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ranger school in restrospect

February 05, 2010 | Captain Alex Frank

I've had a lot of time to reflect on ranger school lately.  I certainly didn't appreciate the full value of the experience while I was in it which is very understandable--while you are there all you want to do is get out of there.

Getting the tab is important for career reasons because it's considered very important in the infantry.  People  judge you for it.  That's not the important part though.  There are some great people that don't have the tab and some terrible people that do.  Anyone that has the tab will have a basic level of toughness and discipline though.

What's really important about the experience is the growth I got from it.  You really get perspective on what is required of you as a soldier in difficult circumstances.  Doing the right thing--the things that will make your unit an effective fighting force--is completely counter-intuitive in those circumstances.  The stress on you is such you just want to shut down.  The monkey chatter in your head--the endless stream of thoughts on nothing in particular that keeps you from being present in the moment--is constantly going on and on reminding you about how tired and hungry you are.  Eventually though you realize the monkey chatter is not who you are.  There's a deeper part that is much stronger than that, and learning not to listen to the monkey chatter is so important not just in Ranger school but life.



ranger, school, suck


  • Earl Wilson
    2/5/2010 8:45 PM
  • Michael W. Rutledge
    2/5/2010 9:31 PM
    Very profound analogy. Whatever it is that we all have in our minds which "gets us through" is a very powerful tool for any difficult situation.
  • Jesse Rojas
    2/6/2010 3:45 AM
    My dream is to become an Airborne Ranger. Tnanks for posting this, gives me a little idea of what to expect.
  • Micheal Whisenant SPC.Whisenant
    6/1/2010 12:04 AM
    Congrat's Sir, If you don,t mind could you give me some pointers on things i should be working on before i get to RANGER SCHOOL like run miles or distence of rucking?
    • Alex Frank
      6/7/2010 12:30 PM
      You can find most of the physical standards here:

      You should be able to do all of those easily on a bad day. When you actually do them you will be tired hungry, a little worn out from the day before. It won't be that bad yet but you still won't perform at your best. For runs, do intervals. Go for six mile runs and run hard for two minutes, slow for two. For rucking, find a hill and then run up it and walk down it. You will not get that bad impact but will get a good workout. Talk to some people that have been there about the other parts. Studying the ranger handbook won't be too useful.

      If you want more information you can email me, my ako is alex.frank

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