The Army Ranger school women volunteers have failed to pass the grueling training camp, which allowed females for the first time in its history, the Army announced on Friday.
The traditionally all-male Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade had its first co-ed Army Ranger School and 19 women were accepted in the program, along with 380 males. Out of those trying to become the first female Army Rangers, three failed to pass the Ranger Physical Fitness Assessment, which is a requirement to enter ranger school, and of the remaining 16 women, eight completed the Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP).
According to Military.com, the RAP consists of day and night land navigation, obstacle courses, skills tests, and a 12-mile road march with a rifle, fighting load vest, and rucksack weighing approximately 47 pounds. The statement adds that five of the women will leave the course, while three females, along with five males will be given a second chance, which is not unusual, according to the Army press release.
“This is normal course procedures and is used when students struggle with one aspect of the course and excel at others.
“For a variety of reasons, these students were unsuccessful at meeting the standard — some for leading their graded patrols, some for a poor evaluation of their teamwork from their peers, some for accumulating too many negative spot reports, and some for a combination of all three. However, the vast majority who are being dropped from the course were unable to successfully lead a patrol. All students received multiple opportunities to lead a patrol as a squad leader or team leader.”
The Army ranger school consists of 15 days of intensive field training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and those who did not meet the requirements were obviously disappointed, however, Colonel David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, had some words of wisdom for the students.
“The group that was unsuccessful was, of course, disappointed in their performance. However, each Ranger student, whether successful or unsuccessful, learned more about themselves, leadership, and small unit tactics, and returns to the Army a better trained soldier and leader.”
The ranger school program invited the women as a wider effort by the Pentagon to lift the ban on female soldiers serving in combat positions, such as the infantry. This is a blow to proponents of women in combat positions in the military.
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