Lt. Patrick Hilleary and wife Natalie at his July 12 graduation from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga.
Lt. James “Patrick” Hilleary of Marshall graduated from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School on Friday, July 12.
Ranger School is the Army’s most physically and mentally demanding course for conventional operations and one of the most grueling training programs in the U.S. military. The course uses small unit tactics conducted in harsh environments to develop leaders for combat. Ranger candidates are volunteers who accept the program’s 62 days of challenges such equipment loads reaching 100 pounds, a diet of less than 2,000 calories a day, and no more than three hours sleep during a 24-hour period.
Lt. Hilleary was one of 60 candidates to complete the course on his first try. He started the course with 360 candidates.
A 2012 graduate of Virginia Tech and a 2008 graduate of Fauquier High School, Lt. Hilleary said knew as a Falcon that he wanted to attend Ranger School one day. He earned three varsity letters as a wrestler encouraged by the cheer of “Ranger School Patrick” when his opponents were particularly tough.
Lt. Hilleary’s wife Natalie, their daughters Grace and Emma, and his parents Susan and Jim attended the graduation ceremony at Fort Benning, Ga. He has been assigned to the 1st Infantry Division.