Army Opens Ranger School to Women

By Julissa Catalan


For the first time in history, the Army is allowing women to attend Ranger School—one of the most physically grueling training courses in the military.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved the change that allows up to 60 women to enroll in the two-month Ranger course, which is set to begin on April 20.

The average class size is 300.

“Those who meet the standards and graduate from the course will receive a certificate and be awarded the Ranger tab,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ben Garrett, an Army spokesman.

While this milestone puts women soldiers one step closer to being considered for the military special operations unit, they are still ineligible to become actual members of the Ranger regiment. The 75th Ranger Regiment, based out of Fort Benning, Ga., remains a boys-only club.

To prepare for Ranger School, both women and men can participate in a 16-day training and assessment school that will teach them infantry and combat skills they do not already have.

Ranger School is far more physically, emotionally and mentally demanding than regular training—including long patrols conducted on minimal or no sleep as well as marches carrying heavy loads.

While the Pentagon removed its ban on women in combat jobs back in 2013, the military branches were allotted additional time to gradually integrate female soldiers into their new roles. That June, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a highly decorated combat veteran who was a sergeant in the Vietnam War, announced plans to open combat roles to women.

By January 2016, each branch must open all combat jobs to women or give adequate reason for why it will not.

A request waiver is still allowed if a branch wants to exclude women from any occupational field, with valid reason.

Additionally, military leaders have made it clear that they will not reduce or eliminate standards for any jobs to make it easier on women.

While men in the Army may be hesitant about the inclusion of women in Ranger School, Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, said allowing women to compete for all jobs will ensure the military gets the best people—not just the best men.

“We think women should be permitted to compete for everything,” she said.

Latest News

Southern Company Commits $700,000 To Advance Racial Equity and Social Justice for the AAPI Community

Originally published at southerncompany.mediaroom.com. Southern Company ranked No. 20 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation is announcing plans to donate $700,000 across its service territories to charities in support of improving equity and social justice. On the six-month…

Oak Park, Illinois

Illinois Professor Suspended, Charged with Hate Crime After Allegedly Spitting on Black Woman and Using Racial Slur

An Illinois professor has been suspended from his job and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly spat on and racially attacked a Black female driver in a suburban Chicago grocery store parking lot earlier this month. Antonio Planas of NBC News has reported that Alberto Friedmann, a professor…

Joaquin Castro

New Research Shows a Continued Lack of Hispanic and Latinx Representation in Movies, Media and Publishing

In a bit of disheartening news in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, a new government study has confirmed that Latinx individuals are vastly under-included and underrepresented in many parts of the media world. Astrid Galvan of the Associated Press reported on the study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office,…

Newberg, Oregon

Oregon School Employee Suspended for Showing Up to Work in Blackface To Protest State Vaccination Policies

Racial controversies continue to mount at the Newberg Public School system located in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Last week, students in the district’s high school conducted a mock “slave auction” on social media in which they ridiculed fellow classmates and discussed how much they would or wouldn’t pay to…