1st Lieutenant Castillion Antalus, a proud Igorot Scout Ranger from Kalinga, has become the first Filipino soldier to graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School in over a decade.
Antalas, who is from Sumadel, Tinglayan, Kalinga, was one of five Philippine Scout Ranger graduates who were sent to the United States to train at the U.S. Army Ranger School. The course is a 62-day small-unit tactics and leadership course that is considered to be one of the most grueling and demanding military training programs in the world.
The training is divided into three phases: the Benning Phase, the Mountain Phase, and the Swamp Phase.
- The Benning Phase is the most physically demanding phase, and it includes a series of tests that assess the trainees' physical fitness, endurance, and teamwork skills.
- The Mountain Phase is the most mentally demanding phase, and it includes a series of tests that assess the trainees' ability to operate in extreme environments.
- The Swamp Phase is the most challenging phase, and it includes a series of tests that assess the trainees' ability to operate in water and swampy terrain.
The first part that Antalis went through started on July 19, 2022 as part of Class 09-22. During Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP) week, out of more or less 400 trainees, 40% was removed from the course, resulting in 115 remaining trainees.
As Antalis recalls, the training would often result in food and sleep deprivation, and each phase often carries more challenges. He mentions that during patrol routines, they can only get 2 meals per day, and little to none in sleep.
During the Swamp Phase at Camp Rudder, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Antalis failed and was recycled to join the next class, Class 10-22 where he met fellow foreign students from Columbia and Italy.
Antalas faced many challenges during the training. He was constantly exhausted and hungry, and his physical and mental faculties were pushed to the limit. However, he never gave up, and he eventually graduated from the course on October 14, 2022.
Antalas's graduation is a major accomplishment, and it is a testament to his dedication, determination, and grit. He is an inspiration to all Filipinos, and he is a role model for future generations of Scout Rangers.
Antalas's graduation from the U.S. Army Ranger School is a significant achievement for the Philippines. It shows that Filipino soldiers are capable of competing with the best soldiers in the world. It also shows that the Philippine Army is committed to providing its soldiers with the best possible training.
Antalas's story is an inspiration to all Filipinos. It shows that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. It also shows that the Philippines has a bright future, thanks to the dedication and determination of its soldiers.