The 75th Ranger Regiment is known for raising its own. Often, privates enter the Army’s premier Special Operations direct action unit right out of high school only to depart years, and even decades, later.

Recently, and after 24 years of service with the Regiment, Command Sergeant Major Michael D. Albaugh, the Regimental Sergeant Major of the unit, relinquished command and moved on to another job in the Army (Command Sergeant Major of the Special Operations Command-Africa). Before he left, SGM Albaugh sat down for another interview with the Regiment’s Public Affairs office. His words offer a glimpse of an extraordinary career but also of how the Regiment has evolved since the Global War on Terror (GWOT) began.

CSM Albaugh wasn’t the typical Ranger recruit, most new Rangers are young, with the average age in the Regiment being 24-years-old. The outgoing CSM, however, was 27 when he joined and with a college degree under his belt (nowadays, most Rangers have some sort of college education).

One of the struggles of joining the Army in the 90s, when CSM Albaugh enlisted, was the lack of information about units and selections processes. “Social media wasn’t a thing, there wasn’t a lot of public press,” said CSM Albaugh. “But I knew that there were these Army Rangers and that they were these elite, tough guys, and did this special mission.”