I was invited to a Memorial Day event by a fellow geekdad who will be there. I’m not going to be able to make it, but perhaps one of you can stop by. . .
Just fly down to Atlanta on Sunday and drive 90 minutes down to Fort Benning. First Call on Memorial day will be at 3:40am at the Ranger Training Brigade. After two hours of inprocessing while sitting outdoors on all the gear you’ll need for the next 9 weeks (or more) packed into two duffle bags, you’ll be asked to do 49 perfect push-ups, 59 exemplary sit-ups, a 5 mile run, and just 6 pullups on queue.
Next, it’s off to a quick change of clothes from the Physical Training uniform into the Combat uniform. Then you’re bused to a nearby lake where you’ll climb a 34-foot ladder, walk across a 40-foot log with a few steps up and down in the middle, then grab a rope and pull yourself backwards for another 25 feet. After getting permission from the Ranger Instructor to drop into the lake, you’ll pick up a "trolley" and climb the 75-foot tower to do the "Slide For Life." This is a 150′ zip line after which you drop into the water while trying not to break anything. Climb out again to put on combat gear and then jump back into the lake and try to take it off before swimming 25 meters to the end.
After busing back at about noon, you’ll finally get to eat your breakfast. The rest of the day is filled with briefings from NCOs and colonels, inspections and lay out of all your gear, three to four 30-minute "smoke sessions" for a little extra PT, getting your pace count for land navigation on Tuesday morning (1:30am) and then bedtime around midnight. Did I mention you haven’t unpacked your bags yet because you take it all with you that night if you don’t pass any of these events?
Well, so much for Day One of Ranger School, Fort Benning Phase. Maybe I’ll join them when they get to the Dairy Queen Phase.
Oh, it’s "Darby Queen," no ice cream then. Ahh.
Here’s to those geekdads and geekmoms who serve and have served in all branches.