96th Civil Affairs Battalion
Civil Affairs (CA): There is one active duty CA unit, the 96th Civil Affairs Bn, with about 300 personnel. This is a general-purpose unit. The remaining 97 percent of the US armed forces CA capacity, or 24 battalions, is in the Army reserve. CA units assist local governments at all levels, supporting military operations by establishing relationships between military forces and local civil authorities. In the absence of local government, they may assist in its restoration. CA skills include disaster assessment and coordination with relief and disaster assistance organizations. CA reserve skills include the full range of governmental functions including administration, safety, public health, education, agricultural and other forms of assistance (Adams, 1998, p. 5).
Future articles will be looking at the history of The Regiment, and its predecessors, in some depth. There are interspersed period for Ranger units; WWII, Korea, Vietnam; and finally the permanent establishment of the Ranger Battalions (1974), leading to the creation of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Standing Orders of Rogers Rangers
After finishing the Ranger Course, and while waiting for our graduation, I re-read the Standing Orders of Rogers Rangers. It was chillingly relevant even over two hundred years later. The orders were written by Robert Rogers as a guide for ranger operations in the French and Indian Wars.
The orders are:
1. Don’t forget nothing.
2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds of powder and ball, and be ready to move at a minute's warning.
3. When you are on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer; see the enemy first.
4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an Army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers. But never lie to an Officer or Ranger.
5. Don’t never take a chance you don't have to.
6. When we’re on the march, we march single file, far enough apart so one shot can’t go through two men.
7. If we strike swamps, or soft ground, we spread out abreast so it’s hard to track us.
8. When we march, we keep moving until dark so as to give the enemy the least possible chance at us.
9. When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.
10. If we take prisoners, we keep ’em separate till we have had time to examine them so they can’t cook up a story between ’em.
11. Don’t ever march home the same way. Take a different route so you won’t be ambushed.
12. No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep a scout 20 yards ahead, 20 yards on each flank, and 20 yards in the rear, so the main body can’t be surprised and wiped out.
13. Every night you will be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.
14. Don’t sit down to eat without posting sentries.
15. Don’t sleep beyond dawn; dawn’s when the French and Indians attack.
16. Don’t cross a river by a regular ford.
17. If somebody’s trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own trail, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.
18. Don’t stand up when the enemy’s coming against you. Kneel down, lie down, hide behind a tree.
19. Let the enemy come till he’s close enough to touch. Then let him have it and jump out and finish him up with your hatchet.
Major Robert Rogers, 1759 (Bahmanyar, 2005, p. 10).
As a former Military Intelligence officer, I especially appreciate order number four. “Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army depending upon you for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell others about the Rangers, but don’t never lie to an Officer or Ranger.” (Bahmanyar, 2005), p. 10).
The Ranger Creed is a type of mission statement for Ranger units. It is used at ceremonies, PT, etc. It is usually given responsively, with one member of the unit saying a stanza, and the remaining repeating it in unison. The creed is:
Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.
Rangers Lead The Way!!! (“Ranger Creed,” 2017, para. 2)
Rangers Lead the Way
Next Month – Part Two - Rangers in WWII
Adams, T. K. (1998). US Special Forces in action. The challenge of unconventional warfare. Portland, OR: Frank Cass Publishers.
Bahmanyar, M. (2005). Shadow warriors. A history of the US Army Rangers. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing.
Baker, G. T. (2010). A chronology of U. S. Army airborne and special operations forces. St. Petersburg, FL: Self-published.
Ranger Creed (2017, June 22). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranger_Creed
Skovlund, M. (2014). Violence of action. The untold stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the war on terror. Colorado Springs, CO: Blackside Concepts.