FORT BENNING, GA – Forty-two Soldiers from 12 career fields earned the title of U.S. Army Ranger and donned the coveted tan beret upon completion of the eight-week 75th Ranger Regiment Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1 class on Nov. 23 in a ceremony held at Fort Benning’s Marshall Auditorium in McGinnis-Wickham Hall.
Sergeant Major Ret. Tom Fuller provide the Regiment’s newest Rangers and an audience of more than 200 family and friends a heartfelt message about “the brotherhood of the scroll.”
The RASP 1 class began with 116 Rangers. To the 42 Rangers assembled in the graduation formation, Fuller first congratulated the class then offered insight into what makes the Army and service in the 75th Ranger Regiment so unique.
“Serving in the Ranger Regiment is a very personal business, this unit is all about the people, the Rangers. I learned what personal discipline is and saw firsthand the meaning of service,” Fuller said.
Fuller joined the 75th Ranger Regiment after assignments with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., and the Joint Readiness Training Center. As a Ranger leader, Fuller served as a squad leader through Regimental operations sergeant major before retiring from Fort Benning’s Army Marksmanship Unit as their sergeant major.
“Whereas in the corporate world the business is about profit, and in other branches of the service or other Army units it may be about the equipment, in the Ranger Regiment it is all about the Ranger,” Fuller stated.
Fuller spoke of the mental toughness required to meet the Ranger objective by providing accounts of Ranger intestinal fortitude in the face of adversity.
“I want to tell you about the Ranger that while in Florida phase of Ranger School taped Rite in the Rain notebook paper to the bottom of his feet because walking through the swamps on blistered feet had caused most of the skin there to come off. He did not want to let his squad leader down by not graduating,” Fuller recalled.
Fuller then recounted the role of the Ranger leaders in the readiness of the force for combat tempered with the professional and personal care provided for Rangers.
“I have seen leaders of this unit spend countless hours patiently working with personal problems and issues just to help square away one of their Rangers and make his life better,” Fuller said. “I have seen them eat less, sleep less, work harder, plan, rehearse and worry just to ensure that those Rangers that relied on them got the very best that they could give.”
An outdoor enthusiast and professional competition marksman, Fuller and his Ranger veteran partner Dave Steinbach won the 2016 Darrin Fink Memorial Sniper Adventure Challenge in Douglas, Wyoming held Sept. 2-4. Fuller resides in the greater Fort Benning area where he operates Armageddon Gear, a veteran-owned tactical operations equipment manufacturer dedicated to the American manufacturing of its retail equipment.