The U.S. Army says their female Ranger school soldiers have failed the first phase of combat training, but these women will be allowed to try again to become one of the very first female U.S. Army Rangers.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a female Air Force pilot named Christine Mau was the first person to fly a new fighter jet design called the F-35. A U.S. Army veteran named Lindsay Lowery was accused of stolen valor because the female soldier was in charge of an infantry unit while stationed in Iraq.
Early in 2013, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff overturned a 1994 rule prohibiting women in combat roles when assigned to smaller units. This decision allowed women in military positions to apply for jobs in front-line position and elite commando units such as the U.S Army Rangers.
Army officials at Fort Benning, Georgia says the first eight female Ranger school candidates failed the famously difficult 62-day course in their first attempt. Known as the Darby Queen, the obstacle course is graded by Ranger instructors and those who do not pass at least 50 percent are held back.
“They’re a strong group of soldiers who are working their way through the U.S. Army’s most physically and mentally demanding course,” said Miller, commanding general of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence.
All eight female Ranger school candidates will be allowed to repeat again in addition to 101 men who failed. About 35 male soldiers failed to meet the Phase One requirements that allow them to try again, but 115 men in the class also moved on to Ranger School’s second phase.
“The vast majority, however, failed several opportunities as a squad leader or team leader to lead a patrol successfully,” said Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, according to The Washington Post. “All the recycles have been checked by medics to ensure that they do not have serious injuries.”
In the past, there have been concerns about women in combat. Some opponents of the idea claimed that the grueling training would be “watered down” for the female Ranger school candidates. But reports from Fort Benning indicate that the U.S. Army does not want to allow that to happen.
“The key is to ensure we have the right standard for the occupation,” an unnamed defense official told Fox News. “Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the best qualified and the most capable service members, regardless of gender.”
The controversy extends to other branches of the military. In the past, a female Marine officer wrote in the Marine Corps Gazette that “women do not belong in the U.S. Infantry.”
“Even those select women who can physically endure the infantry are still posing a threat to the infantry mission and readiness. Female Marines who want to stir the pot by joining the infantry ranks are more interested in their careers than the needs of the Corps — they are selfish…. Incorporating women into the infantry does not add to the infantry mission to ‘locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver and/or repel the enemy assault by fire and close combat.’ Period… Incorporating women into the infantry will actually make the mission more difficult to accomplish and take away from the training, readiness, and morale of the infantry units.”
According to the U.S. Army website, “women serve in 95 percent of all Army occupations and make up about 15.7 percent of the Active Army. Women continue to have a crucial role in current operations and their sacrifices in this noble effort underscore their dedication and willingness to share great sacrifices.” According to statistics, only three percent of all U.S. Army soldiers became Rangers. A breakdown report was not provided for the female Ranger school candidates, but their next attempt will begin on May 14, 2015.
[Images via Google Images and Sgt. Paul Sale/ Army]