One of the cool things about being a writer for SOFREP is all the interesting people you get to talk to. Such was the case when I made contact with the LRRP/Ranger community of Vietnam veterans recently. I read all of their books as a kid, which was what inspired me to join the Army and go to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Despite this, former members of the Regiment, such as myself, are wholly ignorant of much of the history of the American Ranger. When it comes to the American public in general, I find that they know virtually nothing about Army Rangers.

Ross Hall has set out to correct this with his Ranger history book, aptly titled: The Ranger Book. Since Rangers are probably the oldest military formation in US history it comes as no surprise that Hall’s book is fairly extensive, so much so that there is also a companion CD that diligent researchers can buy separately.

Its easy to sit down and flip through this book all day, brushing up on various subjects and turning directly to ones you knew nothing about for clarification. With a history this epic, there are plenty of misconceptions and historical gray areas that sometimes I get lost in myself.

For instance, did you know that Robert Rogers’ 19 standing orders are essentially a fake? They came out of the book Northwest Passage, although Rogers did write Rogers’ Rules of Discipline which were quite different. A talented writer and veteran of the French and Indian War, Rogers was not a man to be trifled with, Hall describing him as an, “excellent soldier and opportunistic mercenary.”

Beyond early Ranger history there is much more. How did RRD come into existence? What is the difference between LRRPs and Rangers in Vietnam? What was the role of Rangers at Desert One during Operation Eagle Claw? The Ranger Book sets the record straight and does a fine job at it. There are also lots of interviews and biographies of prominent Rangers. Although I’ve been reading through this encyclopedia-like book, I’ve barely scratched the surface.

If you are still not convinced, take a look at the table of contents below: