The US Army calls Ranger School “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer.” The Ranger Training Battalion makes leadership the subject of the first chapter of its Ranger Handbook. And I routinely hear anxious future Ranger students ask about what to expect and be told some version of “Ranger School uses small-unit tactics as the vehicle to teach leadership.”
As a former Ranger instructor, I promise you that despite what the Army and Ranger School itself claim, this is bad advice. Ranger School is not a leadership school.
Ranger Instructors do not teach leadership. Leadership is not why the course was created and it is not why over half who try to complete it fail to do so. The course is a small-unit tactics course for dismounted infantry. To say otherwise is a disservice to potential Ranger students; being a great leader is important in the Army, but is not on its own sufficient to earn the Ranger tab.
Ranger School was developed in 1951 during the Korean War after Ranger companies, made up of volunteers who underwent intensive specialized training, demonstrated overwhelming combat proficiency on the Korean battlefield. Army Chief of Staff Gen. J. Lawton Collins knew a good thing when he saw it and ordered Ranger training be extended to all combat units in the Army. The initial Ranger School program was built on lessons learned from World War II and Korea, with Korean War Ranger company veterans serving as many of the first instructors. These veterans emphasized the importance of individual combat skills, mental and physical toughness, and decision-making under extreme stress—skills that remain the focus in Ranger School today.
The legacy of the 1950s continues and is seen in the Army’s own description of Ranger School:
“Ranger School is the Army’s toughest course and the premier small unit tactics and leadership school . . . a mentally and physically challenging school that develops functional skills directly related to units whose mission is to engage the enemy in close combat and direct fire battle. . . . [Upon completion] Ranger Students are proficient in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations around the clock in all climates and terrain. Rangers are better trained, more capable, more resilient, and better prepared to serve and lead Soldiers in their next duty position.”
Although the description states that Ranger School is a leadership school, leadership instruction is not in the curriculum. It is a tacit assumption that students arrive well versed in the Army’s fundamental leadership skills. These skills will be tested throughout the course, but they are not taught. What students are taught before they go on graded patrols are squad and platoon tactics, the use of weapons, field craft, and other tactical and technical skills.
If Ranger School was a leadership school, poor leadership skills would be expected to be the cause of most failures, but they aren’t. Only 40 percent of the soldiers who undertake the course pass. Of those who fail, over 62 percent do not meet the initial physical and skills assessments tests (e.g., pushups, 12-mile foot march, land navigation) given during the first week of the course—the tough, week-long Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP). Ten percent leave the course for administrative reasons (injury, voluntary removal, major violations of course rules, etc.). Thirteen percent leave for failing their graded patrols. Finally, less than 1 percent fail for bad evaluations by their peers, perhaps the only direct measure of leadership flaws.
Ranger students fail patrols more for tactical errors than inadequacies in leadership abilities. Ranger instructors use objective observation reports (grade cards) to evaluate students during their patrols. Students can automatically fail an entire patrol if they deviate from required procedure—failing to state the mission during their operations order, getting lost en route to their objective, or getting found and compromised by the enemy on a reconnaissance patrol, for example.
That Ranger School is a leadership school is not the only piece of unfortunate advice meted out to aspiring Rangers. Future Ranger students are also too often told that Ranger instructors will teach them everything they need to know. While not true, this claim does have at least a minimum basis in the facts of the course’s structure. The Ranger School curriculum is progressive and sequential. Classes are designed to teach students individual skills first, and then build squad and platoon tactics on top of these. Students sit in class for hours (trying to stay awake) before going out to test their skills. But the school ensures that Ranger students will get four or fewer hours of sleep a night during their 61-day experience (or much longer for the majority who recycle at least once) to help create the stress that will test the students’ mettle. This is not a normal learning experience. Soldiers without a solid foundation of small-unit tactics before going to the school have a much more difficult experience than those with one.
Consequently, Ranger School is more of a character and leadership assessment than a leadership school. Students do learn whether they can lead (or follow) when tired, hungry, physically on the edge of exhaustion, and pushed to their often previously untested limits—but not necessarily how to do so.
Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the United States Military Academy superintendent, often uses the analogy of a coffee cup to explain character. All of your values (duty, selfless service, courage, respect) are poured into the cup until it is almost overflowing. Then life gives your elbow a bump and your values spill out, exposing your true character. Ranger School is more like getting into a car wreck. It is a collision, not a jostle. After weeks of starvation, sleep deprivation, pushing toward physical limits, and stress—all while being evaluated—your true character will come spilling out.
To be sure, any soldier who attends Ranger School will be a better leader for it. Army doctrine ascribes to the ideal Army leader a “strong intellect, physical presence, professional competence, [and] moral character.” Ranger School graduates will have demonstrated their intellect in making decisions under extreme conditions, their competence in infantry squad and platoon tactics, their physical presence in multiple evaluated events, and their character attributes while working as a team member and leader to accomplish difficult missions. But any leadership development is principally a tangential function of Ranger School’s tactical instruction and assessment. Such development is not a top priority.
So for any soldier preparing for Ranger School: Expect to be tested, physically and mentally. Expect it to hurt. Expect to be hungry, and cold, and tired. Expect to emerge from the school as a better, more highly trained, and more proficient combat-arms soldier. Expect to learn the tactics that have worked for many generations of warfighters. But do not expect to be taught leadership.
**Author’s note: For more on how best to prepare to succeed in Ranger School, read my article, “The Challenges of Ranger School and How to Overcome Them.”
Image credit: Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez, US Army
A school whose time has passed. Little more than a fraternity
The time will for war fighters will never pass.
To lead others, you must first discover how to lead yourself. A lesson I learned through testing limits of the human spirit at 5th RTB climbing mountains in the snow – Not @ USMA or CCC.
We need doctors, lawyers, and teachers Alan..but we also need warriors.
Major Spencer stated “ of those who fail, 62 percent do not meet the initial physical and skills assessment tests (e.g., push-ups, 12-mile foot March , land navigation) given during the first week of the course—the tough, week-long Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP).”
Anecdotes are obviously not proof but 40 years of military service active and reserve split between two services have given me some insight.
The anecdotes are first in reference to my youngest son and then a classmate who are recent West Point and IBOLiC graduates.
My son who has been performing push-ups in strict form since he was a child, performing push-ups daily for the last 5 years at West Point and other Army Schools and whose main off-duty hobby was physical fitness which was being supervised by a retired tier one operator and then Civil Service Tier One fitness trainer was failed at push-ups during the Ranger entry level fitness test by a non-Ranger qualified female evaluator.
His classmate a nationally ranked college wrestler was failed for not doing enough sit-ups because his cadre was talking to another instructor when he should have been counting his candidates.
These events were observed by a number of other students and are verifiable.
As a retired Airborne, Infantry, Drill Sgt., and Combat Veteran I no longer have to protect the integrity, or lack there of, the institution.
The conduct of such screeners and the lack of NCO and Officer supervision “brings great discredit on the US Army and the U.S.Army Ranger School!”
If you can’t ensure that an objective physical fitness test is being administered at the beginning of the course how can anyone believe that anyone actually graduated by meeting and objective standard.
No one in their right mind could believe that those two young officers failed those two particular fitness events considering their personal history. Their failure was either intentional, (I.e. ‘We don’t have enough slots.”), or worse negligence or malice.
If the US Army doesn’t return to a system that actually requires honorable conduct by all its members at all times titles like “Ranger” will become meaningless.
A Disgruntled Retiree
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Leadership is about building psychological capital to a large degree, and that is what Ranger School delivers to its graduates. Can one build and sustain one's own and a team's PSYCAP under duress. Ranger School is indeed a vehicle for developing leaders using small unit tactics, high stress, and technical skill development as a VEHICLE. To think otherwise means you don't understand leadership and the essential elements.
This begs the question, if Ranger School is not a “leadership school” then what is?
IOBC/BOLC was an initial skill and tactics course for infantry officers (though I did get a 4 hour block on counseling), which rotates students through leadership positions just like Ranger School. Advanced Course/Captains Career Course, we discussed the transition from being in charge of a platoon to a company, but no real leadership instruction (didn’t even go to the field overnight). CGSC/ILE?
I’m now shocked that my peers and I were successful, as it doesn’t appear that we ever went to a “leadership school”?
He is saying that it is a leadership evaluation. Back in the pldc days before it was changed to wlc, it was the same. Units have their own sops and tactics. Going to a school that teaches you how to be a leader removes the one thing that makes stand alone as war fighters, diversity. Your first line supervisor is responsible for your training, so why should you go to a school to be taught something you should already know. Because of this shift, it is destroying ncos being held accountable, because they can dismiss a soldier who wants to step up and take charge that needs that nco to mentor them. Ive heard countless times, you will learn that when you attend ncoes. Before a Cpl/Spc would be sent to pldc to be evaluated, and if they did not meet the standards they would be sent back to their unit and the leaders would know that the soldier isnt ready to be promoted. Also this allowed higher up to take a look at the leaders responsible for that soldier and hold them accountable.
Back to the ranger school thing. Every combat arms unit requires the soldier to go through pre-ranger. In alot of cases pre-ranger is harder than ranger school. The guys running it were either former sf, ranger instructors, or if the two former were lacking personnel tabbed soldiers or batt boys. Pre-ranger was where you learn the skills needed in ranger school. You can fail, and learn from your mistakes. Best of all, you developed muscle memory.
Ranger school has fallen victim to social experimentation. As a result, the world has lost respect for this once feared and coveted war-fighter course, as nobody wants to endanger their career (which would happen) if they were to express to the king that he's not wearing any clothes. In other words, lowering standards so that a couple of split tails can get pushed through for promotion in their particular careers, not to mention the attached political agenda, will only compromise our military effectiveness. In essence, When pondering trivialities such as whether ranger school is a leadership course, consider the primary function of a nations'
military; To always be ready (through realistic Training) when told, go anywhere, anytime and Kill in the most effective and expedient manner possible (entrails, heads on pikes, and oh yea scorched earth more than likely). Moreover, the military must endeavor to separate itself from political influences which seek to undermine this most sacred duty of protecting the people of America. Conversely, wars are not something to be entered into unless there is total commitment, for the penalty of failure is death. Despite what some people would like to think, men and women are radically different, the age we now live in has become one of confusion about this fact. In the civilian world, there are degenerate commies that have taken over the liberal left who do not care about their country and have not the slightest idea on how war is waged; they should not control the military the way they seem to have done (especially under "hussein obama") through various manipulations i.e soros. Things must change or I fear the America I once knew will become something more in line with G. Orwell writings with U.N forces deployed on U.S soil. Well lads you get the picture, there is so much more at stake. I'm a civilian and if I want a fucking pussified parade I'll go downtown, I don't want liberty to go bye-bye so that NOW (national organization for women) can feel powerful and relevant for another day, by manipulating leadership into doing what they instictively know is completely wrong. Well that's all I have to say about that 3/88
If this were the 10th century, you might be partly right. We are in the 21st century, and heads on pikes, scorched earth, and all that nonsense is a recipe for failure. I know you deeply desire the good old days when you were tough (and everyone in every military service in the world knows beyond all doubt THEY were in the LAST HARD CLASS – yawn), but this is not the same world.
Oh, since you bring up history – there has never been a war which did not involve women in combat. In many countries and cultures it is normal. The idea that women cannot fight is a cultural convention we've chosen to accept (or used to), not something imposed on us by reality. Example – Chris Kyle is credited with being the most proficient sniper in U.S. history, something around 106 confirmed kills. Numerous Soviet women came through WW II with more than twice that many, including many of the German snipers sent to kill them. The Soviets ran entire combat divisions made up of women. The Germanic tribes and so-called "Vikings" (Danes, Swedes, Norse) often had women among their warriors (Roman histories confirm it, as do grave goods) – and combat was something else in those days. It was equally common in the pre-Islamic Arab world, and the NVA and PLAF (Vietnam – the ones who beat us) had women in many of their formations engaged in combat action. All of this is well known to anyone who has bothered to study it.
So women entering and completing Ranger School (and anything else the military has to offer) is a matter of ability. If one feels the need to forbid someone to attempt anything because of gender, or race, or any other such thing – that simply proves one's fear that they CAN do it, and one does not WANT them to for personal or cultural reasons. If they truly can't do it, they won't be able to, and you won't have to forbid anything.
No I think you are missing the greater point for why there is not total and numeric representation of both genders in the history of war and it is to that some women are not as physically as capable as men, they clearly are, just as some men will not be fit enough for direct combat. The historical issue has been preservation of the species! If your best, bravest and most physically capable women are killed or seriously;y injured I combat in great numbers, then there are less surviving women who can give birth to the next generation and the nation thus becomes militarily weak within a short span of time.
It's a fantastic Tactical Small Unit training school in which the dynamics of both infantry advanced techniques coupled with squad/platoon leadership.
Excellent article and I fully agree: part of Ranger School is an extreme test of leadership, but leadership is not something taught there.
In reference to the previous comment on what is a leadership school in the Army, all of the schools listed (BOLC, career course, ILE) develop leadership more than teach leadership. Learning basic leadership (for officers, at least) is what the pre-commissioning experience is all about. One thing I always hammered home to my cadets is that the Army will teach you all the technical skills you need after you are commissioned, but you must a leader from day one. An officer’s formal leadership training ends as soon as Soldiers start saluting you.
I was at the tail end of the era when USMA and ROTC cadets were permitted to attend instead of going to Advanced Camp, does it count at a leadership school then?
Your statement is impossible since USMA has never had an “advanced camp”.
“An officer’s formal leadership training ends as soon as Soldiers start saluting you.”
I am confused by many of the responses related to leadership – what is purports to be, and what it is not – from some of the respondents. Leadership training does NOT end the day soldier start saluting you. In fact, it begins before and continues indefinite after that event. Just research Bradley's comments on leadership during his board experience. This is a life-long exercise. Teaching elements of leadership (e.g., transformational, autocratic, coaching) is one thing in a classroom. Leading from the front and in a dynamic, real-world landscape is another. As a former USMA grad, Ranger graduate, combat arms leader, and 20+ year corporate executive, I can say I learned far more about leadership in the "crucible" of decision-making under duress than I ever did as an academic studying leadership theory. Leadership begins the day troops start saluting you, and your development as a leader never ends from that point forward.
I beg to differ with MAJ Spencer. Leadership in Ranger School may not be on the curriculum, but you learn to lead the minute you step through the door in Ranger School. You learn how to motivate yourself and your peers. What steps need to be taken to get the squad, team, or platoon to take that extra step when bone tired and famished; how to keep them awake to complete that crucial task for mission success. It is where the theme of do not ask any member of your command to accomplish something you have not already done or know how to do it is indelibly imprinted into your decision making process. During my time in Ranger school the leadership skill of ranger candidates was recognized by RI’s with Major and Minor good spot reports. So yes Ranger School major goal is master small unit tactics, but every Ranger who pins on the tab leaves the school with leadership skills and experiences they will use daily in every aspect of not only their military career, but long after leaving the military.
I agree whole heartedly that Ranger School is indeed a leadership school. It may not be on the curriculum, but anytime time you present a rapidly changing environment to an ever changing chain of command, I would believe that would be the ultimate leadership challenge anyone could be put through, not to mention being evaluated and graded at the same time. I believe the intent is to teach small unit tactics, but these are just vehicles to hone your leadership skills under extreme duress. You are constantly learning about yourself and others, your weaknesses and their weaknesses and the true meaning of team work.
The warning order and operations order are great business planning tools anyone can use and easily adapt to any circumstance they see fit. All the tools that are given to you in Ranger school are applicable in todays team based business teams, although you can't tell people that ,they just won't understand , unless they have a TAB.
I’m there with you! At first it’s not so much team work. In the end hand signals when you have been in the Army for 5 months and peer assessments where your leadership is judged by everyone else. I believe that is considered leadership. The physical part didn’t bother me after Mountain phase it was the mental aspect of it.
The MAJ is wrong.
Ranger School may not overtly be a leadership school but a successful student will learn about his true leadership abilities throughout the course when faced with stressful situations and unmotivated followers. Being a good leader is also about being a good follower and Ranger School certainly identifies who is and who is not a team player. Many spotlight Rangers do not survive peer evaluations because they are poor followers and not team players. That is the aspect of leadership that good leaders learn about themselves during the course.
I disagree MAJ Spencer. As a ranger student 10 years ago (that managed to graduate) I found informal learning opportunities on numerous occasions. While “leadership” may not be codified in the curriculum the choices you make during the MDMP, T”L”Ps and in “leadership” roles under the wide and varied circumstances make for many teachable moments. Further, the immediate nature of the feedback is something you “learn” from and typically apply to future situations (expediently if you are looking to graduate).
Further, you might consider that non combat arms folks are getting a college course in infantry leadership and tactics as the vast majority do not have the experiences of a seasoned infantry O/NCO. This would likely likely increase given the greater integration of the military.
I still utilize the skills and experiences I acquired/survived in Ranger School today. I’ll leave definitions and hair-splitting on taught versus experienced leadership to the academics. I think that any Soldier who attempted or completed the course is better for it, and those who find it outdated or superfluous ought to talk to some recent graduates. Their stories and experiences could have come from my platoon, 35 years ago!
Clearly, MAJ Spencer’s article is generating some worthy thought. In retrospect after experiencing over 27 years of whatever the Army was doing course wise, in its mentoring, and experientially in its development of leadership, the system was progressive and continuous. All of these mentioned components played a role. The Ranger School was one of the significant leader development way stations along the way–particularly in plumbing the depths of the developing leader’s capacity to lead under great duress. This was a twofer in that the catalyst was the use of valid small unit tactical training that served the infantry oriented leader and units led later by that leader very well. To some degree all components of leadership development in our Army have an “eye of the beholder” aspect as to what they do re: our individual leadership development. The real point is what each individual leader obtained from each component that made them a better more effective leader based on their own unique abilities and capabilities. I think most would agree that Ranger School added to the individual’s effectiveness as a leader, if in any other way, than to understand what was possible no matter how bad the situation was.
MAJ – I disagree — ‘Leadership is the Art of influencing and directing men in such a way as to obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect, and loyal cooperation to accomplish the Mission’ NOWHERE is that taught in a more realistic environment as Ranger School — I graduated Class 4-69, 31 Oct 68 when we all carried M14’s — You can ‘talk’ all you want in a Classroom — but you ‘learn’ when you’re cold, wet and starving to complete the mission — Ranger School uses SQ/PLT/Patrolling Principles/Tactics as the ‘vehicle’ — you ‘learn’ light infantry TTP and SOPs in Units and Schools – Tell me — have you ever heard of=f a ‘Star Burst’ Raid?? This is not taught in Ranger School. BTW: I know LTG Caslen very well — He commanded the 1/14 Inf Bn in 2nd Bde, 25th ID when I was the Bde CSM. You say you can ‘flunk a Patrol for getting lost’ True – as well as failing to complete the Mission — why? Because you have lost the respect and Confidence of the Men you lead — Therefore, you have failed as a Leader
‘RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!’
I don’t find the author to be very accurate in his interpretation of ‘what is leadership training’. In real life, leadership is a very difficult aspect to be inculcated by teaching. So the Ranger school rightly does not attempt to do so. Leadership is most often learned by individuals by ‘evolving’, for which the Ranger School provides just the right environment. During the Ranger Course, one is throughout either following a leader or leading (under extreme stress and challenges) in an unending cycle of missions and activities, which just telescopes the natural process of leader evolution and leadership learning. This is also exactly what happens on the battlefield too, leaders just quickly evolve amongst the challenging circumstances of battle.
I wonder what CSM Leon Guerrero would say??
LG is one of my Ranger Buddies! still remember the ‘google glasses’ and putting his forehead on your hand! HAR! Great American and Ranger Legend!
I remember that CSM when I was in ACo 2/75 with you
Interesting article written from the perspective of an insider. He does have credibility in his opinions having been cadre, whether or not you agree with the opinion that he presented he did get a good discussion started.
The thing I’ve always found interesting is that while RANGER school graduates always pre judge those who didn’t go or graduate, I don’t recall ever having and FTX or JRTC / NTC rotation where they segregated us based on schools we had attended. God Bless All my Brothers and Sisters in this family of Veterans!
By the time I went to Ranger school I had already served four years in the Marine Corps infantry and two years in the 75th. I thought then what I thought after later serving as an RI. Ranger School has an identity problem. Most of the cadre believe it is an leadership school that uses infantry raid tactics as a metaphor and a test medium. Believing this, being tactically sound is often sacrificed for the greater good of making the conditions stressful. The most beneficial thing about the course is that tradition and the mystique of the Ranger tab make it possible to get away with training that is much tougher than is possible almost anywhere else in the Army. It is worth noting, in reference to the article, that the percentage of students who fail due to poor leadership, as measured by patrol grades, peer evaluations and spot reports, is only 8% according to the RTB web page. That can be compared to 12% for land nav and 9% for the 12 mile road march. If it is a leadership school it doesn’t seem that leadership is stressed very high in the grading system. This seems to be quite different than what I remember as a student but perfectly in keeping with when I was an RI. At some point it seems the system was changed to de-emphasize peer evaluations.
I don’t recall any kind of special tactics being taught. What I do remember is basic classes and patrol evaluations all based in standard Army doctrine found in FM 7-8. There was absolutely nothing special about any “small unit tactics” taught. Ranger School does not take ordinary soldiers and turn them into any kind of elite superhumans (as some might believe that have not been thru it). You suck it up for 9+ weeks then return to your unit a more prepared leader with a sharper edge and knowing all your weaknesses.
This article is like saying Jumpmaster has nothing to do with Airborne Ops. Leadership in Ranger school is being able to motivate people in the most dire of circumstances, it is being able to LEAD from the front, to be a team player, to be able to give orders and shut up and color when not in charge, that is a leader! So to say Ranger school is not a Leadership school, I reply, “Have you been to mountains? if not, elevate those feet!!” Sorry Maj I think you need tighten up your shot group.
Elevate your feet brother!
I have said this to Ranger hopefuls as well as to Ranger Students while grading them. Ranger School will not help you master the art of military tactics but it will teach you who you are. You learn more about yourself in 61+ days that you will learn about an ambush or raid. #RLTW
found GOD in Dahlongha….obj acquired…consolidation complete…PL hand off done….final run back to base…2am…walking mostly down hill…take up perimeter before crossing LD…bugs have been crawling on me for what felt like hours…facing east down into a valley… the sun catches the top of the pine I settled under…looking at those bugs they were actually ants and I had laid across their path up the trunk of this huge pine….as I followed their path up and over and beneath these large barked cover trunks…I noticed limbs branching out…some large some small but they all made up this pine that these ants called home….and then my gaze lowered down this towering spectacle into a valley full of this very same huge pine. Finally my gaze dropped to the same ant trail that had beleaguered me for hours….the Sun crests the horizon and shines on My Ants trail of life. It’s hard not to feel small in the grand scheme of nature and stress. Yet…those are the crucibles for those that wish to learn about themselves honestly. No GOD? Come on….
Very good article; just like the people that responded, I could argue both ways. The truth is; the Ranger course is not described as a leadership course in AR 350-1. The Ranger course is an ASI producing course for Soldiers being assigned to Ranger units and positions. I can see the benefit of sending Soldiers to this course, however, I would argue, there are a lot of courses we can send Soldiers to help improve leadership skills (ie Airborne, Cav Leaders, etc). Unfortunately, not sure if makes sense to send Soldiers to these types of courses unless they are going to a ranger unit/position, plus it causes statements about a good ole boy system (as stated above). Again, good article; believe some clarity is in order.
Sir, I would say that stating the major reasons students fail ranger school are anything but leadership is not accurate. If you can’t lead yourself to pass the foot March, land navigation, RPFT you don’t deserve the tab. As a graduate in 4-90 and recent former RI from 2011-2013; if you think the peer evaluation is the truth measure of that particular student’s leadership not the RI evaluation I am confused? The students are better judges of leadership than the RI’s, wow! It is still the best test and development of young leaders in the military; stated by the marines, SEALs, AirForce and Army personnel that came thru while I was there. Is it easier than past years of course but still a great experience for all that attend. I was always proud of the young American that attended.
I remember a particular strain of ” Batt. Boys”, “Pointers”, “Nons(other service)”, and “ROTCEE’s” all scheming to save their buddies when final phase was in Dugway.
You meant Wig Mountain live firing! Ranger School is a place to learn to put others before oneself specified and mandated in the creed after graduation. We do it in Ranger School but the hardest part lies in the post graduation and military service grazing-fire lane where the creed is the only gauging omnipresent left in the butt-pack.
I guess that’s whats different compared to 1991 when I went through Ranger School. However, I disagree, because every Infantryman I prepared and sent to Benning came back confirming what I’d already instilled in them, DoD leadership doctrine that any strong leader will recognize in them. It may not be perfect to you, but compared to PLDC/WLC/BLC and all the other NCOES courses, it and the instructors are leaps and bounds ahead!
It's a school from the last century. It's great for small unit infantry/combat arms soldiers. Should I be putting a cyber/signal officer with a ranger tab ahead of other officers that distinguished themselves in their craft. Sure, it can't hurt to be tabbed…. But their should be other very difficult schools used for other branches. They would be all difficult, but focus on the skills necessary to be successful in their discipline…. E.g. a signal officer with a CCNP, hard as hell… And many would fail of you just put them in a 3 month school for it.
It’s a leadership school.
It's a leadership school (10/95). Has nothing to do with being a Ranger. RLTW 2/75. What it was created for and what it is used for are two different things. Best to call it what it is, verse keep aligning it to today's Regiment.
I have served in combat for 39 months; all but three were at the infantry platoon level. I have served in 4 infantry battalions: Ranger, Light, Mech and airborne. I graduated Ranger school as a private and was an instructor as a E-7. I have also served in LRSC and LRSD units and two SFGs.
Ranger school is a combat leaders course. You are leading from the beginning of the course; if it is only to motivate yourself to pass the prerequisites, Team, Squad, Platoon or Company level small unit tactics you are graded on accomplishing the mission as a leader.
Ranger instructors are just that; even though you are evaluating students; your job is ALWAYS to continue to instruct students thru various methods. The end mission is to create effective combat leaders. Many do not graduate but leave the course better combat leaders. I would tell my students no matter how much they wanted the coveted Ranger tab; in the long run accomplishing your combat mission and keeping your troops alive will always be more important than a piece of cloth. The school is just another in a leaders tool box to draw apon to be successful. Being Ranger qualified does not mean automatically you are the best leader and have all the answers; I know I have been around both qualified guys and ones that were not with varied performances in both cases. But arbitrarily to denouncing a course because of what “you” imagine it to be from various people who had various experiences is to pretend you understand a course you have never attended.
I have encouraged numerous guys and galls to attend the course just to simply prepare themselves as much as possible. Because I garuntee you the second it starts and if you genuinely care about your troops you will wished you had at least attempted it.
Also it was one of the one courses in the military the civilian side of our society recognizes as mark of a leader.Also I have heard I think every excuse not to attend: from I been to combat, I know everything O need to know; to I am Special Forces qualified that’s the only course I need. They are summed up with one statement: Every leader does not have every answer and it behoves you as a leader to expose and experience as much training as possible to accomplish the mission and bring your soldiers home.
In my experience women attending is a good idea. Being a patriot or combat leader is not gender exclusive now a days. If the standard is not lowered( which it will never be because I know how the instructors operate) it is a good thing they attend. They should bring back desert phase and have live fire training and evaluation s in every phase like it was in the past. That would truly make the folks that attend more well rounded combat leaders.
Just my two cents
Ranger school was commanded bye and run bye the Ranger Regt. Commander for years. Since then it has moved to the training command in Benning. Being Ranger qualified does not make a Airborne Ranger, meaning a member of the Ranger Regiment. As an Ambrams Charter Ranger( very different from today’s Assaulter Ranger Regiment members). Many folks from the outside of military or in the military miss that point. But have no doubt the course STILL brings all that attend to their knees sooner or later. Many folks that are in “elite” units consider the course as something they have to do; not necessarily because it will improve their performance. Having had students that were SEALS, RANGERS, and much higher in the SOF community; no matter what they say afterwards; they learned something about themselves and on how to lead more effectively. That is for certain.
I thought Ranger School was required from Promotion in Infantry NCOs. Am I wrong?
Big words for you who have not officially ‘earned’ the right to don the coveted tan beret.
The tan beret is earned by completing the selection process formally known as RIP, now RASP. You RI’s just put it on…
Ranger school grades you in leadership positions, in all levels of a platoon. Tell me how a ‘school’ with graded leadership positions, IS NOT a leadership school?
There are wearers, and there are bearers.