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Army Ranger dies during ‘swamp phase’ of Ranger School in Florida

Rest in peace.
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James Requenez
US Army

A 28-year-old Army Ranger has died during the final days of Ranger School in Florida.

Army officials said Spc. James A. Requenez died on Thursday while training in the ‘swamp phase’ of Ranger School training at Eglin Air Force Base. The San Antonio, Texas native was assigned as an assistant machine gunner with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations unit based in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Officials provided no details of the incident, citing an ongoing investigation.

After joining the Army as an infantryman in April 2018, Requenez graduated from the eight-week Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 1, a requirement for soldiers to join the Ranger Regiment, and the service’s Airborne School.

The ‘swamp,’ or ‘Florida Phase’ of the 61-day Ranger School is the final hurdle for students in what the Army bills as one of its toughest training courses. Over a period of 15 days, soldiers get as little as one hour of sleep a night as they patrol for miles, travel through swamps, move by boat, and conduct air assaults, often with less direction from instructors as students lead their colleagues through complex and evolving missions in coastal swampland on Florida’s panhandle.