Milestone: The Ranger School is now officially open to women full-time
Two weeks ago we celebrated hard when, for the first time in U.S. Army History, two women graduated from the Army’s top combat leadership course, the legendary Ranger School. Capt. Kristen Griest, a military police officer, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot, along with 96 men, passed a grueling physical exam that lasts a minimum of 61 days that includes “49 pushups, 59 situps, a 5-mile run in 40 minutes, six chin-ups, a swim test, a land navigation test, a 12-mile foot march in three hours, several obstacle courses, four days of military mountaineering, three parachute jumps, four air assaults on helicopters, and 27 days of mock combat patrols.” The reason it took so long for women to wear the prestigious Ranger tab is that, up until this year, women were not allowed to attempt the course.
Yesterday, as The Washington Post reports, the Army announced that it is opening its Ranger School up to women on a full-time basis.
“We must ensure that this training opportunity is available to all soldiers who are qualified and capable, and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retain the best soldiers to meet our nation’s needs,” Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement.
In the same statement, General Mark A. Milley, the service’s top officer, stated that this move towards gender equality goes hand in hand with combat readiness.
“Giving every qualified soldier the opportunity to attend the Ranger Course, the Army’s premier small unit leadership school, ensures we are maintaining our combat readiness today, tomorrow and for future generations,” Milley explained.
As the Army Times reports, in the wake of this historic decision, the world is now watching to see if the Army will open its infantry, armor, and special operations ranks to women, a decision that is expected to be made by the end of the year.
We are so glad that this historic milestone has been met and our fingers are crossed that, by the end of the year, we’ll hear more about the Army making major moves towards equality.
(Image via iStock)