Spartan human resource officer earns Ranger Tab
1st Lt. Conner M. Webber, a 26-year-old Ellijay native and human resource officer assigned to 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, earned the coveted Ranger Tab on June 25 on Fort Benning. It is not unusual to see the occasional human resource Soldier at the U.S. Army Ranger School because they are needed to fill the ranks of the prestigious 75th Ranger Regiment. But for one human resource officer in the 3rd ID, the goal and a stepping stone graduating the Ranger School became a reality.
Ranger School was developed during the Korean War and designed to build the combat skills of selected officers and enlisted personnel, requiring them to perform effectively as small-unit leaders in a realistic, tactical environment. The school is one of the toughest training courses in the Army and consists of 62 days of training and comprises three phases— Benning, Mountain and Florida phase. Candidates must successfully complete each phase.
While deployed to Romania apart of United States Army Europe’s Atlantic Resolve mission in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Webber started physical training for the school after getting the blessing from his battalion commander.
“I was ecstatic to see a non-infantry staff officer wanting to challenge himself with Ranger School,” said Lt. Col. Brian D. Fisher, commander of the 3rd Bn., 15th IR. “I informed Webber that he would have to compete for the opportunity to attend Ranger School just like every other Soldier in the battalion. He took the Ranger Physical Fitness Test used to determine the battalion’s Ranger School order of merit list prior to leaving Romania earning his shot to attend Ranger School.”
“I focused more on running long distance and rucking during the deployment,” said Webber. “I typically added more weight to my ruck, focusing on keeping a 15 minute per mile pace and walking on uneven surfaces.”
Webber, who feels he is a part of an elite group of Soldiers who go straight through the course without failing any of the phases, said, “It wasn’t easy, everybody struggles, it’s a very challenging school. But knowing that I pushed myself and didn’t fail out of any of the phases was very rewarding and a comforting feeling.”
“Myself along with the rest of the leadership in the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, or China Battalion, are extremely proud of Webber’s accomplishment,” said Fisher. “Ranger School is known as a challenging course that tests both the physical and mental capacity of any Soldier. To have a human resource officer go straight through without recycling any phase is truly a huge accomplishment. I take every opportunity to tell anyone willing to listen that China Battalion’s human-resource, staff officer is Ranger qualified. Our battalion as a whole is extremely proud of Webber because he personifies our motto ‘Can Do’ in word and deed.”
“The person to your left or right is going to earn your Ranger Tab,” said Webber. “If you’re not supporting them when their in a leadership position, then their not going to support you when it’s your turn.”
One of Webber’s long-term goals since joining the Army was to work in the 75th Ranger Regiment or the special operations community. Now that he is Ranger qualified, he is one step closer.