Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rogers

I'm having trouble motivating myself to write about Ranger School...maybe it's like the critics of United 93 and World Trade Center say... "it's too soon!"
btw, I saw WTC a couple nights ago and it's an excellent film...pretty intense and not exactly what I was expecting (not really a big picture film - it focused on the personal side of 9/11) but I'd definitely recommend it.
Anyway, maybe I'll just give an overview of some of my thoughts on each phase and see where that takes me...
Camp Rogers (at Ft Benning, GA) is where the whole thing starts...at 0300 on a Monday morning. An army PT test is first, and the cadre do everything they can to make it the most intimidating PT test possible. They grade very strictly, and we lost probably 30-40 out of our 350-man class. I ran into an old friend just after I passed the push-up event, which made the experience much more enjoyable for me...when the Ranger Instructor counted push-up number 49 and told me to move out the relief was immense - I felt like the next 2 months would be a breeze after those dreaded push-ups (I was wrong, but I wouldn't know that for sure for another few hours).
I don't recall the rest of that day being too bad (I remind you that bad is a relative term) until one RI decided to give our platoon a class on squad ambush...starting at about 0130. I was falling asleep standing up, and I believe that I would have actually fallen over had I not taken drastic action. I had illegally saved a bit of pound cake from my MRE in my pocket, and those few carefully concealed bites woke me up sufficiently to make it through that class. I don't remember what time we were released that night, but I think we got an hour of sleep or so.
I was doing pretty well - mainly due to the 2-week "pre-ranger" course I had just finished, which gave me a good idea of what to expect during the first week. Like everyone else I was exhausted, but at least I wasn't surprised by it...being mentally prepared made a huge difference.
All this about Ranger school is making me hungry, so I think I'll take a break...in the meantime I'd recommend VDH's latest as some good reading.

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