By Joey Bruno, Contributing Writer —
Allen Mayo is a sociology major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga who traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia in 2014 to take part in Ranger School, a grueling, 62-day Army leadership program.
Ranger School is a three-phase leadership program, which includes the Darby phase, the Mountains phase, and the Florida phase.
“Tiresome. It was just never ending,” Mayo said while describing the school. “A lot of days just kinda blurred into each other.”
In the beginning, according to Mayo, the instructors are heavily involved and frequently present to observe the participants.
However, over the course of the program the instructors gradually release control and let the soldiers take more active control in their missions and patrols, in order to instill muscle memory for when they go on infantry patrols themselves once they are commissioned.
Mayo wanted to go to Ranger School to push himself to a new level and to set him apart from his peers, but also develop himself as a more efficient leader.
“The best thing that I learned in Ranger School was how to follow,” Mayo said.
Mayo said he learned some of the most valuable lessons from completing the program with his fellow Ranger School participants.
“You can look around and think this is the hardest thing I’ve done, and then you look next to you, and he’s in the same state of mind as you, but he’s still not quitting,” Mayo said. “He’s gonna keep going, I’m going to keep going.”
His biggest self-criticism is his ability to take a step back and to receive feedback and criticism from others.
His willingness to volunteer for Ranger School stems from all of his favorite leaders having Ranger tags while being around the Army.
His focus for the future is to graduate from UTC, where he will be beginning his senior year in the fall.
After that, he plans to continue serving and hopefully lead his soldiers on deployments, but most importantly, he would like to bring them all home.