What Is an Army Ranger?

The Army Rangers are an elite group of special forces soldiers trained for direct-combat action. In one form or another, the Rangers have existed since the 17th century.

To become an Army Ranger, a prospective entrant must first complete basic training, a Military Occupational Specialty course, successfully complete the Army's Airborne School and have completed a first tour of duty.

Once these qualifications have been met, a date is set for applicants to go through the Army's Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, which determines whether or not they are mentally and physically capable of completing Ranger training and provides them with the skills they'll need once accepted. All Army personnel accepted to the 75th Ranger Regiment must complete Ranger Training School, which lasts for eight weeks and teaches them how to operate as a part of a Ranger platoon. In addition, soldiers are taught to operate in a variety of different terrains, climates and conditions in order to prepare them for the diverse combat situations they are expected to take on.

The American Army Ranger Regiment has been deployed in every major American military engagement since the Revolutionary War, including World War II, Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.