FORT BENNING, GA – Two Rangers from the 75th Ranger Regiment graduated with the top enlisted honors at the U.S. Army Ranger School graduation March 4.
Spc. Paul Haskell, an Infantryman with Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment graduated as the Cpl. Glenn M. Hall Enlisted Honor Graduate and the Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Kelso Enlisted Leadership Award.
Staff Sgt. Ellis Lawson, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist with Company E, 3rd Bn., earned the William O. Darby Distinguished Honor Graduate award.
Twenty-nine Rangers from across the 75th Ranger Regiment also earned the coveted Ranger Tab.
“What makes Rangers the greatest fighting men in the world is that they never give up,” said retired Col. Paul Longgear, guest speaker. “No matter how the last battle turned out, they fight the next battle like they are undefeated. These Rangers have the same warrior sprit that has made Rangers great throughout history.”
Haskell, a native of Lilburn, Ga., has been with 3rd Bn., since January 2009. He has deployed once to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Ranger School was different that what I expected; and the worst part was the water confidence course in January,” said Haskell. “After surviving the WCT, the course was a little bit easier.”
The Hall Leadership Award is given to the enlisted Ranger that passes all graded leadership positions, peer reports and may not recycle. He may not have any loss of equipment due to negligence and may not have any retest on any critical tasks.
“I am very fortunate and honored to have received these awards; and humbled that the leadership thought about me in this respect,” said Haskell.
The Kelso Leadership Award is given to the enlisted member who embodies the leadership spirit and ideals displayed by Kelso, who served in the Rhodesian 3 commando, 75th Ranger Regiment and Ranger Training Brigade.
Haskell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Outdoor Education from Georgia College and State University, joined the U.S. Army and volunteered for the 75th Ranger Regiment for several reasons.
“I wanted to experience the most intense fighting and get my boots as muddy as possible,” said Haskell. “I wanted to serve my country and experience the war before it was over and I knew the Regiment would get me into the fight”
Lawson, a graduate of Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga., joined the Army for the experience. He has served with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment in Korea, and the 23rd Chemical Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Lawson, a native of Hinesville, Ga., has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
He volunteered for the 75th Range Regiment in June 2010, and following successful completion of the Assessment and Selection Program was assigned to E Co., 3rd Bn., 75th Rgr. Rgt.
“I wanted a different experience and more challenge to my Army career; the 75th Ranger Regiment is unique and has a great lifestyle that you won’t find anywhere else,” said Lawson. “I would encourage all 74D’s to apply for the 75th Ranger Regiment.”
After a few short months of arriving at 3rd Bn., Lawson found himself preparing for Small Unit Ranger Training and Ranger School. Lawson successfully completed both on the first “Go.”
“Ranger School was very cold! But I learned how to be successful in the worst conditions possible,” said Lawson. “It’s the kind of place where you find yourself and push yourself to the limits.”
“It was an honor to be named the William O. Darby Distinguished Honor Graduate,” said Lawson. “This award represents excellence and success.”
Lawson is in charge of decontamination and reconnaissance and also serves as the Operations’ Sergeant for the company. He is preparing for his first deployment with the 75th Ranger Regiment.