The 75th Ranger Regiment Military Intelligence Battalion

Modernizing for Multi-Domain Battle

Maj. Paul A. Lushenko, U.S. Army


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A soldier pulls himself across a rope bridge 21 February 2011 during the Mountain Phase of Ranger School at Camp Merrill

A focus on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations since 9/11 has eroded the U.S. Army’s readiness according to Gen. Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army. Defined by Milley, readiness approximates the Army’s ability to exercise its organizational design and fulfill its mission.1 The Army’s doctrinal mission consists of fighting and winning America’s wars through sustained land combat as a member of the joint force.2 The most pernicious consequence of the Army’s readiness deficit is its inability to overmatch the lethality of near-peer competitors including the so-called “Big Four”: China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The Army’s modernization strategy, published on 3 October 2017, is designed to ensure soldiers and units are prepared to confront these and other threats. This principal goal turns on several priorities including optimizing human performance and designing a “network” that is inured to operating environments characterized by a denied or degraded electromagnetic spectrum.3

One recent example of U.S. Army modernization is the establishment of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Military Intelligence Battalion (RMIB) on 22 May 2017 at Fort Benning, Georgia. I argue that while the RMIB furthers the Ranger Regiment’s readiness through experimentation and innovation, it also informs the Army’s broader structure and emerging operating concepts to help overmatch near-peer competitors.

Perhaps the most progressive of those concepts is multi-domain battle (MDB). According to then U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) commander, Gen. David Perkins, this concept “allows U.S. forces to take advantage of existing personnel quality and training strengths to outmaneuver adversaries physically and cognitively, applying combined arms in and across all domains.”4 In consonance with the MDB concept, on the one hand, the RMIB encourages new collection, exploitation, and analytical practices to enable special operations including lethal strikes, raids, and offensive cyber operations that underpin the Army’s lethality.5 On the other hand, the RMIB conditions the Army and joint force for tailorable, distributable, and interdependent capabilities sets. These formations “package individuals and teams with associated equipment against identified mission requirements that span the spectrum of conflict and enable a multi-echelon, joint, and/or multi-national response.”6 Such capabilities sets constitute a useful operating paradigm to assist the Army’s goal of projecting power across multiple domains to decisively defeat threats to America’s national security and provide for global security.7

The remainder of this article unfolds in three parts. First, it canvasses the Army’s periodic formation of ranger units to better position the significance of the Ranger Regiment and its new military intelligence battalion. The article next unpacks the RMIB and addresses its approach to collection, exploitation, and analysis in the interest of cross-pollinating practices to conventional forces that can help redress the Army’s readiness gap. The article concludes by briefly introducing the RMIB’s central contribution to the MDB concept referred to as capabilities sets.

“Rangers Lead the Way”

Employed by English foresters in the thirteenth century, the term “ranging” described the activity of patrolling to prevent poaching and protect against marauders.8 Colonial rebels including Col. Daniel Morgan and Francis Marion adopted ranging during the American Revolution to circumvent the British army’s equipment, training, and personnel advantages. Col. Thomas Knowlton, who served for Gen. George Washington and is considered the first ranger intelligence officer, built a network of informants to enable ambushes and raids against the British. These irregular warfare tactics represented a key pillar of Washington’s strategy to “wear away the resolution of the British by gradual, persistent action against the periphery of their armies.”9 Beyond Britain’s ignominious defeat in 1783, due partly to the unconventional practices of Washington’s regular and partisan forces, Army leaders developed ranger units at key turning points in the service’s history.

While both the Confederate and Union armies employed rangers during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865, the Army did not constitute similar organizations until World War II. Gen. George C. Marshall, then chief of staff, modeled a unit after the British Commandos to gain combat experience prior to invading Europe. The activation of the 1st Ranger Battalion in June 1942 by Lt. Col. William O. Darby bookends the modern ranger era. Given its success during Operation Torch in North Africa in November 1942, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower instructed Darby to establish two additional battalions. “Darby’s Rangers” combined with the 3rd and 4th Battalions to form the 6615th Ranger Force. Tragically, the 6615th Ranger Force was decimated in Italy at the Battle of Cisterna in January 1944.10 Five months later, the 2nd and 5th Battalions participated in the invasion of Europe known as Operation Overlord. Historians credit the latter for crystallizing the 75th Ranger Regiment’s motto, “Rangers lead the way,” when the 29th Infantry Division assistant commander, Brig. Gen. Norman Cota, enjoined the 5th Rangers to lead the way off Omaha Beach amid stiff German resistance.11

Whereas the Army also sanctioned the 6th Ranger Battalion in the Pacific, the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was formed by Lt. Gen. Joseph “Vinegar” Stillwell in January 1944 to disrupt Japan’s supply lines across the China-Burma-India theater. “Merrill’s Marauders,” named after unit commander Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill, was the only U.S. ground force in the theater. As such, Barbara Tuchman argues it “attracted a greater share of attention from the press and from history than a similarly sized unit merited anywhere else.”12 This includes a dramatized portrayal of its actions in a 1962 film, Merrill’s Marauders, which some historians contend whitewashed the unit’s mismanagement, culminating in the capture of Myitkyina Airfield in May 1944 at significant cost to the remaining and exhausted rangers.13 As “the strategic jewel of northern Burma,” this airfield provided Japan a land-bridge between China and India.14 The Ranger battalions dissolved following Germany and Japan’s capitulation in 1945 but appeared again during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.15 To this point, ranger units were episodically formed and ephemeral. They lacked hierarchy, did not share uniform training standards, and their use was largely informed by anecdote.16


Gen. Creighton Abrams reactivated the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions in 1974 during his tenure as chief of staff. He intended the battalions to rectify the Army’s readiness shortfalls following the Vietnam War by imbuing heightened professionalism through performance-oriented training.17 The “Abrams Charter” envisaged these battalions “to be a role model for the Army” and compelled leaders trained in them to “return to the conventional Army to pass on their experience and expertise.”18 Gen. John Wickam Jr. and Gen. Gordon Sullivan, who respectively served as the thirtieth and thirty-second chiefs of staff, codified Abrams’s intent in their own charters. They further identified the 75th Ranger Regiment, its headquarters established in 1984 alongside the 3rd Ranger Battalion, as a key inflection point between conventional and special operations forces.19 The Ranger Regiment has since evolved to represent the U.S. military’s most responsive forcible entry option.20 It is postured to conduct platoon- to regiment-sized operations anywhere in the world within eighteen hours after notification. The regiment recently demonstrated its capability to seize enemy airfields, for example, in Afghanistan and Iraq. The addition of a military intelligence battalion constitutes the regiment’s latest structural adjustment and is designed to ensure lethality amid an arguable shift in the character of war. This consists of enhanced precision across multiple domains enabled by a proliferation of sensors.

Introducing the 75th Ranger Regiment Military Intelligence Battalion

From 1984 to 2007, the Ranger Regiment bifurcated its intelligence training and operations between battalion intelligence sections and a military intelligence detachment attached to the regimental headquarters. Offset training and deployment cycles stymied the regimental intelligence officer’s ability to synchronize multiple echelons of intelligence operations in support of the regimental commander’s priority intelligence requirements. Establishment of a special troops battalion in 2007 consolidated a preponderance of the regiment’s intelligence functions, personnel, and capabilities within a military intelligence company. Yet, activation of the battalion and company did not enhance managerial oversight of the regiment’s intelligence training and operations as intended.21 At times, they exacerbated tension between the regimental intelligence officer’s intent to standardize the recruitment and training of analysts and the battalions’ interest in autonomy. This organizational challenge, coupled with several additional considerations, encouraged the regimental commander, then Col. Marcus Evans, to recommend that the United States Army Special Operations Command provisionally activate the RMIB.22

First, the RMIB enables the regiment to better understand and operate in the cyber domain. Second, by providing broader mission command of the intelligence warfighting function, the RMIB accords the regimental commander greater flexibility to rapidly adjust analytical focus against emerging threats while integrating insights from current operations. Finally, the RMIB facilitates more consistent coordination with the U.S. Army’s intelligence enterprise and its key institutions including the Intelligence Center of Excellence and the Intelligence and Security Command.

Range Tab CREED

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster, and fight harder than any other soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong, and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress, and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.

Rangers lead the way!

US Army Logo

Pending approval from the Department of the Army, the RMIB will officially activate in 2019 under the leadership of a lieutenant colonel and a command sergeant major selected by a special mission unit board. The RMIB’s mission is to recruit, train, develop, and employ highly trained and specialized rangers to conduct full-spectrum intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, and electronic warfare operations to enhance the regimental commander’s situational awareness and inform his decision-making process. Key to the RMIB’s mission is inculcation of the Ranger Regiment’s standards-based culture codified in the Ranger Creed developed by the 1st Ranger Battalion in 1975. Adherence to this ethos, which emphasizes discipline, resilience, and learning, will enable the RMIB to balance technical and tactical competencies to engender trust and confidence across the ranger battalions, other special operations forces, and the Army’s intelligence corps. This means assignment of intelligence personnel to the RMIB is contingent on passing the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, which consists of an evaluation board for officers and noncommissioned officers.23 Pending this certification process, RMIB personnel will complete the same training as combat arms soldiers assigned to the ranger battalions including the Army’s Airborne and Ranger courses. When formally established, the RMIB will consist of three companies and maintain a personnel end-strength equivalent to a conventional intelligence battalion assigned to one of the Army’s three active-duty expeditionary military intelligence brigades (see figure). Presently, the RMIB consists of a detachment and two companies.

The staff and command group are embedded within the Headquarters Detachment. It leads the regiment’s recruitment and management of intelligence officers and soldiers, synchronizes intelligence training and operations across the regiment and with other special operations and conventional forces, and also functions as the regiment’s intelligence section. This means the battalion commander also serves as the regimental intelligence officer, the battalion executive and operations officers serve as assistants, and all three deploy as the senior intelligence officers for a joint special operations task force. The military intelligence company, reapportioned from the special troops battalion, is the cornerstone of the RMIB. It possesses the most personnel and capabilities across the battalion including all-source analysts, geospatial analysts, human intelligence collectors, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). This enables the company to conduct multidiscipline collection and all-source analysis, as well as provide an expeditionary imagery collection and processing, exploitation, and dissemination (PED) capability to enable the regiment’s training and operations.

The Ranger Regiment command team prepares to unfurl the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion colors

The cyber-electromagnetic activities (CEMA) company integrates and synchronizes cyber, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and technical surveillance in support of the regimental commander’s objectives. Personnel and capabilities resident to the CEMA company are normally disaggregated across multiple echelons and lack a coordinating agent. The CEMA company is therefore on the leading edge of fulfilling the Army’s intent to establish a CEMA capability within tactical formations.24 As reflected by operations against the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East and South Asia, it also advances the Army’s ability to combine electronic warfare and signals intelligence in support of lethal targeting through unique technologies and tactics. The CEMA company’s mission is enabled by consolidation of the regiment’s electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and technical surveillance personnel and capabilities; introduction of cyber personnel; and broader partnerships with the Intelligence and Security Command, Cyber Command, and other special operations forces.

The Ranger Approach to the Intelligence Cycle

While designed to enable special operations, the RMIB’s evolving approach to the intelligence cycle, consisting of collection, exploitation, and analysis steps, can help the Army overmatch near-peer competitors given the regiment’s expanded interoperability with conventional forces. The article now explores the RMIB’s innovative practices within each phase of the intelligence cycle.

Collection. The RMIB continues to innovate tactics, techniques, and procedures to accelerate the Army’s ability to find and fix enemy combatants. Training and operations against IS demonstrate several contributions to the Army’s readiness. The military intelligence company recently experimented with a small UAS, the Puma, to provide platoon and company commanders, who are often dislocated from headquarters in austere terrain, timely and reliable full-motion video. Although applicable to the spectrum of operations, the Puma is particularly salient to forcible entry operations conducted by the regiment and other global response forces including the 82nd Airborne Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade.

The military intelligence company tested its ability to integrate two operators to parachute the Puma with ranger assaulters during an airfield seizure training scenario. The operators deployed the Puma ten minutes after landing and provided the ground force commander near instantaneous situational awareness of the terrain and enemy. Of course, the Puma is merely one solution, and more compact aircraft exist. The Puma provides ground force commanders greater range and longevity, however, making it the most advantageous tactical collection capability at this time according to testing. To facilitate similar training and operations across the Army, the military intelligence company is working with the Maneuver Center of Excellence to draft the doctrine that underpins employment of small UASs. The company has also developed an expeditionary PED capability integral to the employment of UAS resident to its UAS platoon. This advancement is designed to overcome a problem that threatens to malign Army PED cells. It is challenging to impart common understanding between mission commanders, aircraft operators, and geospatial analysts. The military intelligence company’s PED capability consists of two geospatial analysts equipped with a portable system encompassing geospatial and analytical tools. Collocating geospatial analysts with the mission commander at a deployed site ensures they are aware of all mission events that provide critical context often not available. A conventional military intelligence company can adopt this practice given it also possesses a UAS platoon, has access to geospatial analysts, and will field expeditionary analysis systems.

The Ranger Regiment command team prepares to unfurl the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion colors

The CEMA company also unifies disparate collection disciplines designed to operate in the electromagnetic spectrum. It exercises this capability by integrating cyber, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and technical surveillance collectors into a special reconnaissance team. The team is capable of infiltrating hostile territory to enable sensitive collection, exploitation, and targeted operations against the enemy’s computer and communications networks. The CEMA company recently enhanced the realism of a ranger battalion’s airfield seizure exercise by replicating network configurations and communications protocols employed by near-peer competitors. The CEMA company also integrated its special reconnaissance team into the exercise. The team applied unique capabilities provided by national agencies to collect against the enemy’s mission command systems and facilitated the ranger battalion’s airborne operation. This training approach offers a useful framework for the Army’s various combat training centers.25

Exploitation. If intelligence drives the military decision-making process, then enrichment of data exploited from enemy material is decisive to the regiment’s high-value targeting methodology known as “F3EAD”—find, fix, finish, exploit, analyze, and disseminate intelligence.26 Experimentation with machine learning has enabled the RMIB to rapidly identify connections between seemingly disparate media devices, personalities, and their social networks. This advancement has reduced the time and labor required to wade through a meteoric rise in the volume of data confiscated during combat operations since 2001 and resulted in operations against “leverage points” central to insurgent and terrorist organizations including facilitators, financiers, and couriers.27 Insights gained from these operations have enabled action against more serious threats to America’s national security epitomized by the coalition airstrikes in northern Afghanistan in October 2016 that killed Faruq al-Qatani. As a senior al-Qaida official responsible for planning attacks against America, al-Qatani may have intended to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.28

To further enrich data, the RMIB has integrated the exploitation of publicly available information into its all-source training and analysis. Although nascent, this practice helped broaden the U.S. intelligence community’s understanding of the lethality of IS’s “Khorasan” branch defined by its ability to inspire, enable, and direct external attacks from Afghanistan. A 2016 attack on a German train by a seventeen-year-old Afghan asylum seeker resulting in five wounded passengers evidences this trend.29 The digital footprint of America’s near-peer competitors implies that the RMIB’s integration of machine learning and publicly available information into exploitation operations is equally relevant to interstate conflict. Milley’s identification of a readiness gap vis-à-vis the “Big Four” also means transference of the RMIB’s exploitation operations to conventional forces can enable more rapid understanding and disruption of the enemy’s decision-making cycle.30

Arguably, it is the RMIB’s integration of liaisons within key U.S. government departments and agencies, often referred to as the interagency, which stands to contribute the most to the Army’s exploitation operations. The RMIB’s representatives, immaterial of branch affiliation and ranging in rank from noncommissioned officers to warrant officers to company grade officers, are placed in agencies including the National Media Exploitation Cell and underline the regiment’s network-based exploitation approach.

Proximity enables liaisons to build relationships that accord several dividends. First, liaisons gain access to data without which the regiment’s understanding of the enemy’s intent and capabilities would be disadvantaged. Liaisons also influence the interagency’s exploitation priorities against the regiment’s targeting lines of effort. In the best case, liaisons shepherd interagency coordination that, according to Joint Publication 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, “forges the vital link between the military and the diplomatic, informational, and economic instruments of national power.”31 The ability of the RMIB’s liaisons to articulate the impact of counterterrorism operations on the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s government and regional security order-building contributed to justification of the coalition’s continued assistance outlined in President Donald Trump’s South Asia policy address in late August 2017.32

Analysis. The RMIB’s approach to talent management produces intelligence professionals that can confidently provide the regimental commander accurate and timely intelligence to turn his decisions into “yes” or “no” answers. It also enables ranger intelligence professionals to prudently justify or caution against lethal force. This competency derives from a disciplined approach to probabilistically assess the certainty of a target’s location, critically evaluate a target’s value to both enemy and friendly forces, project the risk to mission and force, and anticipate the impact to America’s international standing.33

The RMIB’s talent management program, which balances the regiment’s intelligence requirements against the interests of individual rangers, is based on two interrelated considerations. First, realistic training and operational deployments allow the battalion commander and sergeant major to certify ranger intelligence professionals have mastered basic operations and intelligence planning frameworks. At times, ranger intelligence officers not previously obligated to serve in the combat arms will attend the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course to gain a deeper appreciation for rigorously executing intelligence preparation of the battlefield lest a tactical scheme of maneuver fail to account for key considerations that result in casualties or mission failure. The course also emphasizes doctrinally sound language that maneuver commanders easily understand and imparts legitimacy. Second, unique and demanding training and assignments enable the RMIB to broaden the understanding and critical thinking skills of its personnel, especially its noncommissioned and warrant officers. Opportunities include liaison positions for all-source analysts and warrant officers, advanced technical training for human intelligence collectors, and interoperability training for signals intelligence collectors with other special operations forces.

The RMIB also capitalizes on the talents of soldiers across the reserve component to enable broader situational awareness and rigorous analysis critical to closing the Army’s readiness gap. Similar to the Army’s Intelligence Readiness Operations Capability, conceived as “supporting a forward element or a member of the intelligence community from a sanctuary location,” the RMIB established the Ranger Intelligence Operations Center (RIOC).34 The RIOC pivots on live-environment training. This expands the scope and audience of training management to include soldiers with less common occupation specialties that support intelligence operations, including analysts, teams, and capabilities. As a pillar of the integrated training environment, live-environment training through the RIOC also enables the Ranger Regiment’s ongoing operations.35 By integrating intelligence analysts from the reserve component, the RIOC has the added benefit of facilitating the Army’s Total Force Policy. This is designed to organize, train, and equip the active-duty and reserve components as an integrated force.36 The 335th Signal Command (Theater), responsible for providing cyber and signal units in support of the Third Army, Army Central Command, and homeland defense missions, recently invested ten U.S. Army Reserve analysts into the RIOC to meet annual training requirements while supporting the regiment’s operational intelligence requirements.

Capabilities Sets: The RMIB’s Contribution to Multi-Domain Battle

Although addressed discretely, the RMIB’s innovative approaches to collection, exploitation, and analysis are the constituent components of the intelligence cycle. They also undergird one promising way the RMIB can help enable the MDB concept: capabilities sets. The RMIB’s understanding of the composition, disposition, and intent of capabilities sets derives from multifunctional teams that participated in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. These teams, consisting of multidiscipline collectors that gathered, exploited, and disseminated combat intelligence to tactical-level commanders, provided expertise to focus combat power as well as to sequence and synchronize lethal and nonlethal operations.37

Capabilities sets, which couple collectors and analysts with requisite equipment, replicate the tailorable and distributable qualities of multifunctional teams. They provide for an expansion or decrement of capability based on shifts in the threat and the commander’s priority intelligence requirements and objectives. By decentralizing personnel and resources, capabilities sets also maximize mission command, defined by Army Doctrine Publication 6-0, Mission Command, as “the exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders.”38 In practice, capabilities sets are smaller-scaled forces, no greater than platoon size, that operate disassociated from headquarters for extended periods given broad guidance. In the case of a war against a near-peer competitor in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, for instance, commanders could establish various capabilities sets to conduct multidiscipline—cyber, human, imagery, and signals—intelligence collection, exploitation, and analysis to enable operations that outpace the enemy’s ability to react.

The RMIB’s capabilities sets provide two additional advantages essential to the MDB concept. First, they engender interoperability between conventional and special operations forces across all Army components. The RMIB’s integration of the 335th Signal Command (Theater) into the RIOC sets the conditions to deploy reserve-component analysts in support of unique operational requirements. Second, the RMIB’s capabilities sets enable joint and multinational interdependence. According to the former chief of naval operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, this “implies a stronger network of organizational ties, better pairing of capabilities at the system level, willingness to draw upon shared capabilities, and continuous information-sharing and coordination.”39 The RMIB’s incorporation of analysts from the 17th Special Tactics Squadron, which provides the regiment tactical air controllers, represents movement toward broader joint force interdependence.40 Meanwhile, the RMIB’s exercises with foreign militaries are important to set theaters of operations defined as having the necessary forces, bases, and agreements established to enable regional operations.41 Given broader interoperability within the Army, and more meaningful interdependence across the joint force and with allies and partners, capabilities sets promise to enhance a commander’s situational awareness, preserve freedom of maneuver, and confront the enemy with multiple dilemmas. As a result, they may serve as a useful starting point to formulize the “multi-domain task force” envisioned by Gen. Robert Brown, commander of the United States Army Pacific, and retired Gen. David Perkins, former commander of TRADOC.42

The author is indebted to several reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this article. These include Maj. Gen. Gary Johnston, Maj. Gen. Robert Walters, and Brig. Gen. Joseph Hartman; previous regimental and ranger battalion commanders including Col. Marcus Evans; former regimental intelligence officers including Col. Joshua Fulmer and Lt. Col. Bryan Hooper; and the Ranger Military Intelligence Battalion staff and company command teams, especially Sgt. Maj. Lee Garcia.


  1. Capt. David Darling, email to the author, 5 November 2017. Gen. Mark Milley defined organizational readiness during a speech at the 2017 Captains Solarium symposium, attended by approximately one hundred captains, including Darling, drawn across all U.S. Army components; see also Rick Maze, ”McCarthy Gets Tough on Army’s Priorities,” Army Magazine 67, no. 10 (October 2017), 11. Ryan D. McCarthy, former acting secretary of the Army, defines readiness as the ability to “put soldiers on a plane to immediately address a priority” and preparedness to “fight tomorrow.”
  2. Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 1, The Army (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Office [GPO], September 2012), 1-8.
  3. Ryan D. McCarthy and Mark A. Milley, “Modernization Priorities for the United States Army,” 3 October 2017, accessed 7 March 2018,
  4. David Perkins, “Multi-Domain Battle: Joint Combined Arms Concept for the 21st Century,” Association of the United States Army, 14 November 2016, accessed 7 March 2018,
  5. Paul Lushenko and Anthony Williams, “Defeating the Islamic State: Reconciling Precision and Pressure High Value Targeting,” Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis 8, no. 9 (September 2016): 10.
  6. Paul Lushenko, “Intellectualizing the U.S. Army’s Rebalance Within Asia,” U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin 40, no. 3 (July-September 2014): 53.
  7. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, The National Military Strategy of the United States of America (Washington, DC: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, June 2015), 7, accessed 21 March 2018,
  8. Dominic J. Caraccilo, Forging a Special Operations Force: The US Army Rangers (West Midlands, UK: Helion, 2015), 19.
  9. Russell Weigley, The American Way of War (New York: MacMillian, 1973), 15.
  10. William O. Darby and William H. Baumer, We Led the Way (San Rafael, CA: Presidio Press, 1980), 156–70.
  11. Caraccilo, Forging a Special Operations Force, 26.
  12. Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 (New York: MacMillan, 1970), 432–33.
  13. Gavin Mortimer, Merrill’s Marauders: The Untold Story of Unit Galahad and the Toughest Special Mission of World War II (Minneapolis: Zenith Press, 2013).
  14. Ibid., 28.
  15. Ralph Puckett, Ranger: A Soldier’s Life (Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press, 2017); see also Michael Lanning, Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam (New York: Ivy Books, 1988).
  16. Ken Keen, “75th Ranger Regiment: Strategic Force for the 21st Century” (strategy research project, U.S. Army War College, 1998), 9, accessed 7 March 2018,
  17. Caraccilo, Forging a Special Operations Force, 37–45.
  18. Keen, “75th Ranger Regiment,” 5.
  19. Ibid., 6.
  20. Joint Publication (JP) 3-18, Joint Doctrine for Forcible Entry Operations (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, July 2001), I-1.
  21. Caraccilo, Forging a Special Operations Force, 153.
  22. Scott R. Gourley, “Interview: Col. Marcus S. Evans,” Defense Media Network, 29 June 2017, accessed 7 March 2018,
  23. The Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, or RASP, consists of two parallel courses. RASP 1 trains and assesses sergeants and below. RASP 2 trains and assesses staff sergeants and above. Small Unit Ranger Tactics, or SURT, is a mandatory course for members of the Ranger Regiment preparing to attend the U.S. Army Ranger School.
  24. “Lessons Learned from Cyber Support to Corps and Below,” Journal of Asymmetric Warfare 2, no. 2 (August 2017): 43; see also “US Army to Unleash New War Tactics, Now Cyber Soldiers Will Lead the Combat on Battlefield,” India Times, 14 December 2017, accessed 7 March 2018, The closest approximation of the CEMA [cyber-electromagnetic activities] company is the U.S. Army’s Cyber Command’s recent integration of cyber soldiers into the 3rd Brigade Combat Team with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.
  25. Maj. Matthew Sheftic, conversation with the author, 12 December 2017. Sheftic serves as a brigade combat team intelligence officer and previously served as an observer coach/trainer at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.
  26. John Hardy and Paul Lushenko, “The High Value of Targeting: A Conceptual Model for Using HVT against a Networked Enemy,” Defence Studies 12, no. 3 (September 2012): 413–33.
  27. Paul Lushenko, “Reconsidering the Theory and Practice of High Value Targeting,” Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis 7, no. 9 (August 2015): 23–30.
  28. Ananya Roy, “Pentagon Confirms Death of Senior al-Qaeda Leader Faruq al-Qatani in Latest Strike in Afghanistan,” International Business Times, 5 November 2016, accessed 7 March 2018,
  29. Kim Hjelmgaard, “Islamic State Says It’s Behind German Train Attack,” USA Today (website), 19 July 2016, accessed 7 March 2018,
  30. J. M. Boyd, “Destruction and Creation” (unpublished manuscript, 1976).
  31. JP 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, March 2013), II-13.
  32. Donald Trump, “Remarks by President Trump on the Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia,” White House website, 21 August 2017, accessed 27 March 2018,
  33. Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner, Super Forecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (New York: Broadway Books, 2015).
  34. Brian Murphy, “The Evolution of Intelligence,”, 29 July 2013, accessed 7 March 2018,
  35. Paul Lushenko and David Hammerschmidt, “Back to the Future: Managing Training to ‘Win in a Complex World,’” Military Review 95, no. 1 (January-February 2015): 55.
  36. John M. McHugh, Army Directive 2012-08 (Army Total Force Policy), 4 September 2012, accessed 7 March 2018,
  37. Lushenko, “Intellectualizing the U.S. Army’s Rebalance within Asia,” 55.
  38. ADP 6-0, Mission Command (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, May 2012), 1.
  39. Jonathan Greenert, “Navy Perspective on Joint Force Interdependence,” Joint Force Quarterly 76, no. 1 (2015): 11.
  40. Craig Savage, “24th SOW Re-designates 17th ASOS,” Air Force Special Operations Command, 28 August 2013, accessed 7 March 2018,
  41. Vincent Brooks, “Rebalanced and Beyond,” Army Magazine 64, no. 10 (October 2014), 108.
  42. Robert B. Brown and David G. Perkins, “Multi-Domain Battle: Tonight, Tomorrow, and the Future Fight,” War on the Rocks, 18 August 2017, accessed 7 March 2018,

Maj. Paul Lushenko, U.S. Army is the operations officer for the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion and has served at every echelon within the 75th Ranger Regiment. He is a distinguished honor graduate of the United States Military Academy, attended the Australian National University as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar where he earned an MA in international relations and a master of diplomacy degree, and recently graduated from the Naval War College with an MA in defense and strategic studies as the honor graduate. He has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan with both conventional and special operations forces.



Followership: Avoid Being a Toxic Subordinate

Command Sgt. Maj. Brian M. Disque

Though a great deal has been written about the destructive aspects of toxic leadership, relatively little has been written about the deleterious effects of toxic followership and how to counter them. Command Sgt. Maj. Disque’s practical observations help fill this gap. Based on his invaluable insights born of many years of operational experience, he recommends specific and concrete remediating principles—along with the Army Values—be inculcated into all soldiers and leaders during training and then applied in the field.

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July-August 2018