This page will be used to share the history of F Company -- both official and "as submitted" by our guys for the benefit of information sharing.  It is our hope that other members of the unit will submit historical information for inclusion here.  The piece which follows was prepared by Charlie Rose ('66-67).

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 1966.

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 knowledge level.

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 Qui Nhon.

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!!

Company F, (Ranger), 75th Infantry is entitled to the following:
  • Campaign Streamers (Vietnam)
  • Counteroffensive Phase VI
  • TET 1969 Counteroffensive
  • Summer - Fall 1969
  • Sanctuary Counteroffensive
  • Counteroffensive Phase VII
  • Consolidation II
  • Cease Fire Decorations (Vietnam)
  • Valorous Unit Award
  • RVN Gallantry Cross w/Palm
  • RVN Civil Actions Honor Medal
  • Traditional Designations: Fox Rangers Motto: Sua Sponte ("Of their own accord")
  • Distinctive Insignia: The shield of the coat of arms Symbolism of the coat of arms:
  • The colors: red, white, red, and green represent four of the original six combat teams
  • of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), which were identified by a color code word.
  • The close cooperation with the Chinese forces in the China-Burma-India Theater is
  • represented by the Sun symbol from the Chinese Nationalist Flag. The white star
  • represents the Star of Burma. The lightening bolt is symbolic of the strike
  • characteristics of the behind-the-line activities.
RANGER Designation:
Rational - The rationale for selecting the 75th Infantry as the parent unit for all Department of the Army authorized Ranger units is/was as follows:
  • Similarity of missions between those missions performed by Merrill's Marauders and the 75th Infantry, Ranger
  • Companies in the Republic of Vietnam and those of the 75th Ranger Regiment - Operations deep in enemy territory.
  • It returns to the rolls of the active Army Regiment having a distinguished combat record and a unique
  • place in the annals of the United States Army.
  • It provides the 75th Ranger Regiment and the United States Army with a common regimental designation
  • identifying an uncommon skill.