Three women fighting to serve their country as Army Rangers have made it through to the next phase of training and began the Mountain Phase on Saturday, reports Army Times:
A total of 362 men and three women started the two-month Ranger School June 21 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Fifteen of those students did not successfully complete the Darby Phase and will be dropped from the course, officials said.
The women had attempted the Darby Phase twice before. They were offered Day One Recycles after their second failed attempt.
On average, about 45 percent of Ranger School students will graduate from the grueling course.
…Nineteen female and 381 male soldiers started Ranger School on April 20. Eight of the women made it through the first four days, also known as the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week.
None of the eight women made it past the Darby Phase on the first try and were recycled, along with 101 of their male classmates, on May 8.
After the second attempt at the Darby Phase, three female and two male students on May 29 were given the option of a Day One Recycle, which is a normal course procedure that’s used when students struggle with one aspect of the course and excel at others, said officials at Fort Benning.
The two male students declined to recycle, officials said.
The remaining five women returned to their units and were not recycled again. A total of 29 students were dropped from the course for failing to meet the standards of the Darby Phase.
…On average, more than 37 percent of Ranger School graduates recycle at least one phase of the school. About two-thirds of those who complete RAP week will eventually pass the Darby Phase and move on to the Mountain Phase, according to data on the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade website.
On Friday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was asked at a Fort Bragg troop event how the full gender integration effort is going.
“We are looking now at the standards that are required, and nobody wants to change standards, but we’re looking at the standards that are required in some specialties — infantry, artillery, armor — as it affects the Army, which — for which participation by women is still restricted,” Carter replied.
“And by year-end or so, I think we’ll close this chapter in looking at which — which, if any, MOSs should be restricted to women.”
Carter said it’s “a pretty good deal for the department” to have a wider talent pool from which to pick.
He said another benefit from the integration review is “thinking through what family life, what gender life and everything, you know, means in practical terms, to having a really good fighting force in today’s world.”
“…So, both for the women in service effort and all the other things we do, I’m really proud of the way that we’re constantly thinking through how to make the best use of people and how to have the best people come in and go.”