Support your Ranger, it matters!
Welcome to my post on The Ranger School Experience— from the outside looking in. I watched my husband battle through school, and decided there simply wasn’t enough information on the internet to help love ones support their rangers through this training experience.
I will be using RS as an acronym for Ranger School.***
What is RS?
Ranger school is an intense training course in the Army. While it is required that infantry officers and regiment guys attend, others choose to go. RS takes place at Fort Benning in Columbus, GA.
Ranger school is also an expensive endeavor. The packing list is long, and very specific. Forgetting something on the list can be grounds for dismissal. By the end of school, 90% of what they took with them will be broken, wet, and growing fungus. I know we spent around $1000 covering the packing list the first time, and by Darby pass we were buying more stuff.
The Four Phases
Technically RS is only 3 phases, but before heading to the initial phase they have to undergo 3 weeks of SURT. SURT is much different from the rest of RS because communication is not as sparse. My ranger had his phone during SURT, and we talked in the evenings and on the weekend.
After passing SURT, rangers go to Darby phase, Mountain phase, and finally Florida phase.
Believe me, they’re counting down the days to graduation just like you are!
The 'Darby Pass'
Darby pass is a one day event where your ranger runs around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to eat and restock before its off to mountains. Family and friends can attend this pass, and it is encouraged!
You can read more in-depth about Darby pass by heading over to my other blog post that covers that specifically!
There may come a time where your ranger is held back in a phase due to their performance. Advancing in Ranger school depends just as much on what your ranger does as what they don’t do!
I have friends who went to Ranger school, and recycled a phase because their were peered out. I know someone else who recycled a phase because he pooped where he wasn’t supposed to… You read that right. It is HILARIOUS now, and we will never let him live it down.
Recycling can be a huge hit to your ranger’s ego. Encourage them to learn from their experience and come back better than ever.
In the end, they will graduate with the same tab as everyone else!!
Communication during RS
If this hasn’t been beat in your head already, then here it is again.. NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS! If you are nearing the end of a ranger school phase, and you haven’t heard from your ranger yet, then continue to wait patiently.
Sometimes there are rosters released the day before a phase ends. Sometimes they can send a letter. Sometimes they get to make a 30 second phone call.
Most of the time you’re left wondering what in the heck is going on!
(The rosters will only include your ranger’s roster number. There will not be any names. Whenever a roster is released, it is posted on the Ranger School support group page.)
As you have already learned, you can write your Ranger letters. BUT! No one wants to receive a letter during RS that is packed full of sob stories and woe is me. The mail system is incredibly slow while theyre in RS. When I sent my husband mail in Darby phase, he didn’t receive the letters until Darby day.
Making friends during RS
So you’ve discovered your loved one is headed to Ranger school.. what do you do now? You join the Ranger School Support Group page on Facebook!
It is incredibly important to stay in good spirits while your loved one is gone.
Your ranger is going through an extremely tough course that is testing them physically, mentally, and emotionally. They’re sleeping in all of the elements. They’re running off 2 MREs a day.
Your part as their supporter is to stay in a good mood, and send them prayers and good vibes.
Thanks to an introductory post on the facebook page, I was able to meet up with a group of incredible women in my area who were going through the same thing I was. We shared stories over brunch and mimosas.. Name a better duo!
They won’t be sipping mimosas and giggling, but your loved one will be making very important friendships during RS as well. Their ranger buddies will be a key part in their RS success.
In conclusion, if you don’t take anything else from this, join the Ranger School facebook groups!
The admins of the groups have been supporting rangers as well as their friends and families for a long time. They know their stuff, and can answer your questions.