Two Female Students Are Now One Step Closer To Becoming First Ever Women Rangers

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Only three female Ranger students are left in the pilot experiment to integrate women into all combat roles in the military. Two are set to head to the Swamp Phase of Ranger School, but one will repeat the Mountain Phase.

The first two will join 125 other male classmates Sunday over at Camp Rudder in Florida to begin the final, 17-day Swamp Phase, where students will work on small boat operations and small-unit tactics, as well as leadership, Army Times reports.

The phase partly consists of water operations for four days, in addition to a 10-day training exercise which tests students on leading patrols. A total of 22 students in Ranger School have died at Camp Rudder, but there have been no fatalities since military officials added a safety net of evacuation helicopters and ambulances on standby following the deaths of four due to hypothermia in 1995.

“The Ranger students, both male and female, are two-thirds of the way done with Ranger School,” Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, said in a statement. “The coastal swamps of Florida will continue to test the students. Only the best will be successful and earn the Ranger tab.”

Students who complete the phase will graduate August 21, when the first experiment of including women in Ranger School will conclude. According to statistics from Ranger School, about 45 percent of students successfully complete the course, but this only refers to male students.

The third female student will repeat the Mountain Phase starting on August 8, joining 60 male classmates. Most of the students who failed this phase failed because they were unable to lead a patrol.

Women who finish Swamp Phase will be allowed to wear the Ranger tab, though they will not be joining the 75th Ranger Regiment, as the two-month long school session this time around is part of an integration experiment first launched in 2013.

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