SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – After more than 200 grueling days at the U.S. Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga., Spc. Jeremy Roup finally got his Ranger tab on September 16, 2022.
Roup, an infantryman assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, arrived at Fort Benning for the Ranger Assessment Phase on 20 February 2022.
“Since coming to Schofield, I’ve always talked about going to Ranger School, but I felt comfortable not going,” Roup said. “I reached a point where I was about a year away from the end of my contract and I had to go on my own.”
According to the US Army Ranger School website, the 2021 graduation rate hovered just north of 50%, with most applicants failing the Ranger assessment phase.
Roup never questioned if he had the physical qualities to complete the course, but after being recycled after the first phase, he began to wonder if the timing was right.
“I was awake for 48 hours straight when I found out I wasn’t going to pass the Benning phase. If there was ever a time when I wondered if I wanted to quit, it was at I learned that I wouldn’t be able to join the next course for about six weeks and was ready to go.
When Roup told the school administration about his withdrawal from the course, they asked him to sign a note acknowledging his surrender to the physical and mental demands of Ranger School, an admission he could not endorse.
“When I was reading the memo, it wasn’t me. I still believed in myself and knew I could do it, but the thought of waiting six weeks to start over was hard. I ended up speaking with my Rangers instructors and decided to stay.”
Of the three phases, Roup repeated the Benning phase twice, the mountain phase twice, and the Florida phase three times.
“Florida was the most difficult. Between the heat and digging holes, it’s pretty miserable. But at the same time, I expected the last phase to be difficult. You are always sweaty and always tired. But at that time, I had no choice but to continue.
Roup’s story of courage and determination has earned folk status among his peers. Although he doesn’t know when this happened, his tenure and experience earned him a nickname usually reserved for characters in a movie or comic book.
“Roup was regarded by fellow Rangers students as the oracle due to his wealth of knowledge about the course,” said Sgt. 1st Class Logan Lewis, Ranger Instructor, 6th Ranger Battalion. “He helped a lot of guys mentally prepare for what was to come. Basically, he served as a hype man for his buddies to get them through. It was impressive to watch as an IR.
Roup’s company commander, Captain Theo Davis, B CO, 2-35 IN, knew Roup had the physical qualities to excel, but it was his mental stamina that impressed him the most.
“Spc. Roup has an unwavering attitude and demonstrated it time and time again throughout his time at Ranger School,” Davis said. “His ability to learn from his mistakes and demonstrate the courage to keep working until that he succeeds is impressive.”
Upon his return to Schofield Barracks, the Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division, Major General Joseph Ryan, presented Roup with a coin for his determination and unwavering commitment to earning his Ranger tab.
The Ranger School is the focal point of the 25th Infantry Division, and soldiers of all ranks and military occupational specialties are encouraged to take the Army’s premier leadership course.
While Roup’s part-time residency at Fort Benning wasn’t the longest Logan had witnessed, it certainly won over some of the Ranger School’s toughest-to-impress instructors.
“Roup always smiled and kept an upbeat attitude, even when he cycled Florida twice,” Lewis said. “It’s not something you often see in refreshers, and I think it rubbed off on other students, allowing them to pass and graduate.”
Roup undoubtedly possesses the intrinsic traits that enabled him to endure the rigors of Ranger school, but he also received plenty of encouragement along the way.
“Last thing I said to Spc. Before leaving for Ranger School, Roup wasn’t coming home without him,” said 1st Sgt. Langkilde Palea’ae, B CO, 2-35 IN. If you really want it that badly, you’ll get it.”
For Roup, it was his first sergeant who was in his ear when he wondered if he had the courage to persevere.
“He told me not to come back without my tab and I didn’t want to let him down.”
|Date posted:||27.10.2022 23:37|
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