A U.S. Army news press release announced that two females soldiers will graduate the Army Ranger Course this week. The two women, along with 94 men, will take part in a graduation ceremony held on Victory Pond on Fort Benning Friday, August 21.
This does seem to answer the question asked back when the Army decided to allow females soldiers participate of whether or not women were ready to tackle the Army Ranger Course alongside their male counterparts.
However, while the two female soldiers made military history as the first women to complete the Army Ranger Course and become the first women allowed to wear the prestigious Ranger Tab on their uniforms, they still are not allowed to try out for the elite 75th Ranger Regiment, a Special Operations force that remains closed to women and has its own separate, exhausting requirements and training.
Army Secretary John M. McHugh congratulated all those soldiers who took part in Army Ranger School and completed the grueling Army Ranger Course in an Army press release.
"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. 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," Army Secretary John M. McHugh said.
The Pentagon describes Ranger School as "the Army's premier combat leadership course, teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead Soldiers during small unit combat operations."
The current class started in April with 381 men and 19 women. The students were forced to train with minimal food and little sleep and had to learn how to operate in the woods, mountains and swamplands.
Students also had to undergo a physical fitness test that included 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run in 40 minutes, six chin-ups, a swim test, a land navigation test, a 12-mile foot march in three hours, several obstacle courses, four days of military mountaineering, three parachute jumps, four air assaults on helicopters, and 27 days of mock combat patrols.
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