Born in Maine, following college Michael B. Ranger was commissioned into the U.S. Army and deployed in support of the U.S. effort in the Republic of Vietnam. From March 4-6, 1969, he engaged an amassed enemy force with direct fire, air strikes, and artillery, and aborted their attack while leading his recon platoon assigned to Company E, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. During the battle he was wounded by an enemy mortar round but refused medical attention and continued to control supporting fires. In the early hours of March 5, the enemy launched a human wave assault against his platoon, which by this time consisted of only fourteen men. LT Ranger and his men employed all means at their disposal to repel the attack, and LT Ranger ultimately called fire on his own position as the enemy entered the perimeter. The following day while the patrol base was receiving small arms and mortar fire, LT Ranger was wounded again while engaging snipers in the trees as his men were being extracted from the LZ. He refused to leave the battlefield until all of his men were aboard the helicopters. The Army awarded LT Ranger the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism.
Following a year assigned to the Patrolling Committee at the Ranger Department, CPT Ranger returned to Vietnam to command a company in the 4th Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry. He was again wounded in heavy fighting later that year. Following recovery, he returned to his unit and again suffered a critical wound that resulted in the loss of his right leg above the knee, as well as serious wounds to the left leg.
Following reconstructive surgery, he returned to the Ranger Department Patrolling Committee. During this time CPT Ranger helped to draft the doctrine that forms, in part, the training still performed by Rangers today. Additionally, it is believed that Captain Ranger became the first above-the-knee amputee to maintain his airborne status by continuing to perform training jumps while assigned to the Ranger Department.
After separating from the Army, Mike Ranger continued to provide substantial contributions to the Ranger community. He was elected to serve as the Executive Vice President of the US Army Ranger Association in 2009, and served in the position for approximately eight years. He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2006, and thereafter served on the Hall of Fame’s Voting Board from 2009 through 2015. In that capacity, he substantially contributed to improving the Hall of Fame’s stature through his participation in its corporate restructuring in 2011.