Life Lessons from US Army Ranger School

by Jeff Plante

We were in the home stretch of a multi-party partnership negotiation.  An associate and myself were working at one of the firms site, finalizing some critical details.   After several months of intense interaction and alignment between multiple firms on a project we were at a phase where we felt it was just crossing T’s and dotting I’s to finish.

And then the call came; one of the firms involved was no longer interested in the partnership. At the last minute, they were pulling out.  We had come so far…so much had been aligned, the vision of the collaboration was one that was extremely positive, and all parties had been upbeat…

My associate looked at me and said, “What are we going to do?”

What popped into my mind was the memory of a training patrol from 20 years ago in Ranger School.

We were preparing to assault a mock missile site in the desert at 2300.   I was the patrol leader, we had a solid plan, and I had just completed the Leader’s Recon and sketched out the enemy positions, the last details needed in our plan.

Upon returning from the recon to the rally point, I discovered the entire Platoon was asleep!

Moving as quickly as possible, waking and assembling the team and moving them towards the objective over 2 km away I realized we would not be able to set up overwatch positions and conduct the assault as we had planned.

I turned to the Ranger Instructor, both of us at a dead run in the scrub brush of the desert, and asked for an extension.

He looked at me as the objective came in sight and growled “Ranger, why do you need an extension…you still have five minutes…take it down!”

So we did.

Tags: ,