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Born in China, new Ranger makes the Army, US his home: Army Cpl. Lie Wu, a hardworking 31-year-old wheeled vehicle mechanic originally from Xian, China, recently earned the coveted Ranger tab — a culminating moment in building a new life in the United States and finding a family and purpose in the Army.

The Ranger School based at Fort Benning, Georgia, is the Army’s premier combat leadership and small-unit tactics course. Just 36 percent of Ranger School students pass the grueling course of instruction to obtain the tab.

For more than two months, Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies. Oriented toward small-unit tactics and training Soldiers to engage in close combat and direct-fire battles, the school has three phases: Benning, Mountain, and Florida. In the last 12 years, only 42 Soldiers in Wu’s military occupational specialty have completed the course.

Wu said the hardest part for him was something that fueled his determination: the fear of disappointing others.


“I was scared to fail others — the expectations of my unit, my family. Especially when I was recycled and had just one more chance. When I was in leadership [roles at Ranger School], you have to do your best. But even when you’re not, you also have to do your best to support your Ranger buddies,” he said.

Wu has been in the Army for only 28 months and serves here in the 84th Engineer Battalion’s Forward Support Company, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

“I originally wanted to be a mechanic. It was something I knew nothing about, and I wanted to learn a new skill,” Wu said. Before joining the Army, Wu earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus on general management from Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2014.

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