How to be Prepared for RAP Week?
Even though you spend the majority of time in a "half-awake" status in Ranger School, I vividly remember going through RAP week. Every day, no, every hour was a new challenge. You don't get any rest, barely any time to eat (when you do eat), and your body and soul get beat to a pulp. I remember seeing guys fail and being jealous of their departure from hell. They got to go home, rest, eat, and be with their families, while I was stuck there suckin'... There is a purpose to RAP week, and it is find out who is really ready for the trials of Ranger School, and who is not... Its the first test of many.
I’m sure by now, if you have any interest in Ranger School whatsoever, you have heard of the infamous “RAP Week” as being one of the hardest challenges to get through as a Soldier in the US Army. Well, its true. In 2019, less then 50% of all Ranger School students actually made it past the events the make up RAP week, with over 18% not even making past the Ranger Physical Assessment (RPA).
Charts provided by ARTB
You can see from the statistics gathered that the majority of RAP week failures stem from not being able to hack the requirements of the week’s physical events.
These statistics prove that most Ranger School students will show up to Ranger School physically unprepared to get through RAP week and really start their Ranger training. Training up for Ranger School is what a real leader should do, someone who actually deserves to wear the Ranger Tab. If you show up to Ranger School physically unprepared, you have not only wasted your time, but you have become another negative statistic that ARTB has to report. Getting through RAP week is a decision, and it is something you should absolutely prepare 110% for in order to even stand a chance at moving on to Darby Phase.
THE RAP WEEK SCHEDULE
“The first week of Ranger school called the Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP) which (by design) tests the student’s physical fitness, endurance, and some basic field skills. Training days usually start at approximately 0400 and last until 2300-2400. All training events are back-to-back allowing minimal or no time for rest and recovery.” ~Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade (ARTB) at Fort Benning, Ga
The current RAP week schedule is as follows:
Day 1: In-processing, medical screening, Battalion Commander Orientation
Day 2: Ranger PFT, CWST, introduction to land navigation, hand to hand combat
Day 3: Land navigation test (starts at night, ends midmorning), fundamentals of patrolling
Day 4: Land navigation re-test, 1.5 mile buddy run & Darby Mile
Day 5: 12 mile ruck march, troop leading procedure classes, leader task classes
Day 6: Airborne operation (for Airborne qualified personnel only), Ranger task training, battle drills, intelligence briefing
Day 7: Fundamentals of patrolling and battle drills
Day 8: 16-mile foot march to Camp Darby
Sounds pretty rough huh? Well, its designed to be that way to weed out those who have no business being there. If you cannot make it through RAP week, you have no chance making through the rest of Ranger School training.
3 Tips for success:
- Follow a strict PT plan geared towards training specifically for Ranger School (ruck-based, endurance, strength-building program) >> guess what, we have that: 13-Week Ranger School Fitness Plan
- Show up in the right mindset. Dial-down your finances, make sure your loved ones are just as motivated for you to be gone in Ranger School for an unknown amount of time (you probably will recycle), and arrive with minimal “outside world” stressors.
- DO NOT QUIT. Dedicate yourself to being there once you arrive. You will see fellow students get nixed during RAP week, and will feel almost a sense of jealousy because they get to go home and you don’t. Well, such it up buttercup, embrace the suck and drive on to the next challenge.
Your chances of success during RAP week 100% depend on your ability to show up prepared to defeat the challenges laid before you during the first week of Ranger School. Its up to YOU if you want to succeed.
Author: CPT Dan Fahey (Graduated Ranger School in 2017)
~Exceed the Standard