The Airborne and Army Ranger Training Brigade takes no prisoners. Unfortunately for the nineteen women who began the course, this means toughing out a grueling two months of training with no reward.
Nineteen women enrolled at the U.S. Army Ranger School, but only eight female soldiers successfully passed the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week. The Army recently announced that none of those female soldiers were able to pass the Darby Phase. As the Army’s first attempt at making its infamous Ranger school co-ed, this is a setback for women interested in combat positions.
The majority of students who enter the school do not pass due to its punishing training regimen, and 60 percent of students drop in the first four days of RAP week. Only 184 male soldiers out of 390 advanced to the Darby phase during this session. After crunching the numbers, that amounts to 48.3 percent of men and 42.1 percent of women who passed the latest session of RAP week. The Army stated that both statistics were “within historic norms for the Ranger course.”
A total of 29 students did not pass the Darby phase. Army officials said the most students failed because they were unable to successfully lead a patrol.
Three female soldiers were invited to restart the course from the beginning, and they will begin training on Sunday, June 21, 2015. It is standard procedure to “recycle” students who struggled in one area of the course and excelled in others. Two male soldiers will also be recycled. ArmyTimes.com reported that an average 37 percent of students are recycled at some point in the Ranger program. Any soldiers who fail a second attempt of the course are sent back to their Army units.
The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade wasn’t designed to be easy, but it also wasn’t designed to waste the military’s time. Col. David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, told Ranger School students that even attempting the course is a step forward.
“The group that was unsuccessful was, of course, disappointed in their performance,” Fivecoat said. “However, each Ranger student, whether successful or unsuccessful, learned more about themselves, leadership, and small unit tactics, and returns to the Army a better trained soldier and leader.”
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