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178th Airman selected for U.S. Army Ranger School

Tech. Sgt. Zachary Evans poses for a portrait in his dress uniform.

Tech. Sgt. Zachary Evans, an analyst assigned to the 178th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group, was selected for the U.S. Army Ranger School. Evans is one of only five National Guard service members nationwide to be accepted and is the only member selected from Ohio. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Mullen)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio --

Tech. Sgt. Zachary Evans, an analyst assigned to the 178th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group, was selected for the U.S. Army Ranger School. Evans is one of only five National Guard service members nationwide to be accepted and is the only member selected from Ohio.

Every year, the National Guard Bureau is authorized a limited number of seats for Airmen in the Air National Guard to attend Ranger training as part of an enlisted developmental opportunity. To apply for the training, applicants must submit an application in addition to completing a physical, the Ranger Fitness Assessments, and evaluations of the Airmen’s ability to perform land navigation, combat water survival, Ranger task training and patrols.

“Army Ranger School is one of the premier leadership schools across the Armed Forces,” said Evans. “The grueling tasks and challenges of the school weed out the weak from the strong. I simply want to see if I have what it takes to be a strong leader that people can look up to.”

Army Ranger School is one of the most rigorous training programs in the U.S. Army. Soldiers are pushed to extreme limits of exhaustion both mentally and physically. The training consists of three phases that is designed to test candidates’ ability to perform as leaders in tactical and combat environments under high levels of mental and physical stress. Soldiers are evaluated on their ability to perform combat tactics and techniques, patrols, land navigation, airborne operations, mountaineering, and waterborne operations all while leading their fellow candidates through the simulated exercises.

The first time Evans applied to become a Ranger, he was not selected by the National Guard Bureau to attend the training.

“This was my second time applying for this school so it took some perseverance,” said Evans. “The biggest challenge has been answering the hard question of ‘Why am I doing this?’ while I do the train up for school. The answer for me is that I want to leave a lasting legacy for my family.”

After not being selected the first time, Evans was determined not to give up on his dream of becoming a Ranger. In order to prepare for the selection process, Evans trained twice a day, six days a week to become physically ready. He reached out to current Rangers and others who have gone through the selection process in order to hear about their experiences and get advice from his peers. Evans worked on his land navigation abilities and read through the Ranger Handbook to further his chances of being selected and prepare for the training. In the end, his hard work paid off when he was selected for Army Ranger School.

“I am incredibly honored and this whole process has been very humbling,” said Evans. “I am truly honored to be selected when I know there were tons of great candidates out there. I would like to think that the National Guard Bureau Human Resources Office saw my packet for the second time and realized this candidate is not going to quit trying until we give him a shot.”

Army Ranger School not only pushes candidates to extreme mental and physical limits, but it provides them with lessons that impact them, their futures, and their careers. Evans hopes to use these learned lessons to lead his fellow Airmen.

“I believe the lessons I take from this school will impact the choices I make throughout my career,” said Evans. “The tab also shows everyone that I have what it takes to lead through difficult situations.”

Evans is currently awaiting training dates for U.S. Army Ranger School and is anticipating attending training in the 2021 calendar year. Evans determination and perseverance to be selected for training sets an example to fellow Airmen to never give up on chasing their dreams.