This narrative covers the activities, personnel and accomplishments of Company F (Ranger),
75th Infantry during the period 1 February 1969 through 15 March 1971 and includes
references to historical parent units of Company F (Ranger), 75th Infantry.
Throughout military history the need for a small, highly motivated, well trained unit to
perform reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, and specialty type combat
missions has been readily apparent, especially deep in hostile areas.
Vietnam presented these needs in capital letters because of the nature of the enemy and
the war. The Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol program fulfilled these needs for each
major combat unit.
Instead of creating a new unit designation for such an elite force, the Department of the
Army looked to its rich and varied heritage and on 1 February, 1969 designated the 75th
Infantry Regiment, the present successor to the famous 5307th Composite Unit
(MERRILL'S MARAUDERS) as the parent organization for all Department of the Army designated
Long Range Patrol (LRP) units and the parenthetical designation (RANGER) in lieu of (LRP),
formally the 25th Infantry Division (LRRP) (Provisional) assigned to the 25th Infantry
Division, became Company F (Ranger), 75th Infantry.
The 25th Infantry Division arrived in Vietnam from Hawaii in two major groups. The 3rd
Brigade deployed as a task force arriving in Pleiku, Corps II region of Vietnam on
28 December 1965. The 3rd Brigade would later have its own LRRP contingent and also be
traded to the 4th Infantry Division for a brigade in August 1967. The remaining brigades
and headquarters arrived at Cu Chi in Corps III area from 20 January 1966 through 4 April
It quickly became apparent to Major General Fred C. Weyand that a reconnaissance/specialty
unit was needed to supplement 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry who were mounted troops and had
the mission of providing road security and were ill equipped or trained to perform
dismounted reconnaissance missions. General Weyand authorized the formation of the
Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol detachment and forty-one officers and enlisted personnel
were selected for duty with the unit.
The unit was known as "Mackenzie's lerps" because it was assigned to the 4th Cavalry known
as Mackenzie's Raiders after Colonel Slidell Mackenzie who had commanded the unit from 1870
to 1882 with proficiency.
Training for the new LRRPs was accomplished at the Special Forces MACV Recondo School at
Nha Trang. The unit started patrolling at increasing distances fro the Division and fire
support bases. Missions included waterborne operations and were primarily oriented to
finding the enemy so U.S. firepower could be staged and brought to bear on the enemy.
Other types of missions including prisoner snatch, ambush, etc. were ordered for the
normal five man teams.
On the job experience added Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for later volunteers to
the unit. The only way into the unit was to volunteer and the members could be
reassigned by unvolunteering themselves for less hazardous duty in a rifle unit.
Allocations to Nha Trang and length of training time encouraged the formation of a
25th Division Recondo School which quickly brought volunteers to a workable patrol
LRRP was given a TO&E personnel strength of 60 plus, but, its real strength was closer
to half that while its address was D Troop (LRRP), 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry.
A remarkable amount of useful patrol knowledge was passed on in these classes always
bearing the indelible stamp of the original Nha Trang training by the Special Forces.
The word "Reconnaissance" is somewhat misleading because missions were often combat in
nature stemming from the desire of patrollers and commanders to do more than just look.
Missions often were ended with an ambush or were interrupted by targets of opportunity.
This was a prevailing attitude in the field and base commanders. While the 25th Division
was in Cu Chi, its 3rd Brigade was still in Pleiku with its LRRPs referred to as "Bronco
LRRP's". The Brigade LRRP teams existed from mid-1966 to August 1967, participating in
7 major operations from the border west to the South China Sea east including Duc Pho and
The Department of the Army officially authorized the formation of Company F, 50th Infantry
Detachment (LRP) on 20 December, 1967. LRP stood for Long Range Patrol which more closely
represented the missions. This unit was formed with the personnel and equipment from the
LRRP detachment. The combat nature of the unit was borne out when General Weyand said in
March 1967 that LRRP was the "fightingest unit under his command".
The 50th Infantry continued to operate in III Corp region of Vietnam which included War
Zones C and D which contained the floating enemy command for all of Vietnam (COSVN).
The 50th Infantry was now known as the Cobra Lightning Patrollers and continued to operate
in areas such as Tay Ninh, Fish Hook, Parrots Beak, and Angels Wing along the Cambodian
border. Actions initiated on 28 January 1968 by the LRPs resulted in the KIA of 64 Viet-
Cong reconnaissance troops.
Credit needs to be given to the personnel of the LRRP platoon and the 50th Infantry
Detachment (LRP) for establishing the doctrine that would become SOP for Company F (Ranger),
75th Infantry. The 75th Infantry absorbed the personnel and equipment of the 50th Infantry
detachment (LRP) on 1 February 1969. They were now known as "Fox Rangers" from the
phonetic "F" and "Tropical Rangers" from the Division's name "Tropic Lightening".
Rangers included one sniper qualified trooper on each team. Ranger training started in the
U.S. and was more refined than ever based on intelligence and experience gathered by
Vietnam Ranger parent units (LRRP & LRP). This produced extremely qualified personnel
well able and motivated to do the dangerous missions of the Rangers.
On 2 April 1970, two ranger teams made contact with entrenched forces of the crack 271st
VC Regiment that required 2 American Battalions to deal with (one was mechanized).
Rangers mission continued to operate in Hobo & Bo Loi Woods, Nui Ba Den mountain
(the only mountain in the area), the Iron Triangle and into Cambodia as the historical
predecessors had done since 1966.
"F" Company Rangers were now authorized 123 troopers. In spring 1970, the Rangers
participated in the process of Vietnamization which was to allow the South Vietnam more
latitude in fighting the war in their country. From August to October 1970 Rangers from
"F" Company conducted 85 patrols. In 1971 operations worked to disrupt enemy supplies
and Tet 1971 was remarkably free from enemy activity. "F" Company, 75th Rangers was
deactivated 15 March 1971.
Rangers were hated, feared and respected so much by the enemy that bounties were offered
from $1,000 to $2,500.00 by a country whose citizens were glad to do labor for $.85 a day.
The VC and NVA veterans now say the Rangers were the most deadly American unit in Vietnam
because they were always showing up where they were not supposed to be and when the enemy
knew, it was too late.
F Company Rangers earned a valorous unit award during 1 to 22 February 1969 upholding the
highest elite unit standards. Today, the modern Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment
continue the traditions of being a premier fighting element of the active army.
The traditions and dedication to their fellow RANGERS continues!!