There Are Many Ways to Fail the U.S. Army’s Ranger School, Here Are the Most Likely:
Reason #5: You didn’t take it seriously.
Many Soldiers hear horror stories of Ranger School and brush them off as being dramatized spin-offs of reality. They assume, since Soldiers indeed have the tendency to do so, that the hardships of Ranger were blown-out of proportion. They don’t believe the stories of how heavy your rucksack will be at times (literally upwards of 90lb), how much sleep you don’t get (you’ll feel grateful when you get 1+ hr of sleep), and how hungry you get (yes, you’ll get 2x MREs a day, but you’ll usually only get 5min or so to eat them, and you burn waaaaaaayyy more calories than you consume). Take the stories seriously, they are most likely true, even the craziest ones.
Reason #4: You weren’t physically ready… at all…
Many guys will think to themselves, “hey, girls pass Ranger now, how hard can it be?” I’m here to tell you, it’s still fuckin’ hard. Make no mistake, the females at Ranger School (especially the ones that tab up) are monsters. If you are that guy, you should shut the fuck up about women making it through Ranger, especially if you don’t have a Tab. It doesn’t do anyone any good.
If you didn’t physically prep properly, you’ll be lucky to make it through RAP week, and even if you do, you'll probably hurt yourself or just bitch out during the remainder of the School. I always say, the #1 thing you should do to prepare to be successful at Ranger is to get in the right shape. This is key to being able to pass the gated events, remain resilient when emotional times are hard, and remain an asset to your team when shit needs to be carried. Get THIS PROGRAM to get ready.
Reason #3: You’re a dick.
You know that guy that told you how he got “screwed over” during peers? Well, there is a 99.9% chance he didn’t, and he was just a dick… He either didn’t perform well during leadership, didn’t help leadership when it was their turn to get their GOs, or was just a straight up asshole that no one liked. When you are there, remember, you get your Tab as a team, not as an individual.
Reason #2: You fail patrols.
Leadership position time is the most stressful time in school. But, if you take it seriously, follow the Ranger Handbook, and ask your dudes for help, you’ll be just fine (hopefully). The RIs will tell you to act like its real when on mission, that is solid advice. Take it seriously, follow the rules, go by the book, and get it done right.
Reason #1: You fuckin’ quit.
Ranger School is an absolute marathon of physical endurance and mental mind games. EVERY DAY you will face new challenges that will have you wondering why you ever even signed up to go to school. The best advice I can give is to find “small wins” everywhere you can. I looked forward to every meal, every end of mission, every day down. I looked forward to taking a knee and pulling security for even just a minute. Find your small victories and cherish them, because the rest of your day will be full of hardship. No matter what happens, keep moving forward and DON’T QUIT.
All photos found at Airborne Ranger Training Brigade.
Author: CPT Dan Fahey (Class 02-18)
~Exceed the Standard