Sep 27, 2009
Brothers, I have been watching a lot of different sites and talking with several other guys that continue to argue or debate, what is or was authorized for the LRRP, LRP & RGR units in the Nam. So I started to do some researching and decided to try and put it all in order…..not easy…we are all very stubborn…...
But that’s not unusual since we do have a way of going on & on (me included)……………….
Now I say this because you are my brothers, since I have seen this on different sites and also in the streets I feel that because we have a special section for the LRS guys, maybe if I lay it out playing the devil’s advocate at times, it may begin to sink in….the purpose is 2 fold….1. You may learn a lot more than you think and 2. It will make you a hell of a lot smarter when dealing with a person you believe may be a POSER, because you will know MOST of the story which can only help when you’re in a situation and you really do not know what or how to ask a couple simple questions which if you do not get the right answers….YOU GOT HIM!!
I’ve been involved with the History of the LRRP, LRP, RGR & SF for almost 30 years. I was the original first Historian for E/20/LRP & C/75/RGR, IFFV and a co founder, member # 003. I had some of the best mentors you could find in the Spec Ops community, Dan Pope, founder of our unit and my old friend and Ranger Brother Roy Boatman (RIP) who served with the 173rd LRRP, 74th Inf Det (LRP) and N/75/RGR and was one of only 2 amputees allowed to stay in the Army during Vietnam. Roy passed away a few years ago and was indoctrinated into the RHOF, the next year, that being the 3rd time he was nominated.
He was a hell of a Warrior and one of the top Historians in the Spec Ops community, and he was my taxman for 20 years, he was also instrumental in assisting me when I was the project officer and built the packet requesting that the RANGER TAB, be a retro-active award for the LRRP, LRP, RGR and BDQ in Vietnam.
AGAIN we can all learn from this… if you think I’m wrong, find some regulation to prove it. When it comes to wearing patches on Biker Vest, I can guarantee you I know what it’s like to see men wearing some silly shit. You cannot condemn someone or question if there a poser IF you are wearing your own (UNAUTHORIZED) made up unit Logo, because that’s the way you like it. That does not mean you cannot wear your scrolls, etc, but if you have what we call a “Unit Logo” with 2 or 3 scrolls on it, then wear it the way it’s supposed to be worn or wear an individual scroll, or somebody may be asking you some questions….think about that…..
There were units that authorized any Tabs, Scrolls or badges that many of us believe we were allowed to and at the time there was no unit authorized to give the MACV Recondo Patch to anyone who did not complete the training, although I’ve heard it was done, along with the 101st Recondo, but that was the 101st call when in Vietnam
Oh this was done but IF the 101st Recondo School was in FT Campbell, KY and MACV was in Nha Trang and the leaders didn’t really give a dam since it was carte blanche for all units to issue stuff that would/could be worn while in Vietnam. I do not CARE if you wore your Ranger Scroll on your right arm till you retired from the AR, NG or AD, it was not authorized, but a few managed to do it because of the unit and situation they were in. JP & I served in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s and the only authorized combat patch for E/20/LRP & C/75/RGR was the First Field Force Vietnam (IFFV) patch with a Blue and White Airborne Tab on top of it. However we stood out like a sore thumb since all the other units had to wear their parent unit’s patch, 101st, 173rd, 25th ID, etc, but there were no airborne units in the IFFV except us, so it wasn’t long before guys would come up to you and say: “ Hay were you with “CHARLIE RANGERS”? I would say no I was with Echo, 20, LRPS that became CR’s, which IMO and from my experiences in the Army, “CHARLIE RANGERS”, had a very high reputation, especially when they activated the 1st Ranger Battalion and they were assigned our lineage in 1974….our unit became very well known. To justify this, all of you MUST have read, Shelby Stanton’s book “RANGERS AT WAR”…..Combat Recon In Vietnam which is one of the most detailed books about every unit were talking about that served in Vietnam. And there’s a chapter for every unit and on the last page of each unit’s chapter, he give an overall assessment of the unit….read page 227! If you have not read the book…drop down and beat your face on the ground…It should be a mandatory read for anyone who goes to any LRS, Recon, etc type unit….excellent book/ published by Orion copyright 1992.
And you’re in for a rude awakening since we were never ordered by the DOD to become the 75th Infantry (Rangers), it was all Uncle Westy’s ego since he was the Godfather of the Recondo and he just kept changing from LRRP to LRP and then finally , even though we had LRP Detachments because they were in Brigades so they could not be Companies….ON FEB 1, 1969, ALL LRP Units became lettered RANGER Companies and were reactivated from the Merrill’s Marauders through the Army’s Regimental CARS system and a new generation of Rangers were born. THE VIETNAM ERA RANGERS regardless if you had 75 or 175 men NOW we were all Companies. Westy had the power to authorize all the men who served in a LRRP, LRP, RGR or BDQ unit the “RANGER TAB”, for their wartime service, just like the SF awarded their men for their wartime service and the WW II Rangers and Merrill’s Marauder’s were also given the Tab for their wartime service……HE SOLD US OUT…and we did not know it till we came home wearing scrolls and were told to Take that shit off, it is not authorized, it was just a PAPER DRILL that Westy did to boost his ego and reputation as the founder of the Recondo School in FT Campbell!
I do not go by hearsay I go by FACTS, I do not care if you agree or disagree, I do not care if you say the dates are wrong in the next post, but I’m not calling you a liar since you were there and the dates you say are probably true, however, since most of my information comes from the DOA, The National Archives and Records Administration and the Institute of Heraldry whose sole responsibility is to design and or approve every Tab, Crest, Insignia, Patch and Badge worn in the U.S. Army, this is what is written in the History and the Regulations and how it is at times not in synch with what we experienced, does not mean a thing since right or wrong….their right and were wrong….we all know the Army’s system and I could spend a day writing about some of the BS laid down upon these specific units that would make your toes curl and your head spin..It’s all a matter of attrition, which means we were, have been and always will be expendable items!
The 75th Ranger Regiment Association DID NOT DO THE packet, requesting all the above units be given the Tab for their wartime service back in 1994. I did it when I worked in DSCPER, USASOC in 1993, after then COL Grange (75th Regt CDR) requested that the Vietnam era units listed above be recognized for their wartime service.
However, I got the request given to me since I worked in the Plans Div by the SGM because I was the only man around who had actually served in one of those units. The problem was I got the request at the end of May 1993 and COL Grange did a Change Of Command in Jul or Aug 1993 leaving me still researching and fighting with the Institute of Heraldry and a half of dozen more official Departments, while Roy and I would be steadily developing a strong packet to present to the USASOC CDR, GEN Scott and the former CDR who was then the USSOCOM CDR, GEN Downing, who I knew from before he went to USSOCOM.
Bottom line was I was sent to the Regt HQ’s in Dec 93 after the DRAFT for the Request was APPROVED BY the USASOC & USSOCOM CDRS. It took us almost 9 months to develop a strong packet since we (75th Regt) was requesting to change the Army Regulation and believe me we had it NAILED.
I was sent to the Regt to draw up a generic format to be used by every unit so they would submit their History for all the LRRP, LRP, RGR & BDQ units, so it could be entered into the Regiments History, SINCE we can be part of its History, but NOT it’s Lineage unless a Ranger Bn had been assigned one of our Units Lineage,….the 1st Ranger Bn was assigned the Lineage of C Company (Ranger) 75th Inf (A), IFFV, the 2nd Ranger Bn was assigned the lineage of H Company (Ranger) 75th Inf (A), 1st Calvary Division, the 3rd Ranger Bn was assigned the lineage of F Company (Ranger) 75th Inf (A), 25th Infantry Division.
When I returned from there in mid-Dec 1993, I was notified that I had been selected for a 1SG position and was reassigned on Jan 5, 1994. About a month later I was called by USASOC and told I was to meet with the 75th Ranger Regt Cdr COL Jackson and a rep from the Plans Div where we built the packet. *that rep was an SF MAJ who I had known (and been riding with for about 8 months) of course we acted as if we never met since he was just a rep from the plans division. We all met in the USASOC CDR’s briefing room the next day. The packet had went to the Regiment and all they had to do was attach a cover letter and send it up the COC (WHO) had already seen it and approved it.
Well we did our little intros and I’m sitting facing the 75th Ranger Regt Cdr who, IMO had been nowhere and done nothing, wearing an EIB and no Combat patch! The SF MAJ took notes and for the next hour that COL drilled me like I was a suspected espionage agent and he was trying every trick in the book to intimidate, confuse and generally make me look like I had no idea in hell what I was trying to do when I made that packet which was requested by the S-5 from the 75th Ranger Regiment. Well, as the SF MAJ told me (and his boss) later, Dam, Joey stood fast and not only answered every dam question that COL had asked, but he also had to explain some of the questions he asked the dam COL and he had no idea what the hell Joey was talking about, however it was done very tactfully…..but I would say it was a tightrope walk for a while since the dam COL would not stop. The final outcome was…..1SG, I appreciate all your hard work and dedication, HOWEVER I DID NOT REQUEST THIS, therefore I recommend it be turned over to the 75th Ranger Regiment Association (the parent unit for all LRRP,LRP,RGR, BDQ and some LRS from Vietnam till the present) and let them handle it.
Of course he was not going to sign it since COL Grange would have been the one who got all the credit for sending the initial request….THAT IS WHEN I GAVE IT TO Roy Boatman with all the Paper work since he was the Secretary for the 75th RRA. From there within a few months they had formed all these committees of Retired GEN’s and CSM’s to fight for the tab, plus many laid claimed to being the author of the document on several occasions, this was summer 1994.
So I told Roy, dam there they go with the dam committees, Roy there is only one way to fight the 75th Ranger Regiment and Infantry hall, “How’s that Joey?”….Take it to the Congress, if 200-300 members put in a blanket request using that packet to their C-Man, somebody’s going to have to get WAKE UP & SMELL the Coffee, you have every document from COL Grange’s original request to the last Draft and THE ONLY person authorized to submit for a change in records or an award IAW AR 600-8-22 is a Congressman who believes he has substantial evidence to do so…if not the 75RRA…will fail….Roy asked me to be the guest speaker at the Reunion and I said hell no you’re the Secretary and I have a perfect attendance record that I do not plan on breaking at this point and he laughed since I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO a Ranger Rendezvous or reunion, mostly due to circumstances beyond my control for the first 15 years or so, since then I have no desire to muddle in some of the political BS.
So the Ranger Tab faded away. NOW , the next post will be the requirements for the SF Tab taken from AR 600-8-22 dated 11 December 2006 Personnel-General Military Awards…..NOTE; the time frames indicated, since they took it back to the days of the OSS, etc and right into Vietnam. Also note the requirements which were; awarded the CIB or CMB and served 120 consecutive days. Of course if you already had a CIB or CMB, it would be counted.
Then the prerequisites for the RANGER TAB: Note the mention of the WW II & Merrill’s Marauder’s.
Some may have been given the Tab that were already in Korea, however 17 Ranger Companies were formed and they all went to Ranger School, although not all of them were deployed to Korea.
Then below that will be the outline of the packet we made back in 93, now some of the things would not show up in the final change of the AR, like Justification, Definitions, etc, however, I let it all ride so you would see the complete packet. NOW the time frame for the SF was 120 consecutive days.
The COL really got into our requirement which was 30 consecutive days and the CIB or CMB, unless you had already been awarded it. I told the COL that in the late 60’s the SF course was between 42 – 52 weeks long. Now if the SF only required 1/3 the time of the school, we decided that since Ranger School was 8 weeks we would require half that time, which was enough time for a guy to go to pre-training and go out on at least one or two missions, IF the TEAM felt he should got out after one mission or IF he wanted to go out again.
I seen Shake & Bake SGT E-5’s that went to basic, Infantry AIT, a couple week leadership course, then to Ranger School were upon successful completion were made at least SGT E-5’s then sent to the Nam and some of them were sent to LRP or RGR units and they QUIT after one mission and went to a line company, because Ranger School was still in the cold war mode and were not teaching much LRP/RGR Vietnam tactics and Ranger School is more geared to platoon ops. TO BE CONTINUED………….