Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade
The United States Army Ranger School is an extremely intense, 61+ days, combat leadership course, oriented to small-unit tactics at Fort Benning, Georgia, U.S.A., (the woodland terrain, 'Benning Phase'), at Camp Rogers and Camp Darby, Georgia; 'the Mountain Phase' at Camp Merrill, near Dahlonega, Georgia and the Florida Phase at Camp Rudder, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Ranger School was formed in 1950, during the Korean War, in order to train soldiers in Ranger tactics. Ranger training at Fort Benning, Georgia began in September 1950 during the Korean war with the formation and training of 17 Airborne Ranger companies by the Ranger Training Command. In October 1951 the Commandant of the US Army Infantry School established the Ranger Department and extended Ranger training to all combat units in the Army. The first Ranger Class for individual candidates graduated on 1 March 1952. On 1 November 1987, the Ranger Department expanded into the Ranger Training Brigade, and established four Ranger Training Battalions.
The purpose of the course is learning to soldier as a combat leader while enduring the great mental and psychological stresses and physical fatigue of combat; the Ranger Instructors (RI) create and cultivate such a physical and mental environment. Field craft instruction comprises most of the coursework; students plan and execute daily patrolling, perform reconnaissance, ambushes, and raids against dispersed targets, followed by stealthy movement to a new patrol base to plan the next mission. Ranger students conduct about 20 hours of training per day, while consuming two or fewer meals daily totaling about 2,200, with an average of 3.5 hours of sleep a day. Students sleep more before a parachute jump for safety considerations. Ranger students typically wear and carry some 65–90 pounds (29–41 kg) of weapons, equipment, and training ammunition while patrolling more than 200 miles (320 km) throughout the course.
Click here to go the the Ranger Training Brigade website
Ranger School is recognized as the Army's premier leadership course and it is impossible to attain a leadership position in the 75th Ranger Regiment without it. Lower enlisted soldiers (E1 - E5) with the goal of becoming a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment will first complete the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Phase I (RASP I) and then be assigned to the Ranger Regiment. Once the Chain of Command feels confident the soldier will pass Ranger School, usually within 6 months, the soldier is sent to the Ranger Regiment's Pre-Ranger Course. Only after successful completion of the Pre-Ranger Course is the soldier sent to Ranger School. If a member of the Ranger Regiment fails to complete Ranger School he will oftentimes be dismissed from the Ranger Regiment, at the discretion of his chain of command. If he is fortunate he will be afforded the opportunity to go back at a later date, case by case dependent. Non Ranger Qualified NCOs and Officers normally complete Ranger School before volunteering to the 75th Ranger Regiment, but in some cases a Ranger Tab is not always required for consideration for selection and assignment to the unit. It is expected mid-and-senior grade NCOs and all officers will become Ranger Qualified if not already once they are assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, and if they fail to do so, their tour at the unit may be shortened. Under extreme conditions officers and NCOs may be relieved for standards (RFS) from the 75th Ranger Regiment for failure to obtain Ranger qualification.
A significant portion of Ranger students come from the 75th Ranger Regiment, where completing and passing Ranger School is required for any leadership position and continued assignment to the Ranger Regiment. The Army also allocates a select number of training slots each year to other US Military Service Branches, including their Reserve Components, as well as Foreign Military Services. These highly valued school slots are often competed for and used to augment the training of specialized combat career fields that directly support US Army units. Upon completion of the course, all soldiers return to the units that sent them and are referred to as being "Ranger Qualified". Since the 1950s, students have received a copy of Rangers Standing Orders, a version of the guidance Major Robert Rogers composed for his unit, Rogers' Rangers.
Ranger School Overview Video
Ranger School Briefing
Ranger School Video Experience
For young men aspiring to become a US Army Ranger this video series will answer many questions; those who were awarded the Ranger Tab, no matter what era, will re-live their experience by watching this series.
The nine-part series follows one Ranger class - 240 volunteers in class 10-00 - each step of the way from assessment through graduation over the 61 day course. It should be noted that this series was filmed ten years ago; the first and only time allowed. The series, apart from some minor course changes and observable uniform and equipment changes, still represents the purpose and scope of Ranger School as it is today.
To start, click on Part 1 below. You can move forward or back from each separate video, or return to this web page anytime. The total time length is slightly over 43 minutes.
Ranger School Class Awards
The awards listed below are designed to recognize outstanding achievement during the Ranger Course. Dependent on class performance all or some of these awards may be presented upon graduation.
WILLIAM O. DARBY AWARD (Distinguished Honor Graduate) is awarded to the Ranger that shows the best tactical and administrative leadership performance, has the most positive spot reports and has demonstrated being a cut above the rest. He must also pass all graded leadership positions, peer reports, and may not recycle. This award is named in the honor of BG William O. Darby, who organized the 1st Ranger Battalion in 1942 with handpicked volunteers leading the way onto the beaches of North Africa. Ranger Battalions also spearheaded the campaigns in Sicily and Italy, and the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach. In the Pacific the 6th Ranger Battalion served with distinction in the Philippines.
RALPH PUCKETT AWARD (Officer Honor Graduate) is awarded to the ranger that passes all graded leadership positions; peer reports, and ma not recycle. The Ranger may not have any loss equipment due to negligence and may not have any retests on any critical tasks. This award is named in honor of Colonel Ralph Puckett. Colonel Puckett earned the Distinguished Service Cross during the Korean War as company commander of the 8th Army Ranger Company, the first Ranger Company seeing active service during the war. Then First Lieutenant Puckett, in an attack against numerically superior Chinese forces, established defensive fighting positions on the capture objective. His Rangers held off five Chinese counterattacks, on the sixth counterattack he was severely wounded and evacuated despite his protests.
GLENN M. HALL AWARD (Enlisted Honor Graduate) is awarded to the ranger that passes all graded leadership positions; peer reports, and ma not recycle. The Ranger may not have any loss equipment due to negligence and may not have any retests on any critical tasks. This award is named in honor of Corporal Glenn M. Hall. Corporal Hall was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross while serving with the 1st Airborne Ranger Company for his gallant actions at Chipyon-Ni during the Korean War. He exposed himself to direct enemy fire to cover his platoon’s movement. Once his weapon jammed he joined his platoon and volunteered to contact friendly forces on an adjacent hill. When he reached the hill, it was covered with enemy troops. Corporal Hall killed a Chinese soldier in a foxhole and used that position to drive the enemy from the hill. He was wounded during that action by a grenade.
COLONEL Robert A. “Tex” Turner Officer Leadership Award is awarded to the officer who embodies the leadership spirit and ideals displayed by Colonel Robert A. “Tex” Turner. Colonel Turner was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on 6 May 1970 while serving as a member of a command group during the defense of Fire Support Base Henderson, Vietnam. Despite the intense mortar fire, Colonel Turner landed at the firebase assessing the damage and directing the defense of the firebase. Though seriously wounded by a mortar round impact, Colonel Turner carried a wounded soldier out to the landing pad for immediate medical evacuation. Colonel Turner’s most significant impact to the Ranger community was the creation of the Desert Phase of Ranger School when he was the Commander of the Ranger Department. As a result of Colonel Turner’s commitment to the Rangers and Ranger Training Brigade, he has been recognized as the honorary commander of the Ranger Training Brigade.
SGM Robert Spenser Enlisted Leadership Award is awarded to the enlisted member who embodies the leadership spirit and ideals displayed by SGM Robert Spencer. As the Sergeant Major of the Ranger Training Department from 1981 to 1985, SGM Spencer was instrumental in the reorganization of the Ranger Department. His contributions and astute leadership were recognized in March 2002, when SGM Spencer was recognized as the honorary Sergeant Major of the Ranger Training Brigade.