The US Army announced on July 31st that two Army soldiers were heading to the last phase of Ranger School. These two soldiers are women and they will be the first females to earn a Ranger tab if they make it through the swamp phase, which takes place in Florida. They will not be alone. With them will be 125 men who all passed the mountain phase of the school, which took place in the north Georgian mountains.
This current course for the Ranger School started with 19 women who were trying to qualify for the coveted tab. Of those, one female and 60 men who were dropped from the course will be given the chance to repeat the mountain phase of the training. The next phase of the school will be based out of Camp Rudder at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. This portion of the school concentrates on jungle training. It is the final step in their (truly dedicated) efforts to earn a Ranger tab.
This current class is part of a pilot program that will allow both men and women to participate in the US Army Ranger School. The pilot program is expected to last for at least another two rounds of Ranger School. While the program is a step forward for women, it does not go all the way. Females who make it through the course and earn the tab will not serve as Rangers, per se, but they will be authorized to wear the Ranger tab with honor and distinction.
The current cadre of Ranger students, including the women, are all West Point graduates. They began their mountain training school on July 11th in Dahlonega, Georgia. Now comes swamp school, which many consider to be hardest and most intense of all the training. Back in 1995, four candidates died while in swamp training. Four others were sent to the hospital, suffering from hypothermia.
The candidates can look forward to 17 days of extended platoon level operations in the coastal swamp environment near Valparaiso, Fla. There will be two parachute jumps for those who are airborne-qualified. In addition, the candidates will undergo four days of waterborne operations that will include small boat movements as well as stream crossings. This training is meant to simulate jungle operation and fighting.
The intense heat of this year’s summer has not been helpful to the candidates, but they are dealing with it as best they can. Stay tuned to see if the first women will pass through Ranger school.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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