National Guard considering establishing an Army Ranger Battalion

Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, presents the Nation’s third highest award, the Silver Star, to Sgt. Derek J. Anderson for his heroic actions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom on Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Ga., April 29, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Eric W. Overfelt, 75th Ranger Regiment Documentation Specialist/Released)

Congress has ordered the Army to look into whether or not it is feasible to establish a National Guard Ranger Battalion, according to a report.

The “Report on Establishment of a National Guard Ranger Battalion” was a section of text tucked away in the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] from earlier this year.

“The committee recognizes that the National Guard has been employed as an operational
reserve force, with requirements to fulfill many of the same mission sets as the Active Component,” read a report summarizing the FY2023 NDAA, compiled by the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Legislative Liason.

“The National Guard maintains two Special Forces Groups as a relief for the Active Component’s Special Forces Groups. The creation of a Ranger Battalion for the National Guard would provide much needed dwell time for the Active 75th Ranger Regiment units, while increasing readiness and capacity of the nation’s premier light infantry unit,” the report continued. “As such, the committee directs the Secretary of the Army to submit a report to the House Committee on Armed Services, not later than March 1, 2023, assessing the feasibility of establishing a Ranger battalion in the National Guard, including the required resources and timeline for activating the unit.”

The ordered 2023 feasibility report will also touch upon whether or not the creation of a part-time Ranger Regiment is even possible.

“Additionally, the report should also assess the feasibility of the Army National Guard and the 75th Ranger Regiment allowing physically and mentally qualified servicemembers within the National Guard to apply for the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.”

While the information from earlier this year managed to remain obscure to the public in plain sight, the implications of a Guard-component Ranger Regiment is certainly a big deal- and a tricky balancing act when considering how the 75th Ranger Regiment maintains a constant state of readiness.

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