Ranger School opens to non-combat specialties
Story by Zachary M Gildin/Army News Service
FORT BENNING, Ga. (TRADOC News Service, March 24, 2005) – A new initiative has opened up Ranger School to a broader range of Soldiers.
“Before this, Ranger School was limited to combat-arms Soldiers and those who were assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment or Ranger Training Brigade,” explained Col. K.K. Chinn, Ranger Training Brigade commander. “Now Ranger School is open to combat-support and combat-service-support Soldiers for whom the combat-exclusion policy does not apply.”
The new change came as a part of Task Force Soldier, a focus area of the Army Campaign Plan.
TF Soldier conducts holistic review and analysis of individual Soldier training, equipment and readiness needs – institutional army through small units – to support deploying Soldiers fighting the Global War on Terrorism and to prepare Soldiers for the future force.
The opening of Ranger School is seen as a way to help fulfill the goals set out by the TF Soldier guidance.
“TF Soldier (Team Warrior) was looking for ways to build Warrior Ethos throughout the Army and concluded that more Ranger-qualified leaders would assist in accomplishing the goal of Warrior Ethos throughout the Army,” Chinn said.
“Ranger training is important because it teaches Soldiers what they need to know about small-unit tactics and how to fight and win in the close-combat, direct-fire battle,” Chinn said.
Those attending Ranger School have to endure a rigorous 61-day course that pushes them to their physical and mental limits. The course consists of three phases: Fort Benning, the mountain phase and finally the Florida phase. Through these three phases, Soldiers attain essential combat skills for the modern Soldier.
“The purpose of Ranger School is to further develop the combat-arms skills of officer and enlisted volunteers eligible for assignment to units whose primary mission is to engage in the close-combat, direct fire battle,” Chinn said.
Chinn warns that Soldiers should not come in out-of-shape. “All Soldiers interested in attending Ranger School should ensure they are physically fit and prepared for the rigors of Ranger School,” he said.
Chinn said he feels that the opportunity to attend Ranger School is a good one that comes down to one simple fact: “Bottom line – Ranger School is the best life-insurance policy you can get for you and your men.”