The Hidden Obstacles at Ranger School

Three phases and 62 days of hell. This section named in honor of MAJ John Whyte who was taken from us on 04/17/05.
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The Hidden Obstacles at Ranger School

Post by ABNRedLeg »

I’ll try to keep this relatively short, as I am new to this forum and I have not yet attended Ranger School. I’ve read a lot of negative comments on forums about 1) CS guys, 2) “ring knockersâ€
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Post by Nugget »

We had an ADA officer in my squad and he was a total turd. He made a pact with the foreign guy that we had, to peer each other 10's so as not to get peered out every phase. I don't know how this motherfucker passed all his patrols but he did.

My point is, don't be a turd and you won't get treated like a turd. I never had a pre-conceived notion about the guy, he just eventually proved that he was a worthless piece of skin that should have never been sent to Ranger School in the first place.
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Post by 42L5V »

I went to school as a leg, SP4 from the 101st with a MOS of 71L. (AG Corps). I landed in a squad of Batt boys. No one ever treated me any different, whether it be peers or instructors. Of course, I never ran my mouth about who I was or what my MOS was. Maybe they all assumed I was an 11B - I don't know and don't care. I never got peered, although I did recycle a phase, mostly due to my inexperience with platoon level tactics. You just don't get a lot of patrolling experience at Ft. Jackson. :roll: :roll:

There's good natured ribbing anywhere you go, and in almost anything you do. That is a result of so many A+ personalities. If it's good natured, no problem. If it isn't - fuck 'em. No one is more responsible for your success or failure than you are. I'm sure that USMA and your OBC has taught you these lessons. Apply them to suck school, and you'll be fine.

The bright side of being non-Combat Arms and being a Ranger is that you have an opportunity to influence a proportionally greater amount of people as a result of your experiences. People who wouldn't benefit from your knowledge and leadership otherwise.
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Post by Oto-Man »

Don't act like asshole, and you wont be treated like one. If you fail to pull your weight, if you steal chow, run your suck, and act like an all around prick, nobody will like or respect you--and it will be a short trip.

Hell, I went through with a Full Bird Col. and didn't know it til Florida Phase--we just thought he was old :shock: :shock: . In Ranger School, it doesn't matter if you are a leg, enlisted, officer, cadet, 11 series or waterboy, if you are an asset you are an asset. If you are an ass you are an ass. Period.

Being from the Batt. can actually be considered a disadvantage. You are expected and really required to know what you are doing. If you are a cook from a leg unit, you may get a sneer or two, but no one will have high expectations. In that capacity, if you learn your shit, you can look like a superstar, even if you are actually just above average.

My class had a guy (can't remember his name for the life of me), all us Batt Boys nicknamed SuperLeg. This kid was a stud. He had the respect of all of us. I don't think he got honor grad, but he was in the running. :shock:

As an officer, your Tab should help with your career quite a bit, Infantry or not.

Be a leader, lead by example, and know WTF you are doing and never quit.
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Post by Looon »

Damn good advice otto man. 8)
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Post by Ranger Ron »

ABNRedLeg, as Ranger Oto-Man said, your Tab should help you in your military career, but it will do even more for you as a person, You can enjoy the benifits of the growth you will experience for the rest of your life and in all areas of your life.

The day you pin on that Tab, you will not be the same person you are today!
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Post by LRSD Ranger »

I had to run that damned abstacle course we all love :roll: , with a Chemical officer. He was fat. Period. He also had no upper body strength. I don't care where he was from, that's irrelavent. What was relavent was the fact that he was not in shape to be there. We got to the platform climb and I could not push or pull from either end to get his fat ass up that series of platforms. He quit trying and started yelling and blaming me. My ex Ops NCO stepped out of nowhere and saved my ass (and yes, he was from Battalion before LRSD). In short, no matter who you are, have your shit in order and be in shape before you arrive. If you are doing it for your career, act like it. If you are checking the block and have no intention of respecting what being a Ranger is, move out and draw fire.
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Post by Ranger Bill »

Not much to add except that you are not stealing anybody's slot. Just be sure you do not waste the slot.
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Post by Creeping Death »

I'll give you an example using two different officers in my squad during school.

Officer #1 was a whiny little fuck. A Butter Bar fleshly out of IOBC who knew it all and was going to conquer the world. He looked down his nose at all the enlisted Batt Boys, and felt his rank gave him the experience. Obviously, he couldn't be more wrong.

It didn't take long for things to come crashing down on him, as he kept breaking noise discipline on a tactical movement coming back into the wire one night in Darby. He was raising Hell at me because we were in ankle deep water, and he started lecturing me about terrain association and how I needed to get us to the high ground to keep the patrol out of the "swamps". Long story short, I stopped the patrol, and tore into him. The RIs witnessed me tell himif he ever broke noise discipline on a patrol I was on again, to complain about his precious little feet getting a little damp, that I was going to ram his fucking weapon down his Goddamn throat. Adn that further, we were not in a swamp yet, and when we got to one, I would let him know so that he could say he knew what a swamp looked like.

He got peered at the end of Darby phase. Don't know if he ever got his shit, but I doubt he did.

Officer #2 was a non-11B from Korea. Captain type. Absolutely clueless. Not really in good shape. Looked like he was about 12. He was the SAW gunner on our first patrol in Darby, and I actually had to teach him how to pack his ruck so the weight didn't smoke him prematurely. But, the guy was willing to learn from anyone who could teach him. He left his pride back in Korea, learned a lot, and earned the respect of me and quite a few others as well. He could pitch an OPORD like nobody's business, but was weak in the field. He knew that. He helped the Batt Boys with the orders, and we helped him in the field. He did a damn good job, and ultimately got honor grad of my class. Honor grad ....... from a guy that couldn't pack his own ruck in week one.

You make your own destiny there. Be a team player, and you won't have any problem. Go there with a "you are just a lowly PFC, what do you know mentality" and, well, you might as well just stay the fuck home.
Last edited by Creeping Death on January 11th, 2007, 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by 42L5V »

Nuggets. There are nuggets of gold in this thread - not just the dust.
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Post by B 2/75 »

I was a PFC from 2nd Battalion when I first went to RS... Class 4-80. Winter classes are normally those full of officers... they graduate, go to OBC, and then hit RS in January or February. Anyway, I was a full-of-fire kid in a squad of eight West Pointers. LOL they peered me in Darby as being a "dictatorial and tyrannical leader... " A few weeks later I got frostbite up in the mountains, and it became a moot point.

Fast forward a few months to class 9-80, where there werent' so many officers at all. One of the guys was a 1LT from some FA BN somewhere. All he wanted in life was to get the tab and then become the FSO in one of the line companies in a Ranger BN. He graduated with no problems. He was the grey man, the one you never knew was there. He didn't stick out at all... passed his patrols with no drama, didn't get peered, never got a spot report. He just sortta droned on through the class, acomplishing all of the obstacles he encountered to the best of his ability, which was good enough to get through.

I don't know if that LT ever got to go to a BN. But keep in mind that there ARE FA officers in the Regiment, and in BN. They've gotta come from somewhere, so it might as well be you that fills the slot.

Just remember what Ranger Bill said: you're not stealing the slot, but be damn sure that you don't waste it.

Being a West Pointer is a great start. But remember that it is just that... a start. You're a fuzzy faced cherry. Keep your attitude well in check. Be that grey man. Work hard. Learn from those Specialists who have had two combat tours while you were going to the Army Navy game. Then go chase your objective.

Good luck... you'll need it, as your path is difficult. Most will not make it.
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Post by Jim »

The entries here should be helpful. I was a Staff Sergeant with over three years of combat in Viet-Nam who went to OCS. Immediatly after, went to jump refresher and Ranger School. Tried to be the low key guy who did not stand out. Recycled the mountains due to an injury. Graduated with the next class. Nothing spectacular, passed my patrols, carried the rope and the radio. Following Ranger School, I went to the 82d Airborne -- frankly, very few Lieutenants in the division were not RS graduates. Don't think a Ranger tab will open any doors; but the experience of Ranger training will make a good officer better.
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Spirit of the Ranger

Post by Overwatch »

I know a few Tabbed Rangers who really aren't who they should be so just because you can complete the school doesn't mean you are a Ranger in the true meaning. If you are going to Ranger School to learn to be a better leader/ warfighter then you should go. To include passing those skills to all around you. If you want it for a promotion or cool guy points don't go. When I have to listen to a fat out of shape LTC with a Tab who can no longer spell OPORD it pisses me off.
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Post by Invictus »

42L5V wrote: The bright side of being non-Combat Arms and being a Ranger is that you have an opportunity to influence a proportionally greater amount of people as a result of your experiences. People who wouldn't benefit from your knowledge and leadership otherwise.
That's some good insight right there.

I won't presume to give better advice than has already been presented, just my own observations.

I was in a squad of 7 Batt Boys. In the suck, all preconceived idea's we had about O's, and non-combat arms types went out the window. The focus is on getting your go, and getting your shit. Contribute to that, and you're good. Detract from it, and you're not.
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Thank You / Response From One of My Classmates

Post by ABNRedLeg »

Gentlemen, I truly appreciate all of the wisdom that you all have imparted through your replies. I'm reading it all and will take heed.

One of my buddies from USMA, who graduated in the latest Ranger class, offered this message to me in response to my question:
Hey buddy, great questions.

One of my best buddies from ranger school was an air defense officer. Great guy, everybody loved him and it really wont matter. They will find out pretty fast who you are because you talk to each other and find out. Its really no big deal because you are all working towards the same goal. I actually found that it helped out in cases to not be infantry because then they know that you really want to be there. The joes actually find the west point thing kind of interesting and had lots of questions about it. However I was also the only west pointer in my platoon. May be a different story for you, but dont sweat it. The batt boys are great guys too. Use them for their tactical knowledge but in return help them out with their op orders or with anything else they need. Basically it all comes down to being a good person, helping out, and having a good attitude. It definitely isnt hell, but also remember that it is not supposed to be easy. Keep your sense of humor and you will be fine. Its guys like you that helped me get through on a daily basis. Dont try to be something you arent and dont think that because you arent infantry you cant lead. Let me know if you have any more questions buddy, and just remember its just another school, nothing special.
Hope this helps any others who wanted an answer to the question. Its amazing how much it follows along with what you Gentlemen have offered to me in your responses.
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