|For the Fallout 2 Ranger character, see NCR Ranger (Fallout 2).|
For the Fallout: New Vegas Ranger character, see NCR Ranger (Fallout: New Vegas).
The New California Republic Rangers are an elite military outfit of the New California Republic. The Rangers are a volunteer special forces renowned as much for their expert reconnaissance capabilities as their bravery and combat prowess. Their primary purpose is dealing with threats regular forces cannot handle, as well as keeping the borders of the NCR secure, scouting out threats and other special assignments. Their superior training, weaponry and assortment of both pre-War and post-War technology allows them to tip battles in NCR's favor even when a situation may see them outnumbered and outgunned.
The Rangers were founded by Seth in the early years of the New California Republic, eventually becoming an independent law enforcement agency focusing on abolishing slavery inside and outside its borders. For decades they fought the practice, both in courts and on the field of battle, slowly building up their political and military power. By 2241, their activism and many friends in high places ensured the passage of legislation in the lands of the republic south of Shady Sands, causing them to turn their attention to the territories outside the capital. Their limited numbers made their mission difficult, as they were routinely outnumbered by their foes. As such, the Rangers operated in secret, especially outside NCR territories. Where slavers were present, they would raid them, help potential slaves flee their would-be captors, and smuggle liberated slaves south to the republic. Their operations were a major thorn in the side of the Slavers Guild, especially around New Reno and Klamath. Operational security implemented by the Rangers made their cells and safehouses impossible to detect for the untrained slaver muscle. Even their headquarters were secret, hidden in plain sight in Shady Sands' auto shop. It's commonly believed that the clarity of purpose and a clear moral compass, helped them beat seemingly impossible odds and prevail.
In the end, their perseverance proved essential to helping the growing republic and its still-young army survive in a wasteland full of despots, slavers and raiders. The Rangers steadily helped tip the balance in favor of the republic, which stood for freedom and democracy. Their abolitionism evolved into a fundamental dedication to protecting the people of the wasteland against all forms of tyranny.
Their work took on a new shape in 2271, when Chief Elise signed the Ranger Unification Treaty, integrating the Desert Rangers into the NCR Rangers and dedicating the Rangers to protecting Hoover Dam, New Vegas and southern Nevada against the forces of the Legion.
For the next ten years, the Rangers' duties slowly transformed into a permanent vigil, looking east and watching the borders against threats like the Legion. Rangers patrolled both sides of the great Colorado River, trying to fight an enemy who refused to fight fair and routinely used children and ambushes to fight the Rangers. Many were wounded and forced to leave the Rangers, incapable of continuing their patrols. The few who recovered could count on priority assignments to elite units of the Army, always in need of capable soldiers. The greatest achievement of their campaign against the legion came in 2277, when Rangers under the command of Chief Hanlon turned the tide of the First Battle of Hoover Dam. In a cunning trap laid by them and NCR's First Recon, they lured the best fighters of Caesar's Legion through the dam into Boulder City. When enemy troops entered it, the Rangers detonated the explosives placed in advance within the buildings, devastating Caesar's main force.
Credited with the victory, the Rangers were celebrated across the republic as heroes, overshadowing the sacrifice of scores of army soldiers under the command of General Lee Oliver. The resentful general has taken it upon himself to win the next confrontation on his own terms, frequently to the detriment of the troops under his command, especially the Rangers. The New California Republic Army has adopted a confrontational posture, entrenching itself on the banks of the Colorado River while facing Legion positions on the opposite side. Given ongoing manpower shortages and overstretched supply lines, this only made the republic's strategic situation even more precarious than before. General Lee Oliver always does the opposite of what Chief Hanlon recommends, down to placing the Rangers in the middle of the western part of the dam. However, while Chief Hanlon believes that the Rangers lack the firepower or support necessary to hold the line, it would later turn out that General Oliver actually made the right call, after all.
However, their image remains unblemished. Rangers act as bodyguards for President Aaron Kimball and maintain a network of Ranger outposts across the Mojave, including Ranger Station Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo and Foxtrot, and the gateway to the republic, Mojave Outpost. While civilian and patrol Rangers hold the line in the Mojave and on other frontiers, acting as informants and scalpels to destabilize enemies, the veterans are occupied in Baja, chasing ghosts on the administration's orders. The state of affairs has not affected the dedication of the rank and file Rangers, but weighs heavy on the mind of their present Chief, Hanlon, who believes that holding the Dam will be the death of the republic.
By 2281, they represent the elite of the NCR and are often given dangerous or prestigious tasks, such as forming the elite bodyguard of the then president of the republic, Aaron Kimball. However, according to Chief Hanlon, a Ranger's life boils down to the phrase "looking east," tools to be used for the territorial expansion of the republic. Regardless, a Ranger failing in their objective is a rare sight and their success is often taken for granted.
The rangers operate from six Ranger stations across the Mojave Wasteland: Ranger Station Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo and Foxtrot. These stations are tasked with patrolling the NCR's territory, who then transmit their reports to the Rangers' headquarters (Camp Golf in the Mojave) who will then analyze the threat and directly call reinforcements from the regular army. However, these messages have been getting mixed up with conflated sightings. Paired with both General Lee Oliver's favor over the rank-and-file soldiers of the NCR military, and Rangers routinely being put in harm's way in favor of Oliver's power-armored shock-troops has made Ranger work exceedingly frustrating for Chief Hanlon and the average patrol Ranger.
What started as an independent outfit dedicated to uprooting slavery evolved over the years into a distinct organization with the characteristics of civilian survey companies, special forces, and law enforcement: Part scout, part commando, part sheriff. Although once autonomous, by 2271, the Rangers were folded into the NCR's military chain of command, operating under army officers in any major engagements or ongoing operations of strategic locations like Mojave Outpost or Camp McCarran. However, Rangers are given leeway in terms of carrying out their duties, blurring the line between an independent agency and army special forces.[Non-game 1]
The Rangers are not numerous. In the Mojave Wasteland, the total number of Rangers across the region initially does not exceed a couple dozen, concentrated in Ranger stations. The troop surge in preparation for the Second Battle of Hoover Dam increases their numbers substantially.
They are organized into Ranger battalions, which are in turn divided into companies and those into platoons and then squads. There are at least four Ranger battalions in existence, and their companies can be named after animals (eg. Cazador company.) One of the most elite Ranger squads is the Alpha Squad. A NCR Ranger hit squad also exists in the Mojave in 2281, ready to "do terrible things to terrible people" if ordered by NCR leadership.
Rangers frequently serve a lifetime, until they are incapacitated, killed or retire. Veterans who served 20 years do not receive medals or watches, but rather the traditional Ranger Sequoia, a ceremonial (but still very functional) hunting revolver. Like troopers of the army, Rangers receive compensation for their work in the field. Payment is also incentive-based, and the discovery of important intel can lead to a salary raise.
Unlike the NCR Army, the NCR Rangers are an all-volunteer force and make no use of conscription. Instead, the Rangers proactively recruit members, most commonly from among the soldiers of New California Republic Army who demonstrated excellence at fighting and/or scouting, though prospective Rangers are free to refuse the offer. As long as the candidate demonstrates the requisite skills, anyone can join: the Rangers accept humans, ghouls and super mutants all on an equal basis.[Non-game 2]
All candidates are expected to undergo rigorous training, with roughly 8 out of 10 dropping out due to the extreme standards. Those who finish and are awarded the badge, have proven that they are "quieter than a shadow and more ferocious than even a deathclaw."
Before the Rangers were formalized as an agency of the republic, the Ranger chiefs had much greater flexibility in nominating Rangers. Those who aided the Rangers' cause in substantial ways were fast-tracked to full Ranger status, complete with their distinctive pin.
The Rangers are a close-knit outfit, with a great deal of emphasis placed on respecting the wisdom of their veterans and elders. The greatest of these in 2281 is Chief Hanlon, who is the object of near-reverence by his fellow Rangers. The Rangers do not generally use the NCR Army's standard military rank structure. Their known ranks are:
- Veteran Ranger
- Chief (only the top Ranger holds this rank)
As the elite military force of the republic, the NCR Rangers have access to the best equipment the New California Republic can offer, although that doesn't include power armor, energy weapons, or force fields. Under Chief Elise in 2241, a Ranger's default combat outfit was the second generation reinforced combat armor with a variety of advanced weapons at their disposal, including fully automatic combat shotguns, flamers and miniguns. Everything was kept at a high level of maintenance. The Ranger Unification Treaty in 2271 brought changes, as the Desert Rangers merged into the Republic Rangers, bringing with them their traditional brown dusters.
By 2281, the Rangers have firmly established themselves as the elite military branch of the republic. As such, they have access to the finest armor and weapons the republic can muster. Their regular Ranger patrol armor is hand-made in the NCR and offers good, balanced protection in combat and from the hardships of the desert, while the elite black armor uses advanced pre-War LAPD riot armor combined with the traditional Desert Ranger duster, a symbol of their skills and bravery. Ranger combat helmets are also old pre-War military gear that has built in low-light optics, allowing for more advance night scouting and sharpshooting to assist regular army troops. Ranger armories are also significantly better than that of regular troops and include anti-materiel rifles, brush guns, various automatic weapons and more.
Various unnamed NCR Rangers make up patrols that circulate both around NCR itself and along major slave trafficking routes. They wear combat armor and carry several high end weapons like miniguns, assault rifles (ex. H&K CAWS) and sniper rifles. Around the NCR Capital, they can be found fighting random hostiles like super mutants and raiders, whereas on the slave routes they can be found killing slavers.
Relations with the outside
The Rangers, especially the Veteran Rangers, have a fearsome reputation with friend and foe alike. In the Mojave, posters can be seen of them and some NCR troopers believe they "chew nails and spit napalm." Even men of Caesar's Legion speak of the Rangers with respect, calling them "the best the profligates have to offer."
Interactions with the player character
Their headquarters appear in the New California Republic capital. Unless the player joined the Slavers Guild, Chief Elise will offer an assignment to free the slaves in the slave pen, for the Rangers, which also includes taking out Vortis, the local slave driver. Doing so will make the Chosen One a Ranger, together with their Ranger pin, which can be shown to the Sheriff at Redding for an unique interaction. Other than that, the Rangers have no bearing on the story.
Fallout: New Vegas
The Courier can encounter Rangers throughout the Mojave, in various outposts and camps. They can choose to help them in various quests, such as updating their radio security codes or rescuing a member from Vault 3. If the Courier chooses to aid the NCR, a squad of Veteran Rangers will aid in the Second Battle of Hoover Dam.
The Courier can call a Ranger in as backup through the NCR emergency radio, as long as the player character has a good reputation with the NCR. Alternatively, if they have a negative reputation with the NCR, they may send a squad of Rangers to kill the Courier.
Choices made in Fallout: New Vegas will change the fate of the Rangers. The ending can range from Chief Hanlon and those few Rangers accompanying him being slain to the very last man and revered for their sacrifice, to them either being victorious and hailed as heroes or reviled and permanently disgraced should Chief Hanlon's plot against the occupation be exposed.
Fiends are afraid of the Rangers, making comments about running away from them and their black armor.
Behind the scenes
- Fallout Bible 6 New California Republic: "[...] The NCR military is composed of several Divisions, including special cavalry and mechanized units. One of their "Special Forces" units consists of the Rangers, a select group that is pledged to protect the people of the Wastes much like the Texas Rangers of old. The Rangers are said to have numerous safehouses throughout the wastes, and they use these to strike at slavers outside of NCR territory (usually in the North). As expected, the two groups hate each other with a passion. NCR was also in the habit of establishing marshals in the major population centers in their territories, responsible for enforcing the laws of NCR throughout the Republic. Ghouls, super mutants, and humans were all known to serve in the NCR armed forces, even in the rangers.
- Fallout Bible 6: "5. So if supermutants can now reproduce..."
"They can't. Marcus was joking in New Reno. Super mutants are sterile. Blame me for another episode of bad humor, oh cruel reader."
"...Goris and Xarn can perpetuate the intelligent deathclaw race, and new ghouls are being made from over-radiated people dying..."
"Goris and Xarn did not perpetuate the race – they are the last of their kind. See below."
"...that would mean Humans, Supermutants, Ghouls, and Intelligent Deathclaws would be major races in New California right?"
"Not as of the end of Fallout 2, no. The predominant and most accepted race in NCR is human (and probably will be for generations). While super mutants and ghouls are tolerated (although some gain true acceptance, especially in the military and in the NCR Rangers), deathclaws of any intelligence would not be, assuming any significant number survived the Enclave's massacre at Vault 13, which they didn't."