3RD RANGER BATTALION
BATTLE TESTED, COMBAT PROVEN
Following the successful use of ranger battalions in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, the Department of the Army ordered the activation of the 3rd Ranger Battalion. In April 1984, a small cadre arrived at Fort Benning, Ga. to begin the selection process. Rangers from all over the world were interviewed, selected and moved to Fort Benning. On Oct. 3, 1984 at York Field, Fort Benning, Ga., Secretary of the Army, John O. Marsh, presented the colors and activated the 75th Ranger Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. The activation of the Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion marked the first time since World War II that such a large ranger force had been activated.
On Dec. 20, 1989, 3rd Ranger Battalion was committed to Operation Just Cause, in Panama. The battalion’s successful parachute assault and airfield seizure of the Rio Hato Airfield, its participation with 1st Battalion in capturing Torrijos-Tocumen Airfield, and subsequent combat operations contributed significantly to the success of United States forces in apprehending General Noriega and restoring democracy to Panama.
In Aug. 1993, elements of Company B, 3rd Ranger Battalion and the Battalion Headquarters deployed to Somalia as part of Task Force Ranger. On Oct. 3, 1993 exactly nine years from the activation of the unit, rangers performed a courageous daylight assault where the battalion engaged in the most intense ground combat since the Vietnam War. In commemoration of the rangers who fought and died in Somalia, several members of Company B deployed to Morocco in 2001 to appear in the movie “Blackhawk Down”.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 3rd Ranger Battalion was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On the night of Oct. 19, 2001 portions of Companies A and C conducted a daring low-level parachute assault onto Objective Rhino, a desert airfield in south-western Afghanistan, in order to capture key logistical information. During follow-on missions, forces from Company B, 3rd Battalion accomplished a successful night parachute assault into Bastogne Drop Zone to secure a desert landing strip in support of a special operations raid.
Third Battalion was called upon to fight against terrorism again, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the hours before the invasion began, Company A, 3rd Ranger Battalion and sections of Headquarters Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, carried out a successful parachute assault on the H2 Airfield in western Iraq. On the night of March 31, 2003, Company B, 3rd Battalion gained a foothold of the Hadithah Dam complex and over the next week, fought off elements from the Iraqi Republican Guard’s Hammurabi Division attempting to retake and destroy the facility.
Third Ranger Battalion continues to conduct combat operations within Afghanistan, supporting national strategic objectives and combating terrorist networks.