David Petraeus: We all wanted to go to Ranger School if you were an infantry lieutenant, or at least you should. I set my sights on that and tried to prepare as well as I could. Frankly, I was really in extraordinary physical condition when I went there. What was grinding to some really was not to me. It sort of plays to the strengths of a guy who can run and carry a rucksack and all the rest of the stuff. So that was a piece of cake. My Ranger buddy and I — who was a West Point classmate of mine — approached this as a very competitive endeavor. So we were the first ones through in the land navigation course. This is at night with everything else. Then you’re doing a lot of leadership stuff and leading patrols and helping others with that. It’s very, very demanding physically. In those days, you ended up with a final two-week period in the field in the swamps of Florida. You actually start in Georgia, you then go to the mountains of Georgia. We did it in January, which is a brutal time to be in Dahlonega, North Georgia. It’s quite a bit of altitude and there’s a lot of snow on the ground. It’s almost a physical survival kind of endeavor at certain points in time, if it starts to flirt with zero degrees and you’re out there day after day and the exposure starts to accumulate for a lot of people. The first-time pass rate, I think probably was below 50 percent, maybe even 40 percent in Winter Ranger (school). We ended up in the swamps, and you go two weeks where you have one meal a day. People lose 30-35 pounds in those days. Well, that nonsense was stopped. That’s just foolish physiologically. But you get so tired that you can fall asleep standing up. We literally had people that just started to have some form of delusions, and we had to put a sling rope on them, what you use for mountain climbing, which we always carried with us. We’d put a sling rope on them and we just pulled them through the swamps. You’re in water up to your thigh or waist a good bit of the time, even when you’re not actually in the rivers and doing river crossing or operations like that. So it’s very, very challenging. I was fortunate and had a couple of breaks, and I ended up number one in the class. There were three awards in those days, and I took all three of them. It was a nice day. Even though my wife didn’t recognize me. She thought I looked like somebody out of a refugee camp after having gone through this experience.