Ranger Brigade(s)

One has to hope that this debate has already taken place at Andover, although I doubt it has.

The task - FID, in US terms (Foreign Internal Defense) - is about raising, training, mentoring and accompanying foreign regular and irregular forces. The US see this as a core SF mission (for the 'Green Beret' Special Forces) and not, for, say, the Rangers (who are highly-trained airborne light infantry with some 'SFSG' tasking) or any of the other multiplicity of US Special Operations Forces. The final graduation exercise on the USSF Q course, the basic qualfiication course, is still built around a FID scenario.

The Brits have form for this, with the Jedburgh teams, Force 136 and, of course, the SAS in Italy and France after the end of the North African campaign, ending up on mutli-squadron deployments in the Vosges and Northern Italy for example, to support and cooperate with Maquis and Partisans. These operations were expensive, difficult and potentially very dangerous - the capability, once deployed on the ground, is brittle and when things go wrong, the go very badly wrong.

If the role is as described, those performing it will require, not just high-level instructional skills, but also the ability to present themseves to their students and local partners as exemplars, in terms of fitness, skills and courage. They'll also need a good dose of linguistic aptitude and the ability to sustain themselves in likely austere circumstances over long deployments. Strong medical skills also, one assumes, as well as field engineering, demolitions and the like.

All that suggests to me that those performing the role will need to be substantially more skilled and trained than might be the norm, even in a Specialised Infantry Battalion. They will need personal characteristics which, again, will not necessarily be held by the majority of soldiers. SOme form of selection against characteristics and aptitudes is inevitable, if this isn't to be another Potemkin village of a typical British Army bugger's muddle.

Whether selection needs to be UKSF or Pathfinder-style is beyond me to assess. Other, better-qualified types will have a view. I just hope it's been solicited and this isn't being run by a jolly good sort cavalryman SO1 and grumpy Parachute Regiment OF-5 somewhere who got straight on the phone to Hereford when they were tasked.
What you probably need is a decent selection process that finds individuals with the raw material for those skills, and a 9 month training pipeline that hones them.

What you could then do is fold into (pre-existing) US confirmatory exercises held by US SF to check you meet the standard.

Or you could select by making people run 6 min/miles and do the BPC.

Up to the internet I suppose.
 
What you probably need is a decent selection process that finds individuals with the raw material for those skills, and a 9 month training pipeline that hones them.

What you could then do is fold into (pre-existing) US confirmatory exercises held by US SF to check you meet the standard.

Or you could select by making people run 6 min/miles and do the BPC.

Up to the internet I suppose.

Why would they need to do BPC?
 

LD17

MIA
What I would like to know is if the decisions have been made, and the announcement somewhere on the Defence Net already, why is it not being made public?
I fear it’s because they want to tamp down any Cap Badge outcry, I can't be sure but its looking as those four Bns are gone PLUS 2 Mercians. Which will leave the Guards and SCOTS, IRISH, & WELCH with five Bns and the ENGLISH with four each (Rifle, King's, & Queen's). Want to bet that the "New" Divisions of Infantry will be something like this.....Guards, Rifles (because they are special, didn't you get the memo), Scottish, Irish, & Welsh, and Queen's (the King's and Queen's amalgamated. My bucket of witty titles is empty today so I just went with the reigning sovereign....)
 
Jesus. I was depressed enough last night watching the travesty that is the Hundred. But having read this thread and the damage Carter has been allowed to wreak I’m going straight out to find a SSAFA sister for comfort.
 
I fear it’s because they want to tamp down any Cap Badge outcry, I can't be sure but its looking as those four Bns are gone PLUS 2 Mercians. Which will leave the Guards and SCOTS, IRISH, & WELCH with five Bns and the ENGLISH with four each (Rifle, King's, & Queen's). Want to bet that the "New" Divisions of Infantry will be something like this.....Guards, Rifles (because they are special, didn't you get the memo), Scottish, Irish, & Welsh, and Queen's (the King's and Queen's amalgamated. My bucket of witty titles is empty today so I just went with the reigning sovereign....)
1st Bn, Meghan’s Own.
 

Wee Hawken

War Hero
Want to bet that the "New" Divisions of Infantry will be something like this.....Guards, Rifles (because they are special, didn't you get the memo), Scottish, Irish, & Welsh, and Queen's (the King's and Queen's amalgamated. My bucket of witty titles is empty today so I just went with the reigning sovereign....)
I can't help wondering what the Divisions of Infantry are all about. Do they have any meaningful purpose? Or is this a historical anomaly that no longer offers value?
 

LD17

MIA
I can't help wondering what the Divisions of Infantry are all about. Do they have any meaningful purpose? Or is this a historical anomaly that no longer offers value?
Well the long and short of it is.....

Starting with the Hull Committee the idea was to move the Infantry into three Bn large regiments, all with the same Cap Badge. Sort of like Cardwell with one being in BAOR, one overseas or high readiness, one for MHD. The Cap Badge reaction was apoplectic...so they went with the points of the compass mini-amalgamations and formed what was left in Brigade Groups of three to four, one Bn, regiments. The idea was you enlisted/passed out into the Group and you were moved around from there. Some Groups bit the bullet and went Large (Queen's, Green Jackets, etc.) The next round in the late-60's saw the Bde Gps binned for Divisions with the same intentions just bigger. This is when some more Regts went Large (Fusiliers, Light Infantry, etc) as a sop everyone in each Division were allowed to have their Cap Badge back. (Interesting point, the RGJ & LI, when initially formed into The Light Division already started discussing amalgamating into a Super-Regiment!)
So its been piecemeal amalgamations and compromises since the late-50's to ward off the demon Corps of Infantry. At this point everyone needs to go the way of the RIFLES/SCOTS.....MHO.
 
CB?
 
Well the long and short of it is.....

Starting with the Hull Committee the idea was to move the Infantry into three Bn large regiments, all with the same Cap Badge. Sort of like Cardwell with one being in BAOR, one overseas or high readiness, one for MHD. The Cap Badge reaction was apoplectic...so they went with the points of the compass mini-amalgamations and formed what was left in Brigade Groups of three to four, one Bn, regiments. The idea was you enlisted/passed out into the Group and you were moved around from there. Some Groups bit the bullet and went Large (Queen's, Green Jackets, etc.) The next round in the late-60's saw the Bde Gps binned for Divisions with the same intentions just bigger. This is when some more Regts went Large (Fusiliers, Light Infantry, etc) as a sop everyone in each Division were allowed to have their Cap Badge back. (Interesting point, the RGJ & LI, when initially formed into The Light Division already started discussing amalgamating into a Super-Regiment!)
So its been piecemeal amalgamations and compromises since the late-50's to ward off the demon Corps of Infantry. At this point everyone needs to go the way of the RIFLES/SCOTS.....MHO.
And the Divisions of Infantry along with Household Div and Paras were absolutely right at the time and did a fine job in meeting the training and manning commitments of NI and BAOR back when we had an army of 167,000 which included 56 infantry battalions - all of which were arms plotting to boot (mainly).
That’s a shit load of blokes to get through depot.
 

NuggetBks

War Hero
So, due to a myriad of bad decisions I transferred into 2 RIFLES and stayed handful of years before I signed off. Anyway I thought I’d chip in some gen about 4 RIFLEs (who are one of the 4 Bns in this “Ranger Regt”)

I landed in from another light inf regiment as a Lance Jack and what was then RCMT class 1. I had also spent time in my old Bns mortar pl. So with this I stuck my paw up early doors in 2 RIFLEs and asked for the 4 RIFLEs cadre. Shut up, **** off and close the door on the way out was the reply. Which is fair enough. The thing about 4 RIFLEs is you need to have been around the block a few times with a Rifle Coy. They don’t like anyone tipping up at battalion (especially not a dirty transferee) and getting on the Spec Inf assessment cadre. I imagine it’s much the same today. To even get on the cadre you’ve got to have something about you.
In my experience 4 RIFLES where very proud of the fact that they had well established lads. They were the dogs bollocks and I loved being on ex with them. Very capable. During the annual presentations they stated to get on the cadre you had to be in the top 10% of your rifle coy and normally have at least 2 postings (within the regiment) under your belt. You needed 1 & 2 RO sign off as well as a report from PTIs. I’ll probably draw fire here but not unlike the sort of PARAs who go for SFSG. It was that sort of vibe. Certainly no bottom third riflemen where getting on the cadre and that won’t have changed.
Within their coys they still (I’ve confirmed this with a mate currently in B Coy 4 RIFLEs) operate in 12 man teams commanded by a Capt. Each 12 man team has blokes who are qual’d part 1 and 2 snipers, sharpshooters, heavy weapons, joint fires controllers/JTAC qual’d, comms and medics. They also pump guys through the language school. Mostly JNCOs. When I was in the battalion was responsible for Afghan & Iraq and just cycled their Coys through a steady cycle of Ops, PDT, oversea training and UK posting. Pretty demanding. But now with the transition into this new style “Ranger” regiment their AO is now simply the Middle East and North Africa.
Sorry for the recent history lesson but I just thought it might help add some context here. In the RIFLES case this isn’t just a gaggle of spotty 19 year old crows or fat biffs being sent on short term training teams, it’s actually very decent and capable blokes. Even if the new “special operations” banner is cringe worthy. Be under no illusion and I’ve had this confirmed by serving lads. They DO NOT “support” UKSF on Ops, that remains SFSG.
So selection to serve in one of the 4 “Ranger” battalions. It’s pretty much the same as the Spec Inf Assesment Cadre only with a phase 2 element somewhere hot like Kenya but that’s in the air due to COVID. They are tested on fitness, language skills,navigation, map reading and foreign weapons. Primarily down in Sennybridge/Brecon with some serials on Salisbury plain and various other shitty Trg areas. By the end of the cadre they will have been assessed in offensive, defensive, rural and urban environments. They also have a LFTT element. But basically it is lots of tabbing and nav in 12 man teams. But they run through serials like a two day 40km tab that ends up meeting a “partner force” has to build a relationship and then work together to achieve a task. So lots of time in the field, lots of command tasks and problem solving and bags of assessments. Treat yourself.
 
Why, though? This foolish insistence on arduous courses only produces more para lookalikes, not Rangers.
Using the US model, Green Beret Ranger, you're building small teams of specialists with skills in languages to at least colloquial level, demolitions skills, small arms and support wespons instructors, field engineering skills, a reasonable level of diplomacy/ political aims knowledge, medical and dentistry abilities.

Right................

And do you really think that this is going to be produced from the Infantry Battalions earmarked to provide the 1000 men ?

Especially as it is meant to be Operational from next year.

It might have got there if it had set an Operational date of 2040. Starting today with a selection process* that is worthy of the name before moving on to training.

* I dread to think what the selected Battalions are going to offer forward as ' Rangers ' especially in the lower ranks ( Pte / LCpl ). It certainly wont be guys that they are desperate to keep.
 

Cocopops62

Clanker
Speaking of 4 Rifles.

They recently did a training exercise with the 5th Special Force Support Group (their counterparts). A few photos too.


I feel like the Americans have goochie gear and ours just look like regular infantry, but I'm sure that will change once the funding comes in (if it comes in).

Also, the YouTube channel 'Ranger Media' has a video with some information on the ranger regiment and he mentions that the rumour going round is that the initial selection cadre will be around 6 weeks and that all serving members of the Spec Inf will have to go through it. I'm not sure how reliable his source but he is a Sgt in the Rangers ;).

 

Cyberhacker

War Hero
This will enable the MoD to remove four Bns from the ORBAT and replace with one - hidden cuts, as if the Ranger experiment fails there is no way those four capbadges are going to be reinstated.
Not sure it's that simple...

As I understand it, Ranger (in SO Bde) gets bits of the four SpecInfs... the SFAB Bde gets the rump of those four battalions

So net gain of one Battalion
 

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