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How to Become an Army Ranger

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Army Rangers are elite soldiers who have volunteered for the United States military three times: once for the U.S. Army, then to become Airborne qualified and finally for the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Army's premier direct-action raid force. At each level for which you have volunteered, you must maintain rigorous physical and mental standards to earn the distinction of Army Ranger.

Qualifying as a Ranger

You must be an energetic, motivated and physically capable male citizen at least 18 years of age to volunteer to become an Army Ranger. You will be expected to surpass 80 percent on each event in the Army’s physical training. However, you have to be more than physically strong and able. A typical Ranger is an intelligent, disciplined and courageous leader who never surrenders in the face of adversity. You must score 105 or more on the Army’s Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. This score will also determine which military occupation skill (MOS) you qualify for. You must also pass a background check to meet minimum security clearance as an Army Ranger.

How to Start

Begin by talking to your Army recruiter about your intentions to volunteer for Airborne School and the 75th Ranger Regiment. Get a contract with a guaranteed slot for the 75th Ranger Regiment. You can email a recruiter directly at: 75recruit@soc.mil. After meeting the initial qualifications, the next step is to pass Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, which is typically a 10-week course held at Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduation, you must qualify to continue on to Airborne training. This three-week course qualifies a soldier to use a combat-deployed parachute. A Ranger enlists for four years active duty with an additional four years as part of the Army Reserve. He can re-enlist for the 75th Regiment as long as he qualifies for any open slots.

Succeeding at RASP

The next step is the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP). Training includes physical fitness, marksmanship, small unit tactics, medical proficiency and mobility in both indoor and outdoor classroom settings. RASP is intense in order to prepare soldiers for the kinds of operations that their unit conducts and candidates are continually screened throughout its duration. If you succeed through RASP, you will be assigned to one of the 75th Ranger battalions. Over the next year, you will prove to your chain of command that you are ready for pre-Ranger and then Ranger School in order to earn your Ranger tab.

Pursuing Additional Opportunities

Upon completion of Ranger School, which typically lasts 61 days, you will have the opportunity to pursue additional training. Other military schools may have open slots for specialized training, such as Jumpmaster, Sniper, Scuba and High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachuting. If time permits, you may also earn a second MOS, including such fields as languages, medical or mechanical. Successful completion of a Ranger battalion tour is a strong background for a Ranger to join Special Forces, Delta and other Special Operations units, if that is a career interest. Regardless, once you have become an Army Ranger, you will have achieved a can-do attitude that will motivate you to continue learning and leading in both military and civilian life.

References

About the Author

Charli Mills has covered the natural food industry since 2001 as a marketing communications manager for a highly successful retail cooperative. She built teams, brands and strategies. She is a writer and editor of "This is Living Naturally," a consultant for Carrot Ranch Communications and a Master Cooperative Communicator.

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