HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ranger School is the U.S. Army’s premier leadership builder. Only the strongest soldiers survive the grueling physical and mental demands that start from the get-go.
“For my company alone, we started out with 120 people. We dropped to I think 85, just in the first four days,” 2nd Lt. Allene “Ally” Somera-Zyko said.
She just graduated from Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, becoming the first woman born and raised in Hawaii to become a U.S. Army Ranger.
“I think I was more excited about going home than getting my tab at that point. I was like, ‘This place sucks,’” she said.
But she also enjoyed it because it was a goal she set for herself.
At Kailua High School, she was a state wrestling champ. When she enlisted in 2015, the Army put her in its World Class Athlete Program.
Around that time, the first women graduated from Ranger School.
“I really looked up to them,” she said. “If I saw a female do it I said, ‘Yeah! For sure! I could totally do it!’” she said.
Somera-Zyko is just the 80th female to make it through the elite training. She thanks her husband, her mom, and her siblings for their support, and her high school wrestling coach for being her role model.
“He was also in Ranger Regiment as well. I kind of followed in his footsteps. I appreciate him. I thank him so much,” she said.
Three other women graduated with her. At just 4-foot-10, she was the shortest soldier in her class and not much taller than the pack she carried on her 5-kilometer marches.
“At mountain phase they called me the floating ruck, because they would only see legs, they didn’t see anything else. They just saw this rucksack bobbing up and down,” she joked.
After Somera-Zyko completes airborne school, she wants to put her Ranger training to the test and lead other soldiers.
“That’s the biggest goal, is just being selfless, and making sure that this career is not just for me, it’s for the other people that’s under me,” she said.
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