Recognizing the need for a highly trained, rapidly deployable, and lethal assault force, the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Creighton Abrams, directed the activation of two battalion–sized ranger units in the fall of 1973. The 2nd Battalion (Ranger ), 75th Infantry was activated at Fort Lewis, Wa., on Oct. 1 1974.
In Feb. and March of 1975, a group of cadre was trained at Fort Benning, Ga., and formed a solid core of leaders capable of instilling ranger values and doctrine into the first volunteers of the battalion. In April 1975, the battalion conducted its first training event and progressed from individual to team, squad, platoon and company training, and culminated with an externally evaluated battalion exercise in Dec. 1975. At the completion of the event, the chief of staff of the Army declared the 2nd Ranger Battalion “world- wide deployable”. This marked the start of a series of rigorous training events conducted under varied environmental conditions across the world.
On October 25, 1983, 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions conducted a low-level parachute assault on Point Salinas Airfield on the Island of Grenada, during Operation Urgent Fury. Their mission was to restore democracy to the island and rescue American citizens at the True Blue Medical Campus. First and 2nd Battalions seized Point Salinas Airfield and later conducted follow on assault operations overcoming remaining pockets of resistance.
On Dec. 20,1989 the entire 75th Ranger Regiment participated in Operation Just Cause. 2nd and 3rd Ranger Battalions conducted a parachuted assault on the airfield at Rio Hato, neutralized the Panama’s 6th and 7th Rifle companies, an seized Gen. Manuel Noriega’s beach house. Following the successful assaults, the rangers conducted additional follow on special operations in the country supporting Joint Task Force South.
In Sept. 1994, 2nd Battalion deployed to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. In Dec. 1996, while training at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama, the battalion quelled rioting inside Cuban refugee camps during Operation Safe Haven.
Following the attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, 2nd Ranger Battalion has continuously supported the Global War on Terrorism. In March of 2002, 2nd Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and conducted numerous air assaults, raids, patrols, and ambushes against anti- coalition forces. In Dec. of 2002, elements of 2nd Battalion again deployed, this time in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, followed in February by the whole battalion. This period marked the first time in history of the modern ranger regiment that a ranger battalion was required to conduct long-duration and sustained combat operations. Second Battalion was first American force with boots on the ground in Baghdad and establish a base of operations for follow on units. The battalion later participated in operations to capture known and wanted terrorists operating within the country.
From Nov. to Dec. 2003, the battalion deployed again to Afghanistan in support of the Global War against Terrorism. Rangers pursued enemies in the most remote regions of the country. Unhindered by extreme altitudes and bitter cold, the battalion conducted mountain patrols at altitudes upwards of 9,000 feet, mobile patrols through major population centers, and conducted air assaults and direct action raids into heavily defended enemy objectives.
Second Ranger Battalion continues to conduct combat operations within Afghanistan, supporting national strategic objectives and combating terrorist networks.