141st Medical Group Airman Selected to Attend Army Ranger Training
Master Sgt. Amanda Bergquist poses prior to taking part in a triathlon. (Courtesy Photo)
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Amanda Bergquist, 141st Medical Group Dental Clinic, was selected from a large candidate pool to attend the United States Army Ranger Leadership Course. The 62-day course is considered one of the toughest courses offered by the U.S. Army and develops functional skills related to combat.
“I applied for the Ranger program primarily because of COVID,” said Bergquist. “I hadn’t been participating in many Triathlons so when I saw the announcement in June, I thought this is it, this is what I have been waiting to do.”
Ranger school consists of three phases, Benning, Mountain and Swamp. During the Benning phase, the school assesses physical stamina and mental toughness. This phase is typically where students drop out due to the stress and overwhelming amount of physical activity.
Once Benning phase is completed, students move onto the Mountain phase at Camp Merrill near Dahlonega, Georgia and receive training on mountaineering tasks, mobility training and employing a platoon for continuous combat patrol operations in a mountain environment. During the mountaineering tasks portion the students learn about climbing knots, belays, anchor points and rope management that culminates in a 200-foot night rappel exercise with night vision goggles.
The final phase is the Swamp phase located on Eglin AFB, Fl, where students receive instruction on waterborne operations, small boat movements, and stream crossings. Swamp Phase incorporates small unit tactical training through a progressive, realistic, contemporary operating environment. Students conduct ten days of patrolling during a fast paced, highly stressful, challenging field exercise in which students are evaluated on their ability to apply small unit tactics and techniques during the execution of raids, ambushes, movements to contact, and urban assaults to accomplish their assigned missions.
When asked what she hopes to gain from the course Bergquist replied, “I would like to gain a better understanding of human beings, and I feel you get the best understanding of that when people are at their most raw. I think this school is designed to bring that out in people and I hope to use those situations to learn and teach within my unit ways to handle those types of events.”
At the end Bergquist said "I’m looking forward to pushing myself. The reasons I’m nervous and excited to go through the course are the same but I’m looking forward to all of the challenges the course provides."