FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — The Ranger Intelligence Professional program, or RIPP, recruited six Military Intelligence officers to prepare them for an opportunity with the 75th Ranger Regiment Sept. 25-29.
The assessment began with 14 candidates from the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion Basic Officer Leader Course with 10 candidates successfully making it through week after completing a variety of Soldier tasks.
Lt. Col. Ricardo Henry, Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion (RMIB) commander, said the Rangers have been working over the past year to establish a recruiting pipeline at Fort Huachuca since it’s a Military Intelligence hub, and a good way to engage junior officers early.
“Right now, we’re not in the same position as the Infantry where they automatically send a good portion of lieutenants to ranger school,” he said. “We don’t have that in the Military Intelligence Corps, and a lot of units aren’t going to randomly send a lieutenant to ranger school, so coming here, getting this pipeline established early to get people into Ranger school just gives us a pool of candidates that we can select from.”
Not every Military Intelligence officer selected will be assigned to the RMIB, said Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Foutz, RMIB.
“It’s really for the Ranger Intelligence Enterprise, but our battalion does represent the majority of the junior officer positions,” Foutz said. “They could also go to the Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities Company, or into the Battalion S2s.”
Foutz said while the 75th Ranger Regiment has received some great Military Intelligence officers; they are still trying to bring awareness to the program so that more officers who may be interested will know how the recruitment process works.
“I think too many people self-select out, they don’t understand the process, or they may not think they meet the characteristics or qualities that we’re looking for and so, this is just a good, great opportunity for us to get here, to communicate, and interact with the schoolhouse,” he said. It’s good to do it early … get them Ranger qualified before they come to regiment. If you have to go to Ranger School still, you’re using up a lot of your time where you could be gaining valuable experience as a junior officer.”
Selection during the assessment does not guarantee candidates an assignment with the 75th Ranger Regiment. They must still complete the Small Unit Ranger Tactics course, and the Ranger Assessment Selection Program after being assigned to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Johnson, Louisiana or the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, for a 1-year assignment.
2nd Lt. Christian Miller, 304th MI BN BOLC student, spent six years in 75th Ranger Regiment as an enlisted Soldier and decided after making the transition to Officer to participate in the RIPP program here at Fort Huachuca.
“Every time you leave regiment, you have to go back through a selection to get back into regiment,” he said. “I have really good memories from the unit, as well as being a Ranger. I mean you’re proud. You wear it, your scroll and your tab, it means a lot.”
The next opportunity for Military Intelligence officers at Fort Huachuca to participate in a RIPP will be in the spring and summer of 2024.
The Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion was established approximately four years ago, to modernize the 75th Ranger Regiment as the Army modernizes its multi-domain operations.