All eight of the women trying to move into the second phase of the Army’s elite Ranger school failed to move ahead to the school’s second, or mountain, phase. However, all qualified to restart the initial, or Darby, phase, Army officials said Friday.
Just under half of the soldiers vying to move ahead did so, according to Gary Jones, a spokesman for the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence. Tomorrow, 115 soldiers, all male, will start the mountain phase at Dahlonega, Georgia. Meanwhile, 101 male soldiers will join the eight women restarting the Darby phase at Fort Benning, Ga., on May 14. Thirty-five more soldiers, all men, washed out completely and will return to their units, officials said.
As you can tell from the numbers of men held back, and recycling through Darby, this is hardly unique.
Ranger School** is nominally a 61 day course. But quite a few people get recycled multiple times before completing the course. And the course is designed to be an endurance test, even if one completes it in the 61 days. Having to recycle multiple times drags that out quite a bit. Of course, that simply makes it even more challenging.
*back in the old days, it was sometimes called “city week” as it took place within the confines of Fort Benning- not exactly luxurious, but far more so than the Mountain and Florida phases.
**Your humble author never attended Ranger School. His initial entry training at Harmony Church was right next door to the Darby phase barracks, however, and watching the Ranger School candidates humping rucks and running everywhere left an impression on his young mind even as his own body was sore and tired from mere basic training.