FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 20, 2011) -Serving as a Ranger is one of the most physically and mentally demanding assignments in the Army.
Training to be one can be even tougher. That's why one platoon sergeant who has earned his Ranger tab is holding special physical training sessions to prepare Soldiers for their upcoming course at Fort Benning, Ga.
Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Vogt, a platoon sergeant in Charlie Company, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion, 23rd QM Brigade, uses his knowledge of Ranger training to prepare advanced individual training rigger Soldiers for the tough school that is ahead of them. He started this training nearly a year ago when he arrived to the unit.
To attend the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, most Soldiers have to ensure Ranger School is put into their contract and a requirement is to be airborne qualified. On Fort Lee, the only military occupational specialty that meets that requirement is the 92R - riggers.
Pvt. Seth Dugan, who left for Ranger School Monday, said he fought to get the additional training in his contract.
"I've been informed about the military all my life - and I knew the Rangers were the best of the best," he said. "I knew if I could get an MOS that I liked and it came with ranger school, I'd pick that MOS."
Even after ensuring Ranger training is in their contract, some Soldiers have second thoughts upon experiencing Vogt's practice sessions and realizing what's involved in the physical endurance arena alone.
"I do this training to give these guys a better chance when they get to Ranger School," said Vogt. "The normal physical training here is a little soft in respect to what they will get at Fort Benning. They spend a lot more time on PT down there - ‘smoke' sessions and a lot more running - than they do here."
The Soldiers who receive the training appreciate Vogt's efforts.
"This training gives me confidence because someone who went through the training is training us now," said Pfc. Joseph Uzel. "If we can do what he tells us to, I feel like I can make it during the actual Ranger training."
Pvt. Steven Miller said he likes having a Ranger here to teach him about the upcoming training.
"It's tough - the standard PT that we've been doing is not substantial enough to improve us - this ranger PT has been helpful," Miller said. "(Vogt) gives us insight into the training because he's honest that it's going to suck and it's going to be hard, but it's nice that we have someone we can talk to about it."
Not many Logistics Soldiers receive the opportunity to attend Ranger training, but Vogt wants the Soldiers to be prepared for the long road ahead.
"It takes a certain kind of Soldier who wants to be a Ranger. Not too many people want to do it because they are afraid," he said. "These guys have a good idea of what they can expect in Fort Benning - this training we do is a real gut check because it gives them insight into Ranger training."
Normally, about 20-30 percent of all applicants make it through the Ranger selection process, Vogt said. Since he started his training, about 12-15 Soldiers from the rigger school have gone and five have made it.
"The training takes up my time a little bit because there are other things I could do," he said. "But it's really rewarding, especially when the guys make it."
As for his current crop of Soldiers going through his training, Vogt has confidence in them.
"I think all of these guys have a real good chance - as long as they don't quit," he said. "They are all not quitters, but once you get down there, it's different."