The three women remaining in Ranger School have successfully completed the first patrol phase and will move this weekend to the north Georgia mountains to continue the U.S. Army’s most physically and mentally challenging leadership training course, it was announced Friday.
The women are part of the first gender-integrated course in the 60-plus year history of Ranger School. They started the program on April 19 with 16 other women trying to become the first females to earn the Ranger tab, held by about 3 percent of all the Army’s soldiers. The three remaining women, who the Army has not named, completed the Camp Darby patrol phase after previously failing it twice. When they failed it a second time in late May, they were offered what the Army terms a “Day 1 recycle,” which meant they had to start the course over from the beginning.
The SEALs like to say that the only easy day was yesterday. And I suppose you could say much the same about Ranger School.
It’s an endurance test. And each phase is to some extent more physically grueling than the previous. But the longer you last in the course, the greater your odds of successfully completing it.
I’m of two minds. The Army gains nothing from putting women through Ranger School. On the other hand, these three women have persevered and made it this far. And since I never volunteered for Ranger School, that puts them light years ahead of me.