how to become an army ranger

How to Become an Army Ranger: Requirements, Training, and More

The Army Rangers are a lethal force within the United States Army.

The Rangers have five philosophies, or goals, that include marksmanship, medical training, physical endurance, mobility, and unit tactics.

The 75th Ranger Regiment is a unit for special operations.

All those who belong to the 75th Ranger Regiment have passed RASP 1 or 2, or even both.

Ranger School, which is a highly regarded leadership school, is open to all soldiers.

All the 75th Ranger Regiment leaders attend the Ranger School, but you do not have to be assigned to this unit to attend Ranger School.

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What Do Army Rangers Do?
The Difference Between the 75th Regiment and Ranger School
What is Army RASP?
Army Ranger Requirements
What Happens After RASP?
Ranger School
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become an Army Ranger (FAQ)

What Do Army Rangers Do?

U.S. Army Ranger instructor explains the technical instructions of rappelling during Mountain training

Sometimes when people think about special forces, they do not always realize there are different Special Forces Units.

The term Special Operations Unit (SOF) refers to any unit with specialized training that undertakes special missions.

When you think of SOFs, you might be referring to the Green Berets or the Army Rangers.

However, both units have different missions and organizations.

Also, there are other SFOs in other branches of the Military.

For instance, the Navy has the Navy SEALs.

Specifically, the Army Rangers are a highly specialized light infantry unit that has missions to direct raids, seize airfields, conduct surveillance, and search for and recover personnel.

Related ArticleNavy SEAL Training: Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S)

The Difference Between the 75th Regiment and Ranger School

When you think of the Rangers and Ranger School, you may not realize there is a difference.

Those who are a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment are a part of a special operations unit.

The Regiment’s headquarters is at Fort Moore, Georgia. 

This Regiment is the largest joint special operations force in the Army.

The Ranger Course, which is also in Georgia, is a leadership school.

The school is under the Training and Doctrine Command in Virginia.

Ranger School is open to any member of the military, even if they do not serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment or have gone through RASP training.

What is Army RASP?

Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP) is a tough course meant to push a soldier’s mental and physical abilities to the absolute edge in intense conditions.

There are different phases to the process, however.


Before attending RASP, soldiers must attend Airborne School.

Many candidates finish their Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, and then they go directly into their three-week Basic Airborne Course (BAC).

After completing these steps, you are ready to qualify for RASP.

Before the RASP phases, soldiers must pass the Ranger screening.

This screening consists of a psychological review, a background check, and a drug test.

Also, there is an entry physical fitness test that includes the following:

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Two-mile run
  • Pull-ups
  • Six-mile ruck march

The physical test is timed, as well.

Phase One

Once you are through the Pre-RASP, you begin the next phase.

This phase involves a lot of testing.

First, there is the ruck march.

The ruck march involves a 12-mile trek with a weighted rucksack.

You will go through this march fully dressed and carrying the weighted ruck at 6, 8, 10, and finally 12 miles.

You can also expect a graded physical test that includes a five-mile run.

Also, you will be tested on your ability to navigate the land both in teams and on your own.

Furthermore, you will have a test of your first responder skills.

Lastly, in this phase, you will have a psychological test and another test to evaluate your knowledge of the Ranger creed and history.

Phase Two

In phase two, you undergo the training required to gain the skills of an Army Ranger.

This training includes tactics and marksmanship, as well as basic regimental marksmanship.

Also, you will have an introduction to advanced regimental marksmanship.

Finally, you will learn the techniques necessary for entering enclosures in urban areas, as well as the explosives needed to breach doors.


At this point in your training, you will graduate and switch your Army black beret to the tan beret that symbolizes the highest honor a soldier might achieve.


If you are a noncommissioned officer, officer, or a warrant officer, you attend a three-week selection course.

In this course, you will learn special tactics and procedures relevant to the regime.

Also, your physical and mental abilities are tested.

Army Ranger Requirements

Army Rangers prepare to enter a building during a demonstration

To qualify for the Army Rangers, there are some requirements.

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Enlisted Members

You must be a citizen of the United States.

If you want consideration for the Rangers, you must first volunteer while on active duty.

Also, there is a physical fitness requirement for the Rangers.

Furthermore, airborne training is vital.

You must either enlist in a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that is a part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

However, you can also reclassify into a relevant MOS if needed.

Also, a Secret security clearance is necessary, as is being clear of any legal charges.


If you are already an officer, you can apply for the Rangers, as well.

You must be grade O-1 to O-4 and qualify for a Top Security Clearance.

Also, you must meet your Year Group criteria and hold a MOS in the 75th Ranger Regiment.

What Happens After RASP?

After graduating from RASP, you are assigned to one of the Ranger Battalions of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

At this point, you are a Ranger.

However, you’ll need to complete Ranger School either before or directly after passing RASP. 

After RASP, you might consider the Special Operations Combat Medic Course (SOCM) at Fort Liberty, NC.

Army Combat Medics must be members of the Ranger Battalion to qualify for training.

Also, SOCM is a 26-week course where members learn combat trauma management and how to care for causalities in combat.

Related ArticleArmy Health Services Admin (70B MOS)

Ranger School

Army Ranger Training During Swamp Phase

Some soldiers go through RASP after already completing Ranger School, but it is not required.

Before attending Ranger School, you will need to attend Small Unit Ranger Tactics (SURT).

This course is a three-week-long class to get you ready for how Ranger School handles training, and it will give you a clearer path to success when you do attend.

Ranger School Phases

The physically and mentally challenging Ranger School is comprised of three phases.

Darby Phase

This phase is 21 days in length, and instructors teach candidates to sustain themselves and others in difficult training conditions.

Usually, over half of the candidates drop out during this phase.      

The first week of this phase is very physically challenging, even though candidates start in fantastic physical shape.

Also, the second part of this first phase is the Darby phase, where candidates learn how to lead troops, patrol, demolition, and battle drills.

Furthermore, this is the point when candidates who are airborne qualified participate in the parachute jump.

Mountain Phase

The next phase is the Mountain Phase, where you will learn mountaineering and receive mobility training.

This training includes rappelling at night on high-angle terrain.

Furthermore, students learn combat techniques, ambush mission techniques, and how to engage in combat patrols against opposing forces.

There is a tremendous amount of tactical learning in this phase.

However, once completed, it is time for the next section of training.

Swamp Phase

The swamp phase is the final phase of Ranger School.

The focus in this environment is the development of small unit tactics in a coastal swamp environment.

This phase includes 10 days of patrolling in a high-stress environment.

If students pass this section, it is time for graduation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become an Army Ranger (FAQ)

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno speaks with a female Soldier at the Army Ranger Training Brigade

Let us get into some common questions regarding the Army Rangers.

How Do I Get an Army Ranger Contract?

The best way is to talk to your recruiter.

When you enlist, there might be Option 40 contracts available.

An Option 40 contract is an enlistment option that will slot you into the 75th Ranger Regiment as an Infantryman or a Mortarman.

From there, you can attend RASP and Airborne School before being assigned to one of the Ranger Battalions.

However, there are 150 Option 40 contracts each month. Therefore, they are taken up rather quickly.

If an Option 40 contract is your goal, talk to your recruiter about timing your enlistment when more are released.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Army Ranger from Start to Finish?

As a candidate, you will first go to 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training.

If you have the Option 40 contract, you will find your Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) are combined into one 22-week course.

After the first 22 weeks, you attend the three-week Basic Airborne Course for some formal training.

From this point, you must make it through the eight weeks of RASP.

After that, you are considered a Ranger.

The actual time it takes depends on a lot of factors.

If you were to go through every part of the process without having to wait between courses, you could get through it rather quickly.

However, due to scheduled start times, that is not likely to happen.

Also, many candidates are recycled.

Being recycled means, for whatever reason, you were not successful for a portion of the training.

In this event, you must start over in that phase.

Therefore, it takes longer to complete subsequent training.

However, if you wish to hold a leadership position, you must attend Ranger School.

What is the Failure Rate at RASP?

The failure rate for RASP in 2022 was over 50 percent, but that changes from year to year.

RASP is designed to weed out those who cannot make it through training.

Are Women Allowed to Become Army Rangers?

The Ranger Regiment is proud to be inclusive, with the first two female soldiers graduating from Ranger School in 2015.

Women are Rangers, and the requirements and the training are the same for all who attend.

Has Anyone Died During Army Ranger Training?

Yes, soldiers have died.

Sometimes the deaths are the result of unknown or undisclosed underlying medical conditions.

Other deaths are the result of accidents, which lead to new safety measures to prevent future accidents.

Are Army Rangers Considered Special Forces?

The 75th Ranger Regiment is a Special Operations Force, but that does not automatically mean the Regiment is Special Forces.

A lot of times, the term Special Forces is used as a term to refer to all Special Operations Forces (SOF).

The Special Operation Forces is an umbrella term under which there are many communities, and the Rangers are a part of the overall community.

The Army Rangers are a Tier 1 military group in the Special Operations Force.

How Much Do Army Rangers Make?

The salary for the Army Rangers depends on the length of service and rank.

In addition to base pay, Army Rangers have access to health care as well as food and housing allowances.

In some cases, Army Rangers have supplemental income based on their skill sets.

Related ArticleArmy Rangers vs. Marines


If your goal is to earn the right to be called an Army Ranger, you first need to talk to your recruiter.

If you are able, obtain an Option 40 contract when you enlist to ensure you achieve your dream in the shortest time possible.

After basic training and AIT, you will attend a three-week airborne school

Afterward, you face the RASP pre-qualifying portion.

If you pre-qualify, you will attend RASP.

After graduation, you are an Army Ranger.

Some soldiers decide to further their training as a combat medic.

Others wish for consideration as a leader in the 75th Ranger Regiment.

For consideration, you must attend Ranger School.

There is a three-week course that is a precursor to Ranger School that sets soldiers up for success.

Ranger School is open to all members of the military, not just those attached to the 75th Ranger Regiment.


Rob V.
Army Ranger Requirements

Army Ranger Requirements

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Army Rangers are a highly specialized light infantry unit that has missions to direct raids, seize airfields, conduct surveillance, and search for and recover personnel. Find out how to become an Army Ranger here.
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