Standing Orders, Rogers' Rangers

(Major Robert Rogers, 1759)

The following was taken from USARV GTA 21-3 (September 1967). Each soldier arriving in the Republic of Vietnam was issued this GTA (General Training Aid), which measured 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, and required to keep it on his person at all times. Although written during the French and Indian Wars, the tactical doctrine contained in these rules was entirely applicable to operations in Vietnam.

1. Don't forget nothing.

2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.

3. When you're on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer. See the enemy first.

4. Tell the truth about what you see and do. There is an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie to a Ranger or officer.

5. Don't never take a chance you don't have to.

6. When we're on the march we march single file, far enough apart so one shot can't go through two men.

7. If we strike swamps, or soft ground, we spread out abreast, so it's hard to track us.

8. When we march, we keep moving 'til dark, so as to give the enemy the least possible chance at us.

9. When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.

10. If we take prisoners, we keep 'em separate 'til we have had time to examine them, so they can't cook up a story between 'em.

11. Don't ever march home the same way. Take a different route so you won't be ambushed.

12. No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep a scout 20 yards ahead, twenty yards on each flank and twenty yards in the rear, so the main body can't be surprised and wiped out.

13. Every night you'll be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.

14. Don't sit down to eat without posting sentries.

15. Don't sleep beyond dawn. Dawn's when the French and Indians attack.

16. Don't cross a river by a regular ford.

17. If somebody's trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.

18. Don't stand up when the enemy's coming against you. Kneel down. Hide behind a tree.

19. Let the enemy come 'till he's almost close enough to touch. Then let him have it and jump out and finish him up with your hatchet.

20. Don't use your musket if you can kill 'em with your hatchet.

T O P 69th Armor Page Ray's Home Page E-Mail Me

Creation Date: Thursday, June 6, 1996
Last Modified: Thursday, June 6, 1996
Copyright © Ray Smith, 1996