SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Ranger School Now Open to Women

September 11, 2015 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

Skill, Not Gender.

The U.S. Army announced earlier this month that its elite Ranger School will be open to any female soldiers who meet the criteria.

Army Capt. Kristen Griest was one of he first two women to complete the Army Ranger course and earn the coveted RANGER shoulder tab. (U.S. Army photo)

Army Capt. Kristen Griest was one of the first two women to complete the Army Ranger course and earn the coveted RANGER shoulder tab.
(U.S. Army photo)

That announcement came less than a month after two female West Point graduates passed the grueling 61-day program and became the first women awarded the RANGER shoulder tab.

“We must ensure that this training opportunity is available to all soldiers who 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 McHugh said September 2.

“Giving every qualified Soldier the opportunity to attend the Ranger course, the Army’s premier small unit leadership school, ensures we are maintaining our combat readiness today, tomorrow and for future generations,” Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley added.

And now, two U.S. senators are pushing for a resolution honoring the first two women to earn the Ranger tab, according to POLITICO’s Morning Defense. The resolution, honors Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver for “proving that skill, not gender, determines military aptitude and success.” The resolution offered by Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, is backed by 16 other women senators.

Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver was one of the first two women to complete the Army Ranger course and earn the coveted RANGER shoulder tab. (U.S. Army photo)

Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver was one of the first two women to complete the Army Ranger course and earn the coveted RANGER shoulder tab.
(U.S. Army photo)

In a statement to Morning Defense published Thursday (September 10) Mikulski said “Capt. Griest and First Lt. Haver have shown that women can compete on a level-playing field with men to serve in the defense of our nation. The Army’s recent announcement to permanently open Ranger School for women marks another important step in expanding roles for women in the military. Continued gender integration will improve readiness and help our Armed Forces to recruit the best talent we can throughout all of our services.”

In January, the Army announced that as an experiment, it would open Ranger School for the first time to women, as part of a “Ranger Course Assessment.” That assessment kicked off in April, as part of Ranger Course 06-15. Haver and Griest, who were part of that Ranger School class, eventually graduated the school August 21.

That class started at Fort Benning, Georgia with 381 men and 19 women. The students had to train with minimal food and little sleep while learning how to operate in the woods and mountains of Georgia and coastal swamps of Florida.

Students also had to undergo a physical fitness test that included completing 49 pushups, 59 situps, a 5-mile run in 40 minutes; 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 from helicopters and 27 days of mock combat patrols, according to CNN.

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Entry filed under: Army, Counter Insurgency, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: , , , , , , .

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