Does protecting national security interest you? Do you want to be a member of one of the most elite groups of soldiers in the world? Do you want to be in the 75th Ranger Regiment? If your answers are yes, this article covering how to get into Ranger School is very relevant for you.
The US Army Rangers are one of the most skilled special forces in the world. They go through a strict selection process and are specially trained to conduct joint special operations in the US Army Ranger School. They are taught many hard skills, including infiltration, surveillance, forcible entry, air assault operations, and unit tactics. Continue reading to learn how to get accepted into Ranger School.
How Difficult Is It to Get Into Ranger School?
Ranger School is highly competitive, with each class taking on only 165 aspiring rangers every year. Of these, only a third who have undergone the 61-day rigorous training graduate. Furthermore, the school is only open to army volunteers, including enlisted soldiers and officers in leadership positions. Proper preparation is essential for the entrance exam.
Common Ranger School Requirements
- US Citizenship. The first requirement is to have US citizenship. While anyone can join the US Army, the 75th Ranger Regiment and Ranger School only accepts American citizens.
- Enlist in the Army. To become a ranger, you must first join the US Army and start your military career. Civilians without any basic training in the army are not eligible to apply for a position in these special forces.
- Educational Requirement. Any US citizen between 17 and 35 with a high school diploma can enlist in the army and then apply to Ranger School. That said, completing your undergraduate degree always complements your candidacy.
- General Technical Score. According to the US Army, soldiers wanting to join the Ranger course must have a general technical score of 105 or higher.
- Physical Requirements. After applying, you need to pass the Ranger Fitness Test which includes 58 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run, and six pull-ups. All of these must be completed within a time limit.
- Good Character. If you are applying to Ranger School, make sure you don’t have any pending Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) actions. You also must not have been involved in any drug or alcohol-related cases in the last 24 months. A peer evaluation done by your squad leader can be helpful.
How to Get Accepted Into Ranger School: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you want to become a ranger in the US Army’s special forces, you need to plan beyond passing basic training to improve your chances. Being an army ranger isn’t easy. The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade holds strict transformational training to help soldiers become highly skilled rangers, parachutists, jumpmasters, and reconnaissance leaders in the US army.
Before getting started, you should learn more about these special forces and know how you can improve your chances of getting selected by improving your basic skills. Your continued development and the practical application of your skills and knowledge are key to succeeding in ranger training.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a ranger is earning a bachelor’s degree. Aspiring soldiers don’t necessarily need to have an undergraduate degree while enlisting in the US army. However, soldiers need college degrees by the time they become officers. If you intend to join the army as an officer, you’ll need a four-year college degree.
A degree in criminal justice, strategic intelligence, political science, or psychology can help you sharpen your skills and eventually move further up the ladder. While aspiring soldiers attend college, they can also learn the basic fundamentals of being a soldier. This can include learning how to swim, improving their math skills, and building leadership skills.
Step 2: Enlist in the US Army
After graduation, you’ll need to enlist in the US army. The Ranger School is the US Army’s premier leadership institution and is also a part of the Airborne Training Brigade (ARTB). That’s why only army volunteers, including soldiers or officers, are eligible to apply for Ranger School. That said, Army National Guard soldiers aren’t eligible to apply for Ranger School.
You can contact a military entrance processing station (MEPS) near you to join the army. After that, you will have to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test as well as a physical test. You will then have a one-on-one meeting with a career counselor. You will have to take the oath of enlistment if you are selected.
Step 3: Attend Advanced Individual Training School
Passing boot camp and basic combat training aren’t enough to get accepted into Ranger School. Once enlisted, you should attend an advanced individual training school (AITS) to learn specific skills you’ll need, including learning how to carry out combat patrol missions, advanced combat arms functional skills, or mobility training. Although this is not a necessary step, it can increase your chances of getting accepted into Ranger School.
Step 4: Pass the Entrance Examination
A soldier needs to pass physical requirements to join Ranger School. This includes a ranger fitness test where soldiers need to do 58 push-ups and 59 sit-ups, both in under two minutes. They also need to run five miles in less than 40 minutes and do six pull-ups. Other assessments include a Combat Water Survival Assessment (CWSA) and a 12-mile foot march carrying a 35-pound rucksack and a weapon in less than three hours.
Step 5: Complete the Benning Phase
Once you are finally in Ranger School, you will need to pass all three phases to successfully become a ranger. The first phase is the Benning Phase, which will test physical stamina, mental toughness, and tactical fundamentals needed for the follow-on phases. In the Benning phase, the enrolled students have to go through the Ranger Assessment Phase, also known as RAP week, and the Patrolling Phase, commonly referred to as the Darby Phase.
The US Army conducts this phase at Camp Rogers on Fort Benning. During their time at Camp Rogers, students first go through Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA). They then perform the Combat Water Survival Assessment at Victory Pond, followed by a night and day land navigation test. Last is the Malvesti Confidence Course which includes the worm pit.
During the Darby phase, students receive fast-paced instruction on troop leading procedures, demolitions, fieldcraft, the principles of patrolling, demolitions, and basic battle drills. Finally, students must succeed in the Darby Queen Obstacle Course, which stretches over a mile of hilly terrain.
Step 6: Complete the Mountain Phase
The second phase, also known as the mountain phase, is conducted at Camp Frank D. Merrill, which is home to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion. The mountain phase is set in rugged terrain in a mountainous environment. Students have to survive severe weather and hunger, as well as mental and physical fatigue.
At Camp Merrill, soldiers learn military mountaineering skills and undergo mobility training. They also learn techniques for employing a platoon for continuous combat patrol operations in mountainous terrain.
Step 7: Pass the Swamp Phase
Lastly, students learn leadership and small unit tactics in the Swamp Phase or Florida Phase. The Swamp Phase is the most difficult in the entire course. The 6th Ranger Training Battalion conducts the swamp phase at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Students have to perform patrolling in a highly stressful challenging field exercise. They are also assessed on how they use techniques to execute raids and ambushes. Furthermore, they learn about urban assaults to complete the Swamp Phase.
Step 8: Apply for the 75th Ranger Regiment
Just because you lasted until the end of Ranger School doesn’t mean you will certainly join the 75th Ranger Regiment. There are a limited number of spots available, meaning some soldiers may have to return to their unit. To join the 75th Ranger Regiment, you must have a Military Occupational Speciality (MOS).
How to Choose the Right Ranger School
Unlike other fields, the US army has only one Ranger School in the country. To become a ranger, you’ll have to get into the Ranger School and pass the RASP 1 or RASP 2. If you’re in the top 33 percent, you’ll get to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, become Ranger qualified, and carry out special operations as a member of these special forces.
Top Tips for Getting Into Ranger School
- Be Mentally Fit. You need to develop good mental strength to survive the various rigorous assessment tests necessary to join the ranger regiment.
- Be Physically Fit. Rangers need to have a physically fit body to become a part of the army’s special forces. Developing a fitness routine with the physical requirements in mind can help you pass the fitness test.
- Improve Your Psychological Skills. Being able to persevere and work on your psychological skills using mental rehearsal, self-talk, and goal-setting will help you endure the field training exercises required by the Ranger Training Brigade.
- Work On Your Leadership Qualities. Having a strong intellect, being professionally competent, and having a good character can increase your chances of getting accepted.
- Work On Your Endurance. You need to have a never-give-up attitude if you plan to attend Ranger School. It is the army’s toughest school, which can cause immense physical stress and emotional stress.
Will I Get Accepted Into Ranger School?
Not necessarily. Ranger School is a highly selective leadership school with a rigorous entrance process. More than half of the applicants fail to get admission into Ranger School. Even if you get selected, it doesn’t mean you are likely to become a ranger. In the past decade, less than half of the students who have gone to Ranger School have graduated.
To become a ranger, you’ll need to pass all three phases of Ranger School. That being said, the proper preparation can help you tremendously for the Ranger Assessment Selection Program (RASP). If you succeed in the RASP, you may be able to join the 75th Ranger Regiment. Alternatively, soldiers enlisted in the army can also explore cyber security bootcamps to complement their careers.
Is Getting Into Ranger School Worth It?
Yes, Ranger School is the only military school under the US Army that teaches soldiers the highest level of combat skills. Although it can be challenging, rangers are highly-skilled soldiers who earn a decent salary. Rangers in the US make between $39,959 and $51,375 per year, according to Glassdoor.
They also enjoy many other benefits, including 30-days of leave, every year. Furthermore, in the United States Army, the Special Operations forces have been witnessing unprecedented growth and increased employment.
How to Get Into Ranger School FAQ
Yes, the United States Army Ranger School is one of the most challenging military programs globally. More than half the applicants of Ranger School fail during the Ranger Assessment Phase.
Yes, any US citizen between the age of 17 and 35 can apply to Ranger School. Aspiring rangers must note that they need to get an undergraduate degree, enlist in the army, and pass an entrance test to join Ranger School.
Army rangers in the US can earn between $39,959 and $51,375 per year, according to Glassdoor. Rangers are entitled to many benefits such as 30-days of leave, per year. They are also allowed to attend civilian schools and military schools to sharpen their skills.
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It takes 61 days for an army officer on active duty to become a ranger. The ranger course is divided into three phases, the Benning Phase, the Mountain Phase, and the Swamp Phase. Soldiers must pass all three phases to become a ranger in the US army.
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