Ranger Special Force

Quick History

In 1875 to 1876 the Rangers were having some troubles with Mexican cattle rustling in the Nueces Strip and in South Texas in general. The Rangers appointed Leander H. McNelly to a “Special Force” to take care of the problem. He did. Like him or hate him, his brutal methods recovered the cattle and tamed the region. McNelly’s Rangers even invaded Mexico at one point.

It is from McNelly’s “Special Force” that this entry gains its name.

Unit History

The Special Force obviously draws its earliest history from McNelly’s Rangers. However the modern incarnation has a markedly different “feel” though its core mission remains the name.

Through the history of Texas since the 1870s, the “Special Force” has been reconstituted secretly for various reasons whenever there was need. They generally existed only a few months or years, and always in response to a specific case or issue.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was a rash of “weird” events throughout the state. It reached national prominence with the 1989 episode of the TV series “Unsolved Mysteries” which focused on the rather benign “Marfa Lights” phenomena. In October of 1991, the newly elected Governor of Texas Ann Richards reconstituted the Texas Rangers “Special Force” to deal with these things. Since the “Weirdness” continues… so does this current incarnation of the Special Force.


Just like its original orders, the first standing order of the Special Force is as follows:
“To protect the frontier from the depredations of factions both inside and outside of the state”

  • Realities and Interpretations
    • “outside of the state”
      • Due to the strong Federal system, “outside of the state” is no longer a literal ability of the Rangers to pursue. The US Marshal service and FBI handle those jurisdictions.
      • However the Special Force has interpreted “outside of the state” to specifically mean creatures from the Nevernever or who draw their powers from supernatural sources.
    • “depredations of factions”
      • This is pretty much taken literally. Many of the supernatural powers out there literally feed on mortals… the Rangers are here to protect the citizens of Texas. Period.
    • “the frontier”
      • This has been interpreted to mean the wild borderlands in between the “known mortal world” and the “unknown supernatural world.” The Special Force “rides” this frontier and takes care of things.

The second standing order is a modern one
“Come up with an explanation that is politically palatable to The Establishment and Citizenry of Texas”

  • Realities and Interpretations
    • “politically palatable”
      • People don’t want to hear about vampires, werewolves, witches, wizards, demons, or all the other things that go bump in the night.
      • The Ranger Special Force doctors evidence and steers investigations away from supernatural explanations and towards more scientifically plausible ones (or fabricates “conspiracies” to move the information to the realm of internet myth rather than potential fact).
      • The Ranger Special Force also is more concerned with results than trials. Most of the predators from the supernatural world would never be able to be brought to trial… but justice must be served for their victims. Like McNelly’s Rangers back in the 1870s, the modern “Special Force” is given broad discretionary powers to deal with these situations… lethally.
    • “The Establishment”
      • The press and politicians
      • Officially the Special Force is nothing more than a group of Rangers dedicated to closing cold cases and investigating internal affairs within the DPS – pretty boring stuff and/or politically useful in the grand scheme of things. Usually this stuff is very easy to justify in the yearly budgets to bean counters and politicians.

Organization & Operations

The Special Force consists of a Captain in Austin with Ranger Company H (Headquarters Company), one Ranger in each of the other six Ranger Companies, and one Ranger assigned to the Governor’s security detail, for a grand total of eight members.

“Regular” Rangers consider the team to be something of boogeymen. All Texas Rangers are responsible for investigating misconduct amongst other Department of Public Safety personnel… sort of like DPS “internal affairs.” Well the “Special Force” is the group that watches the watchers.

When Governor Ann Richards constituted this Special Force, they were given this power in perpetuity independent of the Ranger Division Director. Because of this, they generally operate apart from the other Rangers and in isolation. Most Rangers and DPS personnel don’t want anything to do with the Special Force, their “cold cases,” and/or their special investigations.

Recent events have infused the department with new funds and the support of another Texas Governor (Rick Perry) and the Special Force is aggressively moving against Red Court interests in the State of Texas.

Example Case: Operation Chupacabra

Reality: The Black Court of Vampires have beasts known as “Darkhounds” which are supernaturally augmented canine servitors and protectors. The Red Court has been experimenting with various sorcerous options to create their own “darkhounds.” Not all of these experiments were successful and sometimes the beasts “get loose” and cause damage that cannot always be easily concealed. This is the REAL origin story of the Chupacabra legends.

Ranger Operation: Starting in 2003, the Rangers established a secure/secret canine kennel to breed coyote/dog hybrids and infect them with severe sarcoptes scabiei mange. The most horribly infected/deformed were then released to various locations throughout the state where they knew they stood a high likelihood to be trapped and/or shot. Not all of them were, but some of the released animals in 2004 (San Antonio), 2007 (Cuero), 2008 (Cuero again), 2009 (Blanco) were indeed shot and brought to the attention of the local press/media.

2010 – Endgame: By 2010, the operation had more or less been shut down as a success (the “mange” explanation had already become somewhat semi-accepted in the scientific community and the internet). However, it blew open again in April of 2010 when The Red Court unleashed one of their experimental “Redhounds” to attack Governor Rick Perry as he was jogging. Unexpectedly… the Governor shot and killed the Redhound which somewhat stunned the nation as well as the Red Court.

The press and national media were eating up the shooting. The Special Force had to move fast to get in front of the matter. To mitigate possible fallout the Governor was secretly brought up to speed about the “real mission” of the Special Force. One of the Governor’s security detail (a Special Force Ranger) had loaded the Governor’s personal 380 concealed weapon with blessed ammunition (the Rangers had heard rumors the Red Court intended to move against his potential presidential bid). The rabid coyote story was released to the press and media, and the Rangers moved to decisively deal with the Redhound issue.

In July, the last of the canine farm animals was released in close proximity to each other and working through an animal control agent, they were shot/killed and this time the body was taken to Texas A&M for investigation and research. Then, the Rangers simply allowed the academic and scientific communities do what they do best… explain away a mystery with a semi-plausible scientific reason.

2011 – Success: In 2011 a Redhound was uncovered in Lake Jackson, Texas and without any interference from the Special Force it was dismissed as a coyote with severe sarcoptic mange.

Ranger Special Force

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