Second Lieutenant Matthew Allen compiled a 3.9937 grade-point average in Accounting Management, ranking him second in Maranatha’s Class of 2011 and earning Allen the Business Student Achievement Award. He ranked in the top 5 percent of all cadets nationally on the National Order of Merit List, allowing him to choose his branch of service (Infantry). Allen was also part of the 3rd Brigade Ranger Challenge team that twice won the Five-Man Ranks Competition. He and wife Elizabeth (Karpenko) now live in Columbus, GA. The Virginia native recently completed Army Ranger training and wrote about his experiences for the Maranatha website.
Maranatha’s Army ROTC program prepared me exceptionally well for both the rigors of the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course (IBOLC) as well as Ranger School. I graduated from Maranatha on May 6, 2011, and reported for active duty at Fort Benning exactly one week later. IBOLC is the initial entry course teaching infantry officers the individual, team, squad, and platoon level skills and tactics required to lead a platoon. After completing IBOLC, many officers are selected to attend Ranger School and further their experience in leading infantry platoons.
While at Ranger School, students can expect to be pushed to the limit with food and sleep deprivation, physical hardship, and the constant knowledge that the Ranger instructors are always there evaluating whoever is in a leadership position.
Ranger School consists of three phases. During Darby Phase (at Fort Benning, GA), students must pass RAP week (Ranger Assessment Phase). RAP week is designed to weed out those who are not strong enough or skilled enough to complete Ranger School. Students are also evaluated on squad tactics, squad leader responsibilities, and team leader responsibilities during Darby Phase. Mountain Phase (Dahlonega, GA) focuses on platoon level operations with leadership evaluations as platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and squad leader. Florida Phase (Eglin AFB, FL) is considered the run phase of Ranger School. The expectation is for students to take what they have learned in the other phases and apply it during a 10-day field exercise with little to no instructor input.
Ranger School required more of me than I felt I could give at times. I had to continually rely on God for strength as well as peace of mind. The Army values (loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage) go hand-in-hand with Christian values held at Maranatha. I faced tough training and a dislocated shoulder, both of which threatened to prematurely end my time at Ranger School…without a tab (a uniform decoration signifying the completion of Ranger training). But I knew God wanted me to be there and that He would get me through to the end if that was what He wanted. Today, I have a Ranger tab and thank God for giving me the strength and ability to succeed. I graduated with class 2-12 on Jan. 20, 2012. The class started with 416 students. On graduation day, 170 received their Ranger tab.
If you are looking for an excellent Army ROTC program that will prepare you as a leader and an athlete for the challenges of being an Army officer, Maranatha’s Army ROTC program may be the place for you. The program is committed to producing capable leaders who can succeed in today’s Army.