Local graduate’s faith reawakened during completion of Ranger School


Lt. Zach Sessions, a 2015 Briarcrest graduate and current Airborne Infantry Officer stationed at Fort Bragg, has recently completed one of the military’s toughest special operations courses, Ranger School.
Ranger School is the military’s premier small unit tactics leadership school and is divided in three phases: Darby, Mountains, and Swamps. Throughout the entire duration of the school, the students are placed in 24/7 combat-simulated situations all while being sleep deprived and starved.
Each phase presents new obstacles and terrain that the students must overcome in order to eventually earn the coveted ranger tab; from the heat of Georgia to the frigid cold of the mountains and swamps.
“Throughout my time in the course, I learned not only a lot about small unit operations, but I learned a lot about myself and my own personal faith,” Sessions said. “No one completes Ranger School on their own and if it were not for my squad, family and faith, I would not have succeeded.”
He noted that Ranger School served as a “catalyst in the reawakening” of his faith.
“Through consistent trials and suffering in the course, I saw God work and help me through situations I never thought were possible to overcome,” he said. “I saw God in the mountains underneath a 100-pound ruck looking up a vertical cliff and I saw him in the swamps while I was neck-deep in 30 degree water.
“With each new obstacle,” he added, “I repeated one of my favorite verses: ‘But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’”
Sessions said that Ranger School “breaks everyone through starvation, sleep-deprivation and insane stress, but it is only through this state that Army Rangers are forged.”
“It is only through the suffering emplaced on us that we are able to realize that we can overcome any situation in order to succeed and win in any combat situation. For me, I realized that no matter what situation I find myself in — combat or regular day to day life — God will always be there and it is only through him that we can achieve victory.”