Difference Between Ranger and Green Beret

Ranger vs Green Beret

The difference between Ranger and Green Beret is mainly in the tasks that they have to follow. The US Armed Forces has many special operations groups such as the Green Berets and US Army rangers. In fact, both are considered as elite members of US armed forces. They have many operations in common, which is why many people confuse between green berets and army rangers. However, there are many differences between these two elite forces, which will be highlighted in this article. We explore each branch of the army in order to find out the differences between ranger and Green Beret.

What is Ranger?

The Ranger or the US Army Rangers are the older out of the two groups. Rangers have been serving the US army since the 17th century though, the modern concept of Rangers was institutionalized only during the WW II. The US army rangers have performed their special operations in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. They have also been sent to deliver in Panama and Grenada.

The army rangers are infantrymen who seem to perform most of the functions of green berets though they are trained more in conventional warfare than guerilla warfare. Some of the duties of the rangers are raids, ambushes, and airfield seizures. Anyone applying for an enlisting in the US army can go for a ranger training that takes one and a half to two years.

Difference Between Ranger and Green Beret

What is Green Beret?

The Green Beret is a special operations group in US army though it is also the name of special cap and badge worn by these soldiers. It can be worn only by those soldiers who have qualified as Special Forces soldiers. The tradition follows the one in the British army and continues ever since the US soldiers served along with the British forces in the WW II. In the British army, wearing the green berets was a norm, which has continued in the US army. The first soldiers to wear the Green Beret in the US army were the Darby rangers. However, the use of green berets was discontinued, and it was only reinstated in the army as a distinct headgear on the 25th of September 1961.

If one visits the official website of the green berets, he can learn about the unconventional warfare that green berets are trained in. These commandos specialize in stealth raids and ambushes. They are also trained in guerilla warfare, sabotage, and subversion. A soldier can apply to become a green beret only after he has served in the US army for three years. He then serves a two-years training period after which he gets inducted as a green beret in an operational group. Green berets have to undergo training in diplomacy and politics and learn one foreign language.

 Ranger vs Green Beret

What is the difference between Ranger and Green Beret?

Both the army rangers and the Green Berets are Special Forces groups in the US army. Both are considered elite members of the US armed forces and have specialized functions. Both, the rangers and the Green Berets, have served the interests of the US outside the country. They have actually participated in a number of wars in which US has taken part.

• Motto:

• Green berets have a motto that says ‘to free the oppressed.’

• The motto of rangers is ‘rangers lead the way.’

• Tasks:

• Green berets specialize in unconventional warfare and learn about subversion, diplomacy, and politics.

• Rangers are light infantrymen who specialize in air raids and ambushes.

• Contribution:

• Green berets have taken part in a number of wars such as cold war, Vietnam war, Somalian war, Kosovo, etc.

• Rangers have taken part in a number of wars such as American revolutionary war, Persian Gulf War, Iraq war, Kosovo war, etc.

• Garrison or Head Quarters:

• The Head Quarters of Green beret is Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

• Rangers have three Head Quarters as Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Lewis, Washington, and Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.

• Requirements to join the service:

• To become a Green Beret, you must first serve in the US army for three years.

• To become a ranger, you can directly apply if you are 18 years old.

As you can see, both Ranger and Green Beret are very important parts of the US Armed forces. They are both specially trained to face special situations.


Images Courtesy: Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment and Green Berets via Wikicommons (Public Domain)

  • Laura Salovitch

    I’ve had the honor of once shaking a Ranger’s hand.