The Rough Rhinos were an elite group of Fire Nationkomodo rhino cavalry. They did not answer to the military, instead working on a freelance basis, claiming their loyalty to the Fire Lord. There were five members of the group, each of whom specialized in a different type of weapon or fighting style, though their preferred weapons were not well adapted for close-combat.
Around 91 ASC, the Rough Rhinos attacked the village where Jet was living and killed his parents, which ignited Jet's lifelong hatred of the Fire Nation.
Later that year, the Rough Rhinos encountered Team Avatar once more, ambushing them in a forest near Chin Village, but the three friends managed to escape on Appa. The Rough Rhinos later invaded Chin Village during Aang's trial for the murder of the village's great leader, Chin the Great. They claimed it in the name of the Fire Lord and commenced their destruction of the village before eventually being defeated. They never encountered Team Avatar again.
Sometime later, the team of soldiers surrounded Iroh and Zuko while the two fugitives of the Fire Nation were traveling through the Earth Kingdom, near the great Si Wong Desert. After a brief battle, the warriors were bested by the two firebenders, who were able to escape in the chaos ensuing an explosion.
The Rough Rhinos' leader, Colonel Mongke, was a talented firebender, although Zuko managed to overpower him without significant effort. He was the only firebender in the group and once served under Iroh in the Fire Nation military.Ogodei and Kahchi preferred melee weaponry: Ogodei carried chains or "bolas" and Kahchi a Guan Dao. Yeh-Lu specialized in explosives and wore armor that masked his face, never exposing it in any known encounters. Vachir wielded a bow and frequently used flaming arrows, making him the third member to fight with fire. He was originally a member of the renowned Yuyan Archers, as indicated by his facial tattoos.
All of the riders' names resemble various Mongolians associated with Genghis Khan, and other nomadic warriors.
Their name bears strong resemblance to the Rough Riders, an American cavalry unit once led by Colonel, and eventual United States President, Theodore Roosevelt.
In the Rough Rhinos' first encounter with Team Avatar, Yeh-Lu was inexplicably absent.
Despite their fierce reputation, they were also a "very capable singing group", according to Iroh.
Each rider seemed to be related to a different part of the Fire Nation military; Mongke was a firebender, Ogodei was an engineer, Yeh-Lu was a bombardier, Kahchi was a regular infantry soldier, and Vachir was a Yuyan Archer.
Although a supposedly fearsome and successful organization, they were fairly unsuccessful during their appearances in the series.