platoon. Like a naive day one private I walked on over and before a word could leave my lips I felt the oxygen depravation to my brain and I was tapping one of the many arms and bodies that was suffocating my body. In the end, I got what I was looking for, but not without a price.

These types of physical battles seemed an almost daily occurrence within the company. At times it would start just as my encounter, but would end with the lone man’s platoon engaging a rescue. Platoon vs. platoon, the physical battle would rage until all of the men from one of the platoons had tapped from a choking or submissive hold. At the end of the battle there might be only one man standing and he represented victory for his platoon.

It might sound a bit barbaric, but these battles built camaraderie and pride with unit.

Fast forward to my time in the snipers and the same battle was happening, only against our arch rivals the mortar platoon. Unfortunately for us snipers, our section was about half the size of the mortars, but what we lacked in numbers we made up in ruthlessness.

On one particular occasion we acquired a number of air-soft guns and decided to perform a raid on the unsuspecting mortars during lunchtime. We knew their numbers would be low and be caught unaware with an unprovoked attack. We stacked at the entrance of their platoon AO, entered the narrow corridor in a rolling “T” formation and proceeded to pump round after round of plastic BBs into the unsuspecting mortars.

We may have not destroyed their whole fighting force, but we felt that we gained a massive advantage for HHC supremacy.