The day FTX comprises "fast paced, highly stressful, challenging exercises in which the Students are evaluated on their ability to apply small unit tactics and techniques during the execution of raids, ambushes, movements to contact, and urban assaults to accomplish their assigned missions". This small boat operation involves each platoon in the class, all working together on separate missions to take down the cartel's final point of strength. Afterwards, students who have met graduation requirements spend several days cleaning their weapons and equipment before returning to Fort Benning.
By then they have earned PX Post Exchange privileges, and access to a community center where they can use a telephone, eat civilian food, and watch television. In years past, the "Gator Lounge" served this purpose, but it was destroyed by a fire in late In the years since, a new "Gator Lounge" has been built, maintaining many of the features of the old one. Graduation is at Fort Benning.
In an elaborate ceremony at Victory Pond, the black-and-gold Ranger Tab is pinned to the graduating soldier's left shoulder usually by a relative, a respected RI, or soldier from the student's original unit. The Ranger Tab is permanently worn above the soldier's unit patch. The Desert Phase was designed to instruct its students in Desert Warfare operations and basic survival in the deserts of the Middle East. John Lock describes the Desert Phase as follows. Following the mission, the students moved into a cantonment area. Remaining in garrison for five days, they then received classes on desert-survival techniques to include water procurement and water preservation.
Leadership responsibilities, standing operating procedures SOPs , reconnaissance, and ambush techniques were also reviewed. Additional emphasis was placed on battle drills to include react to enemy contact, react to indirect fire, and react to near and far ambushes. Drills on how to breach barbed and concertina wire with wire cutters and assault ladders were taught as were techniques on how to clear a trench line and how to assault a fortified bunker.
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This was part of the brigade's continuing evaluation of the possibility of integrating a Desert Phase into the Ranger course. The first students to undergo the Desert Phase were selected from Ranger Class class 13 in When the bulk of the class went on to begin the Florida phase, the airborne qualified members of Ranger Class Desert donned MC parachutes, boarded a C aircraft and parachuted into the White Sands Missile Range. When the Desert Phase was officially introduced, the length of Ranger School was lengthened to 65 days. In May , the school underwent its most recent change when the Desert phase was discontinued.
A student's graduation is highly dependent on his performance in graded positions of leadership. This leadership ability is evaluated at various levels in various situations, and is observed while he is in one of his typically two graded leadership roles per phase.
He can either meet the high standards and be given a "GO" by the R. He must demonstrate the ability to meet the standard in order to move forward, and can thus only afford one unsuccessful patrol. His success will lie in his ability to essentially manipulate the men directly underneath his charge of leadership.
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His success can be dependent on the performance and team work of these individuals, whom he must motivate and lead. Missions are typically broken up into four stages: The Platoon Leader position in Mountains and Florida will be rotated throughout the mission, the same is said for the platoon sergeant position. The squad leader position is on a 24 hour rotation which is the same for all of the ungraded key leadership positions: Due to unit loyalties, certain individuals within a squad who may be "the odd man out" will sometimes be singled out by the squad arbitrarily.
Because of this, someone who has been "peered out" or "peered," will be moved to another squad, sometimes within another platoon, in order to ensure that this was not the reason the student was peered. If it happens within this new squad, however, this is generally an indication that student is being singled out because he is either lazy, incompetent, or cannot keep up. At this time he will usually be removed from the course.
In other words, squad members all agree to rate one another in such a manner that no one is singled out. Ranger School cadre watch for such attempt. If discovered, all involved students could be dropped from the course for an honor violation. If a student performs successfully, but suffers an injury that keeps him from finishing, he may be re-cycled at the discretion of either the battalion or the Ranger Training Brigade commander; he will be given an opportunity to heal and finish the course with the next class. Students recycled in the first phase are temporarily assigned to Vaughn's Detachment informally known as the "Gulag" to Ranger students.
Recycled students typically receive daily classes on Ranger School tasks and perform general tasks for their respective Ranger Training Battalion.
Students can also be recycled for failing a leadership evaluation on patrol; however, if a student fails a phase twice from patrols, he will usually be offered a "day one restart," and will restart on Day 1 of the next Ranger School class. In rare cases, those assessed of honor violations lying, cheating, stealing and Special Observation Reports SORs may be offered a day one restart as opposed to being dropped from the course.
Students that fall in these categories must obtain permission from the Ranger Training Brigade Commander to reenter Ranger School at a later date. Recycles are included in the graduation rates. Recycles are tracked by the class they start with, and affect only that class's graduation rate. Following the completion of Ranger School, a student will usually find himself "in the worst shape of his life". Common maladies during the course include weight loss, dehydration, trench foot, heatstroke, frostbite, chilblains, fractures, tissue tears ligaments, tendons, muscles , swollen hands, feet, knees, nerve damage, loss of limb sensitivity, cellulitis, contact dermatitis, cuts, and insect, spider, bee, and wildlife bites.
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Because of the physical and psychological effect of low calorie intake over an extended period of time, it is not uncommon for many Ranger School graduates to encounter weight problems as they return to their units and their bodies and minds slowly adjust to routine again.
A drastically lowered metabolic rate, combined with a nearly insatiable appetite the result of food deprivation and the ensuing survivalist mentality can cause quick weight gain, as the body is already in energy fat storing mode. A Ranger student's diet and sleep are strictly controlled by the Ranger Instructors. During time in garrison students are given one to three meals a day, but forced to eat extremely quickly and without any talking. During field exercises Ranger students are given two MREs Meal, Ready-to-eat per day, but not allowed to eat them until given permission.
This is enforced most harshly in Darby and Mountain phases. Since food and sleep are at the bottom of an infantryman's priorities of work behind security, weapons maintenance, and personal hygiene, it is generally the last thing Ranger students are allowed to do. As such, the two MRE's are generally eaten within three hours of each other, one post mission, and the other prior to the planning portion of the mission.
Though the Ranger student's daily caloric intake of calories might seem to be more than enough for the average person, Ranger students are under such physical stress that this amount is insufficient. The Ranger Training Brigade does not maintain weight information in the 21st century, but in the s, Ranger Students lost an average of pounds during the Ranger course. The awards listed below are designed to recognize outstanding achievement during the Ranger Course.
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Dependent on class performance, all or some of these awards may be presented upon graduation. The Darby Award is awarded to the Ranger that shows the best tactical and administrative leadership performance, has the most positive spot reports and has demonstrated being a cut above the rest. He must also pass all graded leadership positions, peer reports, and may not recycle. This award is named in the honor of BG William O. Darby, who organized the 1st Ranger Battalion in with handpicked volunteers leading the way onto the beaches of North Africa. In the Pacific the 6th Ranger Battalion served with distinction in the Philippines.
The Puckett Award is awarded to the ranger that passes all graded leadership positions; peer reports, and may not recycle. The Ranger may not have any loss equipment due to negligence and may not have any retests on any critical tasks. This award is named in honor of Colonel Ralph Puckett. Then-First Lieutenant Puckett, in an attack against numerically superior Chinese forces, established defensive fighting positions on the captured objective.
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His Rangers held off five successive Chinese counterattacks before he was severely wounded during a sixth counterattack and evacuated despite his protests. The Hall is awarded to the ranger that passes all graded leadership positions; peer reports, and may not recycle. This award is named in honor of Corporal Glenn M. Once his weapon jammed he joined his platoon and volunteered to contact friendly forces on an adjacent hill. When he reached the hill, it was covered with enemy troops. Corporal Hall killed a Chinese soldier in a foxhole and used that position to drive the enemy from the hill.
He was wounded during that action by a grenade. The Turner Award is awarded to the officer who embodies the leadership spirit and ideals displayed by Colonel Robert A. Colonel Turner was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on 6 May while serving as a member of a command group during the defense of Fire Support Base Henderson, Vietnam. Despite the intense mortar fire, Colonel Turner landed at the firebase assessing the damage and directing the defense of the firebase. Though seriously wounded by a mortar round impact, Colonel Turner carried a wounded soldier out to the landing pad for immediate medical evacuation.
Ranger School is designed to physically stress students to a point short of death. Deaths have occurred during Ranger Training. In the winter of , two students died of hypothermia when they lost contact with their main element in the Florida swamp. In , in the Florida phase, a soldier drowned crossing a stream against a strong current. In March , a student with sickle cell trait died after exposure to high altitude and stress in the mountain phase. The Ranger Training Brigade did not know about his medical issue until after his death. In August , a Ranger student died from a fall on the Slide for Life.
The "worst incident in the year history of the school" occurred on 15 February during the Florida Phase of class Investigations of the incident were conducted by the U. The results were determined to be a result of a combination of human errors exacerbated by "unexpected weather conditions". Nine Ranger Instructors were disciplined and the 6th Ranger Training Battalion commander was relieved. As there was no basis for criminal charges, none were court-martialed. As a result of the deaths, 38 new safety measures were implemented in the Florida Phase. According to John Lock,. Magazine Rifle and… 4 copies Battle Focused Training: Manual for use in Junior Division R.
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