The 75th Ranger Regiment is the world’s premier airborne, light infantry force and part of the U.S. Special Operations Command. The Rangers of today trace their lineage back to the days before the Revolutionary War.
The first mention of Rangers goes all the way back to 1622. In 1676, Colonel Benjamin Church created the first Ranger company during King Philip’s War. But it was during the French and Indian War that Colonel Robert Rogers created nine companies of Rangers who are credited with being the forerunners of today’s 75th Ranger Regiment. Rogers’s 28 “Rules of Ranging” still make part of today’s Ranger Battalions dogma.
The Rangers During World War Two
During World War II, General Lucian Truscott, who was the American liaison officer to the British General Staff, submitted a proposal to General George Marshall in 1942 that the U.S. Army create units “along the lines of the British Commandos.” Five Ranger Battalions would be organized in the European Theatre including the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th; the 6th would be organized and be deployed in the Pacific against the Japanese.
While the 1st Ranger Battalion had already been in combat with British Commandos at Dieppe, the Allied invasion of France would require Rangers to take down German defenses in Normandy. Thus, the 29th Ranger Battalion was born. Although its life as a dedicated Ranger Battalion was short, it would be instrumental in saving lives on the battlefield during D-Day.