It’s been a non-stop first year for the Army’s Ranger Regiment, formed on 1 December 2021.
Made up of four battalions, the Rangers have deployed to over 60 countries in the last twelve months, from learning to operate in the freezing colds of the Arctic Circle to the hotter climates of Africa, the Middle East and south-east Asia.
Created to meet the next challenges in warfare, the highly trained Army unit focuses on delivering special operations in high-threat environments with complex human terrain.
At short notice, Rangers deployed to Ukraine in February where they delivered anti-tank missile training to troops shortly before Russia invaded.
Also in February, troops from 1st Battalion the Ranger Regiment (1 RANGER) deployed to West Africa to conduct joint training with their Ghanaian Armed Forces counterparts. This included rural and urban counter-terrorism tactics and tactical information operations.
More recently, the Rangers have trained with NATO allies and partners.
We are looking for self-motivated people who we can train to a high standard and then deploy all over the world on operations. Lieutenant Colonel Edward Reynolds, Commanding Officer 2 RANGER
In October, soldiers from 4 RANGER took part in an American military exercise, Project Convergence, which tested cutting-edge kit and equipment.
At Fort Irwin in California, the Rangers tested themselves alongside soldiers from the US 7th Special Forces Group. They faced extreme weather conditions that varied from snow to dust storms with temperatures higher than 40°C.
In the same month, troops from 3 RANGER teamed up with soldiers from the 193rd Jägarbataljonen (Swedish Rangers), part of the Norrland Dragoon Regiment, a specialised arctic light infantry unit.
In Sweden’s unforgiving subarctic conditions, the Rangers carried out arduous, long-distance patrols and practised crossing perilously cold waterways by boat.
Not to be outdone by the other three battalions, soldiers from 2 RANGER have deployed on operations in Estonia, Somalia and Kenya.
The Ranger Regiment was established as part of Future Soldier, the biggest transformation of the British Army in over 20 years.
The regiment is at the heart of the Army Special Operations Brigade whose role is to operate in complex, high-threat environments, alongside partner forces across the world, countering violent extremist organisations and hostile state threats.
With Ranger teams only being 11-strong, every team member is expected to contribute to planning and executing operations.
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Reynolds, Commanding Officer 2 RANGER, said:
“We are looking for self-motivated people who we can train to a high standard and then deploy all over the world on operations.
“The Ranger Assessment Cadre tests cognitive and emotional intelligence, but more importantly whether an individual has the character to work within a small team alongside partner forces.”
Soldiers from across the Army can apply for the two-week Ranger Assessment Cadre before going on to complete the All Arms Ranger Course.
Recruits from across the Army have come from the Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Signals, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Infantry, with a growing number of female soldiers being successfully selected.
Whilst people are at the heart of the Ranger Regiment, it is increasingly looking to technology to ensure it is at the cutting edge of warfare.
In Africa, a Ranger team recently trialled using augmented virtual reality so that a doctor in the UK could help the team with more complex medical techniques.
The Ranger Regiment is very proud of its cap badge which takes inspiration and spirit from the peregrine falcon. Fast, agile and fiercely loyal to its partner, it operates around the world in all environments including deserts, mountains and cities.
While many regiments have a cloth badge for officers and a metal badge for soldiers, everyone serving in the Ranger Regiment wears a metal badge, irrespective of rank.
Rangers draw their name from an elite unit that fought in the British Army in the 18th Century in North America, using irregular tactics.
The British Army shares this heritage with US Special Operations Forces, whose 75th Ranger Regiment traces its lineage back to the same grouping.