2/75 Ranger Battalion
The 75th Ranger Regiment, comprised of three battalions each having hundreds of airborne qualified volunteers, is the largest Special Operations Combat Element in the world. Rapidly deployable anywhere in the world in 18 hours or less, it is a lethal, agile, flexible force. On D Day, 2d Battalion Rangers (2/75) successfully carried out one of World War II's most vital and daring missions, the scaling of the 100-foot cliffs overlooking Omaha and Utah beaches. Tom Hanks portrayed a 2d Ranger officer in the movie Saving Private Ryan. During the modern Ranger era, the 2d Battalion, based at Ft. Lewis, WA, has fought in Grenada, Panama, and Haiti. Following 9/11 the Rangers of the 2d Battalion have been extraordinarily involved in the Global War On Terrorism ("GWOT") and other contingency operations. The demands on the soldiers of the battalion are unprecedented in these perilous times. They have been deployed more frequently than at any time in the history of the unit, while, at the same time are still required to be "on call" and ready to go anywhere in the world by air, land, or sea.
Many members of this elite unit have multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. There are a certain Rangers who have been on every single deployment since combat operations began in Southeast Asia in 2001. The nation's longest war has put the Rangers at constant risk. Indeed, 19 Rangers from 2d Battalion have been killed since 9/11, and three have perished during the omnipresent, high-risk training. These conflicts also place an exceptional strain on the families of those Rangers, and the Foundation exists to ease the burden for all involved whenever possible.
Despite the added risks and high frequency of deployments and prolonged exposure to the most dangerous training in the military, an Army Ranger only receives one additional category of wages compared to conventional soldiers: parachute or "jump pay" for being airborne qualified. This amounts to approximately $1,800 annually.
40-50% of Army Rangers are from lower-paid ranks, including Specialists/Corporals, and these ranks increasingly included young families. This military pay grade is often referred to as "E-4". A Ranger Specialist/Corporal who is married with one child and 2-3 years of service plus a housing allowance (given to all soldiers) and jump pay earns $54,000 per year. Base pay alone is only a little above $23,000.
Median income in Pierce County (where 2nd Ranger Battalion is located) is over $69,000 per year. These young Ranger families are earning close to $15,000 less than the median income in the same county and over $45,000 less when only base pay is used in the calculation.
When something goes wrong, and the Ranger is injured or worse, these families do not have the reserves to cope financially; help from our Foundation is needed to support the heroic actions which led to the hardship.