Are you getting ready for Army Ranger school?
Or just looking to start training and see how well you stack up?
Want to know what gear the Rangers use as they get pushed to the brink in training and in combat?
Check out this list of equipment that Army Rangers use for training and during overseas field missions.
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We recommend having a sew shop double stitch the crotch and getting your nametape sewn above the right back pocket. Sewing your nametape on your ACU Digital BDU Pants will help you find your pants after laying them out to dry, next to thirty other pairs or after the Ranger Instructor has blown you out of your patrol base.
If you need to buy more pairs, check nearby surplus stores. Surplus stores will sell used ACU pants for significantly cheaper than a new pair of pants . There’s no need to buy brand new pants.
US Army Ranger training – Can you hang?
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6 each Coat, ACU
I recommend having your name-tape and US Army sewn onto the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) Coat. Otherwise, your nametape and US Army can be ripped off as you patrol through thick vegetation.
Hot Weather Desert boots (2 pairs needed)
Must meet standards in AR 670-1, no buckles allowed.
You should use the same boot for trainup as you do for Ranger School. There is no perfect choice for boots but there are a number of good choices. By far, the most popular boots at Ranger School are the:
Rocky S2V Boots – an awesome boot that breaks in quickly, provides solid ankle support, durable and doesn’t slip. The Rocky S2v Boot is a great boot for all phases. These boots are popular for a reason.
Rocky C4T Boots – a lighter variant by Rocky that dries quickly, doesn’t slip but lacks in ankle support. A good boot for ruck marchs, Darby phase and Florida phase. It provides less ankle support than the Rocky S2V but I never found this to be an issue.
The Nike Special Field Boot were relatively popular, mostly during RAP week and during Florida Phase. The Nike boots excel during RAP week because they’re light, comfortable and because there is no patrolling during RAP week. The Nike Special Field Boot shine during Florida phase because they dry quickly and absorb less water than most other boots. I didn’t see many Nike boots in Mountain Phase because they don’t hold up well in rough terrain. You’re practically guaranteed to start ripping the sole off if you use them in Darby or Mountain phase. If you want to use them, make sure to bring Shoe Goo to fix holes and tears.
The Belleville 390 boots were popular simply because they are standard Army issue. If you have a pair and they fit well, keep using them!
1 each Boots, Cold Weather
Must meet standards in AR 670-1, no buckles allowed.
1 pair Running Shoes
The most important thing about your running shoes is that you use the same pair for trainup that you use for Ranger School. I prefer a pair of ASICS or a pair of Nike Free running shoes.
1 each PT Jacket
1 each PT Pants
1 each Long sleeve PT shirt
1 each Short sleeve PT shirt
1 each PT Shorts
4 each Name-tape, cloth (sew on, no velcro)
The name-tapes are for your rucksack, assault pack and FLC. You should sew the name-tapes on ahead of time, but you must still bring 4 extra name-tapes.
2 each Drawers, Cold Weather; Military Issue Base Layer Lightweight polypropylene Long Underwear Bottoms
Draw your cold weather gear from the Central Issue Facility (CIF). You cannot have civilian issue poly-pro. Make sure you draw exactly what is on the packing list.
Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP)
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2 each Undershirt, Cold Weather; Military Issue Base Layer Lightweight polypropylene Long Underwear shirt or Gen III level-2-tops
2 pair minimum Eyeglasses, military issue, only if required
You must have retainer bands for each set of eyeglasses.
2 sets ID Tags with Breakaway Chain with Medical Alert Tags or Bracelet, if required
1 each Civilian clothes: 1 Collar Shirt, 1 pair of Pants, 1 Jacket
2 each Dressing, First Aid
1 each Neck Gator Brown or Tan
Must not be black.
Night Optics D-300M Gen 2+ NV Mono-Goggle, High Performance NO-NM-300-2HP
2 each Duffel Bag
Must be standard Army issue.
1 pair Black Leather Work Gloves
1 pair Cold Glove Inserts, Foliage Green
2 each White Socks
You need white socks for the Ranger Physical Fitness Test (RPFT). Ensure you have calf socks or above ankle socks and that there are no logos on your socks.
7 each M4 Magazine
I recommend using plain, Army issue magazines. Try to get the magazines with the tan colored follower (the plastic piece that pushes up on the rounds). The tan follower is an improved magazine that feeds more reliably than the magazine with the green follower. You’ll need all the reliability as you can get, especially firing blank rounds.
You don’t need P-mags or other speciality magazines. The magazines will get beat up and cross loaded after fire fights, so it’s difficult to keep track of your magazines. You will probably leave Ranger School with fewer magazines than you started with.
1 each Blank Firing Adapter
The blank firing adapter (BFA) must be yellow. Yellow means that the BFA is for an M4. Red means the BFA is for an M16.
2 each Belt, tan non-elastic (Rigger style)
I’m not sure why Ranger School requires a rigger’s belt. All climbing is done in an actual climbing harness or in the trusty hip rappel (swiss) seat.
8 each Short sleeve T-Shirts
The t-shirt must be ACU tan or green and must be cotton. Do not buy the Under Armour shirts or any shirt that is not 100% cotton. There’s no need to buy high-end or moisture wicking shirts. No matter what you do, you will smell terrible and destroy your t-shirts. Buy the cheap t-shirts at Military Clothing and Sales.
15 pair Socks, cushion sole wool blend
You can take two routes for socks. You can just use regular boot socks or spend some money on good boot socks. I opted to splurge and I spent about $150 on Army boot socks. It worked out for me; I had no issues with my feet during Ranger School. As with your boots, use the same socks for trainup and Ranger School.
Video – Us Army Rangers In Afghanistan Hitting Talibans Hard ! ISA
For hot weather, I’m a fan of the HeatGear Boot Socks by Under Armour. The HeatGear socks are thin, breathe well and dry quickly. They’re padded at the normal friction points along your foot to help reduce blisters.
My buddy went through as a winter Ranger and used the Rocky Cold Weather Socks most of the time he was there. The Rocky Cold Weather Merino Wool Socks retained warmth when they were wet and I never had any issues with my feet.
Keep in mind, even if you are a Winter Ranger, you still need hot weather socks. Florida Phase in February can reach 70°. Wearing cold weather socks in warm weather causes excessive sweating which can lead to trench foot and other problems.
1 each Weapons Cleaning Kit
There’s no need to buy a fancy weapons cleaning kit. The PS weapons cleaning kit works fine. Its main use will be wiping away the absurd amount of carbon that builds up on the inside of your M4 carbine after firing blank rounds. It must contain 1 cleaning rod handle, 4 cleaning rods, 1 eyelet, 1 bore brush, 1 chamber brush, 1 two ended tooth brush, 1 pack of chamber patches and 1 small bottle of CLP.
Ensure your weapons cleaning kit is well stocked. The essentials are bore snake, a few hundred q-tips, and dental picks for the hard to reach areas, like the star cluster and bolt assembly.
1 each Whistle, Olive drab
Must be military issue whistle.
2 pair Eye Protection (Clear Lens only)
Your eyepro must be on the Army Approved Protective Eyewear list. There’s a good chance you will lose a few pairs of eyepro or scratch the lens beyond repair. Use your favorite pair; the ESS Crossbows are a popular choice, as are the Oakley Industrial M Frame Clear Lens Glasses. However, always have a cheap backup pair or two (like the Uvex S3300X Genesis for $8). You will be dropped from the course as a safety violation if you are caught without eye pro, so keep your backup pair handy. I always kept an extra pair in my rucksack.
1 each Belt, reflective (High Vis. Yellow)
5 each Combination Locks
You must use combination locks for the packing list. You will use the locks to secure your equipment while you’re in the field. Simplify your life and get a set-your-own combination lock. Then, set each lock to the same combination and eliminate the pain of trying to rember five different combinations.
1 each Compass, Lensatic (military issue)
Your unit should issue you a compass. I recommend using the compass with tritium dials. Tritium is a radioactive material which gives off a small amount of natural light, so you can use your compass in the dark. You really don’t want to charge your compass every time you use it at night. If your unit doesn’t have the right compass, you can purchase the Cammenga Model 27CS Olive Drab Lensatic Compass, which is the same as the standard military issue compass.
I also highly recommend a wrist compass, specifically the Suunto M-9 Wrist Compass. A wrist compass incredibly handy for quickly checking your azimuth and getting a bearing on your location. If you’re the Platoon Leader of a patrol, you must know your location to within 200 meters at all times.
1 each Ear Plugs with Case
2 pair Extra Bootlaces
1 each Camelback/MOLLE hydration system 70-100oz
Your CamelBak cannot have an extra carrying pouch, because the Ranger Instructors don’t want you to sneak food from the DFAC. The Army issued CamelBak holds three liters, or 100 ounces. It’s a good idea to bring a second one, in case you break your primary CamelBak. The most common ways to bust a CamelBak include: exploding the bladder by doing an exagerrated ruck sack flop and breaking the drinking valve so it endlessly drains your water.
If you’re a winter Ranger, your CamelBak can and will freeze. The water in your tube will freeze first. You can delay the water from freezing by blowing the water from the tube back into the main resivoir after you’re done drinking.
1 each Flashlight, AA Style, with red lens
8 packs Batteries, AA and/or AAA cell (for flashlights and headlamps)
You’ll need AA batteries for your M68 sight, your PVS-14 (night vision), the DAGR (military GPS), Military Mobile Phone and your flashlight. It’s better to go for quantity and load up on cheap AAA batteries. Always make sure you have plenty on hand to replace dead batteries. A mission can quickly turn into a disaster when your NODs (Night Optical Device) die. The type of NODS we are using now are PVS 15 nods and moving towards the PVS-31. You will burn through batteries quickly, especially if you have to help your Ranger buddies, so bring a few to share.
You’ll probably need AAA batteries for your headlamp. As with AA batteries, you might need to share, so pack a few to spare.
1 each Headlamp
You will become a connoisseur of headlamps by the end of Ranger School. You use headlamps for sensitive item checks, night-time planning and map reading and for hazardous situations, like fording a stream at night. You should buy two headlamps, a primary headlamp to keep on your kit and a backup to keep in your rucksack.
I used the Petzl Tactikka headlamp, which was awesome.
The Petzl Tactikka + RGB Headlamp is bright, practically bombproof, and includes a red filter so you won’t accidently flash your white light.
We really like this headlamp as it is super lightweight and gets the job done and is replaceable if needed.
1 each Luminous tape, 1″ × 6″ strip
You’ll use the Luminous Tape to make cat eyes for your rucksack, assault pack and patrol cap. I recommend doing the sewing before you arrive to Ranger School. Any sew shop outside a military base will sew cat eyes and name-tapes for you. However, you still need to bring a strip to pass the packing list inspection.
It’s difficult to purchase a small strip of luminous tape, so I recommend buying a large roll of luminous tape for $10 and either splitting the cost or sharing it with your Ranger buddies. You’ll want some extra to make various graphics to simplify your life. I made a glow in the dark writing surface on the front of my Ranger Handbook to keep quick notes, like grids of our current location or patrol base and the black and gold plan.
1 each Mouth Piece (Athletic)
Mold your mouthguard before your arrival. You use the mouthguard once during the course, at the combatives class during RAP week.
100 feet Nylon Cord (550 type)
I recommend bringing at least two hundred feet of 550 cord. You use 550 cord Nylon primarily for equipment tie-downs, but also to mark roads and boundaries on terrain models.
10 each Pens
The uni-ball Power Tank pen is the same thing as the Space Pen, but at a fraction of the price. The uni-ball pen is pressurized, writes in all conditions, and works well with the Rite-in-Rain notebooks.
10 each Pencils
Mechanical pencils are the way to go. You don’t have to worry about sharpening them.
3 each Notebook, pocket size
Any notebook you use will see lots of abuse. It will get rained on, sweat on and if you’re a winter Ranger, the notebook might even freeze. The Rite in the Rain notebooks hold up pretty well. Your unit supply section should have some Rite in the Rain notebooks on hand for your use.
2 each Protractor
The standard Army issue protractor is perfect for Ranger School. As with most equipment, it is more important to be comfortable and confident with the equipment than to have the best or most expensive equipment.
Make sure you cut out excess plastic from the 1:50,000 grid. Also, I strongly recommend threading a single strand of 550 cord through the middle of the protractor to easily find an azimuth.
1 each Razor, shaving (non electric)
You spend about half your time at Ranger School in a garrison environment, where you can get a normal shave. So, bring your favorite razor and shaving cream. I prefer the Gillette Mach3 Razor.
In the field, your shaving experience will be terrible no matter what you buy, so just kept using the Mach3 razors.
12 each Razor Blades
Get enough razor blades for your preferred razor.
1 each Sewing Kit
1 can Shaving Cream
Pick your favorite shaving cream and bring it to use during garrison. I like Barbasol because it’s cheap and works well
I recommend buying a travel size container of shaving cream to use while you’re in the field. You want to reduce the weight of your ruck and shaving cream will make your field shaving experience much less miserable.
1 pair Shower Shoes (Any Color)
You’ll need a pair of Flip Flops to protect yourself from contracting athlete’s foot or other fungal growth. Maintaining your feet should be one of your top priorities because you will be rucking for up to 15 hours a day.
2 bars Soap
1 each Soap Dish
1 each Toothbrush
2 each Toothpaste (large tubes)
2 each Towels, large (green or brown)
There are two things to look for in a towel during Ranger School, how fast it dries and how small you can fold it. The Micronet microfiber towel scores well in both categories. The Micronet towel folds up into an amazingly small package and you can wring most of the water out in seconds.
2 each Wash Cloth (green or brown)
Similar to the towel, the wash cloth should be small and dry quickly. Micronet also makes a microfiber wash cloth that works well.
You will have a few opportunities to do your laundry. Rather than carry around a large tub of detergent, it’s way easier just to use the single load, travel size packets. You should bring enough detergent for six loads of laundry.
1 each Wristwatch
You cannot use a GPS or Internet capable watch. I used and abused my Casio G-Shock Watch and it kept ticking the whole time.
Your watch should be adjustable so you can synchronize the time with the Patrol Leader. At the end of the Operations Order brief, the Patrol Leader will count down on his watch to synchronize time across the patrol.
Ranger rocking the SOPMOD M4
The M4 rifle is a shortened M16 carbine and is by far the most common weapon found in the hands of US forces today.
Rangers carry the M4 and utilize the new SOPMOD 2 package, which includes the EOTech Tactical HOLOgraphic Sight, LA-5 infrared laser, foregrip, the M3X visible bright light (tactical light) and associated accessories. Also included is the Elcan Spector telescopic sight, which is adjustable from 1 power to 5 power via a throw lever on the side of the optic. While this is an interesting idea, nearly all Special Forces troops leave these sights in the card board boxes to collect dust and simply use the EO Tech 553. We felt that the Elcan was a little bit too much and perhaps over engineered. Now, if we had been facing long range engagements in Afghanistan, rather than precision raids in Iraq, maybe we would have felt differently. Along with the EO Tech, the LA-5 is much smaller than the PEQ-2 and together these are the most valued items in the SOPMOD kit.
The RLCS or Ranger Load Carrying System is manufactured by Eagle Industries and issued to each Ranger upon assignment to one of the three Ranger battalions. Coming in a massive, oversized dufflebag, the RLCS kit contains everything you need and then some. Body Armor carrier, magazine pouches, grenade pouches, hydration pouches, assault pack type kit, a sub-belt for survival gear, and much more all crammed into this thing. This kit is similar but not identical to the SFLCS kit bag issued to Special Forces troops. The most noticeable difference between the two is that the RLCS is green, while the SFLCS is tan.
Latest update on webgear: Rangers have apparently ditched the RLCS and embraced the Condor Recon Chest Rig (Multicam). My information is that they are still rocking the “Ranger” green plate carrier but with Multi-Cam pouches. Also, DCU/ACU uniforms have been discarded in favor of Crye Precision Multi-Cam uniforms.
Shooting Range glasses
The glasses are Oakley M-Frame’s 3.0. They come with three lenses. Clear, Light Red, and Dark Red, The Colored lenses are polarized and will protect your eyes if someone accidentally shines a red lazer in your face. We have the option to get different colored lenses beside just these three. We can get light green and orange as well.
The vest is the Rhodesian long range patrol vest that we wear. It is compatible with all molly web pouches. Most of us have multi-cam colored pouches, but the OG guys have olive drab pouches. Mine is sort of bare right now, but if we were using this for a mission I’d have 3 magazine pouches, 2 grenade pouches, and possibly a radio pouch on there as well.
Latest update: I’ve been told that Rangers have since abandoned the Mk46 as the Army has upgraded, or is upgrading the M249 SAW. In this manner, Rangers are able to revert back to the SAW with the US Army footing the bill rather than have it come out of the SOCOM budget.
The Mk47 grenade launcher is in the inventory of most Special Operations units at the moment and replaces the MK19. Internally, the Mk47 also functions much like a giant revolver, as it has a rotating cylinder inside that ferries the 40mm rounds into position. One interesting feature that soldiers quickly notice is the rip cord. Instead of a charging handle, the gunner pulls a plastic grip attached to a nylon string that charges the weapon. It’s almost like starting a lawnmower.
The Mk47 includes an elaborate thermal imaging system. It is easy to zero, and easy to fire as the on-board computer quickly and accurately computes trajectories for you and tells you exactly where to fire in order to hit your target. In fact, the system is too elaborate to use on mounted operations with the cables running everywhere. The grenade launcher can be stripped down when mounted in the turret of a vehicle, otherwise, the full set-up can be used in static defensive positions.
The most memorable remark about the Mk48 that I ever heard was, “That is the lightest heavy machine gun I’ve ever seen!” As a Corporal, I was a Gun Team Leader in Ranger Battalion where my team made great use of the Mk48 in training as well as combat. The Mk48 is the size of a SAW but packs the 7.62 punch of a M240B. It’s small size makes it perfect for immediate support by fire in dismounted, urban environments.
Admittedly, the M3 Carl Gustaf isn’t the sexiest of weapons among the 75th Ranger Regiment’s rather extensive arsenal. This is especially true when you have to pack this giant metal tube into an AT4 jump pack with cardboard honeycomb and exit a C-17 during a Mass-Tactical airborne jump at night. Getting hung up in a MH-60 with the Goose slung over your back while fast roping and dangling 50ft in the air ain’t sexy either. Don’t ask me how I know that… I’ve written about being Tank Sniper and elaborated on the training and tactical issues surrounding the Gustaf in the past, so take a look!
The M203 grenade launcher is mounted beneath the barrel of an M4 and will serve as the grenadier’s primary weapon during enemy contact. Once the grenadier has exhausted his supply of 40mm grenades, he will then transition to his rifle. The M203 adds to the effectiveness of a squad or platoon sized assault element by giving Rangers the ability to put additional fire into covered and concealed positions. A barrage of High Explosive grenades also acts as a force multiplier during a firefight.
Ballistic breaching. One thing I would like to clarify so there is no confusion, is that at no time did we use the shotgun to clear rooms or otherwise use it as a primary weapon. The shotgun is carried for ballistic breaches only. The shot gun is loaded and carried in a particular manner to ensure safety and ease of use once on the objective.
The weapon is always left on fire, never on safe as the safety is difficult to manipulate, especially while wearing gloves and under pressure. The user shucks the shotgun and then pulls the trigger on the empty chamber. Now the shotgun is loaded, usually with Hatton rounds made specifically for door breaches. Once the shot gun is fully loaded, it is snapped onto the operator’s kit, usually by an elastic bungee cord and stowed into an aluminum holder on the soldier’s belt or body armor to hold it in place.
On the objective, the shotgunner moves forward to the breach site, slings his rifle, and releases his shotgun. Shucking the weapon, he loads the first round into the chamber. The muzzle of the shotgun is placed above the locking mechanism of the door and canted at an angle. When fired, the shot blasts through the wooden door jamb. SOP is to fire two shots into the door jamb, then kick the door and step aside for the assaulters to flow through the entrance.
Breaching Kit: Rangers use number advanced demolitions charges and techniques to gain entry into enemy compounds. Ballistic breaching is discussed above, mechanical breaches require tools such as the battering ram, hooligan tool, pry bar, or axe. Explosive breaches are used in a number of instances although the actual types of charges and operational techniques used will have to be left to the imagination due to OPSEC considerations.
Question: Where can I get a lensatic compass with tritium for ranger school? You can get the Cammenga 3H Tritium Compass here. You will definitely need a good compass in Ranger school as land navigation is a key part of the course.
Question: What kind of gear will I need to get ready for Army Ranger school? Check out the list of gear above to help you start training.
Question: Where can I find a list of Army ranger full kit and magazines? Check out the list above.
Question: what do army rangers use for rain gear? A poncho or Gote-tex jacket
Question: What type of flashlight do the rangers use?
We use insight technology flashlights for our weapons.
A lot of guys buy the Petzl STRIX IR tactical headlamp or grab the princeton tec bluelights for our helmets.
I rock both. Having a headlamp with red lense is a must, but having blue light is a good idea too (you can’t see blood with red light…)
Question: What watch do they wear? the sununto and timex brands are super popular here. For wrist gps we use garmin fortress’s and the Suunto core is popular. The $300 model. My old team leader and squad leader both.had them. A lot of the senior guys rock suuntos and most of the privates/ jr team leaders rock.timex watches
Probably just due to cost. I rock the Timex Ironman triathlon model.
Question: What is the standard issue flashlight for Army Rangers?
Answer: We actually don’t get issued a flashlight. For our weapons we use the insight taclight though. For our helmets we use the Princeton tec blue light
“So, You Want to be a Ranger?” RASP Prep eBook by Tom Coffey
Army Ranger Workout
Special Forces tips and interview with Alton Smith