Sunday, June 21, 2009
Rogers Rangers was an unconventional fighting force stood up in the (then) British Colonies of North America, to fight the French and their Indian allies in the Seven Years War, a.k.a. the French and Indian War. Modern US Special Forces and Ranger units trace their lineage directly to this organization.
Standing Rules of ROGERS' RANGERS
1. DON'T FORGET NOTHIN'.
2. Keep your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet sharp and scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.
3. When you’re on the march, act the way you would if you were sneaking up on a deer. See the enemy first.
4. Tell the truth about what you see and do. There is an army depending on you for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but never lie to another Ranger or to an officer.
5. Don't ever take a chance you don't have to.
6. When we're on the march, we move in single file, staying far enough apart that one shot can't go through two men. This also helps conceal the number of men in our party.
7. If we strike swamps or soft ground, we spread out abreast so it's harder to track us.
8. When we’re on the march, we keep moving until dark to give the enemy the least possible chance at catching up to us.
9. When we make camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.
10. If we take prisoners, we keep them separated until we have time to examine them, so they can't cook up a story between them.
11. We never return home the same way we went out. We use a different route, so we won't be ambushed. Be extra careful when we get close to home: the enemy may be
lying in wait nearby.
12. Whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party keeps 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'll be told where to meet if we have to disperse to avoid being surrounded by a superior force.
14. Never sit down to eat, or stop to replenish water supplies, without posting sentries.
15. All hands shall be awake, alert and ready for action before dawn. Dawn's when the French and Indians like to attack.
16. If we find that somebody's trailing us we make a circle, come back on our own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush us.
17. When we’re on the march, we stay at least a hundred yards away from lakes or rivers, to avoid being trapped against a shoreline.
18. Never cross a river by a known, regular ford. These are prime places for ambush.
19. Don't stand up when the enemy's coming against you. Kneel down, or hide behind a tree or rock.
20. Let the enemy come till he's almost close enough to touch. Then let him have it, jump out and finish him with your hatchet.
To this day, these rules are found in the US Army Ranger Handbook, and are posted on barracks walls of every Infantry unit in the US Army.