This is a practical article. I am not discussing the essence of being a Ranger, what type of soul or spirit it takes to pass RASP, or what the cadre are looking for in a potential candidate. This is an outline of the qualifications to become a U.S. Army Ranger, assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Though articles like this have been written in the past, time passes and people forget. That might not seem like a big deal, but it can be if there is confusion and someone is getting “called out,” or accused of stolen valor.
The Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) is the selection process to become a Ranger. Some, simply refer to it as “selection,” simply because it’s easier for others to digest and understand than the ambiguous “RASP.” It’s a rough eight weeks that follow Basic Training and Airborne School. The first half of RASP is focused solely on seeing just how tough the candidates are; it does not train many skills, it does not focus on developing you as an intelligent, tactically proficient Ranger — it breaks the group down and sees who’s still standing. The older version of RASP, known as the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP), was just this. This culminates in “Cole Range,” a few hellish days in the Georgia woods with RASP cadre.
RASP added phase two — the second four weeks — as a way to train Rangers, so when they reached their platoons they weren’t completely caught off guard with everything they saw there. While they cannot learn platoon-specific tasks like room clearing or reaction to contact, they learn breaching techniques, driving, fast roping, and they reach new levels in the fundamentals of marksmanship.
RASP 2 is a separate course for senior NCOs, Officers, and Warrant Officers that I will not get into here. Suffice to say, it is also a grueling selection process not meant for the faint of heart.