MACON, Ga. – U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Jared Pate graduated from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School at Fort Benning Jan. 28. On his way to attaining the coveted Ranger tab, Pate earned the title of distinguished honor graduate of his class.
Ranger School is a demanding 61-day course that develops combat skills of selected officers and enlisted Soldiers, requiring them to perform effectively as small-unit leaders in a realistic, tactical environment under mental and physical stress comparable to actual combat.
The Ranger School is regarded as one of the toughest schools of all the military services, and graduates earn the right to wear the Ranger tab.
Pate’s class started with 359 other students when the courses began Nov. 7. Only 129 Soldiers became Rangers by completing the course, a graduation rate of only 36%.
“The guys that go in and think about graduation from Day One typically fail out or really have a hard time and struggle,” said Pate. “But if you take it one day at a time and one hour at a time, kind of chip away at it, you can make it.”
Pate is a platoon leader of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Pate commissioned in 2020 from the University of North Georgia, where he was a distinguished military graduate. While attending UNG, he served in the Georgia Army National Guard as an infantryman assigned to the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment.
There are three phases to Ranger School. The first is at Fort Benning, Georgia, the second at Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega, Georgia, and the final phase at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Pate’s attendance at Ranger School was something of a homecoming. He completed two stints of infantry training at Fort Benning, and he returned to Dahlonega, where UNG and Camp Merrill are located.
The primary mission of U.S. Army Rangers is to engage in close combat and direct-fire battles. Rangers are experts in leading Soldiers on difficult missions, requiring two months of rigorous training.
The 1-121 IN is one of three infantry battalions in the 48th IBCT. The three infantry battalions serve as the 48th IBCT’s primary maneuver forces that engage in combat against enemy forces. Though not a requirement, having Ranger-trained Soldiers and officers in the battalions improves their lethality and ability to accomplish assigned missions.
By earning his Ranger tab and being a distinguished honor graduate, Pate models leadership through example. He returns to Charlie Company with tactical skills taught at Ranger School and the outlook to motivate and lead infantry Soldiers under his responsibility.
“Don’t get so caught up into the hype that Ranger School has. It certainly is a premier course, and because of that, it is going to expect and demand a lot out of you,” said Pate. “But it’s not something that can’t be done. I think anybody that goes in with the right mindset can achieve success and graduate.”
Pate’s leadership and training will be put to the test in June when the 48th IBCT will participate in an eXportable Combat Training Capability rotation at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
“I have a few months to prepare for XCTC, and I think under most circumstances, any platoon leader would be nervous or anxious,” said Pate. “But honestly, I can’t say I feel that way just because of how good of a support chain I have within the platoon.”