Ranger Brigade(s)

Cyberhacker

War Hero
Thank you for that.

"1. Their misdemeanour was that they were nominated to be (cut strength) Spec Inf Bns in a previous SDSR"

Just for confirmation . . . were these the only ones that had been nominated "to be (cut strength) Spec Inf Bns in a previous SDSR" . . . and if so, it brings us back to my original question . . .

QUESTION: Have the four individual Infantry Battalions listed above, separately or together, committed some misdemeanour, that warranted their removal from the ORBAT . . . before the previous SDSR ?!

They seem to be a geographical disperse selection . . . but - for instance - do they all share the same Colonel-in-Chief ?! . . . Have they all committed some heinous “faux pas” ?!

It was simply one battalion per Administrative Division (stand fast the Woodentops):
* 1 RRS - Scottish/Welsh/Irish Division
* 2 PWRR - Queens Division
* 2 LANCS - Kings Division
* 4 Rifles - Light Division ;-)

No rationale based on manning or capabilities... just spreading the pain evenly
 
Last edited:

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
What I would
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
Not quite how I read it, but the main point is - where are you going to find the manpower to bring the new Ranger Bn into being while maintaining the four current cap badge Spec Inf Bns? Will the 'rump' Spec Bns remain at reduced size of about 270 all in or expand back to normal infantry Manning?

With the delays in making the announcement public I feel there are internal fights going on about saving cap badges, so not as set in stone as could be. Again I guess a lot of work and planning is going in to the forming of the new Ranger Regiment and that most issues have been dealt with if they are looking to be up and running by end this year, which really only leaves the Regimental issues.
 
With the delays in making the announcement public I feel there are internal fights going on about saving cap badges, so not as set in stone as could be.

1. As you say, probably internal fights over cap badges going on.

2. Most likely they have realised that they have yet again made a massive **** up and no way will it be operational by 2022.

3. To much fanfare they announced this new Rangers Brigade, with next to no thought behind it. ( A quick smokescreen was needed to divert attention from something else )

4. Ben Wallace's announcement of Somalia and Al - Kebab might have caused a Oooops, wait out moment for potential volunteers. ( Don't think I would be volunteering to spend a large part of my Service in Somalia )
 
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

We've got to stop this nonsense of shrinking the definition of a formation just to have more of them for the sake of having more (and skewing the ratio of OFs to ORs). Battalion, brigade, division, these words don't convey any useful meaning any more.
 
What specialised personal kit will they get? Because the last thing you would want is for a ‘ranger’ to be confused with a mere mortal in the normal infantry.
And what will SF then do to ensure they stand out from rangers in a crowd?

The Royal Marines have already worked out a plan to make sure they look different to everyone else. But what about the Paras? Will the maroon hat lose its cache?

I suppose we will have to wait until the first Ranger walts start to appear on the scene before we can properly judge where they stand on the ‘speshul’ spectrum. That’s going to take a couple of years I guess.
 
What specialised personal kit will they get? Because the last thing you would want is for a ‘ranger’ to be confused with a mere mortal in the normal infantry.
And what will SF then do to ensure they stand out from rangers in a crowd?

The Royal Marines have already worked out a plan to make sure they look different to everyone else. But what about the Paras? Will the maroon hat lose its cache?

I suppose we will have to wait until the first Ranger walts start to appear on the scene before we can properly judge where they stand on the ‘speshul’ spectrum. That’s going to take a couple of years I guess.
Royal Irish already seen wearing Ranger tabs, see youtube for examples
 
What specialised personal kit will they get? Because the last thing you would want is for a ‘ranger’ to be confused with a mere mortal in the normal infantry.
And what will SF then do to ensure they stand out from rangers in a crowd?

The Royal Marines have already worked out a plan to make sure they look different to everyone else. But what about the Paras? Will the maroon hat lose its cache?

I suppose we will have to wait until the first Ranger walts start to appear on the scene before we can properly judge where they stand on the ‘speshul’ spectrum. That’s going to take a couple of years I guess.
What’ll happen when the entire Army is in Crye?
 
Some of of the Yank SF have gone back to their Woodland, so maybe we'll see a resurgence of DPM? For the moment it's mostly Taiga though.

The US Ranger Battalions kept the OG 107 green fatigues for so long after the rest of the US Army had switched to woodland that it became their trademark.

Grenada 1983

C-Company-Operation-Urgent-Fury-ftd.jpg
 
We've got to stop this nonsense of shrinking the definition of a formation just to have more of them for the sake of having more (and skewing the ratio of OFs to ORs). Battalion, brigade, division, these words don't convey any useful meaning any more.
Historically, unit inflation is a terrible sign. Think of ANA "Corps", or Nationalist Chinese "Armies" that turned out to be a slack brigade in strength if that. Probably interesting to think through why and how:

1) disparity between ambitions and either budget or recruiting
2) giving out rank and formation designations as a way of settling conflicts between leaders or institutions (not everyone can get more budget or more troops but everyone *can* be given another star, and a bigger pay packet for the boss is cheaper than new tanks)
3) poor morale - units created and recruited but not maintained at strength due to retention or in the worst case desertion
4) perhaps an underlying driver across the first three - conflict of interest between OFs who benefit from promotion and staff proliferation and ORs who don't
5) another cross cutting factor - failure of civilian leadership to grip 1, 2, and 4

It worries me quite a bit that these symptoms are showing up in the UK. It says bad things about the health of both the military institution and the state.
 
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.

Having come out with my previous ultra gloomy post, this is actually considerably better than I (and I think everyone else) feared.
 
D

Deleted 166591

Guest
I think too many are going down the rabbit hole of selection. Thinking this is a fresh out the box train set and will have some hashed together arduous course so they can be a pseudo SF unit. It isn’t.

This isn’t the case and as I said in my post (#1,615) the “selection” is essentially the same as the previous Spec Inf Assessment Cadre. Having sat in on 4 RIFLES presentations the important point is the assessment cadre is exactly that. An assessment rather than a selection course. The majority of blokes who load onto it, pass it. This is because, as I said in post #1,615, the lads who get loaded on tend to be the right sort of bloke. It’s very much the same today under this new banner. The cadre is much more about giving them a snapshot of the individuals they are going to work with and see how they can slot into the 12 man teams. It isn’t all phys and hills. That’s why they have serials that simulate working with partner organisations. It’s why they have command tasks with fictitious language barriers. The cadre is designed to check and confirm maturity, patience and empathy.
After my post last night I got in touch with my mate in 4 RIFLEs who confirmed the cadre is now a 3 stage process. 1- A paper sift of applications for JPA competencies, 1 and 2 RO report and OC interviews. 2 - The Assessment cadre (2 phases) . 3- A training course. They have to pass all 3 before being allocated to a team.
Don’t get too hung up on this Ranger Regt bullshít. The same lads have been been training, advising and mentoring alongside indigenous armies as Spec Inf. They job spec isn’t new. The only added billy bonus is the increased capability to fight alongside their mentees. Not unlike how the lads who worked with the ANA did.
Obviously I’m talking from a RIFLES perspective but what i saw is the role tends to attract soldiers and officers of a particular temperament and character. Yes the assessment cadre has a few more bells and whistles on it now and yes there has been postings in and out of the teams but ultimately it’s the same structure with the same lads. They won’t have any diffs being operational next year. Even if Covid has darted some training opportunities like the 30 days in Belize they had planned. 4 RIFLES alone, as recently as 2019 had teams delivering a Train The Trainer package to Ugandans. They also had boys running an infantry skills training package to the Somali National Army at a UK-funded training facility out there. They know what they are doing and it’s a stress tested unit. It works well.
The idea training and then fighting alongside local nationals isn’t new at all. It’s been going on for generations and was probably the remit of UKSF. This way they have a dedicated team of experienced lads, mostly NCOs, who are comfortable in their own skin and “trained to train”. Previously the overall aim was lost when non-specialised inf STTTs were tasked with this type of role. The CoC was probably committed to the task but lots of lads probably grumbled at having to train “a bunch of chogies”. This way, they are professionalising the way they mentor with the right lads doing the job. Don’t get hung up on this “Ranger” title. The lads doing the job have already been doing it and their assessment cadre works well.
 
D

Deleted 100463

Guest
I think too many are going down the rabbit hole of selection. Thinking this is a fresh out the box train set and will have some hashed together arduous course so they can be a pseudo SF unit. It isn’t.

This isn’t the case and as I said in my post (#1,615) the “selection” is essentially the same as the previous Spec Inf Assessment Cadre. Having sat in on 4 RIFLES presentations the important point is the assessment cadre is exactly that. An assessment rather than a selection course. The majority of blokes who load onto it, pass it. This is because, as I said in post #1,615, the lads who get loaded on tend to be the right sort of bloke. It’s very much the same today under this new banner. The cadre is much more about giving them a snapshot of the individuals they are going to work with and see how they can slot into the 12 man teams. It isn’t all phys and hills. That’s why they have serials that simulate working with partner organisations. It’s why they have command tasks with fictitious language barriers. The cadre is designed to check and confirm maturity, patience and empathy.
After my post last night I got in touch with my mate in 4 RIFLEs who confirmed the cadre is now a 3 stage process. 1- A paper sift of applications for JPA competencies, 1 and 2 RO report and OC interviews. 2 - The Assessment cadre (2 phases) . 3- A training course. They have to pass all 3 before being allocated to a team.
Don’t get too hung up on this Ranger Regt bullshít. The same lads have been been training, advising and mentoring alongside indigenous armies as Spec Inf. They job spec isn’t new. The only added billy bonus is the increased capability to fight alongside their mentees. Not unlike how the lads who worked with the ANA did.
Obviously I’m talking from a RIFLES perspective but what i saw is the role tends to attract soldiers and officers of a particular temperament and character. Yes the assessment cadre has a few more bells and whistles on it now and yes there has been postings in and out of the teams but ultimately it’s the same structure with the same lads. They won’t have any diffs being operational next year. Even if Covid has darted some training opportunities like the 30 days in Belize they had planned. 4 RIFLES alone, as recently as 2019 had teams delivering a Train The Trainer package to Ugandans. They also had boys running an infantry skills training package to the Somali National Army at a UK-funded training facility out there. They know what they are doing and it’s a stress tested unit. It works well.
The idea training and then fighting alongside local nationals isn’t new at all. It’s been going on for generations and was probably the remit of UKSF. This way they have a dedicated team of experienced lads, mostly NCOs, who are comfortable in their own skin and “trained to train”. Previously the overall aim was lost when non-specialised inf STTTs were tasked with this type of role. The CoC was probably committed to the task but lots of lads probably grumbled at having to train “a bunch of chogies”. This way, they are professionalising the way they mentor with the right lads doing the job. Don’t get hung up on this “Ranger” title. The lads doing the job have already been doing it and their assessment cadre works well.
Your posts have certainly put the brakes on the majority of my doubts reference the training and "selection" process.
 
Top