Ranger School FAQ

Ranger School is known for being one of the most physically demanding military training courses in the world. It is a rigorous, mentally and physically challenging program that assesses and develops leadership, physical fitness, and combat skills. The U.S. Army Ranger School is open to male and female soldiers who meet the prerequisites and are selected to attend.

Throughout all phases, Ranger School subjects candidates to limited food and sleep, constant physical exertion, and a series of mentally and physically demanding tasks, such as ruck marches, obstacle courses, and extended field training exercises.

Candidates are expected to operate on minimal sleep, navigate challenging terrains, carry heavy loads (rucksacks), and function effectively as part of a team. The course is designed to push individuals to their physical and mental limits to assess their ability to lead under stress and in adverse conditions.

It's important to note that the attrition rate in Ranger School is high, and only a portion of those who begin the course successfully graduate. It requires mental resilience, physical stamina, and unwavering determination to complete the training successfully.

Although repetitious, this blog covers some FAQs for Army Ranger School.

What is Ranger School?

The U.S. Army Ranger School is a physically and mentally demanding leadership course that trains soldiers to become elite members of the U.S. Army's Ranger Regiment. Established in 1950, Ranger School is one of the most challenging military schools in the world and is renowned for producing highly skilled and capable leaders.

The primary goal of Ranger School is to develop leaders who can operate effectively in small unit tactics, combat scenarios, and adverse conditions. It focuses on instilling the principles of leadership, teamwork, and individual resilience, preparing soldiers to handle complex and high-stress situations.

Darby Phase - The Darby Phase of Ranger School is designed to assess a Soldier's physical stamina and mental toughness, as well as establish the tactical fundamentals required for the follow-on phases of Ranger School. During this 21-day phase, Ranger Instructors (RIs) coach, teach, and mentor each student to sustain themselves, sustain their subordinates, maintain mission essential equipment, and accomplish the mission under difficult field training conditions. Although each soldier that volunteers for Ranger training arrives in top physical condition, usually less than 50% of Ranger students will complete this first phase.

The Darby Phase is conducted in two parts: the Ranger Assessment Phase commonly referred to as "RAP week" and the Patrolling Phase commonly referred to as "Darby Phase." Conducted at Camp Rogers on Fort Moore, RAP week begins with the Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA) which requires students to complete 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run in 40:00 minutes, and six chin-ups (although this RPA is subject to change in the current months). Following the RPA, students conduct the Combat Water Survival Assessment at Victory Pond. Day two begins at 0330 hours with the night and day land navigation test, which is followed by testing on common Soldier skills such as weapons and communication equipment (RTTs). Day two finishes with the Malvesti Confidence Course, which contains the infamous "worm pit." Day three includes the land navigation retest for all of those who did not pass the initial test. The fourth and final day completes RAP week with a 12-mile foot march where each student carries an average load of 47 pounds.

After RAP week, less than half the class will likely continue to the Darby phase. This phase begins with fast-paced instruction on troop leading procedures, the principles of patrolling, demolitions, field craft, and basic battle drills such as squad ambush and react to contact. On day six, students who are airborne qualified will participate in a parachute jump onto Fryar Drop Zone. Upon completion of the parachute operation, all students move by bus to Camp Darby on the eastern edge of Fort Moore. Before students begin practical application on the instruction received, they negotiate the Darby Queen Obstacle course, which consists of 20 obstacles stretched over one mile of hilly terrain. Students then conduct two days of cadre-led, non-graded squad-level patrols (these patrols are either cadre-led, or student-led with heavy participation of the RI for guidance, mentorship, and coaching). After the non-graded patrols, students conduct three days of graded patrols, one day of cadre-assisted retraining (also called a re-fit day), followed by three more days of graded patrols.

To move forward to the Mountain Phase of Ranger School, each student must demonstrate the ability to plan, prepare for, resource, and execute a combat patrol as a squad leader or team leader. Students must also receive positive peer evaluations and not accrue more than three negative spot reports. Those that are successful receive an eight-hour pass to refit their gear and then move to the mountains of North Georgia.

Mountain Phase - During the Mountain Phase at Camp Frank D. Merrill near Dahlonega, GA, students receive instruction on military mountaineering tasks, mobility training, as well as techniques for employing a platoon for continuous combat patrol operations in a mountainous environment. They further develop their ability to command and control platoon-size patrols through planning, preparing, and executing a variety of combat patrol missions while sustaining themselves and their subordinates. The rugged terrain, severe weather, hunger, mental and physical fatigue, and the emotional stress that students encounter afford them the opportunity to gauge their capabilities and limitations as well as those of their "Ranger Buddies."

Ranger students receive four days of training on military mountaineering. During the first two days at the Lower Mountaineering Area on Camp Merrill, students learn about knots, belays, anchor points, rope management, and the basic fundamentals of climbing and rappelling. Mountaineering training culminates with a two-day exercise at Yonah Mountain applying the skills learned during Lower Mountaineering. Students conduct one day of climbing and rappelling over exposed high angle terrain which concludes with a 200-foot night rappel utilizing night vision. The second day, squads perform mobility training to move personnel, equipment, and simulated casualties through severely restrictive terrain using fixed ropes and hauling systems.

Following mountaineering, students conduct four days of combat techniques training during which they receive classes and perform practical exercises on movement to contact, patrol bases, troop leading procedures, operations orders (OPORDs), ambush missions, and raid missions. Students then perform ten days of combat patrols directed against a determined and well-equipped hybrid threat-based opposing force. These patrol missions are conducted during both the day and night and include Air Assault Operations as well as extensive cross-country movements through mountainous terrain. Platoon missions include movements to contact, vehicle and personnel ambushes, and raids on communication and mortar sites. Students also conduct river crossings and scale steeply sloped mountains. The stamina and commitment of the Ranger student is stressed to the maximum because within these conditions, at any time, the student may be selected to lead tired and hungry students to accomplish yet another patrol.

At the conclusion of the Mountain Phase, if students successfully demonstrate their ability to lead a patrol, receive positive peer evaluations, and not accumulate more than three negative spot reports, students move by bus or parachute assault into the third and final phase of Ranger training in the coastal swamps of the Florida panhandle.

Swamp Phase - Camp Rudder, located on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, serves as the home of the third and final phase of Ranger School, which focuses on the continued development of the students' leadership and small unit tactics. Upon arrival, students receive instruction on waterborne operations, small boat movements, and stream crossings. Extended platoon level operations executed in the coastal swamp environment test students' ability to operate effectively under conditions of extreme mental and physical stress. This training further develops the students' ability to plan and lead small units during independent and coordinated airborne, air assault, small boat, and dismounted patrol operations in a combat environment against a determined and well-equipped hybrid threat-based opposing force.

Swamp Phase continues small unit tactical training through a progressive, realistic, contemporary operating environment. Students conduct ten days of patrolling during a fast paced, highly stressful, challenging field exercise in which students are evaluated on their ability to apply small unit tactics and techniques during the execution of raids, ambushes, movements to contact, and urban assaults to accomplish their assigned missions.

If a student successfully leads a patrol in Florida, is evaluated positively by their peers, and does not accumulate too many negative spot reports, they student moves back to Fort Moore to prepare for graduation.

What is the history of Army Ranger School?

The Ranger Course was conceived during the Korean War and was known as the Ranger Training Command. On 10 October 1951, the Ranger Training Command was inactivated and became the Ranger Department, a branch of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Its purpose was, and still is, to develop combat skills of selected officers and enlisted men by requiring them to perform effectively as small unit leaders in a realistic tactical environment, under mental and physical stress approaching that found in actual combat. Emphasis is placed on the development of individual combat skills and abilities through the application of the principles of leadership while further developing military skills in the planning and conduct of dismounted infantry, airborne, airmobile, and amphibious independent squad and platoon-size operations. Graduates return to their units to pass on these skills.

From 1954 to the early 1970's, the Army's goal, though seldom achieved, was to have one Ranger qualified NCO per infantry platoon and one officer per company. In an effort to better achieve this goal, in 1954 the Army required all combat arms officers to become Ranger / Airborne qualified.

On 2 December 1987, on York Field, Fort Benning, Georgia, the Ranger Department, in accordance with permanent orders number 214-26, became the Ranger Training Brigade with an effective date of 1 November 1987.

The Ranger course has changed little since its inception. Until recently, it was an eight-week course divided into three phases. The course is now 61 days in duration and divided into three phases.

Ranger School falls under ARTB – Airborne Ranger Training Brigade. Additionally, there is 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment (Airborne) leads the Basic Airborne Course as well as Jumpmaster and Pathfinder.  

The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade added two companies of UH-60 helicopters, under the command of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, to provide air lift and medical evacuation support to Ranger and Airborne training, as well as to all of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. The brigade also added the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course, increasing the brigade’s responsibility to five programs of instruction. The addition of the Ranger Flight Company in 2014, the Air Ambulance Detachment in 2016, and the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course (RSLC) in 2019 constitutes the brigade as it is today. Historically, RSLC fell under ARTB (or the various names it was previously known as). However, RSLC briefly was moved under the control of the Armor School before moving back to ARTB. RSLC has occasionally been referred to as the 4th phase of Ranger School.

How long does Ranger School last?

The course is approximately 61 days long and is divided into three distinct phases:

  1. The Benning Phase (also known as the Ranger Assessment Phase): This phase lasts for about 21 days and focuses on physical fitness, land navigation, small unit tactics, and combat water survival. It serves as an assessment period to determine if candidates possess the necessary physical and mental attributes to continue the course.
  2. The Mountain Phase: This phase takes place in the mountains of northern Georgia and lasts around 20 days. It focuses on military mountaineering, patrolling in mountainous terrain, and additional small unit tactics training.
  3. The Swamp Phase (also known as the Florida Phase): This phase takes place in the swamps of Florida and lasts for about 20 days. It emphasizes patrolling and small unit tactics in a jungle-like environment.

The course can last longer when students recycle a phase.  A recycle technically means a student failed to pass the standards of that phase. It is very common and gives students a chance to take a short mental/physical break (between 3-14 days), receive retraining, and retest on the phase more prepared.

How do I pass peer evaluations at Ranger School?

Your peers at Ranger School will evaluate you. You can receive high peers by being a good teammate. You help your friends when they are down, you offer to carry the heavy equipment, you volunteer for less-than-desirable tasks, and you act as a leader. Doing this becomes challenging given the difficult circumstances of the course but must be done. You do not have to be loved by all your peers, but you should create an overall sentiment that they like working with you and would do the same in the future. As long as you are reasonable and aim to be a good teammate, peers shouldn't be a problem for you. 

Where is Ranger School located?

Ranger School starts at Fort Benning (now known as Fort Moore). The Benning or Darby phase is located here, controlled by 4th Ranger Training Batallion. The second phase is known as Mountain Phase, and is in Dahlonega, Georgia at Camp Merrill – controlled by 5th Ranger Training Battalion. The final phase known as Swamp or Florida phase is located at Camp Rudder (within Eglin Air Force Base) and is controlled by 6th Ranger Training Battalion.

    Blue / Green Ranger School

    What are the different phases of Ranger School? 

    The course is approximately 61 days long and is divided into three distinct phases:

    1. The Benning Phase (also known as the Ranger Assessment Phase): This phase lasts for about 21 days and focuses on physical fitness, land navigation, small unit tactics, and combat water survival. It serves as an assessment period to determine if candidates possess the necessary physical and mental attributes to continue the course.
    2. The Mountain Phase: This phase takes place in the mountains of northern Georgia and lasts around 20 days. It focuses on military mountaineering, patrolling in mountainous terrain, and additional small unit tactics training.
    3. The Swamp Phase (also known as the Florida Phase): This phase takes place in the swamps of Florida and lasts for about 20 days. It emphasizes patrolling and small unit tactics in a jungle-like environment.

    What is desert phase of Ranger School?

    The Desert Phase was designed to instruct its students in Desert Warfare operations and basic survival in the deserts of the Middle East. One individual described it in the following way:

    “The phase commenced with an in-flight rigging and airborne assault—or an air assault landing by non-airborne personnel, onto an objective. Following the mission, the students moved into a cantonment area. Remaining in garrison for five days, they then received classes on desert-survival techniques to include water procurement and water preservation. Leadership responsibilities, standing operating procedures (SOPs), reconnaissance, and ambush techniques were also reviewed.

    Additional emphasis was placed on battle drills to include react to enemy contact, react to indirect fire, and react to near and far ambushes. Drills on how to breach barbed and concertina wire with wire cutters and assault ladders were taught as were techniques on how to clear a trench line and how to assault a fortified bunker.”

    Many with memories of this phase of Ranger School comment on the terrible landing zone within the desert at White Sands Missile Range. 

    The remainder of the phase comprised patrolling during field training exercises—"reconnaissance, raid, or ambush missions". "The phase culminated with an airborne assault—with non-Airborne trucked—by the entire class on a joint objective.”

    Ranger School's initial evaluation of a Desert Phase was a cadre-lead patrol at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico in early 1971 called Arid Fox I. In June 1971, the Ranger Training Brigade conducted Arid Fox II, the first student-led patrol. This was part of the brigade's continuing evaluation of the possibility of integrating a Desert Phase into the Ranger course. The first students to undergo the Desert Phase were selected from Ranger Class 13–71 (class 13 in 1971). When the bulk of the class went on to begin the Swamp phase, the airborne qualified members of Ranger Class 13–71 (Desert) donned MC1-1 parachutes, boarded a C-130 aircraft and parachuted into the White Sands Missile Range.

    Upon formal integration into the Ranger Course, the Desert Phase was initially run by the Ranger School's 4th (Desert Ranger) Training Company stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas from 1983 to 1987. When the Desert Phase was officially introduced, the length of Ranger School was lengthened to 65 days. At the outset, the Desert Phase was the last phase of the Ranger Course—following the Benning, Mountain and Swamp Phases, respectively.

    In 1987, the unit was expanded into the 7th Ranger Training Battalion and moved to Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.

    In October 1991, the course was increased to sixty-eight days and the sequence was changed to Fort Benning (Darby), Desert (Fort Bliss, Texas), Mountain, and Florida. In May 1995, the school underwent its most recent course change when the Desert phase was discontinued. The last Ranger School class to go through the Desert Phase was class 7–95.

    The U.S. Army has not given up on small-unit desert training. In 2015, the 1st Armored Division created the Desert Warrior Course that focuses on honing combat tracking, night land navigation, live-fire drills, and a myriad of other tasks.

    Where does Ranger School start?

    Ranger School starts at Fort Benning, now known as Fort Moore. The first portion of Ranger School, RAP, is conducted at Camp Rogers. Upon completion of RAP, students are moved to another portion of Fort Moore known as Camp Rogers.

    What is RAP Week?

    The Darby Phase is conducted in two parts: the Ranger Assessment Phase commonly referred to as "RAP week" and the Patrolling Phase commonly referred to as "Darby Phase." Conducted at Camp Rogers on Fort Moore, RAP week begins with the Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA) which requires students to complete 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run in 40:00 minutes, and six chin-ups (the RPA is subject to change in the coming months). Following the RPA, students conduct the Combat Water Survival Assessment (CWSA) at Victory Pond. Day two begins at 0330 hours with the night and day land navigation test, which is followed by testing on common Soldier skills such as weapons and communication equipment. Day two finishes with the Malvesti Confidence Course, which contains the infamous "worm pit." Day three includes the land navigation retest for all of those who did not pass the initial test. The fourth and final day completes RAP week with a 12-mile foot march where each student carries an average load of 47 pounds.

    After RAP week less than half the class will likely continue to the Darby phase. 

    How much do you sleep at Ranger School?

    Sleep is most limited during the evaluated patrols. In Darby phase, there are 2, 3 day FTX’s. During Mountain phase, 2, 5-day FTX’s. During Swamp phase, 1, 10 day FTX. During these patrols, you can expect to sleep between 0 minutes – 1.5 hours (as a broad estimation). For many, this lack of sleep becomes the most difficult obstacle. Nevertheless, you must perform your tasks to standard.

    During the time before and after patrolling operations, you can expect more sleep. This is estimated at 2-5 hours per night. This is essential time to recover and prepare for the rigors of the FTX’s.

    How much do you eat at Ranger School?

    Like sleep, food is most limited during the evaluated patrols. In Darby phase, there are 2, 3 day FTX’s. During Mountain phase, 2, 5-day FTX’s. During Swamp phase, 1, 10 day FTX. During these patrols, you can expect to eat 2 MRE’s per day. The first is typically eaten between 0900 – 1400, but varies. The second is typically eaten following completion of that day’s mission, between 2100 – 2300. For many, this lack of food becomes the most difficult obstacle. Nevertheless, you must perform your tasks to standard.

    Typically, food cannot be eaten outside of those periods. Occasionally, you can split those 2 MREs up throughout the day in Swamp phase.

    During the time before and after patrolling operations, you can expect more food. You will often eat breakfast and dinner in the DFAS, and have an MRE for lunch. 

    How do I mentally prepare for Ranger School?

    Preparing yourself mentally for Ranger School is just as important as physical preparation. The Blue / Green team recommends you begin to forge mental toughness through the challenging training you do to physically prepare for Ranger. Making a habit of toughening up each day makes it more likely that you can demonstrate these skills at Ranger. Additionally, our Ranger School Advanced guide has a full chapter on mental skills (with specific Ranger School examples) that will help you succeed at school. As an overview, here are some ways to think about mental prep:

    1. Understand the Ranger School ethos: Familiarize yourself with the Ranger School principles, such as "Rangers lead the way" and "Never quit." Understanding the ethos and mindset of a Ranger will help you align your thoughts and attitudes with the expectations of the course. It sounds a bit silly, but if you make it part of your daily habit to always drive forward, you'll be more prepared once things are actually hard. 
    2. Set clear goals: Define your reasons for attending Ranger School and set clear, achievable goals for yourself. Knowing why you want to be there will help you stay motivated during tough times. You need to be honest with this. It's okay to be private as you do this, but use this as your touch point.
    3. Develop mental toughness: Ranger School will test your mental resilience, so practice pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Engage in challenging physical activities, endurance exercises, and mental exercises that build mental toughness, such as meditation and mindfulness. Again, start practicing everyday. Start today. 
    4. Learn from others: Seek advice from those who have already completed Ranger School. They can provide valuable insights and tips to mentally prepare for the course. (As you do this though, be careful not to get too far down the rabbit hole and psych yourself out)
    5. Embrace the suck: Accept that Ranger School will be physically and mentally grueling. Embracing the challenges rather than resisting them can help you stay focused and resilient throughout the course.
    6. Build team skills: Ranger School places a strong emphasis on teamwork and leadership. Develop your ability to work well with others and practice being a team player in various situations.
    7. Improve decision-making skills: In high-stress situations, the ability to make sound decisions quickly is critical. Practice making decisions under pressure and learn from any mistakes you make.
    8. Visualize success: Spend time visualizing yourself successfully completing Ranger School. Visualization can help improve confidence and performance during challenging situations.
    9. Develop coping strategies: Identify effective coping strategies to manage stress and fatigue. Techniques like positive self-talk, deep breathing, and focusing on the task at hand can be helpful during difficult moments.
    10. Stay flexible and adapt: Ranger School is unpredictable, and you'll need to adapt to changing circumstances constantly. Embrace the uncertainty and focus on being adaptable and resilient. Accept that you can't control everything.
    11. Study Ranger School materials: Familiarize yourself with the Ranger Handbook and other Ranger School materials before attending the course. Having a good understanding of the principles and tactics will give you a head start.
    12. Stay committed and dedicated: Ranger School is a mental and physical challenge that requires unwavering commitment. Remind yourself of your goals and reasons for being there, and stay dedicated to the process.

    Remember that Ranger School is designed to be tough, and not everyone who attends will successfully complete it. However, by mentally preparing yourself and cultivating a strong mindset, you'll increase your chances of success and come out of the experience with valuable life lessons.

    What is the Ranger savings program?

    This is a joke shared by students about the amount of money that is saved by students. For many, they are young, single, and away from home for 2+ months. Despite spending a good deal of money on the packing list to attend Ranger School, the savings program quickly fills the bank account back up. 

    How do I prepare my family for Ranger School?

    You need to give your family realistic expectations. They should expect for you to be gone for 3-5 months. Don't tell them you'll definitely be back in 61 days. They should also understand what you’re going to be doing, where you will physically be, and when you are expected to move phases. Don’t be afraid to tell them how important it is to you, and why you need to do it. Overall, be clear and transparent. This will help put their mind at ease when you are out of contact.

    Additionally, you should recommend they join this support group. This group can answer their questions while you are gone, and have others in a similar situation for them to chat with.

    Can I talk to my friends and family while I’m at Ranger School?

    Once you begin school, you are largely cut off from the outside world. You will often have the chance to use a phone at the end of the phase (pass or recycle). Use this opportunity to let loved ones know what’s going on. Just be sure to memorize their phone number!

    If I recycle Darby phase at Ranger School, do I need to redo RAP?

    You do not. You will join the new class at Camp Darby and start training with them there. You likely will not have to redo the Darby Queen obstacle course either.

    What are the obstacle courses I will have to complete while at Ranger School?

    During RAP, you will complete Malvesti. During Darby, you will complete the Darby Queen. At the core, the courses aren’t difficult. But given the stressful nature of the course, and the smoke sessions you will face between each obstacle, the courses can quickly become a nightmare.

    Be sure that your pre-course training includes obstacle courses, along with plenty of bodyweight exercises to prepare you for the event overall.

    What are the requirements to attend Ranger School?

    As of the most recent memorandum published by Army Ranger School, the following are requirements to attend (as well as some other general information about the course):

    Commanders at all levels must ensure that Ranger candidates are in top physical condition and meet all entrance requirements prior to attending Ranger School. The Company Commander's Validation memorandum (which can be found on the ARTB website) is signed by the candidate's Company Commander, certifying the candidate's physical readiness, proficiency in common Ranger tasks, medical readiness, preparation of equipment, and completion of all required documentation.

    General Prerequisites.

    1. Enlisted applicants must have a standard GT (General Technical) score of 90 or higher in aptitude and 12 months or more active duty service remaining after the completion of the course IAW AR 614-200. Ranger training is available on a voluntary basis only for enlisted Soldiers who are E-3 and above.
    2. Physical Readiness. Students must arrive at Ranger School prepared to successfully complete the Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP). RAP week is the first four days of the Ranger Course and assesses an individual's physical readiness to participate in Ranger training. Critical physical events during RAP week include the Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA), Combat Water Survival Assessment (CWSA), a land navigation test, and a 12-mile foot march. Students who do not successfully complete RAP week will be released from training and returned to their units. Students must train for the cumulative effects of the physical events during RAP Week to increase their chances of graduating.
    3. Ranger Task Training. Students must arrive at Ranger School prepared to successfully complete Ranger Task Training (RTT - link ). RTT is conducted within RAP week and assesses an individual's technical ability to operate key weapons systems and equipment in order to participate in Ranger training. 
    4. Commanders must certify their Soldiers on the common Ranger tasks and physical requirements within 90 days of the Soldier reporting to the Ranger Course (Enclosure 1). Ranger candidates not certified by their sending unit commander, or failing to provide a memorandum of certification, will not be admitted to the Ranger Course. Commander's should not send their Soldiers to attend Ranger School on a timeline. Their attitude should be that they are here until the mission is complete and the only mission is to earn the Ranger Tab. Ensure that all personal business is coordinated before attending so they can maintain focus.

     Medical Readiness.

    1. Medical fitness standards are Physical examination standards are IAW AR 40- 501, Chapter 2, and 5-3; AR 40-502, Chapter 4-13; DA PAM 40-502, Chapter 6-3h, and 6-5; and DODI 6130.03, Section 4 and 5. Examination performed as per Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of DA PAM 40-502. All medical requirements and information including the Medical Screening Form, Physical Exam checklist with required laboratory and diagnostic testing, waiver forms, acclimatization guide, and other pertinent information are available on the ARTB website.
    2. Medical conditions that are disqualifying for admittance into the Ranger Course are those requiring the use of chronic medications or regular surveillance, conditions that are on-going without resolution, or any condition that would make the Soldier non­ deployable IAW Army Regulations. Female Students may choose to utilize birth control, with the following methods authorized: Intrauterine Devices (Mirena and ParaGard only), Birth Control Pills, Patch and Implant (Nexplanon). Female students using birth control will be required to bring a 6 month supply.
    3. Previous Hot Weather Injuries are prohibited from attending classes between April-October. Previous Cold Weather Injuries are prohibited from attending Ranger classes between October-April.
    4. Personnel who do not meet medical fitness standards IAW current regulations may request waiver consideration from the ARTS Physician Assistant.
    5. DD 2801-1 (Report of Medical History) and DO 28808 (Report of Medical Examination), complete, signed by a Physician (MD or DO), dated within 18 months of their reporting date for attendance at Ranger. Copies of laboratory results may be attached if they are not written on the DD 2808. Examinations performed by a Physician Assistant MUST be co-signed by a Physician.
    6. Memorandum from the Dental Clinic stating that the student is Class 2 Dental and has a current Panorex on file. Dentist signature MUST be on the DA 2808.
    7. LASIK/PRK waivers are only required if the surgery was performed within three months of the course start date.

     Other Information:

    • Students are not required to be Airborne qualified but are encouraged to attend the Airborne Course prior to attending the Ranger Course.
    • No security clearance is required to attend the Ranger Course.
    • No additional active-duty service obligation (ADSO) is incurred by active Army commissioned officers for attending the Ranger Course.

    How long does it take to prepare for Ranger School?

    The length of time it takes to prepare for Ranger School can vary depending on several factors, including your current level of physical fitness, experience in military training, and familiarity with the skills taught at Ranger School.

    In summary, you can be fit and competent, but you want to ensure you are prepared for the specific demands of Ranger School.

    For some individuals who are already physically fit and have military training experience, a few months of focused preparation might be sufficient. On the other hand, those starting from a lower fitness level or with limited military experience may need several months or more to adequately prepare.

    A recommended timeframe for preparing for Ranger School is around 4 to 6 months. This duration allows you to build up your physical endurance, practice land navigation, familiarize yourself with tactical skills, and work on mental resilience.

     Here are some guidelines to consider when planning your preparation:

    1. Physical Fitness: Aim to gradually improve your cardiovascular endurance, strength, and muscular endurance over several months. Develop a workout routine that includes running, ruck marches, strength training, and bodyweight exercises.

    The Blue / Green team recommends you begin training with a simple test. If you were to go to RAP right now, and complete all the events under perfect conditions (well rested, fed, low stress, etc.), how would you do? If you would pass the events, or come close, start your training with our Ranger Advanced Phase 2 guide. If you wouldn’t pass, start with our Phase 1 guide. The phase 1 guide helps you begin the build a foundation so you’ll be prepared to crush the Phase 2 guide. If you begin the Phase 2 guide without an adequate base, you will quickly be physically overwhelmed. This can lead to injury and a failure to make adequate progress on the desired timeline.

    • Land Navigation: Practice land navigation skills regularly using maps, compasses, and terrain features. Familiarize yourself with different types of terrains and weather conditions.
    • RTTs (link):  Be able to do these with your eyes closed. Your training shouldn’t just include review, but actual hands on practice.
    • Mental Resilience: Engage in challenging and stressful scenarios to build mental toughness. Participate in endurance events, military-style simulations, or high-stress situations. Develop this through your workouts; make mental toughness a habit.
    • Leadership and Teamwork: Work on your leadership and teamwork skills through group activities and training with other soldiers. Practice giving clear instructions and being an effective team player.
    • Study: Familiarize yourself with the Ranger Handbook and any other relevant resources that cover the skills taught at Ranger School. The more prepared you are for the standards of a patrol, the easier time you will have.
    • Pre-Ranger Course: If available, consider attending a Pre-Ranger Course, which provides specific training and preparation for Ranger School.
    • Gradual Progression: Allow sufficient time for your body and mind to adapt to the increasing demands of training. Avoid pushing yourself too hard too quickly, as this could lead to injury or burnout.

    Remember that Ranger School is intentionally challenging, and successful preparation requires consistent and disciplined training. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to succeed in this demanding military training course.


    Blue / Green Ranger School

    Is Ranger School the hardest military school?

    Ranger School is widely regarded as one of the most physically and mentally challenging military schools in the world. It is known for its demanding and grueling training regimen, designed to push candidates to their limits and test their leadership and combat skills under stress. However, whether it is the absolute "hardest" military school is subjective and can vary based on individual experiences and perspectives. Overall, the Blue / Green team would say it is not the hardest to pass or endure, compared to other military courses. However, it is still very hard.

    As a broad overview, other courses in the conversation include (by aren’t limited to):

    1. Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC): This is the training pipeline for U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets). It involves a series of physically and mentally demanding phases, including language training, small unit tactics, and unconventional warfare training. Specifically, SERE-C.
    1. Navy SEALs Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training: This is the training program for U.S. Navy SEALs. It is renowned for its intense physical training, water-based evolutions, and mental toughness assessments.
    2. U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper School: Marine Corps Scout Snipers undergo specialized training to become elite marksmen and reconnaissance experts. The training involves precision shooting, stalking, and camouflage techniques.
    3. Delta Force Selection and Assessment: This is the selection process for the U.S. Army's secretive Delta Force. It involves grueling physical and mental tests to identify the best candidates for the elite special operations unit.
    4. U.S. Air Force Pararescue Indoctrination Course: This is the training for U.S. Air Force Pararescue (PJs), who perform personnel recovery operations in challenging and dangerous environments. The training includes intense physical conditioning and medical training.

    How physically demanding is Ranger School?

    Ranger School is extremely physically demanding. It is designed to assess and develop soldiers' physical endurance, strength, and stamina, as well as their ability to operate under sleep and food deprivation while making crucial decisions in high-stress environments.

    Throughout the course, candidates are subjected to a variety of physically challenging tasks, including:

    1. Ruck Marches: Candidates are required to complete multiple ruck marches, which involve carrying heavy backpacks (rucksacks) over long distances. These rucks can weigh up to 100 pounds or more, depending on the phase of training.
    2. Obstacle Courses: Ranger School includes various obstacle courses that test candidates’ upper body strength, agility, and overall physical fitness.
    3. Field Exercises: Candidates participate in extended field exercises that involve continuous movement, patrolling, and engaging in simulated combat scenarios.
    4. Limited Food and Sleep: Throughout the course, candidates receive minimal food and sleep, which adds to the physical and mental strain they experience.
    5. Combat Water Survival: Candidates must complete waterborne operations and river crossings, which can be physically demanding.
    6. Land Navigation: Navigating through challenging terrains and completing navigation courses tests candidates’ endurance and determination.
    7. Physical Training: Regular physical training sessions (or smoke sessions) focus on building strength and conditioning to prepare candidates for the physical demands of the course.

    The physical demands of Ranger School are deliberately intense to push candidates to their limits and identify those who can excel in challenging environments. Candidates must be in exceptional physical shape and mentally prepared to endure the rigorous training and demanding field conditions.

    The combination of sleep deprivation, intense physical exertion, and mental stress during Ranger School makes it an enduring test of a soldier's physical and mental resilience, as well as their ability to perform under pressure. Success in Ranger School requires not only physical fitness but also mental toughness and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

    How fit should I be for Ranger School? 

    To successfully complete Ranger School, you should strive to be in peak physical condition. Specifically, this refers to great fitness overall. But don’t neglect preparing for the specific demands of the course. It is great if you are the strongest guy in the 82nd, but you need to be able to pass an RPA. So, bias your training towards RPA, obstacle courses, body weight exercises, running, and the other physical events you’ll complete at Ranger School. If you need a guide to learn from and follow along, take a look at our Phase 1 & 2 Ranger Advanced guides

    Less specifically, and as an overview: 

    Ranger School is one of the most physically demanding military training courses, and being physically fit is crucial for your success. Here are some fitness standards and guidelines to aim for:

    • Cardiovascular Endurance: You should be able to run long distances comfortably. Aim for the ability to run at least 5 miles without stopping and gradually increase your distance and pace during your preparation.
    • Rucking: Be prepared for ruck marches with heavy loads. Train with a weighted backpack (rucksack) to simulate the conditions of Ranger School. Gradually increase the weight and distance of your rucks to build endurance.
    • Strength and Muscular Endurance: Focus on full-body strength training to develop your upper body, core, and leg strength. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and lunges are essential.
    • Land Navigation: Practice using a map and compass to navigate through various terrains. Familiarize yourself with topographic maps and terrain features.
    • Mental Toughness: Train yourself to push through physical discomfort and maintain mental resilience. Engage in challenging workouts and endurance events to build mental toughness.
    • Functional Fitness: Work on functional fitness, which involves training for real-world movements and tasks that you will encounter in Ranger School. Emphasize movements like crawling, climbing, and lifting.
    • Body Composition: Strive to maintain a healthy body composition, as excessive body fat can hinder performance during the physically demanding training.
    • Before attending Ranger School, you should also ensure that you meet all the necessary prerequisites and requirements, as well as obtain any required medical clearances.

    Keep in mind that Ranger School is designed to push participants to their limits, and being well-prepared physically will make the training more manageable. However, mental toughness, adaptability, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team are equally important for success in Ranger School.

    How heavy are rucks at Ranger School?

    The weight of rucksacks (backpacks) used at Ranger School can vary depending on the phase of training and the specific requirements of each exercise. Typically, the weight of rucks used in Ranger School ranges from 35 to 100 pounds.

    The lighter rucks tend to be used for the 12 mile ruck. Once patrolling starts, expect anywhere between 50-120 pounds. The more squad and platoon equipment is accumulated, the heavier the rucks get. Your pre-course training should include prep for both the fast and light 12 mile, and the slow and heavy patrol movements.

    It's important to note that the weight of rucks can vary based on the cadre's discretion, weather conditions, and other factors. Regardless of the exact weight, candidates are expected to carry their rucksacks for long distances, often during ruck marches that can last several hours.

    Preparing for Ranger School should include training with a weighted rucksack to gradually build your endurance and strength. Gradually increasing the weight and distance of your ruck marches will help you better prepare for the physical demands of carrying heavy loads during the course. 

    What’s the average age of someone who goes to Ranger School?

    The average age of someone who attends Ranger School can vary, but it generally falls within the mid-20s to early 30s range. Ranger School is open to soldiers of all ages who meet the necessary prerequisites and physical fitness standards. As a result, you can find a wide age range of candidates attending the course.

    Candidates who attend Ranger School may include recent graduates from initial military training (such as Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training) who are in their early 20s, as well as more experienced soldiers who have been in the military for several years and are in their late 20s or early 30s. Some may even be older if they are in specialized positions or have chosen to attend Ranger School later in their military careers.

    The diverse age range adds to the dynamic and varied experiences within a Ranger School class. Regardless of age, successful candidates possess the physical fitness, mental resilience, and leadership abilities necessary to excel in the demanding and challenging training environment. 

    What’s the difference between Ranger School and Ranger Regiment?

    Ranger School and the Ranger Regiment are two distinct entities within the U.S. Army, each serving different purposes and roles:

    1. Ranger School:
      • Ranger School is a military training course designed to assess and develop a soldier's leadership abilities, physical fitness, and mental toughness.
      • It is a school that offers training to soldiers from various military occupational specialties (MOS) within the U.S. Army, such as infantry, combat arms, combat support, and combat service support.
      • The course is about 61 days long and consists of three phases: Benning Phase, Mountain Phase, and Swamp Phase.
      • Ranger School does not designate soldiers as "Rangers" upon completion. Instead, graduates earn the coveted Ranger Tab, which is a symbol of excellence and leadership but does not confer a specific assignment or role.
    2. Ranger Regiment (officially known as the 75th Ranger Regiment):
      • The Ranger Regiment is a specialized unit within the U.S. Army that operates as a rapid-deployment, highly trained special operations force.
      • The 75th Ranger Regiment consists of three infantry battalions and one special troops battalion. Each battalion is composed of multiple companies.
      • Rangers within the 75th Ranger Regiment are selected from various MOS backgrounds but primarily from the infantry and combat arms fields.
      • Rangers in the 75th Ranger Regiment undergo rigorous and specialized training, including airborne and air assault operations, advanced marksmanship, and other specialized skills.
      • Upon successful completion of Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP), soldiers are designated as Rangers and are assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment.

    In summary, Ranger School is a leadership and combat training course open to soldiers from various MOS within the U.S. Army, and its graduates earn the Ranger Tab. On the other hand, the 75th Ranger Regiment is a specialized and elite unit within the U.S. Army, and its members are selected from various MOS backgrounds and undergo specialized training as Rangers.

    How much weight do you lose at Ranger School?

    The amount of weight lost at Ranger School can vary significantly from one individual to another and is influenced by several factors, including the candidate's starting weight, metabolic rate, physical exertion, and the duration of the training. Students report losing between 10 – 45 pounds.

    Many candidates experience weight loss due to the following factors:

    1. Caloric Deficit: The training at Ranger School involves long hours of physical activity and limited access to food, leading to a caloric deficit. Candidates often do not consume enough calories to match the energy expended during training.
    2. Sleep Deprivation: The course includes periods of sleep deprivation, which can further impact appetite and food intake.
    3. Stress and Physical Demands: The intense physical and mental demands of Ranger School can elevate stress hormones, affecting appetite and metabolism.
    4. Environmental Factors: Training in different climates, such as hot and humid environments during the Swamp Phase, can lead to increased fluid loss through sweating. 

    As a result, candidates often experience weight loss during the course. The amount of weight lost can range from a few pounds to significant weight reductions, depending on the individual and the duration of the training.

    It's important to note that while some weight loss is common and expected, maintaining proper hydration and nutrition is essential to sustain physical performance and mental focus during Ranger School. Graduates of the course typically recover their weight after completing the training and returning to regular eating and training habits.

    What are the RTTs (Ranger Tactical Tasks) at Ranger School?

    RTTs are basic solider skills that students need to arrive to Ranger School prepared to execute.

    Use this link to review the tactical tasks and their associated standards. Read the material, watch the videos, and get hands-on with the equipment. What is presented here is the most up-to-date material, directly from Ranger School. Ensure you are not using outdated information for your prep. 

    There is no substitute for physically working through these tasks to standard. Expect them to be graded exactly according to the listed task, conditions, and standards, just like EIB would be. Once you are comfortable with these tasks, we encourage you to have a buddy watch you do them and yell out the time. Doing so can help increase stress-levels and better prepare you for doing these at Ranger. 

    Not only do you need to master these tasks to make it through RAP week, you need to have a firm grasp on these systems to be an effective member of your team during your patrols at Ranger School. 

    This link has more information related to RTTs. 

    Do you swim a lot at Ranger School? 

    Swimming is not a significant component of the standard Ranger School curriculum. While Ranger School does include a combat water survival assessment during the Benning Phase, it is not an extensive swimming program. The combat water survival assessment focuses on basic water survival skills, such as wearing combat gear while crossing a water obstacle.

    Show up to Ranger School prepared to pass a CWSA and prepared to spend time in water. If you are very uncomfortable in water, it will make movements in the swamp in Florida very challenging.


    Blue / Green Ranger School

    How many miles do you walk at Ranger School?

    The total distance covered by candidates during Ranger School can vary depending on the specific training and phase of the course. Overall, candidates can expect to walk or ruck march several dozen miles throughout the course of the training.

    Here's a rough breakdown of the distances covered in each phase of Ranger School:

    Benning Phase: In this initial phase at Fort Benning, Georgia, candidates undergo physical fitness assessments and land navigation exercises. The total distance walked during this phase is relatively moderate compared to the other phases.

    Mountain Phase: This phase takes place at locations such as Dahlonega, Georgia, or Camp Frank D. Merrill in the Chattahoochee National Forest. It includes extended patrolling and mountainous terrain navigation, leading to more significant distances covered compared to the Benning Phase.

    Swamp Phase: The Swamp Phase typically occurs at locations such as Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It involves patrolling and operating in a swamp-like environment, which can lead to additional miles covered.

    Overall, it's not uncommon for candidates to cover over a hundred miles or more during the entirety of Ranger School, with a significant portion of those miles being completed with heavy rucksacks (ruck marching). The distances covered during Ranger School contribute to the physically demanding nature of the training and test candidates' endurance and mental resilience.

    Can non-infantry soldiers attend Ranger School?

    Yes, non-infantry soldiers can attend Ranger School. Ranger School is open to a wide range of military occupational specialties (MOS) within the U.S. Army, including infantry, combat arms, combat support, and combat service support MOS.

    While the Ranger School was originally established to train infantry leaders, it has evolved to assess and develop leadership and combat skills across various military specialties. The goal is to produce well-rounded leaders who can excel in challenging and complex environments.

    It's important to note that while non-infantry soldiers can attend Ranger School, they may face additional challenges during the course, especially if their MOS does not regularly focus on infantry tactics. Those non-infantry students should prepare extra for RTTs and patrolling in order to facilitate their own success. 

    What are the key skills taught at Ranger School?

    Ranger School focuses on developing a wide range of skills necessary for effective leadership and combat operations in challenging environments. The key skills taught at Ranger School can be broadly categorized into the following areas:

    1. Leadership: Ranger School emphasizes leadership development above all else. Candidates are continuously assessed on their ability to lead small units in tactical and combat situations. They learn to make critical decisions under stress, effectively communicate with their team, and motivate others to accomplish missions.
    2. Combat Tactics: Participants receive extensive training in small unit tactics, including patrolling techniques, ambushes, raids, and other offensive and defensive maneuvers. They learn how to plan and execute missions as part of a team, adapting to various terrain and enemy situations.
    3. Physical Endurance: Ranger School is physically demanding, and candidates are tested on their endurance, strength, and stamina. They engage in long ruck marches, obstacle courses, and combat-related physical training, pushing their bodies to the limit.
    4. Land Navigation: Candidates are taught land navigation skills using maps, compasses, and other tools. They must navigate through various terrains, including mountains and swamps, to reach their objectives and complete missions.
    5. Combat Water Survival: Ranger School includes training in water survival techniques, such as river crossings and waterborne operations, to ensure candidates are prepared to operate in amphibious environments.
    6. Mental Toughness: The school challenges candidates mentally by exposing them to sleep and food deprivation while demanding constant focus and decision-making. Mental resilience is a critical aspect of the training, as candidates must remain determined and focused in difficult situations.
    7. Ranger First Responder: Participants receive training in basic combat medical skills, including casualty assessment, first aid, and tactical combat casualty care (TCCC).
    8. Communication: Effective communication is vital in combat situations. Candidates learn to relay information quickly and accurately, use radio equipment, and maintain clear and concise communication with their team.
    9. Teamwork and Cohesion: Ranger School fosters teamwork and cohesion among participants. Candidates must work together to overcome challenges, relying on each other's strengths and supporting one another during the demanding training.

    Overall, Ranger School aims to produce leaders who are physically fit, mentally tough, and capable of making sound decisions under pressure. The skills taught during the course prepare participants to excel in combat and leadership roles within the U.S. Army.

    How can I prepare for Ranger School?

    Preparing for Ranger School is crucial as it is a physically and mentally demanding course. Here are some steps you can take to prepare effectively:

    1. Physical Fitness: Focus on improving your overall physical fitness, including cardiovascular endurance, strength, and muscular endurance. Incorporate running, ruck marching with a heavy backpack, bodyweight exercises, and weightlifting into your training routine. 
    2. Land Navigation: Practice land navigation skills using maps and compasses. Familiarize yourself with various terrain features and learn how to plot and follow coordinates accurately.
    3. Mental Toughness: Train your mental resilience by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Engage in mentally challenging activities, such as endurance events or high-stress scenarios, to build mental toughness.
    4. Ruck Marches: Get accustomed to carrying a heavy backpack (rucksack) for long distances. Gradually increase the weight and distance of your ruck marches to simulate the demands of Ranger School.
    5. Teamwork and Leadership: Work on your leadership and teamwork skills by participating in group activities and military-style exercises. Practice giving clear and concise instructions and being an effective team player.
    6. Combat Water Survival: If possible, practice swimming and waterborne operations to improve your comfort level in water-based scenarios.
    7. Study Ranger Handbook & RTTs: Familiarize yourself with the U.S. Army Ranger Handbook, which contains essential information on tactics, techniques, and procedures taught at Ranger School.
    8. Mental Preparation: Develop a positive and determined mindset. Ranger School is mentally challenging, and a strong willpower and mental preparation are critical for success.
    9. Seek Mentorship: Talk to individuals who have attended Ranger School or similar challenging military training. They can provide valuable insights and advice on how to prepare effectively.
    10. Physical and Medical Readiness: Ensure you are in good health and meet all physical and medical requirements before attending Ranger School. Obtain any necessary medical clearances and address any existing health issues.
    11. Pre-Ranger Course: Consider attending a Pre-Ranger Course, if available. These courses provide valuable training and preparation specific to Ranger School.

    Remember that preparation should be gradual and consistent. Give yourself enough time to build your physical and mental abilities. Participate in challenging exercises and train with a purpose, keeping Ranger School's demanding nature in mind. With dedication, determination, and a well-rounded approach to preparation, you can increase your chances of success in Ranger School.

    Our Ranger Advanced guides has the information to help you prepare across the board for Ranger School, including additional resources, workouts, nutrition, recovery, and mental skills. 

    What gear do I need for Ranger School?

    People make a big deal out of the Ranger School packing list because it's a lot of items, it's extremely specific, and it's thoroughly checked when you get to school. When we say thorough, we mean each item is scrutinized by the Ranger Instructors, so it's important to get it right. Have an item that isn't on the list? They'll take it and throw it away. Many items on the packing list, like socks, boots, and gloves, are worth spending good money on. Other items aren't as important, and you can cheap out on them. 

    There are a lot of versions of the packing list floating around online. You should only use the packing list available on the Fort Benning website: link. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, under "Reporting & Class Information," click "Packing List." Don't trust a random version of the packing list you find online as it is often updated. 

    What is the Ranger Handbook?

    The Ranger Handbook, also known as "Ranger Handbook: SH 21-76," is an official publication of the U.S. Army. It serves as a critical reference guide for soldiers attending the U.S. Army Ranger School and for all Rangers throughout their careers. The handbook provides essential information on a wide range of topics related to infantry tactics, leadership, and combat operations. Many soldiers enjoy the Ranger handbook because it’s simply written, easy to understand, and readily applicable to missions, both training and real combat scenarios.

    The Ranger Handbook covers various subjects, including:

    1. Combat Operations: This section includes information on small-unit tactics, patrolling techniques, and combat operations in different environments.
    2. Leadership: The handbook discusses leadership principles and considerations for leading soldiers effectively in challenging and dynamic situations.
    3. Military Mountaineering: It provides guidance on mountain operations, including rope techniques, rappelling, and climbing.
    4. Waterborne Operations: This section covers topics related to conducting operations in aquatic environments, such as river crossings and small boat movements.
    5. Reconnaissance and Surveillance: It outlines principles and methods for conducting reconnaissance and surveillance operations.
    6. Operations in Urban Environments: The handbook includes information on urban combat and operating in built-up areas.
    7. Army Aviation: This section covers the integration and utilization of Army Aviation assets in Ranger operations.
    8. First Aid: It provides basic medical and first aid procedures that Rangers should be familiar with to address injuries in the field. 

    The Ranger Handbook is a compact, portable reference that condenses critical information into a field-ready format, making it accessible to soldiers during training and operational deployments. It emphasizes the importance of individual initiative, adaptability, and the ability to lead and perform under challenging conditions.

    What is the attrition rate at Ranger School? 

    The attrition rate at Ranger School can vary from class to class, but historically, it has been quite high, often exceeding 50%. The course is intentionally challenging and designed to push candidates to their physical and mental limits to identify the best potential leaders. Many candidates do not successfully complete all phases of the training.

    What happens if I fail a phase of Ranger School?

    If you fail a phase of Ranger School, you will be given an opportunity to recycle or "recycle" that phase. This means you will have a chance to repeat the failed phase in a future class. Recycling is a physically and mentally demanding process, but it allows candidates to continue their pursuit of earning the Ranger Tab.

    Are there any age restrictions for attending Ranger School?

    There are no specific age restrictions for attending Ranger School. However, candidates must be at least 18 years old and meet all the necessary prerequisites for attending the course.

    How many times can I attempt Ranger School?

    There is no strict limit on the number of times you can attempt Ranger School. As long as you meet the prerequisites and receive the necessary recommendations, you can make multiple attempts to complete the course. However, each attempt is physically and mentally demanding, and not everyone gets the opportunity to recycle or try again.

    Students can receive a NTR or never to return to Ranger School if they voluntarily quit the course. Waivers for this is sometimes available, but receiving an NTR significantly degrades a student's chance of returning.

    What is the Ranger School graduation rate?

    The Ranger School graduation rate can also vary from class to class. As mentioned earlier, the attrition rate can be quite high, resulting in a lower graduation rate. It's common for only a portion of the candidates who begin the course to successfully graduate and earn the Ranger Tab.

    Can foreign military personnel attend Ranger School? 

    Yes, foreign military personnel from allied nations can attend Ranger School, subject to certain conditions and arrangements made between the U.S. Army and the respective foreign military.

    Is Ranger School open to women?

    Yes, Ranger School has been open to women since 2015 when the U.S. Army opened all combat roles to women. Female soldiers meeting the prerequisites and selection criteria can attend and graduate from Ranger School.

    How important is Ranger School for career progression in the military?

    Ranger School is highly regarded in the military and can have a positive impact on career progression. Earning the Ranger Tab demonstrates a soldier's leadership, physical fitness, and ability to perform under pressure, which can open up various career opportunities and assignments within the Army.

    Are there any common myths or misconceptions about Ranger School? 

    One common misconception about Ranger School is that it's primarily a combat-focused training for infantry. While it does include combat-related skills, its primary objective is to develop leadership abilities and mental toughness across various military occupational specialties.

    Do I need to be airborne qualified to attend Ranger School?

    No, you do not need to be airborne qualified to attend Ranger School. While some soldiers who attend Ranger School may also be airborne qualified, it is not a prerequisite for attending the course.

    Often, those who graduate have first priority to be slotted into the next airborne class. Ranger School and Airborne School fall under the same brigade (Airborne Ranger Training Brigade – ARTB) which helps with the process.

    How many airborne operations are conducted at Ranger School?

    Ideally, students conduct airborne operations in all three phases. This depends on the availability of aircraft, weather conditions and various other factors. They are typically conducted at the start of the phase, and rarely include Mountain Phase.

    Who are the instructors at Ranger School?

    The instructors are known as Ranger Instructors, or RI’s. They are typically experienced and highly skilled Army officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs). These instructors are Ranger-qualified themselves.

    Instructors at Ranger School undergo a rigorous selection process and specialized training to ensure they can effectively teach and evaluate Ranger candidates during the various phases of the course. It takes a period of several months before an RI can actually evaluate and grade students on patrols.

    The Ranger School is known for its high standards, and the instructors play a critical role in maintaining the course's reputation as one of the most demanding and elite military training programs in the world. They are responsible for conducting classroom instruction, leading practical field exercises, evaluating candidates' performance, providing feedback, and mentoring the future Rangers throughout the course.

    What is Pre-Ranger?

    Pre-Ranger is a course conducted to train and assess students prior to attending Ranger School. Many units use this course to provide value to students, even if they do not advance onto Ranger School. Typically, students are required to attend and pass this course prior to advancing to the actual Ranger School.

     There are several “official” pre-ranger courses (PRC), including RTAC, 82nd PRC, 101st PRC, 25th ID PRC, and 10th Mountain PRC. Other units may have informal pre-ranger programs serving the same intent.

    Ranger School does not require students to pass a formal Pre-Ranger course. Although students do need to arrive with a memo stating that they are prepared, the requirement to complete a Pre-Ranger typically comes from the unit sending the servicemember.

    What is RTAC?

    RTAC stands for the "Ranger Training Assessment Course." RTAC ( link )  is a program conducted at Fort Moore, Georgia, that serves as a preparatory course for potential Ranger School candidates. It is designed to assess and evaluate soldiers' physical fitness, mental endurance, and leadership abilities to determine if they are ready for the challenges of attending the U.S. Army Ranger School.

    This course acts as a screening and evaluation process to identify soldiers who have the potential to successfully complete the rigorous Ranger School. During RTAC, candidates undergo physically demanding training and tests, as well as participate in simulated Ranger School missions to assess their abilities to operate in a small-unit, high-stress environment.

    Soldiers who excel in the RTAC program and demonstrate the necessary qualities may be recommended to attend the U.S. Army Ranger School, where they will undergo further specialized training in small-unit tactics, leadership, and combat skills.

    Historically, many national guard units have required perspective Ranger students to first attend RTAC. Passing RTAC is challenging, but possible. Those going to RTAC should arrive with the same physical and mental preparedness as those going to Ranger School.

    Specifically, RTAC consists of 14 days of training. The first week is designed to mirrorthe first week of Ranger School's (Moore) phase. The second week is designed to Coach, Teach, and Mentor students during the patrol phase of the course.

    The purpose of the RTAC is to prepare Soldiers to succeed at the US Army Ranger School. RTAC accomplishes this by assessing Soldiers' physical and mental capabilities, training Soldiers on Troop Leading Procedures, and Reconnaissance/Ambush patrols to the same standards conducted at the US Army Ranger School. RTAC is designed to verify that all medical/dental and administrative paperwork is complete for Ranger School attendance. Students will be required to pass the minimum Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA) of 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups and 5 mile (release) run in 40:00 minutes or less. In addition to the RPA, students will be evaluated at the Combat Water Survival Test, Land Navigation, Road March, Ranger Tasks Training, Patrols, and Peer Evaluations.

    Can military members outside of the Army attend Ranger School?

    Yes, military members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, can attend the U.S. Army Ranger School. The Ranger School is open to qualified personnel from any service branch, and it is considered one of the toughest and most prestigious military training courses in the world.

    Attending Ranger School is a challenging and demanding experience. The course is designed to develop leadership, small-unit tactics, and combat skills in a variety of environments. While it is open to members of all branches, it's important to note that each service may have its own specific requirements and procedures for selecting candidates and sending them to Ranger School.

    Military members from other branches who wish to attend Ranger School typically need to meet certain prerequisites and be recommended or selected by their respective service. The selection process may involve physical fitness standards, demonstrated leadership abilities, and meeting certain rank and experience requirements. Additionally, the service member's career field and operational needs may also play a role in determining who gets the opportunity to attend the course.

    Can I attend Ranger School as a National Guard or Reserve soldier? 

    Yes, National Guard and Reserve soldiers can attend Ranger School. They must meet the same prerequisites and requirements as active-duty soldiers and receive the necessary recommendations from their units. The Army provides opportunities for both active and reserve component soldiers to attend the course.

    What resources are available to help me prepare for Ranger School?

    How should I recover after completing Ranger School?

    Following Ranger School, you should focus on recovery. Don’t be afraid to take a week or more off without physical activity. Once you are ready to start working out, keep the intensity low. Do this for about 2 weeks or until you feel recovered. With eating, slowly transition back to normal eating habits. Enjoy your junk food, but slowly get back into a more balanced routine.

    The overall theme is slowly transition back to normal. Immediately address any injuries to avoid them getting worse. If you must attend PT, still keep the intensity low. Don’t rush to get an injury. Your fitness will recover in good time. 


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