Three Women Left In Ranger School Pass Darby Phase On Third Try

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

The three women still remaining in Ranger School have finally passed the Darby Phase on the third attempt.

After two tries, officials gave female students the chance to embark on a Day One Recycle if they wanted to continue the one-time, gender-integration experiment, Army Times reports. (RELATED: Females At Ranger School Get Third Try For The Darby Phase)

“I had the opportunity to observe this class during their training and was especially impressed by the professionalism and extreme competence of the Ranger instructors,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, according to The Washington Post. “Without a doubt, Ranger School is the most physically and mentally demanding course in the U.S. Army. I have complete admiration for the soldiers, other services and partner nations who volunteer to attend and work to earn their Ranger tab.”

A total of 19 female and 381 male students began Ranger School April 20, and 16 of the women passed the first fitness test. Only eight passed the Ranger Assessment Phase, but all eight failed the Darby Phase. Three women were allowed to attempt the Day One Recycle after two unsuccessful tries. This time around, they passed.

These women will now join 158 male students at the Mountain Phase Saturday in Dahlonega, Ga., 65 miles north of Atlanta. The Mountain Phase, which counts as the second out of three phases, lasts for 20 days at Camp Frank D. Merrill. Instructors teach students how to conduct combat and deal with casualties in mountainous terrain. Students are also taught climbing and rappelling.

Any students who pass the Mountain Phase move on to the third and final phase, called the Swamp Phase, at Camp Rudder in Florida. This last phase starts on August 1.

If any women pass the final phase, they’ll be allowed to wear the Ranger Tab, but will not be permitted to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, as the current experiment is designed solely to see if women are physical capable of serving effectively in all combat roles. By early next year, services must open up all combat roles to women, or else request a waiver.

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