Army Rangers Lead the Way, No Matter the Mission
As the Army’s premier infantry force, becoming a Ranger is an honor shared by a distinct few. You'll specialize in conducting raids and assault missions deep inside enemy territory—a task only the best-trained can carry out in this branch of the elite Special Operations Forces.
To become a Ranger is no easy task. You have to go through grueling training to ensure you have the mental toughness, physical fitness, moral character, and motivation to endure the challenges you’ll face in the field.
Specializing in Raids and Assault Missions
There are three pillars that make up the Ranger mission that encompass a wide variety of enemy combat operations.
Three Types of Missions:
SPECIAL OPERATIONS RAIDS
Raids designed to seize, destroy, or capture enemy goods and locations. Rangers deliver maximum surprise and shock.
FORCIBLE ENTRY OPERATIONS
Joint forcible entry includes taking over airfields and is a traditional element of Ranger operations.
Gathering intelligence on enemies is crucial to many Ranger operations, and is a critical part of Ranger training.
Working Together to Execute Each and Every Mission
As a Ranger, you would be a member of one of five battalions, on a team with fellow Rangers, all with unique skillsets working together for the success of Ranger missions.
Ranger teams are designed to quickly complete missions that call for heavy firepower and precision, which rely on Ranger skillsets including rifles, machine guns, snipers, explosives, and sabotaging tanks.
The Selection Process for Becoming an Army Ranger
Army Rangers receive some of the best training and opportunities the Army can provide, but to become a Ranger, you’ll first be rigorously tested in Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP). Then, you’ll go through one of the toughest training experiences in the Army, Ranger School, before or after selection as an Army Ranger.
Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP)
This intense, eight-week course has two phases, followed by graduation as an Army Ranger.
Physical and Psychological Testing
In Phase 1, you’ll go through physical and psychological tests, and be assessed on your strength of character and leadership ability. This phase includes a 12-mile ruck march with a 35-pound dry ruck-sack in full uniform, land navigation exercises, medical first responder tests, and a psychological screening.
Ranger Skills Training
In Phase 2, you’ll prepare for Ranger duties by learning direct-action combat, airfield seizure, personnel recovery, marksmanship, and explosives.
All members of the 75th Ranger Regiment are expected to complete Ranger School either before or after their selection into the regiment. For over two months, Ranger students train to exhaustion to become experts in leading Soldiers on difficult missions.
In the first 20 days, you’ll go through physical and mental skill development to get your body and mind prepared for the rest of Ranger School. Then, you’ll spend the next 21 days in the mountains, learning how to execute combat patrol missions. The last phase of Ranger School takes place in a swamp, where you’ll lead small teams to conduct missions while under extreme mental and physical stress.
Army Ranger Fitness and Workouts
RASP and Ranger School are some of the hardest physical challenges you’ll face in life if you pursue becoming an Army Ranger. You’ll need to complete intense strength and endurance workouts prior to RASP to ensure you meet the pre-RASP Army Ranger fitness tests. These include:
- 53 push-ups
- 63 sit-ups
- Two mile run in 14:30 or less
- Four pull-ups
- Six-mile ruck march with a 35-pound rucksack and weapon in less than one hour, 30 minutes
To succeed at RASP, it’s important to run, swim, and strength train since you’ll need to complete a 15-meter swim in full uniform, a five-mile run in under 40 minutes, and a 12-mile march with a 35-pound ruck.
Joining the Army Rangers
All Rangers must be active duty enlisted Soldiers or Officers, and there are different requirements for each.
Requirements to join as an active-duty Soldier:
- U.S. citizenship
- ASVAB placement test TECH score of 105 or above
- Army fitness test completion and clearing the height and weight standards, including the Ranger Fitness Test and the Water Survival Assessment
- Qualification for Airborne School
- A specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) authorized to be hired by the 75th Ranger Regiment, including infantryman (11B), combat engineer (12B), and many more
- Re-class into a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) found in the 75th Ranger Regiment
- Eligibility for a secret security clearance
Requirements to join as an active-duty Officer:
- An MOS found in the 75th Ranger Regiment
- Rank of first lieutenant, captain or major
- Eligibility for a secret security clearance
Common Questions about Army Rangers
Do I need to complete Basic Training to become an Army Ranger?
Yes. After completing Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Soldiers interested in becoming a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment can be screened for the first step of becoming an Army Ranger: Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP).
What makes a successful Army Ranger candidate?
Rangers are role model Soldiers mentally, morally, and physically. They make sound judgments, and they never quit, though their bodies may tell them to. Rangers demonstrate discipline both on and off duty.
What is life on base like for Army Rangers and their families?
When Rangers are not deployed, they intensely focus on physical fitness and individual training to be ready to deploy at any minute. Otherwise, life on base is similar to any typical Army unit. Additionally, Rangers have excellent Family Readiness Groups, providing routine updates about deployments and training exercises, and providing support for challenges related to deployment. Rangers are stationed in one of three bases in the United States: Fort Benning, Hunter Army Airfield, and Joint Base Lewis McChord.
Can I join Army Rangers from National Guard or Army Reserve?
No, you must be active duty status in the U.S. Army.
Can I join Army Rangers as a non-commissioned Officer (NCO) or Warrant Officer?
Yes. Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Warrant Officers, at ranks of staff sergeant and above, with long-range surveillance experience, are encouraged to apply within the Regimental Reconnaissance Company and attend RASP 2, a three-week selection course where Officer candidates (including commissioned Officers) are tested on their physical and mental capabilities while learning the special tactics, techniques and procedures that set the regiment apart, and learning the expectations of leading and developing young Rangers.
What is the history of Army Rangers?
While the modern 75th Ranger Regiment was established relatively recently, U.S. military units with the same operational philosophy as the Rangers have existed since before the American Revolution. After the attack against the U.S. on September 11, 2001, the 75th Ranger Regiment immediately prepared to “Lead the Way,” spearheading the initial ground invasion of Afghanistan, just as the Rangers did at Normandy in 1944, Grenada in 1983, and Panama in 1989. The Rangers’ iconic motto “Rangers, Lead the Way!” was coined during the allied invasion of Normandy.