NK: Well I am originally from Etowah North Carolina, graduating from high school in 2000. After that I became a police officer for a couple of years then joined the United Sates Army. I am a professional cyclist in the sport of bicycle trials which I was ranked the number two rider in North America and the USA for 2013 and 2015. Along with riding bicycles I am also an avid shooter, firearms instructor, and sky diver. I am married to my lovely wife Melissa and we have three children Grayson, Mackinly, and Aidan.
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
NK: Yes I participated in many sports in school and was constantly active. But when I learned how to do bicycle trials I focused all my energy to that.
SGPT: What made you want to sign up for the 75th Ranger Regiment?
NK: I originally came into the Army with a Special Forces Contract (Green Beret). However during basic training I had the highest PT score in my company that the commander gave me a ranger contract. At the time I told him I had an SF contract at which point he gave me 24hrs to figure out if I wanted to me a Green Beret or an Army Ranger. After using a computer and doing research into what the difference was between Special Forces and Rangers was I chose the 75th Ranger Regiment. You see I didn’t just want to be any soldier or work with the average joe. I mean nothing against the regular Army and soldiers they have their place. One does not simply sign a piece of paper and “boom” your in the Ranger Regiment like you are the regular Army. I wanted to be in a unit where everyone was tried and tested, when the shit went down I knew my back would be covered. To have the finest and most up to date equipment available to the US Military. Where you only went after the top objectives.
SGPT: Where did you go through training and how long was it?
NK: All the training was conducted a Ft. Benning GA where I attended basic training, infantry AIT, airborne school, and finally RIP (Regimental Indoctrination Program). At the final phase of RIP is where I was selected and allowed to join the 75th. You don’t just simply join Regiment, you are hand selected out of a group of soldiers after 3 weeks of misery. A majority of soldiers up and quit after the first couple of days. Actually I remember a large majority jumped ship after the first hour saying “this just isn’t for me”.
SGPT: What was the hardest part for you?
NK: I have always been an athlete and in good shape but the running everyday at such a fast pace and extended amount of time was horrific. And the ruck sake runs were especially painful. I have never been a runner but you can bet your ass I became one after that.
SGPT: How much rucking did you do and how much did you pack weigh?
NK: Rucking was pretty much a must every Thursday, 6 to 12 miles was the average with a 35 lbs pack. However sometimes the leadership would feel froggy and want to do an airborne operation consisting of a jump and ruck back to the battalion. Those could average anywhere from a 35-50 lbs pack and a 15-20 mile road march depending on the route. And there was also the good old Ranger Standards Week, part of which involved a 12 mile ruck with 35 pound backpack (which didn’t included your water weight) in 3 hours.
SGPT: Which Ranger Battalion did you serve with?
NK: I spent my whole time in the Special Troops Battalion located next to Regimental headquarters. I ended up at the Regimental Reconnaissance Company.
SGPT: Did you go overseas any?
NK: Yes, I did. Good old Afghanistan, what a miserable place that is.
SGPT: If your younger brother were to go into the Rangers – what tips would you pass down to him?
NK: Its kind of funny, my nephew just signed up to join the 75th Ranger Regiment and ships out in February to Ft. Benning. The biggest advise that I could give him was stay out of trouble and do the right thing. Any incidents that involved alcohol or the police will get you kicked out of Regiment no questions asked. The Regiment is one of the only places in the US Military that has summary release authority. Meaning if they don’t want you there, your fired and sent off to the regular Army. And more people are force to leave Regiment because of booze then any other reason.
SGPT: A question from one of our readers..”How far should you ruck to prep for ranger school?”
NK: It’s not so much distance but how much you ruck.
Week one 4 miles Monday 4 miles Thursday
Week two 6 miles Wednesday
Week three 6 miles Monday 8 miles Thursday
Continue 10 miles once a week until two weeks before school starts.
You could break yourself off and do 20 miles but there is no point because all you are going to do is hurt yourself and cause injury. The process is to build up over time so it stays with you throughout.
SGPT: Tell us what you are doing these days?
NK: Right now I perform shows on my bicycle all over the country for On The Edge 2-Wheel Action Shows. I also teach shooting, rappelling, and fitness in the Atlanta area. But I often get the itch for the high stress, high speed environment of the 75th. I doubt that will ever go away, it’s like trying to cage a wild animal. And watching the news these days makes me want to join again and rid the world of evil. My wife is good at calming me down though.
SGPT: How can trainees that are interested in your program get in touch with you and get more info?
More info here:
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Nigel.
NK: No problem its been great. “RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!!!!!!!!!”