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Stew Smith: Army Rangers -- Lead the Way
  Stew Smith: Army Rangers -- Lead the Way


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About the Author

Stew Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness and self defense books such as The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, and Maximum Fitness. As a military fitness trainer, Stew has trained hundreds of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, Air Force PJ, Ranger Training, and other physical law enforcement professions. His eBooks at Military.com can help you achieve your fitness goals, whether you're a beginner or an expert. For more info on his books, visit the Military.com eBook Fitness Store.

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Email Stew Smith at stew@stewsmith.com.
Visit Stew Smith's Official Website: www.stewsmith.com.

Ever wanted to put on the Ranger Tab on your Army uniform? As with any of the Special Operations units in the U.S. military, to become a Ranger takes endurance, stamina, intelligence and mental toughness. The training is broken up into three phases: Fort Benning Phase, Mountain Phase, and Florida Phase.

The Benning Phase is executed in two parts and lasts for a total of 20 days. As with most Special Operations units, the first phase is very physical. You will be required to perform an Army Ranger Physical Fitness Test consisting of the following:

Push-ups - 49+
Sit-ups - 59+
Chin ups - 6+
2 mile run in running shoes in 15:12 minutes or less

Other physical requirements and tests:
Combat water survival test
5-mile runs
3-mile runs with an obstacle course
16-mile foot march
Night and day land navigation tests

To be competitive in any of these physical tests, the future Ranger students must not strive for the minimum standards above, but must maximize their personal physical effort and strive for the following:

Pushups – 80-100
Situps – 80-100
Chin ups – 15-20
2 mile run – under 13:00

However, the most important pre-training exercise to do prior to Ranger school is walking fast in your boots with 50 pounds of weight on your back. You will do this everyday you are at Ranger School. Running at least 5 miles, 3-4 times a week and swimming in uniform 2-3 times a week is recommended as well. Pack on 5-10 pounds of body weight prior to going so you have a little to lose when you are consuming fewer calories a day.

The second part of First Phase has obstacle courses and long ruck marches as a major part of the physical fitness requirements. However, the fundamentals of patrolling and small unit tactics are the focus of this part of the Benning Phase. These graded field exercises include ambush and reconnaissance patrols, close quarters combat, airborne operations, and air assault operations. The Ranger student must then demonstrate his expertise through a series of cadre and student-led tactical patrol operations.

The second phase, or Mountain phase lasts 20 days and nights and teaches students to operate in small units while sustaining themselves and their subordinates in the adverse conditions of the mountains. The rugged terrain, hunger, and sleep deprivation are the biggest causes of emotional stress that students encounter. Students will eat, sleep and operate in these conditions for 3 weeks, usually eating no more than 1-2 MREs a day (Meals Ready to Eat).

The third phase, or Florida phase, teaches small boat operations, ship to shore operations, stream-crossing techniques, and skills needed to survive and operate in a jungle and swamp environment. This phase lasts 16 days and nights and tests the patrolling and leadership techniques of every Ranger.

Ranger School is a grueling school due to the long hours of walking with your gear, sleeping in the field and eating 1-2 meals less a day than normal. Many students lose 20-30 pounds in the 56 day school. But the school teaches the Ranger he can overcome insurmountable challenges while under simulated combat conditions. Ranger school has honed the professional skills and techniques necessary to conduct small unit operations. And of course, he can wear the well deserved Ranger Tab on his shoulder.

For more information, check out the workouts at Military.com’s Fitness eBook Store. With any download you buy you get over 40 hours of training personally designed for future students of the group AND access to Stew Smith (the author) for any answers to your training questions!!

© 2003 Stew Smith. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Military.com.



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