Monday, September 5, 2011

Communication During Ranger School: A Recap

So since this was something that I googled a lot over, I thought I would write a post on my own experience of all my communication with my husband during Ranger School.

Letters:


It took about 5 days for each of my letters to get from James to me, once they were sent out (and sometimes it would take 3 or 4 days for them to be sent out). Now.. I live all the way in Chicago area, so that's why it took so long. A friend of mine that I met on twitter while our men were both are Ranger School, Lindsey, got hers in about 3 days, but she lives in Tennessee. The first letter I got was almost exactly one week after he started. A lot of times I would get 2 letters postmarked at the same time. I think it's because the RIs (Ranger Instructors) might have waited until they got a stack of mail before they bothered to send them out. My hubby was pretty good about sending them. At one point, I actually got a letter 3 days in a row!

They guys are NOT able to send letters out during the FTXs, so I would recommend looking at the schedule and knowing when they are. I know that they do change around. The last phase in the linked schedule has 2 FTXs and I know for James, they got combined into 1 10-day FTX.

I sent letters every day until the final Tuesday or Wednesday of each phase. I figured that the letter wouldn't get there until after I got to talk to him in the phone call and would get to the location after he left, so I didn't bother. Then as soon as I got the call that he passed, I wrote a letter for the next location. We were actually instructed to not write letters to the next location until we got the call from our soldier that he's moved on. You should have received the addresses from your soldier but I included them below just in case.

I had some fun with my letters and bought some star wars stamps, put gum in some of the letters, and sprayed them with perfume! And yes, you can send them gum. I would put sticks inside the envelope and tape them down so it wouldn't get bunched up and get too thick. USPS will only allow letters to be so thick. I sent him the Extra food gum (mint chocolate chip ice cream, strawberry shortcake, and key lime pie). It was much appreciated. :)

Addresses:

Fort Benning/ Phase 1 Address:

[Name and Rank]
4th Ranger Training Battalion
ATTN: Class [Your soldier's class number]*
10850 Schneider Road
Fort Benning, GA 31905

Mountain/ Phase 2 Address:

[Name and Rank]
5th Ranger Training Battalion
ATTN: Class [Your soldier's class number]*
1 Camp Merrill
Dahlonega, GA 30533-1802

Florida/ Phase 3 Address:

[Name and Rank]
6th Ranger Training Battalion
ATTN: Class [Your soldier's class number]*
6069 Walkers Lane
Camp James E. Rudder
Eglin AFB, FL 32542

*If you don't know your solider's class number, you should be able to google around to find a schedule. They never seem to post it in the same spot, so unfortunately I can't link to it.

Phone Calls:


Phase 1: At the end of Phase 1, the Ranger students will get an 8 hour pass. This took place on the Friday at the end of the phase (no matter when your soldier starts, they always report on a Sunday so the days of the week will always line up the same). Since I was all the way up in Chicago, I couldn't make the trip but a lot of SOs will meet their soldier during that time. James had to buy some things and do laundry, so he told me later that in a way, he was glad that I couldn't make it because he would have been too stressed about all the things he had to do with me being there. Intead we had several camera chats that day.

Phase 2: I got the call around 2pm on that Friday that he passed phase 2. It lasted about 3 minutes- just long enough to tell me he passed phase 2. Then later that night, around 10:30, I got another call and we were able to talk about 10 minutes. It does depend on the company.. my friend Lindsey didn't get a call until 10:30 that night because her bf's company didn't get access to the phones until that time. James also mentioned that his company let the guys with wives go first.

Phase 3: This was stressful because we thought we would get a call around dinner time on that last Sunday (5 days before graduation day) to let us know if he completely passed, but it didn't come until around 11:30pm that night. Lindsey didn't get a call until the following night (Monday night) a little after dinner time. Her boyfriend passed as well, so if the call doesn't come on that Sunday then it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad. I think it's because her bf's company didn't get access to the pay phones until that night. Then I also got a call on that Monday night. And some girls did get calls on the Tuesday as well, but my hubby's phone card had run out of minutes.

Care Packages:

Ranger students can receive care packages at the end of each phase. At the end of phase 3, they get to eat the food on the bus ride home. They can only receive them at the end of phases because the RIs control their calorie intake. Some guys will get several care packages, so there is always a lot of food to go around. I wrote a post about one of my ranger care packages here.

Passes on the Last Week:

Normally the Rangers will get a shorter (8-hour) pass on Wednesday and a longer (12-hour) pass on Thursday. For some reason, these got switched around for James' class so we got the shorter one on Thursday. They were released at about 5pm and there was a crowd of us and taxis waiting in the parking lot (Rangers aren't supposed to drive themselves for safety reasons until they are dismissed on graduation day). Then I had to drive him back that night to report back at 10pm. If they were even a minute late, it could have meant they recycled back to redo Florida phase. So everyone got back around 9:30 to be sure.

So overall, that was only a couple phone calls over a span of 2 months. Not very fun. I'm not sure if that will happen during deployments or not. I'm sure it depends on what kinds of missions he does. But I know a lot of times during deployments, soldiers to get Skype almost every night. So I'm very very glad that he's got the tab and this chapter of our lives is over.

This is just my experience.. I'm definitely not an expert or anything. Also, my hubby made it through in one shot. If your SO does have to recycle (which is nothing to be ashamed about), I have heard that he'll get to call every night while he's waiting for the next phase to start. So that's definitely a silver lining!

Also, if you haven't watched the discovery documentary, I would encourage you to do so. It covers a winter class, and my husband did a summer one.. So it was a little different because they talk about the cold in the documentary and one of the number 1 reason why people recycled in my hubby's was from passing out in the heat (some even got heat stroke).

One thing I can say though: We've been married over a year and a half now and the honeymoon phase is definitely not over. Because each time we see each other, it's amazing! I'm so excited to be moving back into the same apartment as him when he reports to his first unit. More to come on that soon!

Key Days (Days to mark on your calendars!): 
Day 0 (Sunday): This is the day that they will report.
Day 19 (Friday): 8 hour pass between Phase 1 and Phase 2. Go meet your soldier if you can!
Day 20 (Saturday): Soldiers start Phase 2.
Day 40 (Friday): End of Phase 2. Expect a phone call!
Day 41 (Saturday): Soldiers start Phase 3
Day 56 (Sunday): Expect a phone call from your soldier! note: you *may* not get the call until Monday (see above about phone calls). 
Day 57 (Monday): Soldier may be able to use the phones again.
Day 59 (Wednesday): Rangers should get an 8 hour pass.
Day 60 (Thursday): Rangers should get a 12 hour pass. (note: these passes might change. For my husband's class, they did 12 hour pass on Wednesday and 8 hour pass on Thursday)
Day 61 (Friday): Ranger Graduation!!!

More Info: 
My girlfriend Lindsey also wrote a Girlfriend's Guide to Ranger School here. I found her on twitter by searching for "Ranger School" in quotes and we figured out our men were set to graduate the same day, so we actually met at the graduation! There are a LOT of military significant others (#MilSOs) on twitter.

There is a facebook group called Ranger School Wives 2012 for wives/gfs/fiances or Ranger students. I'm not a part of it, but from what I can see, it's got some really good info on there. I'm sure it would be a great way to meet other girls with soldiers going through the same thing. There is also more info about passes on there.

This Ranger grad posted his day-by-day journal from Ranger school here. It's a couple years old but the schedules are pretty much the same. It will give you an idea of what your soldier is going through.

Also, obviously you want to keep all the letters you get. I put together a little keepsake album with all my husband's letters. Check it out here.

Disclaimer: My husband completed Ranger School in the summer of 2011. I realize that they may at some point switch up the dates of when the phone calls are happening, etc. If at some point, you see that my guide is no longer correct, please let me know!

If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer but please make sure I haven't already answered it in the blog post itself. Thanks! <3

107 comments:

  1. Congrats to your husband! I'm so glad I came across your page while searching for info on mailing letters to my husband at Ranger school. He just left today and I'm already eager to hear from him, haha! Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. so glad to be of help! let me know if you have any questions and good luck to your hubby! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This blog is amazing thank you!! My Boyfriend just started Mountain phase today, I'm keeping my fingers crossed he gets a first time Go like in Darby!! I was thinking of surprising him for graduation if he makes it all the way through but that will require some planning seeing as I am in MI! Reading your blog I'm just double checking i read it right,you hear from him the week prior to graduation?

    He is Projected to graduate Dec. 9th (Fri) so I would hear from him around Dec 4th (Sunday)?

    Sorry for the questions!! Congrats to your Husband as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Allyssa, first of all, congrats to your boyfriend on finishing darby!

    And yes, you would hear from him either on that Sunday night (the 4th) or Monday night the 5th. And don't apologize for the questions! I know exactly what you are going through so that's why I wrote the post. :) Let me know if you have any more.

    Also, the graduation ceremony was an absolute blast. I would definitely recommend going!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Amy thanks so much for the info! I just received my short phone call this weekend with the news that he passed mountain phase! Onto the swamps now, my fingers are crossed this phase goes just as well. At the end of Florida phase did you send your husband a care package?

    I see you are at Ft. Lewis, that's where my boyfriend will be stationed come march. It's a gorgeous area so I hope you are enjoying yourself! Happy early Thanksgiving :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats! That's so exciting! :D

    And yes! I did send a care package for the end of florida. Hm maybe I should add a bit about care packages to this post. I think that you have to make sure that the package gets there on that last Saturday because they take the bus home from Florida on Sunday.

    My hubby told me that they actually ended up having way too much food, but they left the extra stuff with the guys that had to recycle. I know they trade/pass around stuff a lot so I wish I had made small bags and bought more snack size stuff in retrospect. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you so much for this! My boyfriend should graduate December 9th, and I am eager to hear from him so I can purchase tickets to see him graduate. So I should hear from this coming Monday or Tuesday? Thanks! - Amy

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Amy You should hear from him on Sunday night or Monday. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much! I can't wait. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just got the call!! He made it through without recycling oh my goodness I am so beyond excited and proud! Now my anxiety can finally calm down :)

    Thanks so much for this blog Amy it really helped!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Amy,

    I just seen the pics of you and your hubby re-uninted! Hope you had a nice R&R. I have been searching for some information on Ranger School and love your blog. My husband left for Ft. Benning about 10 days ago. It is comforting to know that you have been through the same thing. I have some many questions, worries, not even sure where to start. I want to see him for his eight hour pass, but I am not even sure when that is. By looking at the class schedule, it looks like he starts Phase 2 on 5/13. Does that mean his pass will be 5/12? Thanks for letting me ramble!

    Paige

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Paige! I'm so glad to be of help! If nothing has changed, then his pass will be on a Friday (so the 11th). I do remember for-sure that it was a work day for me and I had work M-F at the time. My guess is that you'll get a letter from him before then confirming this too. :) Hang in there, hun!

      Delete
    2. I just put a little cheat sheet on days above to make it a little more clear.

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much! That helps! Since it is a Friday, I will most likely will not be able to make it for the 8 hour pass. Just hope he makes it. I will keep you posted :)

      Delete
  12. Hello! My husband had called me on Friday to let me know he was going to mountain phase! I have tried the links and I am not able to get on them! I had also received a letter from him the day before with the 4th RTB address along with his class number and so on.. since he is going into mountain phase should I write to the 5th RTB with his class number? also does any one by chance have that number??? I want to send his letters tomorrow (monday) I have tried the website but I keep getting that it is down or has been moved.. thank you so so much!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. *also, does any one by chance have that **ADDRESS** not number sorry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually have a friend that is starting mountain phase now too! So I know that it's class 06-12. The address would be the following:

      Your hubby's name and rank
      5th Ranger Training Battalion
      ATTN: Class 06-12
      1 Camp Merrill
      Dahlonega, GA 30533-1802

      And yes, go ahead and send a letter there now.

      Delete
    2. Thank you soooooo much!!!! UPDATE~ He called me for mother's day and he verified the address!! thank you so much and I must tell you that your site is such a blessing! it gave me so many tips and ways to make him feel loved and how to up his morale! I came across your site through google and it gave me so much insite! you are doing such a wonderful deed for us! May GOD bless you and your soldier! I am going to start sending gum lol and a care package soon! Thank you and your husband for your service and you will forever hold a special place in my heart! Tell your friend that the Trujillo's said GOOD LUCK! -Jen

      Delete
    3. That's awesome! I'm so so glad to be of help. Good luck to your hubby!

      Delete
  14. I can't thank you enough for writing this. I've been following it for awhile while my boyfriend is in Ranger. Today is the "sunday" of his Phase 3.. so its incredibly helpful to read your site and know that I may be getting a call tomorrow since mine didn't come today!

    you are a fantastic blogger, and a huge help for those of us who had no clue what to expect with ranger!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aww you're too sweet! hoping that you hear good news! I know the waiting really sucks. you'll look back on this and be so proud of yourself for getting through it though!

      Delete
  15. Hey, this all helped me out so much! But, his mom and I never got a call from him sunday or monday. Or today actually, and today is the day they get bussed back to Georgia. He didn't have his phone on him during any of this. But I'm just curious if you knew of this happening to anyone either? I'm very confused as to why we didn't get a call. I know he passed because another guy who is stationed where he is got to call some people and said he and my boyfriend passed. Thank you for this blog and the the help! Your wonderful! Sorry this is like a paragraph haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh no! I'm sorry you haven't gotten a call yet. I know that some additional phone calls were made on Tuesday night (like guys that had already called on Sunday or Monday) but I hadn't heard of anyone not getting a call UNTIL Tuesday. :( Could you let me know what happens? I would like to update this post in case someone else has the same thing happen.

      Delete
  16. Yeah I'll definitely let you know! We've had a bad experience with his homecoming from deployment so I'm worried it's the same thing. I'm sure it's not, but I find it very weird he hasn't called even his mom yet ya know? Ahhh I'm stressing big time haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be tempted to call someone since you didn't get a call last night. There is a number for the staff duty here for Camp Rudder: https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/rtb/6thRTBn/Content/Contacts.html

      I mean.. if it makes you nervous to call, you could wait until tomorrow morning. But you could just say you gotta make plans on whether you are attending graduation or not. This is pretty late to find out.

      Delete
  17. You are so sweet! Thank you so much! His mom told me that she called Ft. Bragg (where he's stationed) and they approved he IS graduating on Friday, but, I still wish and am wondering why he hasn't been able to call!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for passing!! Maybe his company got in trouble and got phone privileges taken away. Good luck and if you get a chance, let me know what the deal ended up being.

      Delete
  18. I will definitely let you know! Thanks for all your help!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey girl, just wanted to update you that he just called his mom and let her know he passed. Didn't get the chance to ask why he hasn't been able to call but will still keep you informed so you can let others know if this happens to them as well!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ok he said he could have and wanted to call but that there was so many men and such little time to use the phones it was difficult! So if this ever happens to anyone, they can call ft benning that Monday they should receive a call and see of their soldier passed; they will know! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks again, hun! so glad he passed. :)

      Delete
  21. You are an amazing blogger!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. You have inspired me so much. My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years just starts Day 0 today. I have no idea what to expect and so I was searching on google and came across your blog. You have given me so much hope and positive spirits! He told me to send him gum in every letter, and I was smiling when I read that in your blog. Loved your care packages, gives me an idea of what to send my boyfriend! I am so excited, proud, nervous, anxious, scared for him but I know that I just have to stay positive and give him all the support from home. Again, thanks for your blog and help! Sorry this is so long..haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw that's so sweet of you to say. I really appreciate comments like this. I love that this post is helping people. Thanks so much for commenting and good luck to your Ranger!

      Delete
    2. My boyfriend also just started yesterday. this blog is EXTREMELY helpful. i'm wondering if they'll get their 8hr pass on the 10th or 11th (fri or sat). i live in washington and want to fly down to see him for the day but dont want to get there and it be the wrong day. do they always get off the fri?

      thanks so much!

      Delete
    3. Glad to be helpful! Unless they have changed something, the 8 hour pass after phase 1 is going to be on a Friday.

      Delete
    4. thank you...appreciate the quick reply

      Delete
  22. Hi Amy my fiancé is starting Pre Ranger tomorrow and I was wondering if your hubby went through that as well. I know that sometimes if you are infantry and E6 and above you don't need to do pre ranger. But if He did go through it can you pretty please let me know what to expect of that? I am dreading having to go three months even more if recycles with only one or two calls in between. Ours is and LDR where I am in Cali and he up in Fort Lewis (at least we are on the same coast now)........
    Thank you in advance for any information you can give me.

    Cheers!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know much about pre-ranger. :( My husband went pretty much straight from IBOLC (Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course) to Ranger School and the IBOLC already prepares them a lot for it, so I would assume that's why he didn't need to take it. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. :/

      Remember, you can still get letters so there are perks! Even though it sucked at the time, I'm not only proud of him for getting the tab but I'm also proud of us for getting through it. And if he gets deployed to an area with limited internet at some point, you'll be more prepared! Hang in there, girl.

      Delete
    2. Yes I know what you mean...... I don't even want to think abt him going on deployment. I guess this (ranger school) will be the hardest thing that we have gone through in out relationship.
      He texted me in the evening and said that they had them doing some paper work and that they only gave them an MRE to eat :( and that he was going to go back into another class. But he gets off on Friday until 2200 on Sunday and that's awesome.
      However, I got one more favor to ask you...... What kinda food did you send your hubby during phased and then did you send USPS or FedEx?
      Sorry for bugging you but this all so new to me and I am constantly online trying to find out any kind of information abt this process.

      Delete
    3. I've got a post here about one of my Ranger care packages.

      http://runnerarmywife.blogspot.com/2011/08/ranger-care-package.html

      I used the flat rate boxes with USPS and that's actually what I'm doing now with the deployment also.

      Delete
  23. Hi!

    So I am looking for some advice. I met a guy on an airplane who was about to go through Ranger and is now there. I know this is completely crazy but we talked a lot before he left but he never gave me his address while at Ranger. He had said that he wanted letters from me but I don't even know his last name - could you ask your Ranger the best practice here? Should I send a letter anyway with just his first name and rank or would that get him in trouble?

    Thank you,
    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie- I have to say, this story made me smile. The only problem that I see here is that I think the classes have several hundred when they first start out. They also are sorted into several companies (A, B, C) so I assume that they sort the mail into the companies and give the mail out from there. Does he have a common first name? Also do you know where he's from? That would help too. Like if it's "2LT James from Fort Hood" or something.

      Hm. You could be cute about it and label it something like 2LT James "cute guy I met on the plane whose last name I don't know" from "that girl on the plane". They might give him a hard time about it but I don't think he would really get in trouble. If you are persistent and send more than one, I think eventually someone would put the effort in to get it to him.

      That's my best guess for now. :) Next time my hubby gets online (he's in Afg right now) I can ask him but I'm not sure when that will be. Good luck! If this works out, it would seriously be an adorable story. Please let me know what happens!!

      Delete
  24. Hi Amy I have another question for you :) did you send your James a care package at the ebbs of phase one? Or did you wait until the end of phase two to send him one once you got to know what company he was in?
    TC
    Hashi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I did send him a package at the end of each phase (including phase 1). At that point, I had gotten a few letters from him that had the company on the return address. If you dont know the company, you could still send the package and I'm sure they could be able to look up which company he's in.

      Delete
  25. Thank you so much for this information! I am still so new to all of this, so I am not very familiar with a lot of the terminology yet. Well, my boyfriend is now at RS. Unfortunately with work and school, I will not be able to see him during his first pass. So my question is, will he have access to his phone that day? I would love to at least FaceTime. Thanks in advance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep, my husband got a ride back to his apartment for that 8 hours so he had computer, cell phone etc. :)

      Delete
  26. What a relief! I am definetely looking forward to it now :-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yey I was just logging into ask you the same question Erika asked. I didn't know if he would have assess to his phone or not. Okay second question I am sorry I seen to have a lot but you are like my authority on all things Ranger school :).... Anyway when did he first call you that first time? I want to take the day off from work cos idk when he would be calling me.

    PS: I keep posting thank you for all your help but this doesn't show it on here :( I don't wanna seem ungrateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry hun, I just don't remember. :( I do remember that I talked to him on skype around lunch time though so he probably called late morning.

      Delete
  28. So that's around 9 for me as I am on the West........ Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi! My husband just started Ranger School yesterday, and I'm wondering if you know of any way to "meet" other wives/fiances/girlfriends of soldiers who are in his class? I wish there was a Ranger School FRG or something. It's lonely without him... Thanks for all the great advice!

    Allison (of Keep Calm and Soldier On)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/323580857664289/ called Ranger Wives 2012. I actually only know about it because someone must have posted a link to my site on there and I've been getting some traffic from it recently. I'm not a part of it, but from what I can see, it's got some good info.

      I found my friend Lindsey by doing a search for "Ranger School" in quotes on twitter to see what other people were saying about it. There are a LOT of MilSOs (Military Significant Others) on twitter. I noticed she said something like "20 days til Ranger School graduation" and I realized it was the same for my husband so I messaged her and we ended up meeting at the graduation (and are still in contact).

      Hopefully this is helpful! :)

      Delete
    2. This was an excellent question so I updated the post above and posted a link to that group. Also it's actually called "Ranger School Wives 2012" but the link should work anyways.

      Delete
    3. Awesome! Thanks so much, Amy! I'll check it out!

      Delete
    4. I added these great ideas to my blog, too! Thanks, Amy!

      Delete
  30. Hi Amy! Thank you for such an informative post. My soldier just started last Sunday, and being the neurotic planner I am, I was curious -- were you given the heads up about their leave passes on the last Wednesday and Thursday before graduation?

    I'm in Texas and planning on flying in that Thursday. I was going to get in late so I could still put in a day's work, but now I am seriously reconsidering that, if it means I get to see him before he graduates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I actually thought that the first time I would see him was graduation too, but he told me about it at some point in letters so I did some research to confirm it. There was only so much time I could take off work, so I made it for the Thursday pass. And that's where I met Lindsey too! :)

      Delete
  31. Hey Amy-

    I wanted to let you know that I'm linking to this post from my blog series on Ranger School here: http://www.keepcalmandsoldieron.com/2012/09/true-life-im-ranger-school-wife-links-i.html

    Thanks for all of the useful info!!

    -Allison

    ReplyDelete
  32. My boyfriend is really hoping he gets to go to Ranger School he had me watch those videos on youtube about it an wow that's intense. I'm really hoping he is able to go at some point but nervous about how he'll do if he does. Now from reading all of this you guys make things really clear which is awesome! How far in advance did u make plans to be there for graduation? We live in MD an if he's down in GA I wanna make sure I have plenty of notice for work so I can figure a way down there. So during those crazy 8 weeks they do get some phone time right? We've been dating for a few months so I'm still learning this stuff lol. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, it's really tough to make plans. My parents bought tickets about a month in advance but it was a HUGE risk since you really don't know if he'll be graduating until only 4 or 5 days before. I decided to drive down there (about a 12 hour drive) so that I wouldn't have to risk my money on the tickets. I'm not sure if there is an airline out there that would be understanding of a situation like this or not. I just explained the situation to work and they were really understanding.

      And unfortunately, there isn't really phone time.. just those quick calls to let you know he's passed that I talk about above, unless he recycles (fails a phase and has to wait to redo it). There is also the 8 hour pass day so he will have plenty of time to call on that day. Otherwise, it's pretty much radio silence. The huge difficulty for us girls while our guys our at Ranger School. He will be able to write letters though.

      Good luck to your boyfriend!

      Delete
    2. There are two airlines which you can fly. Atlanta being the main one. You can fly in there and take a taxi or i would suggest the Groom bus. Groom charges about $35 per way and will take you to Ft Benning. Easier route would be to fly into Columbus, GA airport. Tickets there cost more though since its a smaller airport. I usually fly to Atlanta. My boyfriend is at Pre Ranger right now, so im kinda new to this stuff as well. I'm also worried about buying tickets for grauation. but i think im just going to get a last minute flight and same more money. The last thing i want to do is run miles up on my leased car. lol hope this helps!

      Delete
  33. Thanks so much! This is great and very helpful! My fiance is headed into RAP week on Sunday, we we're just starting this rollercoaster.
    Thanks again for the info!:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi my name is brittney! and I think your fiance and my boyfriend r at the same school. If you ever need someone to talk to i am going through the same thing :)

      Delete
  34. hi! amy my name is brittney! and my boyfriend is at ranger school right now> he just passed phase one and is going on to phase two.I just wanted to thank you for your help because i didnt no his addresses because everything happened so fast he didnt have time to tell me and also he didnt no himself. I would really like to get in contact with you because can you really send care package i just dont want to get him trouble?

    ReplyDelete
  35. For the passes at the last week of Ranger school is that in Fort Benning? Do you know the address?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I don't know that address, sorry. :/ I'm not even totally sure that they can receive mail at that time. If you send a package during Florida phase, they get it for the bus ride back to Benning though so sending it to Florida address would probably be the best thing to do.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, I didn't know that they could get the package for the bus ride.
      But I was asking about the pass on Wednesday and Thursday before graduation that is in Fort Benning right?

      Delete
    3. Yes it is in Fort Benning. It's from the Ranger Battalion and they can leave the base during the pass. If you go here: http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/RTB/StudentInformation.html and click on the "Graduation" tab there is a map with the student pick-up location.

      Delete
    4. Thank you that was really helpful! How did you know when to pick them up? Did you just wait till he called you or just spent all day waiting?

      Delete
    5. He should be able to call you in the days leading up to the pass to let you know. My husband told me that thursday's pass was going to start "between 1 and 3pm" and it ended up being like 5:30 though. It's different every time. I would join the Ranger Wives facebook group and you'll be able to talk to current ranger wives/gfs in case they find out from their guy and your's isn't able to call you. (My husband ran out of minutes on his phone card so he wasn't able to call me on Tuesday that week).

      Delete
  36. Thank you Amy for this amazing blog! Im really new with a man thats just starting Ranger school today. Im also new to all this army stuff (1 month hehe), but its super exciting and interesting. Could I add you on twitter? Or could you email me?
    aar.swinger@gmail.com

    Thank you soo much!

    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sorry I forgot to add I would like to get to know you a little... and find out more about how it is to be in an 'army relationship.' Also, is there ANY other edible things you can send other than gum?

    God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kat! Good luck to your man in Ranger!! I'm so glad to hear my blog is helpful. I'm on twitter a LOT (@runningarmywife) and that's how I'm chatting with several other Army wives that I've met online. :) Just give me a shout out when you follow me so I know which one is you.

      Delete
  38. Thank you! Added you, Im @cadizbound. Quick question; for care packages - I don't exactly understand, I think you or somebody else wrote to send them early on so they get there on time, but at the same time Im thinking if it gets there too early, will that be a problem? Wouldn't want him to get in trouble .. my package will be small anyways.. since we're new, so I don't want it to get mistaken by the army as a "buffed" letter or something, and create problems for the solider. lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I just realized I didn't answer you about the gum. No you can't send them anything else i regular mail.

      About the package- It won't be a problem if the package gets there early, they will just hold it. You could write something on the outside that says "for the end of the phase" or something if you are worried. :) Also I just followed you back on twitter.

      Delete
  39. Thanks. I don't see you on my list of followers! During the 8 hours pass after phase 1, do they get access to their personal cell phones to call, and text?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I haven't figured it out yet if letters are opened in front of RI's like care packages...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think they have to open the letters in front of RIs. I would assume that they can get access to their phones depending on where it is.. James left his back in his apartment and he got a ride back there. At the very least, they can get access to pay phones during that time.

      I requested to follow you on twitter and it says "pending" right now. :)

      Delete
  41. hi amy! my boyfriend left for ranger school sunday, november 4th. when can he start receiving/sending mail? i already sent a letter, but i wasn't even sure if he would be able to get it yet!

    brooks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Brooks! I know the answer to this, my soldier also just started on Nov 4th. They can start receiving any time..but apparently they only deliver mail about 2-3 times during the first phase.. so If you send the letters often most likely he will get several at once, older ones with newer ones. Sending.. I imagine whenever they have enough energy to write it, and then pass it on for sending, also sometimes the RIs wait for mail to accumulate before they send them out (2-3 days delay). From what I've read in the daily journal of a soldier, they receive mail once in the second week and second time in the third week. Let me know if you wanna chat, you can follow me on twitter @ cadizbound.

      Cheers,

      Kat

      Delete
  42. Thanks Kat! That's really helpful! I may want to chat because it's so weird not being able to talk to him. I'll also start following you on twitter.:)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I really really can't thank you enough for writing this, it has helped me so much! I never would've known that they get an 8 hour pass after phase one, and it is a long drive so I never would've been able to visit him if I hadn't known beforehand. I just drove down to fort benning to visit my husband on his pass, he was so happy and surprised when I showed up! On top of that it really takes away the anxiety of wondering when the next call will be. Thank you for a wonderful post! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks for letting me know it was so helpful Carly! I'm so glad you got to surprise your hubby! If you remember, let me know when he graduates! :)

      Delete
    2. Hi again!

      This is a bit belated, but I did eventually remember. :)

      My husband unfortunately did not pass on the first go. He recycled mountain phase once and Florida phase once. He was gone for a total of 5 months, but in the end he passed, and I attended his graduation on June 21st. It was long and painful, but we got through it! I'd like to thank you again for all the helpful information, it certainly helped to ease my anxiety a bit. I also would not have known that we could send care packages, which my husband appreciated very much! :)

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  44. I wanted to thank you for your posts, although I wish I would have found them much sooner so I would have known about the phone calls from the start. It was a very nice surprise though when he called during his 8-hour pass!

    My boyfriend and I are in a little different situation since we're from Sweden. He left me 2 January but didn't start his class until February, so we've been separated for three months now. Because of the distance, continuous letters have not been an option for us, but I did manage to send him a package with food/snacks and a letter/photos between mountain phase and Florida phase. He was also able to make a 10 min phone call between the mountain and Florida phase, although he said they we're first told there would be no opportunity to make phone calls!!

    Now, I am waiting for my boyfriend to call and tell me if he passed Florida phase. So far he said the classes have been pretty easy and he felt strong going in to Florida, so Im expecting him to pass this too. But if not... I can not even grasp being away from him for one more month :(

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you this is very helpful! Mine goes to Ranger in June so this will help me know what to expect, and I'm sure I will have some questions along the way:)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am so glad I found this post! My husband starts Ranger school on Monday so I'm glad to know a little bit of what to expect!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Is the 8 hour pass on day 19 always the same because I would like to drive down and surprise him

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, I want to say yes, but you should join the facebook group and confirm with other ladies on there to make sure that someone has gotten it confirmed in a letter of the day and time. Hope it works out!

      Delete
  48. Hi Amy! First off thank you for your blog! My boyfriend is currently going through Ranger School and just passed Phase 1. When he called he gave me the Ft. Benning address. My concern is that my letters and care packages will not get to him if I do not use the Mountain Phase address. What is your advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elizabeth! If he passed Phase 1, definitely send it to Phase 2. :) Good luck to your bf!

      Delete
  49. Do you have any advice for the 'logistics' of arriving for graduation? Did you stay at a hotel on Ft. Benning? Did you get a rental car or use a shuttle service to get from the airport to base? How did you know where to go once you're on post? etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My situation was a little unique because I drove down there and my husband had an apartment down there for IBOLC and through Ranger School. So I stayed there..

      I know there is a shuttle from Atlanta to Columbus that doesn't cost very much, so it's almost always cheaper to fly to Atlanta. And there are a lot of hotels near the base. As far as where to go on base, there is a map location on the Ranger Brigade site (http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/rtb/ -> click on 'Student information" and then "Graduation").

      I was lucky enough to have a car.. I feel like it would be very difficult without one. For more specific questions, I would recommend getting on the Ranger Wives facebook page to see what other wives in your situation are doing. Maybe you could even buddy up with another wife on there and carpool.

      Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!

      Delete
    2. I appreciate your feedback. And I love that I stumbled across you blog - thanks for being so willing to share your experiences!

      Delete
  50. Hi Amy!

    I'm trying to send letters now to my friend who will be in the 3rd phase by the time he receives them.
    I am quite clueless as to what's going on but am doing my best to be a good friend.

    I know that for phase 2, he told me to write ATTN: 1-14 within the address during his 8hour break between the previous phase.
    Does the ATTN: 1-14 number stay the same for the 3rd phase as well? Or does it change? The reason why I am asking is because I didn't know to write him the 1st phase so I have no idea if the number stays the same :(

    Your blog is fantastic, so informative and encouraging! Your blog helped me understand a lot of what's going on and answered close to all the questions that I had and was searching for in other websites! A huge thank you for writing and sharing these posts!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sara!
      I'm so glad that my blog has been helpful! So I actually just pulled out my letters to check for you.. 1-14 is your friend's class number. So as long as he hasn't recycled, that number would still be the same.

      [your friend's name]
      6th Ranger Training Battalion
      ATTN: Class 01-14
      6069 Walkers Lane
      Camp James E. Rudder
      Eglin AFB, FL 32542

      Good luck to your friend! :) He's in the final stretch!

      Delete
  51. Hi Amy!
    Your blog is great, it has helped me so much already! My boyfriend is leaving for ranger school in about a week and I was wondering if he could take letters from me with him. Im thinking about writing a few letters that he could open at different times such as "open when you need some extra motivation". Do you think he could take them with him or would I just have to send them to him later?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Nikki, I'm so sorry it took me a couple days to get back to this! I know that their pack list is really strict so whether they would let him take it or not is probably just going to depend on the grader. You definitely can send him letters though so that would probably be the safest bet! :)

      Delete
  52. Amy, thank you so much for writing this blog. It has done wonders on relieving my worries. My boyfriend started ranger school the 2nd of feb and he gets his first pass on the 21. This friday. Would he know if he passed or not then ? And is their class number the same throughout all the phases ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they know by the time they get to the 8-hour pass if they have passed phase 1. He will keep the same class number if he does not recycle. If he has to recycle, he would get placed in the following class number (from 1-14 to 2-14, etc). Good luck to your boyfriend!

      Delete
  53. Hello amy. Thank you for all of your helpful information. I mustve read your blog numerous times. I was wondering when will we know if they passed phase 3? Im in hawaii and im taking a long journey to be there for my husband's graduation. Is there a way to track them? Thanks a bunch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sheena, If you look up above in the post in the section about Phone Calls under Phase 3, I explain it up there. The short answer is "Maybe Sunday, day 56", but it's not a for-sure thing.

      Also, no, there is no current way to track your soldier, but your question still made me smile. How awesome would it be if we had like a package tracking for our soldier in the different schools? Unfortunately, the Army isn't that sophisticated. :/

      Delete
  54. I was only wondering because my husband had given me a number for his name.... I couldnt remember exactly what website hed given me because I was so anxious to hear about it all. But he said it was given for security instead of their names being put out there. When I talk to him again ill ask him exactly what it was about. I Pray he finishes and graduates first training without recycle. When they graduate what day are they released in definate to go home? I believe his unit needs to buy him a ticket to Hawaii.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's possible I could stand corrected about a tracking site. If you do find out that it exists, please let me know so I can update my page! :) They are released to go home after the graduation ceremony.

      Delete