By CPT Veronica AguilaApril 30, 2019
FORT BENNING, Ga. (USASOC News Service, April 29, 2019) -- U.S. Army Rangers with the 75th Ranger Regiment are joining infantry One-Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Benning. The Rangers will participate in various fitness events, ruck marches and field exercises alongside the infantry Soldiers-in-training.
In partnership with OSUT leadership, the initiative is an opportunity for trainees to learn firsthand about life as an Army Special Operations Forces Soldier, and discuss their timeline and path towards joining the elite Ranger Regiment.
Select infantry enlistees receive an Option-40 contract, which puts them on track to attend Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) following their infantry training. Enlistees, without an Option-40 contract, can also volunteer for RASP at advanced individual training or during OSUT. Successful completion and selection through RASP is the only way for a Soldier to become a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Further, the initiative attempts to clarify differences between volunteering for RASP as opposed to volunteering for Ranger School.
"We believe a lot of Soldiers are hesitant to volunteer for RASP because they are misinformed about what RASP is and what the Ranger Regiment does," said Sgt. 1st Class Lukas Colclough, non-commissioned officer in charge, 75th Ranger Regiment Recruiting Detachment. "We are constantly being confused for Ranger School and we take every chance we can get to push the word out that we are not Ranger School."
The 75th Ranger Regiment is an ARSOF unit that conducts special operations missions focused in three areas: special operations raids, forcible entry operations and special reconnaissance. Upon RASP selection, a tan beret and the Ranger regiment scroll, uniquely identify their members. This is different from Ranger School, which is an Army leadership school, where students develop small unit leadership skills and graduates earn a Ranger tab denoting their successful completion.
"This initiative will allow those initial entry Soldiers to ask their questions to actual Rangers about what life is like in the Regiment and how it differs from life in a conventional infantry unit," continued Colclough. "It will also expose them to the quality of individuals that serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment," he said.
By introducing trainees early to Rangers who have completed the selection process, the goal is to motivate Soldiers to continue on their path towards RASP and volunteer for positions within the special operations community. If not already qualified, Regiment members will have an opportunity to attend Airborne and Ranger School as part of their follow-on training and leadership development.
According to the Ranger Recruiting Liaison Office, there are high rates of Soldiers voluntarily withdrawing from their Option-40 contracts, even before attempting RASP. For this reason, the Rangers have made themselves available to show the Army's newest Soldiers what it means to be part of the Ranger and ARSOF family. Option-40 contracts are available to Army enlistees in a variety of military occupational specialties.
"We believe this initiative will make these Option-40 candidates understand they are in the beginning stages of something very special while they are going through OSUT, so they are less likely to withdraw from their Option-40 contract," said Colclough.
On April 18, the Rangers kicked off their first OSUT event by participating in a 12-mile ruck march with basic trainees. The Rangers moved up and down the formation speaking with individuals about the Ranger regiment and answering questions.
Following the ruck march, an additional 22 infantry trainees signed volunteer statements to attend RASP after they graduate OSUT, vying to become one of the Army's most elite Soldiers.
For more information contact the Director of Public Affairs, Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Office: (910) 432-3383 BB: (910) 494-1589 firstname.lastname@example.org.