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Soldier Perseveres To Become Army Ranger
by U.S. Army Sgt. Maxine Baen and Capt. Eric Messmer
March 5, 2023

U.S. Army Sgt. Seth Mayfield, from the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), 35th Corps Signal Brigade, graduated from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) at Fort Benning, Georgia earning the title of Army Ranger.

Sgt. Seth Mayfield, from the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), 35th Corps Signal Brigade, graduated from Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP) at Fort Benning, Georgia on February 3, 2023 ... earning the title of Army Ranger. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maxine Baen)
Sgt. Seth Mayfield, from the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), 35th Corps Signal Brigade, graduated from Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP) at Fort Benning, Georgia on February 3, 2023 ... earning the title of Army Ranger. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maxine Baen)

RASP is an 8-week course designed to test Soldiers' physical and mental strength and select for the Army’s premier infantry force. It is known for its low selection rate, but this did not stop Mayfield, even after several setbacks.

“Joining the Army was my first exposure to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Ultimately, I failed my first attempt in 2019. This was a huge blow because I had been in an environment that demanded excellence and was now on a plane ride to my first unit in South Korea,” Mayfield said. “I spent time feeling sorry for myself and got out of shape. Still, deep down, I knew this journey wasn't over.”

Mayfield, a Hartselle, Alabama native, took his first failure hard and questioned whether he had a place as a Ranger. He trained for nearly two years to go back to RASP, but hit another roadblock when he found out the 75th was not accepting his rank and military occupational specialty at the time.

Mayfield decided to attend Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS), but was a non-select on day 21 of 24. After his second selection setback at SFAS, Mayfield refocused again on his goal of becoming a Ranger and decided “to get back up one more time.”

“I was dedicated to this goal of being a Ranger, so I went on to help my battalion win two brigade best squad [competitions] and [was selected as the] brigade non-commissioned officer of the quarter,” he said. “I then chose to re-enlist and – with the help of my command sergeant major – I obtained a slot to attend RASP.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Walker, the senior enlisted advisor of the 63rd ESB, spent 15 years in the Ranger Regiment and was eager to help Mayfield pursue his goals.

“Being able to support Sgt. Mayfield’s dream of becoming an elite Army Ranger in the 75th Ranger Regiment gave me great pride in him and all the hard work and drive he put into being successful,” said Walker.

After Walker, a former Signal Sergeant Major for the 75th Ranger Regiment, helped Mayfield secure a slot – Mayfield trained harder than he ever had before in the seven months leading up to selection.

“I could not accept another failure,” Mayfield added. “I had been consistently improving myself since 2019” and “I graduated from RASP almost four years after my first attempt.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Walker was there at his graduation.

“I had the opportunity to give him my oldest Ranger scroll to wear,” said Walker. “It symbolized me passing my trust, confidence, and experience onto the next generation of Ranger communicators.”

Mayfield said even through all of the adversity, he “learned to love the journey.” Becoming a Ranger, he said, “isn’t the end”; now, he’s focused on “being a great Ranger.”

Mayfield has advice for others who want to become Army Rangers.

“If you consistently show up and try to be great – you’ll have many accomplishments on the way,” Mayfield said. “You will fail, struggle, and doubt [yourself], but you will find a way to win if you are truly dedicated.”

Walker believes Rangers must “have drive, discipline, common sense, and a no-quit attitude.”

He continued, “you must set goals and never look back – regardless of how many times you fail. Mayfield has shown to the signal community that failure shouldn’t define you; it should motivate you to achieve success.”

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