At the outbreak of the Korean War, a unique Ranger unit was formed. Led by Second Lieutenant Ralph Puckett, the Eighth Army Ranger Company was created in August 1950. It served as the role model for the rest of the soon to be formed Ranger units. Instead of being organized into self-contained battalions, the Ranger units of the Korean and Vietnam eras were organized into companies and then attached to larger units, to serve as organic special operations units. In total, sixteen additional Ranger companies were formed in the next seven months: Eighth Army Raider Company and First through Fifteenth Ranger Company. The Army Chief of Staff assigned the Ranger training program at Fort Benning to Colonel John Gibson Van Houten. The program eventually split to include a training program located in Korea. 3rd Ranger Company and the 7th Ranger Company were tasked to train new Rangers
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On September 15, 1951, President Syngman Rhee referred to and authorized the commander-chief of the United Nations Command to confer the award of the "Korean War Medal" and "Korean War Ribbon" ("Korean War Service Medal"), "to the brave and valiant members of the United Nations Command who have been, and are now, combating the communist aggressor in Korea.