“The Scroll of Truth”: Having a Tab Doesn’t Make You a Ranger
While there are similarities between “Ranger School” and the “Ranger Regiment,” they are two very different things. One can complete Ranger School and therefore be “Ranger qualified,” but never go on to become a Ranger by serving in the Ranger Regiment. Most people wearing a Ranger Tab fall into this category. On the other side of the spectrum, you can be a Ranger and serve in the Ranger Regiment without ever attending Ranger School, although most Rangers in the Regiment also have, or go on to earn, their Ranger Tab as well.
In short, you can have a Ranger Tab and never serve in the Ranger Regiment, or vice versa. Or you can be both. But the thing that “makes you a Ranger” in the modern US military is service in the 75th Ranger Regiment.
As the name implies, Ranger School is a training environment. The 75th Ranger Regiment is a Special Operations unit, and one of the most-deployed units in the War on Terror and other worldwide contingency operations. Successful completion of Ranger School earns one a “tab,” but a “scroll” is earned by securing an assignment to the Regiment. That’s why you’ll sometimes hear people talk about “tabbed Rangers” versus “scrolled Rangers.”
Sorry everyone, having a Ranger Tab means you went to a school that qualified you to wear a Ranger Tab, it doesn’t make you a Ranger. You have to serve in the Rangre Regiment to be a modern Ranger.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal September 21, 2019.
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