Next stop, Florida swamps: Two women qualify for final phase of Ranger School

1 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

125 men, 2 women move on to swamp phase of Army Ranger SchoolTwo of the three women trying to become the first females to complete the most difficult mental and physical training offered by the U.S. On Friday, the Army announced that these women, along with 125 men, successfully passed the second phase of Ranger school – the mountain phase – in the north Georgia mountains.ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Eight female soldiers are among the 192 students that remain in the current Ranger School class that faced the Darby Queen obstacle course Sunday, one of the toughest obstacle courses in U.S.On Friday, 127 students qualified for the final stage of Army Ranger training — including two women, the first to ever advance to this stage of the elite special operations course.

The first two will join 125 other male classmates Sunday over at Camp Rudder in Florida to begin the final, 17-day Swamp Phase, where students will work on small boat operations and small-unit tactics, as well as leadership, Army Times reports. The three female students are part of a new gender-integrated experiment the Army is conducting to determine whether and how women can be integrated into combat roles.

Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) – The current number of U.S. For the rest of the students, their next stop, starting Sunday, will be Camp Rudder at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where they will begin jungle training, the final step in their efforts to earn a Ranger tab. The women, all officers, started the 20-day Mountain Phase on July 11 after three tries at the school’s first phase, called the Darby Phase, at Fort Benning, Georgia, Army Times reported.

David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, said in a statement. “The coastal swamps of Florida will continue to test the students. If any of the women pass, they will be able to wear the Army’s Ranger Tab, but will not serve with the 75th Ranger Regiment alongside many of their fellow graduates.

The Army began the mixed-gender course as a one-time test, part of an ongoing assessment of the barriers that remain to the military’s full gender-integration. Only the best will be successful and earn the Ranger tab.” Students who complete the phase will graduate August 21, when the first experiment of including women in Ranger School will conclude. Students will also be required to execute extended platoon-level operations in a swamp environment. “The Ranger students, both male and female, are two-thirds of the way done with Ranger School,” Col.

The class is part of the Army’s initiative to integrate women into combat positions; it has until 2016 to open all jobs to female soldiers, or give proof that certain positions cannot be filled by women. But officials have since indicated there likely will be more, as a January 2016 deadline quickly approaches for all military occupation specialties, or MOS, to be opened to women — unless a service requests and is granted an exemption. The move is another step toward erasing historic discrepancies within the military that have contributed to a perception that women were second-class soldiers, advocates of the change say.

If they pass, the women would not serve as Rangers, but would instead earn the tab, which could offer them additional credibility with fellow soldiers. The swamp phase is 17 days of platoon operations in the coastal swamp of Valparaiso, Florida, including two air jumps for certain personnel, waterborne training, and a 10-day field exercise with students leading patrols. All of these students have demonstrated “grit, refusal to quit, tactical competence, and perhaps most importantly, teamwork while under extreme individual conditions,” said Maj. Highlights of the training included military mountaineering, a knot test, and a 1.8-mile foot march straight up Mount Yonah and platoon level combat patrols. In February 1995, four soldiers died during swamp training, due to “severely lowered body temperatures” after conducting military exercises, including building rope bridges, in chest-deep water for an extended period of time.

In addition to the 127 soldiers who move to Florida and the 61 who will stay in the mountains and start the training over on Aug. 8, six men failed to meet the standards and were dropped from the course.

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