Between 2007 and 2011, the number of Ranger-qualified NCOs has dropped, mainly in the low and mid-grade range. Less qualified NCOs means fewer current Ranger E-5s and E-6s, as well as fewer service members moving up to senior Ranger NCO ranks.
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How Longer Deployments Cut Ranger School NCOs

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By 2011, prolonged conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan had reduced funding and eligible soldiers for the Army Rangers, hurting one of the Army's most prestigious and respected cadre of Non-commissioned Officers.

RANGER SCHOOL IS AN ESSENTIAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING

Ranger school is leadership training that works to raise the stamina and leadership skill levels of qualified soldiers.

According to Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Smith, the senior NCO at Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, most platoon sergeants and sergeants first class who joined the Army after 9/11 know nothing but combat, a situation which threatens to create underdeveloped soldiers.

DEPLOYED SOLDIERS MISS OUT ON RANGER TRAINING

Since 2007, the number of Ranger-qualified NCOs has dropped, mainly in the low and mid-grade range. Less qualified NCOs means fewer current Ranger E-5s and E-6s, as well as fewer service members moving up to senior Ranger NCO ranks.

While sending NCOs to Ranger training used to be a priority, now only 20 percent of authorized Ranger sergeant billets are actually tab-wearing Rangers. Only 17 sergeants first class graduated from Ranger school in 2010.

LONGER DWELL TIME COULD REVIVE RANGER RANKS

A potential solution to revive the Rangers ranks, according to Smith, could be to grant a longer dwell-time between war-zone deployments.

Military service members return home for only 12-15 months after a year deployment, and they don't want to spend some of those months in training.

ROLE FOR COMMANDERS TO REVIVE RANGER ATTENDANCE

Army leaders worked towards increasing dwell time. On March 1 2011, Command Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III announced that some units would be able to spend two years at home for every one year deployed, starting October 2011.

However until longer dwell-time is granted, Smith is hoping commanders will play a larger role in getting Soldiers Ranger-qualified - which means letting their best NCOs leave the front to attend Ranger school.



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