Courtesy Kevin McCole
Christopher McCole, son of Jane and Kevin McCole, and grandson of Annette and Chuck Finn (all of River Forest), graduated from U.S. Army Ranger School on 8 Mar 2013. Ranger School is an intense 61-day combat leadership course oriented toward small-unit tactics. The course is conducted in various locations. Benning phase training occurs in and around Camp Rogers and Camp Darby, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Mountain phase training is conducted at Camp Merrill, near Dahlonega, Georgia. The Florida Phase is conducted at various locations near Camp Rudder, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
A ranger student’s diet and sleep are strictly controlled by the ranger instructors. During field exercises, ranger students are given one or two MREs (meal, ready-to-eat) per day, but not allowed to eat them until given permission. The Ranger Training Brigade does not maintain weight information in the 21st century, but in the 1980s, ranger students lost an average of 25–30 pounds during the ranger course. Upon graduation, 1LT McCole returned to Ft. Bragg, NC where he took charge of 2 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Platoon, B Company, 1-505nd Airborne Division.