DLP21 (Future Soldier - Now at OSUT) took the initiative to write a FAQ for the site, sort of his gift to us before taking off for OSUT/ABN/RIP.  This was not an assignment - the kid did it on his own so he'll be credited as its author. Great initiative and we look forward to changing his Site Rank to Ranger, after the successful conclusion of his training.

Thanks - RLTW!


The information that is presented in this FAQ is legit, for questions that required a Ranger response, I used a Ranger response to answer.

I know that I am not a Ranger yet, but that does not mean that the information is not there to make an intelligent well thought out response to questions.  This FAQ should be proof enough that the answers are out there and before posting a question you should reference this FAQ and then do a web search for your answer.  Take initiative and do your part to help further along yourselves and this community that we are guests of.

I developed the FAQ on the premise that I had many of these same questions or have come across these questions during my research for my answers. I hope that this FAQ will benefit the future wannabee's and DEP's (Delayed Entry Program).

This FAQ is never finished and I plan on continuing it throughout my travels in the Military using firsthand accounts and the accounts of others to answer even more questions.

I have found the ArmyRanger.com website to not only be informative, but also encouraging. 


I. Pre-Enlistment, MEPS

1. What exactly is an Army Ranger?

The 75th Ranger Regiment is a flexible, highly trained and rapidly deployable light infantry force with specialized skills that enable it to be employed against a variety of conventional and Special Operations targets.  It is a part of the military's Special Operations Group which includes, but is not limited to the Navy Seals, Army Green Beret Special Forces, and the task force known as Delta to the public.

2. What is the ASVAB?
The ASVAB, or Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a multi-aptitude test that scores your skills in 8 different sub-sections to help better place you in the Military.  The sections include general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, auto and shop information, mathematics knowledge, mechanical comprehension, and electronics information.

3. What is the Future Soldier (DEP) program?
The Future Soldier Program, formerly know as the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), allows you to enlist with your chosen branch of the military and report for duty up to 365 days later. This is a program for students who are still in high school or college or for those who have other obligations that prevent them from leaving for Basic Training right away.

4. How much money will the Army pay me? What ranks can be obtained prior to Basic?
For military pay questions: http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/militarypaytables.html
or http://www.army.com/money/payrates.html
note: The latest version of Adobe Reader is needed to view this page.

Enlistment ranks of E-1 through E-4 can be obtained prior to leaving for Basic.  These ranks can be obtained through a variety of channels including but not limited to, college credits, college degree's, referrals, and the DEP Pre-Basic Task list/PT test.  For more information talk to a recruiter.

5. Will I be uber cool if I get into the Rangers?
No, and the fact that you are thinking this means that you are not prepared to be a Ranger and are not the type of person that the Rangers are looking for.

6. What are the requirements for joining the Army
Between the ages of 17 and 34

A U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien
Healthy and in good physical condition
In good moral standing
Possess a GED or High School Degree

7. What is an option 40?
The option 40 is the code used for the Ranger Option on your contract.  With this option you are guaranteed a shot to join the ranks of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

8. What are the requirements to be eligible for an Option 40 contract?
Possess a High School Degree or a GED with 15 college credits
Score above a 50 on the ASVAB with a line score of 110 or better in the GT section
Pass your physical with all 1's ([color=red][b]exception[/b][/color]: 2 for vision, needs to be correctable to 20/20.)
One of our OPT40 Future Soldiers pointed out recently that this may have changed: The eyesight requirement for opt 40 is no longer 20/20. My contract states "Dist Vis Corr to 20/20 in one eye, and 20/100 in the other eye."
Receive a Security Clearance of Secret or better.
note: Although you may in fact qualify for an Option 40 does not necessarily mean one will be available.

9. What is the most common option 40 contract?
The 11x Airborne Option 40 is the most popular contract.  This is a Infantry Airborne Ranger contract.  Other contracts available are, but not limited to:
(13F) Fire Support Specialist
(31U) Signal Support Systems Specialist
(54B) Chemical Operations Specialist
(91W) Medical Specialist
(92G) Food Service Operations Specialist
(92Y) Unit Supply Specialist

10. I am prior service can I re-enlist to be a Ranger?
No, there is little to no chance of getting the Option 40 contract. Although there are no regulations against a prior from receiving an Option 40 contract, it is an unwritten rule followed by the liaisons.

11. I am 30 years old, can I still join the Ranger Regiment?

12. What are some of the other benefits the Army can offer me?
For other information on benefits please see a recruiter or visit the GoArmy website:  http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/index.jsp


To locate a recruiter near you:


13. I met all the requirements for an Option 40 but was told there are no more slots available, what should I do?
First make sure that you are clear about your intentions and will not sign unless there is an Option 40 in your contract.  If this does not work, thank the liaison for his time and leave, you can come back another day to see if any slots are available.

14. I forgot to get an Option 40 in my contract, what do I do now?
The first thing you can try is to renegotiate your contract.  You need to see the liaison at MEPS to make this happen.  If this fails, you can volunteer at Basic for Airborne, and at Airborne for RIP.  Although these aren't guaranteed, many Rangers have arrived in Battalion through this route.

15. Who is better, Army Rangers or [INSERT OTHER FORCE]?
It is impossible to say who is better then whom.  Each special operations force has its own responsibilities that are quite unique to them.  Each force is specialized in what it does and does it better than any other force. 

16. Can I have a tattoo? What kind can I have? Will I get DQ'd from Green Berets if I have an American looking tattoo?
Yes you may have a tattoo as long as the tattoo is not offensive towards America, Americans or is deemed anti-America.  It can also not be on the front of the neck, face, or hands, or any other spot that would be visible to the naked eye while in your uniform.  You will not be DQ'd from serving with the Green Beret Special Forces because you have an American looking tattoo. 

17. Should I get LASIK surgery?
No, the surgery is free to those that are enlisted and this will also ensure that you do not DQ yourself from any jobs in the Military.

18. Are there women in the Rangers?
No, the Rangers are an elite light infantry unit which is a direct combat force. Females are not allowed to sign up for direct combat oriented MOS's.

19. Do I need to be able to swim to become a Ranger?
Yes, and swim well.  You need to be able to pass the CWST, or Combat Water Survival Test.

20. What is an MOS?
MOS or Military Occupational Specialty is your job within the Army.  You will always refer to jobs in the Army as an MOS.

21. Can the Army ever change my MOS?
After spending an exorbitant amount of money on your training it is highly unlikely your MOS will be changed.  The only time in which this is foreseeable would be in response to a stressful wartime situation.

22. How do I become a Ranger Sniper? Can I get it guaranteed in my contract?
To become a Ranger Sniper you must qualify to be accepted to Sniper School.  You must also receive letters of recommendation to attend the school from your superior officers.  You can NOT have Sniper School guaranteed in your contract.

II. Future Soldier and Basic/OSUT

1. I have an Option 40 contract, what should I do now?
You should enjoy the time you have left before you leave for Basic/OSUT and stay out of trouble at all costs.  You should inform yourself about the Ranger Regiment and learn the Ranger Creed as well as complete the DEP Pre-Basic Task List/PT test.  Also it would be in your best interest to begin a physical training regiment to prepare for Basic/OSUT and eventually RIP.

2. What is the best PT regiment I can undertake?
There are many PT regimen that can be undertook.  One thing you should focus on is pushing your body past its physical limits.  One of the better regiments is located here: https://www.benning.army.mil/rtb/RANGER/PhysicalTraining.htm
note: This regiment is the one used to prepare for Ranger School but applies to Basic as well as RIP.
Here: http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/ranger.pdf

3. How many pushups should I be able to do? Sit-ups?
The most important thing about performing push-ups is doing them per Army standards, you will learn how to do multiple amounts of push-ups at Basic.  It doesn't hurt to be able to knock out 72 correct push-ups before you leave though. The same applies to sit-ups.

4. How much money should I bring with me to OSUT/Basic?
50 dollars is the maximum amount to bring with you although, this is not a necessity.  The Army will supply you with a 250 dollar PX card, which is an advancement on your paycheck, in order to buy any necessary supplies.

5. What else can I bring with me to Basic?
For of list of appropriate materials and possessions to bring visit: http://www.military.com/Recruiting/Content/0,13898,rec_step09_bootcamp_bring,,00.html#arm

6. How long is Basic? How long is OSUT?
Basic is 9 weeks long, at Basic you will learn Basic material including but not limited to Military customs which include saluting, the orders, and marching, as well as physical fitness, basic rifle marksmanship, and team work.  OSUT, or One Station Unit Training varies upon your MOS.  OSUT is designed to take you right from Basic and put you into your AIT, or Advanced Individual Training, and can last from 14-52 weeks.

7. Is Basic Training easy/fun?
No one can answer this question for you, you have to answer it yourself.  Everyone's experience from Basic although, inherently the same, varies upon the individual and their ideology of what is easy and what is fun.

8. I am all about being High-Speed, can I get through Basic Training any faster?
No, Basic is meant to be Slow-Speed, and you should take your time absorbing everything, this will be the foundation that you will base the rest of your training around and is completely necessary.

9. Will I be hit while in Basic?
No, the Drill Sergeants are not allowed to physically strike any soldier. However, expect to receive verbal "motivation" as you are getting smoked.

10. What is getting smoked?
It is a term used to describe the disciplinary function of the Drill Instructors and future Instructors which includes exercise and verbal "motivation".

11. I heard something about having to go to the 30th AG battalion prior to Basic, what is this?
This is in processing, basically, paperwork to ensure that everything is in place to prepare for your career in the US Army.  It takes usually 7 days to do all the in processing and can last longer if there is a hang-up, ie your security clearance fails, your physical is incomplete etc.

12. Do all Infantry recruits go to Basic at Ft Benning?
Yes, it is the hardest Basic the Army has to offer and includes no women.

13. What are the initial PT requirements?
When you get to the 30th AG you will need to be able to run a 8:30 mile, do 13 push-ups and 17 sit-ups.

14. I have an 11x contract, do I get to choose whether I am 11b or 11c?
No, you are designated to 11x series MOS and approximately 80-85 percent will wind up as an 11b.  By mathematical logic that leaves 20-15 percent for you slow people that become an 11c. The 11c MOS deals with indirect fire(ie mortars) where as the 11b MOS deals with direct fire(ie rifles).

15. Do people ever die at Basic?
Yes, but this is caused by people lying at MEPs about asthma and past medical problems.  Do not lie about serious medical issues, it is your life that you are taking into your own hands when you lie.

16. Can I have my PS2/XBOX/other distraction at Basic, Airborne, or RIP?
No, although you will have the chance to have these distractions during some of the above mentioned schools, they will only serve as that, distractions.  If you are serious about being a Ranger you should be focused on the task at hand.

17. Do I get time off at Basic?

No, any free time you do have will be little and will most likely be used to write home or study.

18. Should I try and bring anything else with me?
Yes, whether or not the instructors will let you have it is up to them, but I would bring Leatherneck's post on initiative.  You should print it out and read it every chance you get and would tape it to the inside of your wall locker.  If you haven't read LN's post on initiative, do that now.

Here is the link: http://www.armyranger.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1812



III. Airborne

1.  What does Airborne consist of?
Ground Week (week 1)
During Ground Week, you begin an intensive program of instruction to build individual airborne skills, prepare you to make a parachute jump, and land safely. You will train on the mock door, the 34-foot tower, and the Lateral Drift Apparatus (LDA). To go forward to Tower Training Week, you must individually qualify on the 34-foot tower, the LDA, and pass all Physical Training (PT) requirements.

Tower Week (week 2)
The individual skills learned during Ground Week are refined during Tower Week and team effort or "mass exit" concept is added to the training. The apparatuses used this week are the 34-foot towers, the Swing Landing Trainer (SLT), the mock door for mass exit training, the suspended harness, and the 250-foot free tower. Tower Week completes your individual skill training and builds team effort skills. To go forward to Jump Training Week you must qualify on the SLT, master the mass exit procedures from the 34-foot tower, and pass all PT requirements.

Jump Week (week 3)
Successful completion of the previous weeks of training prepares you for Jump Week. This is the ultimate test. You must conduct five successful jumps in order to complete this last step. In the last two jumps, you will have the addition of combat equipment. The final jump will be conducted at night. All of these jumps will be done at an altitude of 1,250 feet for training. After your successful fifth jump, you have now joined the elite ranks of the Airborne!

2. What happens if I fail at Airborne?
You may get the chance to be recycled and repeat the school.  If not, you will be reassigned at the needs of the Army.

3. Will I get a chance to do HALO jumps at airborne?

4. What is a HALO jump?
HALO jumps are High Altitude-Low Opening.  There is also HAHO which is High Altitude-High Opening.  These are taught at a different course.

5. Do women train with the men at Airborne?

6. Are the parachutes steerable?
Some parachutes are not 'steerable,' but you can control the direction of your descent by pulling on your risers. Other parachutes are steerable by pulling on toggles.

7. Do I get time off at Airborne?
Yes, you will have weekends off and your day will end around 1600 or 1700 hours.  During your free time you should be doing extra PT to prepare for RIP as the PT regiment at Airborne is not that stressful.

IV. RIP, Battalion, Ranger School

1. What does "Sua Sponte" mean?
Sua Sponte is Latin for "of their own accord."  So what does this mean, basically it means that you voluntarily do everything, you volunteer for the Rangers, you volunteer to be the first person to fight, you volunteer to lead the way.

2. What is the Ranger Creed?
Ranger Creed

The Ranger Creed is a 6 stanza creed that is recited every morning by the Ranger Regiment.  To you it may just seem like words, but to the Rangers it is a way of life.  The creed as you should know it in preparation for RIP/RASP is as follows:

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster, and fight harder than any other soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong, and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress, and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.

3. What is RIP/RASP?
RIP or Ranger Indoctrination Program is a program designed to ensure that you are prepared for life in the Ranger Regiment.  Think of it as an orientation to being a Ranger. Ranger Assessment Program what regiment has gone to instead of RIP.

4. How long is RIP/RASP?
RIP while originally 3 weeks is now 4 weeks long.  Don't like the sound of that, then please do everyone a favor and not take an Option 40 slot out of the system for someone who is really HOOAH about it. The Ranger Assessment Program is broken up in to two phases. The phases are grueling and geared to providing the line companies with Rangers ready to fight and to get them up to speed with the fast pace environment. Those that are at the top of their class have a chance of going straight to Ranger School before being assigned to Bn.

5. What happens if I fail at RIP/RASP?
You will be reassigned at the needs of the Army, in other words, you are assigned to a unit where you are needed and your shot at being a Ranger is over for now.

6. Are Ranger School and RIP/RASP the same thing?
No, RIP/RASP is an orientation program to make you accustomed to Ranger life.  Ranger School is a 62 day and night leadership course.

7. What does Ranger School entail?
Ranger School is a 62 day and night leadership course consisting of 3 phases.
Benning Phase(3 weeks)
Water Confidence Test
Pugel Stick
Bayonet Obstacle Course
Hand-to-Hand Combat
12 Mile Road March

Mountain Phase(3 weeks)
Rope and Knot Tying
Basic Rock Climbing
Rappelling Techniques
Ambush Platoon Exercise
Airborne Operation

Swamp Phase
Reptile Identification Class
Small Boat Operations
Stream/Swamp Navigation
Urban Assault Exercise
Platoon Extraction Exercise
Ranger Graduation

Ranger School Break Down:

Benning Phase
Mountain Phase
Florida Phase

Ranger School Website:

Ranger School

8. What is the "Black and Gold"?
The coveted "Black and Gold" is a phrase that references the Ranger Tab that you receive after successful completion of Ranger School.  It is black and gold hence "Black and Gold".  It will also be referred to as the TAB.

9. Can the Ranger Tab be worn if you are assigned to a unit other than the 75th Ranger Regiment?
Once awarded, the tab can be worn on Army uniforms in accordance with AR 670-1.ave the Regiment

10. Can anyone else besides Rangers earn the Tab?
Yes, a select few of highly motivated squared away soldiers from other Military Branches as well as other divisions of the US Army are allowed to attend Ranger School.  Even some foreign Military soldiers are allowed a chance to come through the Ranger School.

11. Do I get a choice of what Battalion I want to join?
Generally no, you may be asked for preference but you will be put into the first available slot in one of the 3 Ranger Battalions.

12. Where are the Battalions located?
There are 3 battalions and their locations are as follows:
1st Battalion, Hunter Army Airfield, GA
2nd Battalion, Ft. Lewis, WA
3rd Battalion, Ft. Benning, GA
75th Regiment, Ft. Benning, GA

13. Can I have a family while in the Ranger Regiment?
Yes, but it will not be easy.  Just like everything else in life you will need to work on it, and your family will need to be supportive and understand that you may be gone 8 months out of the year.

References and Thanks
I would like to thank all the Rangers here at ArmyRanger.com for their service and their wisdom.  

I would like to Reference the following Websites as all of them were useful in my search for answers:

Rangers Lead The Way