How to Become an Army Ranger

The Army Rangers are part of special operations in the Army along with Special Forces and SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment). While some men can be Ranger qualified by graduating from Ranger school, the ones who are Rangers follow a different and much longer path.

Those who are Ranger qualified wear the black and gold tab while those who are Rangers wear the red and black scroll. The saying is “The tab is a school; the scroll is a way of life.”

In order to become an Army Ranger, recruits need to secure an option 40 contract during the enlistment process. While it is possible to volunteer during basic training, it is not always an option for every recruit. To ensure the possibility, get the option 40 contract.

Army Rangers are three time volunteers: once for the Army, once for airborne school and once for the Ranger selection process.

After completing basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), potential Rangers will attend three weeks of airborne school where five jumps, including one night jump, must be completed in order to graduate.

After airborne, soldiers attend RASP (Ranger Assessment and Selection Process). This is a relatively new selection process that began in January 2010. It has been expanded to eight weeks from the old RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program) that was only four weeks long.

The graduation rate from RASP hovers around 20 to 30%. The top graduates from the program will go directly to Ranger School, which is another nine weeks of training before being assigned to a battalion.

Other RASP graduates will don their tan berets and wear their scrolls to one of three Ranger battalions: 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter AAF in Savannah, GA; 2nd Ranger Battalion at Ft Lewis in Tacoma, Washington; or 3rd Ranger Battalion at Ft Benning in Columbus, Georgia.

After serving in battalion for several months to a year, these Rangers will attend Ranger School. Whereas soldiers from other units who attend Ranger School will return to the unit that sent them, Rangers will return to their Ranger battalion to a leadership position upon graduation from the school.