Two female army rangers will be making history on Friday as the first female army rangers to graduate the U.S. Army Ranger School, which has a predominantly male population.
The group graduating on Friday consisted of 400 soldiers, 19 of them females. As the Inquisitr previously reported last month, there were only three females left. It seems the grueling training in Army Ranger School has caught up to one of the three, as reports indicate that only two women will graduate on Friday.
Army Ranger School’s 62-day course consists of tough leadership training programs to sift the best of the best. According to Military, Army Ranger hopefuls have to go through a 12-mile foot march, parachute jumps, obstacle courses, navigation exercises, swimming tests, mountaineering tests, mock patrols, and other physically- and mentally-demanding activities.
Of the 400 soldiers that entered the Army Ranger training, only 94 men and the two women are going to graduate. John McHugh, the Army Secretary, has released a statement.
“Congratulations to all of our new Rangers. Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level.”
He also said that the two female Army Rangers graduating show that any gender can achieve their full potential. This class is the first time women were admitted into the Army Ranger School.
“This course has proven that every Soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential. We owe Soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable, and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retain the best Soldiers to meet our Nation’s needs.”
The two female army rangers who will be graduating on Friday have not been named, but Washington Post reports that they are both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and they are in their 20s. They will be presented with the gold and black Ranger tab, which is worn by less than 3 percent of the U.S. Army’s population.
Opening Army Ranger School to women is a move in response to the 2013 mandate from Leon Panetta, the Defense Secretary then, that says military services must welcome women in combat jobs or have a valid reason why they will remain closed to women by next year.
Retiring Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno expressed his praises to the two female army rangers.
“The feed back I’ve gotten with these women is how incredibly prepared they are. The effort that they’ve put forward has been significant. They’ve impressed all that they’ve come in contact with. They are clearly motivated… and frankly, that’s what we want out of our soldiers.”
Odierno also states that the Army Ranger School will be welcoming women again when another training course starts in November, and they can hopefully decide afterwards if the course will be permanently opened to women who are interested in becoming Army Rangers.
The graduates, including the two female army rangers, will provide an interview to media outlets a day before Friday’s graduation.
[Image via Military Times]