2nd Ranger Battalion (United States)

2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment

2nd Ranger Battalion shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1943–45, 1974–present
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Army
Type Specialized light infantry
Role Special operations
Size Battalion
Part of 75th Ranger Regiment
Garrison/HQ Joint Base Lewis-McChord, U.S.
Nickname(s) Army Rangers
Colors Black and Gold

World War II

Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Just Cause
War on Terror


James Earl Rudder

Wayne A. Downing

The 2nd Ranger Battalion, currently based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, Washington, United States, is the second of three ranger battalions belonging to the United States Army's 75th Ranger Regiment.


World War II

Rangers demonstrating the rope ladders used to assault Pointe du Hoc

On 1 April 1943 the 2nd Ranger Battalion was formed at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, along with the 5th Ranger Battalion. Both battalions were officially activated in September 1943 and shipped to Great Britain where they were prepared for Operation Overlord as part of six Ranger battalions of the Second World War.

On 6 June 1944, Dog, Easy, and Fox Companies, commanded by Lt. Colonel James Rudder, landed at Pointe du Hoc from LCA landing craft and specially modified DUKW "Ducks" operated by the Royal Navy. The 225 Rangers had set off from Britain to launch an assault upon the cliffs overlooking the English Channel. In order to augment the strength of the 2nd Battalion, members of what was formerly the 29th Rangers were assigned as well.

Several landing craft containing Rangers and supplies capsized in the stormy waters and many Rangers drowned due to heavy equipment, but others were saved and hoisted into other DUKWs to participate in the attack. The Rangers had planned to land at the base of the cliffs at 0600 hours, however, because of a navigational error, they landed nearly an hour late. This cost the lives of more Rangers as well as the element of surprise. During the attack, the 190 remaining Rangers scaled the cliffs utilizing rope ladders, but only 90 Rangers were still able to bear arms after two days of relentless fighting. During the assault, 2nd Battalion managed to disable a battery of 155mm French artillery captured by the Germans, which was their primary objective. These guns were to be aimed at Utah Beach, however, the Rangers prevented their use, saving American lives on the shores of Normandy.

Meanwhile, Able, Baker and Charlie Companies landed along with the 5th Rangers, the 1st Infantry Division and the 29th Infantry Division at Omaha Beach. They suffered heavy casualties but were able to complete their D-Day objectives. The 2nd Rangers were later involved in the Battle for Brest and the Battle of Hurtgen Forest where they led the assault on Hill 400, Bergstein. The battalion was deactivated after the war together with the 5th and 6th Battalion.


The 2nd Ranger Battalion was reactivated on 1 October 1974, as an elite combat unit eight months after the 1st Ranger Battalion. The 2nd Ranger Battalion's colors and lineage was passed from Company H, 75th Infantry Ranger, of the Vietnam War—the most decorated and longest-serving unit in LRP/Ranger history.[2]

The modern Ranger battalions are strategic assets, prepared to conduct missions short-notice worldwide. In 1984 the battalion became part of the newly formed Special Operations Command, 75th Ranger Regiment. The 2/75th participated in Operation Urgent Fury in October 1983. During the invasion of Grenada, the 2nd conducted a low-level parachute assault (500 feet), seized the airfield at Point Salines, rescued American citizens at the True Blue Medical Campus, and conducted air assault operations to eliminate pockets of resistance.[3]

In December 1989 the battalion took part in Operation Just Cause. The 2nd and 3rd Ranger Battalions and a regimental command and control team, conducted a parachute assault onto the airfield at Rio Hato, to neutralize the Panamanian Defense Force rifle companies and seize General Manuel Noriega's beach house. Following the successful completion of these assaults, Rangers conducted follow-on operations in support of Joint Task Force (JTF)-South. The Rangers captured 1,014 enemy prisoners of war (EPW), and over 18,000 arms of various types. The Rangers sustained 5 killed and 42 wounded.[3]

A Ranger from the 2nd Ranger Battalion performing an over watch during combat operations in Iraq.

Following the September 11 attacks, the battalion has continuously deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In March 2002, 2nd Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and conducted numerous air assaults, raids, patrols, and ambushes against anti-coalition forces. In December 2002, elements of 2nd Battalion again deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, followed in February 2003 by the whole battalion. This period marked the first time in history of the modern ranger regiment that a ranger battalion was required to conduct long-duration and sustained combat operations. 2nd Battalion was first American force with boots on the ground in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq at the start of the Iraq War so they could established a base of operations for follow on units and later participated in operations to capture known and wanted terrorists operating within the country. From November to December 2003, the battalion deployed again to Afghanistan, Rangers pursued enemies in the most remote regions of the country, unhindered by extreme altitudes and bitter cold, the battalion conducted mountain patrols at altitudes upwards of 9,000 feet, mobile patrols through major population centers, and conducted air assaults and direct action raids into heavily defended enemy objectives. [4] From March to May 2004 and July to October 2004, the Battalion deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan,[5] in October 2007, a D Company was added to all 3 battalions of the 75th Ranger Regiment. As of February 22, 2016, 16 Rangers from 2nd battalion have been killed in the War on Terror.[6]

Primary tasks include: direct action, national and international emergency crisis response, airborne & air assault operations, special reconnaissance, intelligence & counter intelligence, combat search and rescue, personnel recovery & hostage rescue, joint special operations, and counter terrorism.

Unit awards and streamers

Memorial erected by the Battalion to mark their time spent in Bude, Cornwall during the Second World War

The 2nd Battalion has earned numerous unit awards and battle streamers.[7] Among them are:

Notable 2nd Battalion alumni

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2nd Ranger Battalion (United States).


  1. "Army Ranger Recovering from Wounds in Afghanistan Attack". Military.com. 29 January 2016.
  2. Ankony, Robert C., "H Company 75th Ranger / Company E, 52nd Infantry (LRP) 1st Cavalry Division," Patrolling magazine, Fall 2013: 12-13.
  3. 1 2 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/2-75rr.htm
  4. "75th Ranger Regiment". US Army.
  5. "2nd ranger battalion".
  6. "75th Ranger Regiment". leadtheway.org.
  7. http://www.soc.mil/75thrr/75thrrcmpns.html
  8. 1 2 David Poe (15 May 2012). "Army Rangers hold rare public ceremony to celebrate service, sacrifice". Northwest Guardian. United States Army. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  9. "Army Ranger to be awarded Medal of Honor". Stars and Stripes. Washington, D.C. 31 May 2011. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011.

External links

Further reading

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