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A Picture From History: Vietnam ARVN Ranger

In a new series for PPT, we explore moments in history caught on camera you might not know about. Come get your learn on!
ARVN Ranger
ARVN Ranger, South Vietnam, circa 1966-68

A fallacy common among some Americans is that wars were won singly handedly or that American armed forces were always and without doubt the best trained or the most feared. While American forces have left their mark around the world, there are others equally deserving of reverence.

The 22 Ranger Battalions of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam were some of the best trained and most respected units of the Vietnam war.

Those 22 battalions would earn 11 U.S. Presidential Unit Citations from two American Presidents.

One battalion, the 37th Rangers, earned three citations. One of those three citations reads:

arvn citation

Under American advisers, ARVN Rangers mostly trained at bases established in Vietnam by the French commando units in the ’50s. Small numbers of the ARVN Rangers were even brought to America to train at the U.S. Army Ranger School at Ft. Benning

The Ranger in the photo above wears their signature “Duck Hunter” camo.

Starting life as an American Marine camo pattern in WWII, the ARVN Rangers commonly wore it and it was popular across other special operation forces in Vietnam.

American in Vietnam wearing Duck Hunter camo
Unknown American, probably a SEAL, wearing “Duck Hunter” camo in Vietnam with a non-standard M16 (XM16 lower, SP-01 upper)

Due to the legendary status of the Rangers, they were allowed to dress and use equipment as they pleased to accomplish their missions.

This is a new style of article for Pew Pew Tactical, if you liked it — let us know in the comments! If you want to see more, also let us know! If you didn’t enjoy it…well phooey. For a little more history, check out the Best Historical Guns (You Can Still Buy).

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16 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    ken zeitz

    Enjoying the history .If you really like shooting and history come to an Appleseed project event.It's a natural combo and I'll bet you learn something.

    August 5, 2021 6:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Duke Starkel

    Enjoy history. Please continue with info about men in battle.

    April 27, 2021 12:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom Franciosi

    Springfield has been doing historic articles like this recently. I love reading them. Nice to see Pew Pew joining in the history lessons. I really enjoy reading stuff like this!

    [Sic] "Those who don't learn from history, are destined to repeat it"

    April 22, 2021 6:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Thank you. Good read. I'd appreciate more articles like this.

    April 20, 2021 2:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar


    April 19, 2021 8:09 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike L.

    Great content....c/o of my high school ROTC unit was a LRRP Ranger, many awesome stories from 9 Vietnam deployments!
    Please keep these coming!

    April 19, 2021 7:24 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Keep it going. Ken burns Vietnam Netflix documentary talks a lot. But would love to learn more about nin US units.

    April 19, 2021 12:36 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I found this interesting. More please.

    April 18, 2021 10:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Steve S.

    Nice article. Keep them coming!

    April 18, 2021 7:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom N.

    Served in Vietnam, and many of their units had great soldiers.

    April 18, 2021 4:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Great enjoyed learning about this time in our history

    April 18, 2021 4:21 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jack Doyle

    Loved it! Keep it coming.

    April 18, 2021 12:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    More history plz.

    April 17, 2021 5:21 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Phil RN

    More please.

    April 16, 2021 7:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bobby Martin


    April 16, 2021 12:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar


      April 16, 2021 1:52 pm
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