Junior Enlisted Soldier graduates Ranger School

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Story by SPC Jonathan Wallace on 12/06/2017
After 16 months of serving in the military, Spc. Charles Lawrence, an infantryman with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment graduated the U.S. Army Ranger School Nov. 4 at Fort Benning, Ga.

Earning the Ranger Tab as an infantryman is a key indicator of your physical and mental endurance signaling to your peers that you have the raw materials to be an effective leader.

Lawrence said that when he joined the military, he wanted to be a part of Ranger Regiment and lead from the front.

"Coincidently when I first got to my unit [2-69 AR], they were asking for volunteers for Ranger School," said Lawrence. "I immediately volunteered."

Lawrence's performance did not go unnoticed by his leaders. He was also selected to serve as a sniper in the battalion's scout platoon.

Staff Sgt. Korey Ellwanger, a sniper section sergeant with 2-69 AR said, "Lawrence showed us that he was ready to take on the challenge of becoming an Army Ranger. If he didn't go to Ranger school, he'd be selling himself and the Army short."

Ranger School is an 8-week combat leadership course oriented towards small-unit tactics.

According to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, only 36% of those who start Ranger School obtain the tab.

There are three phases of Ranger School: Benning, Mountain, and Florida.

"The hardest phase for me was the Florida phase," said Lawrence. "There was a giant cold front, and it got down to 33 degrees at night."

Wet and cold, Lawrence persevered on to the Ranger objective.

He attended Ranger School as a private first class. After graduating, he became eligible for promotion to specialist.

Ranger school graduates with at least 12 months time-in-service may be promoted to specialist without regard to time in service and time in grade.

Lawrence hopes to attend the Army's Sniper School next. His advice to future Ranger candidates? Bring the right boots and lots of chewing gum.

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