Ranger School to offer remote learning option
It's basically the same experience.
By Cobra Commander
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Ranger School will offer a remote learning option for Army Reservists and National Guardsman, announced Col. Antwan L. Dunmyer, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade (ARTB).
“We understand the strain it puts on reserve component units to send their soldiers here for two months at a time, and then you factor in COVID…” said Dunmyer. “That’s why we’ve partnered with Microsoft Teams to create the Remote Ranger Learning Course.
RRLC, as it’s being referred to by course officials, will be an intense, six-week course that has the same rigorous standards as on-site Ranger School, just over Microsoft Teams instead.
“Is it really that different to be in the deep woods of Camp Darby or the swamps of south Florida compared to a Microsoft Teams call?” asked Major Tefton Von Schmidt, current ARTB Brigade Planning Officer. “We thought about it for about ten minutes and decided: no.”
Ranger students are expected to be on Teams twenty-four hours a day, constantly pulling security whether they are at home, at their civilian jobs, or at Starbucks getting a well-deserved Frappuccino.
ARTB has run several pilot courses over the last few months, and students believe the course matches the intensity of on-site Ranger School.
“There were a few times I was totally out of it, I won’t lie. My internet connection was also a little less than reliable, so, in many ways, you might say that we had it harder in the remote option,” said 2nd Lt. Bruno McGillicuddy, who gained ten pounds while in the remote course.
ARTB cadre were worried that prior graduates of Ranger School would accuse the new course of lowering standards, but the new remote option has the full support of prior graduates.
“I didn’t have my family pestering me the whole time I was trying to establish priorities of work in a patrol base,” said Major Don Knox, Ranger Class 07-04. “Some of these students had to change diapers while they were filling out their range cards. Brutal.”
Remote Rangers were told to simulate the environment of their phase as closely as possible. For instance, when they are in Mountain Phase, students are encouraged to turn down the air conditioning a few degrees colder than normal, and when in Florida phase, have their neighbors pretend to be meth addicts.
“We worked it all out, and there is pretty much no difference between this and on-site Ranger School,” said Colonel Dunmyer. “Students receive minor-minuses if they can’t figure out how to unmute their headsets, if their kids interrupt their operations orders, or if they take a lunch break longer than two hours.”
Not everything is different with the remote option, however. At the time of publication, some students still reported they “got fucked on push-ups”
Cobra Commander’s company motto is “When you’re here, your family”. You can follow him on Twitter at @c0brcommand3r.