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Highest attrition occurs in first week of Ranger School.

"Not for the Weak or Fainthearted"

These words that are emblazoned on the front sign of Camp Rogers are one of the first things newly arrived students see as they enter the gates. Ranger School can't be fully recognized until it is experienced.

Ask any qualified Ranger and they will probably tell you many underestimate what is needed to get through just the first week. More than 60 percent of all Rangers that fail Ranger School fail in the first week. We have a maximum student load of 250 students, but we take up to 330 because we know statistically that we will lose almost one-third of the class in the "Ranger Assessment Phase" (RAP week).

RAP week events are not too difficult by themselves, but when you put them all together it is like a mini-Best Ranger competition.

RAP week events that must be passed are:

* PT test ** (70 percent standards plus 6 chin-ups)

* Swim test ** (15m swim, 15m blind drop, equipment removal)

* 5-mile run (8 min per mile / 40 min total)

* Land navigation ** (5 out of 6 points needed)

* 2.5-mile buddy run (with boots / equip)

* Ranger Stakes **

* 14.5-mile road march (with 65 to 75 pounds total equip)

** Retests provided. (You don't want retest on any of these events because that is energy you may not have for other events.)

Other events conducted during this week include: water confidence training, Malvesti obstacle course, 17 hours of hand-to-hand and rifle bayonet training, pugil stick fighting, airborne refresher training and jump, prepping of gear, initial leadership classes, patrolling classes, and a lot of running and retesting.

Perhaps the most shocking thing for most new Rangers is working 20-hour days nonstop for 61 days--the full length of the course without recycle. (The exception is an 8-hour break every three weeks if deserved. It has to be earned.) Getting no rest that first week makes many give in.

Food is the other condition that can break a Soldier's spirit. Rangers get three square meals a day and only two out in the field, but the average "Joe" before Ranger School isn't used to working 20-hour days. Many Rangers may also be used to eating junk food and other snacks in between meals before they began this course. They aren't going to get snacks for a long time. You can bet they are burning up everything they are eating and more. The fact is Ranger School is a great weight loss program. If you take a look at a graduating class, all you will see are fit, focused machines that would kill for a slice of pizza.

Attrition has always been an issue at Ranger School. Since its inception in 1950, each class typically loses about 50 percent of the students for one reason or another.

The figures above show where most Rangers fall out of the Ranger course. Figure 1 shows where most students failed during classes from June 2002 to June 2004. RAP causes the most attrition, and then the rest is split up somewhat evenly by medical, other, and administrative or academic (patrols/peers) reasons.

Figure 2 is a breakdown of what events caused the most failures during RAP week. Usually 60 percent or more of each class will fail in one or more of these events.

The best source for success in the Ranger course is to put all future Ranger candidates through a "Pre-Ranger" course. Those courses tend to put much of the same vigor into a three-week package that Ranger School has and sometimes more. By attending a pre-Ranger course, students have a much higher chance of success. The pre-Ranger course may not only save the individual from recycle, it will also determine if the Soldier has the desire and attitude to endure the course. This not only saves slots but also money.

The Ranger course tests the mettle and soul of a man's character. When you think you are finished and can't go on any further, you will have to find the will to go on. You will find that "can't" or "quit" will not be part of your vocabulary. The Ranger course sets you apart from those that "could not." So don't waste your time if you are weak or fainthearted.

Rangers are men that "Can!"
Figure 1
Total Ranger Class Attrition

Average Attrition Per Class 114 / 48%
RAP Week 71 / 62%
Medical 14 / 12%
Other 20 / 18%
Academic 9 / 8%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Figure 2
RAP Week Attrition

Average RAP Week Attrition Per Class 71

APFT 26 / 37%
CWST 13 / 17%
5-Mile Run 16 / 23%
Land Nav 13 / 18%
Road March 3 / 4%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Ranger Notes
Author:Greenway, Douglas M.
Publication:Infantry Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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