• Army Announces That All Women Can Attend Ranger School

    The Army announced Wednesday that it’s opening up Ranger School to all women, following a gender-integration experiment in which two female students graduated from Ranger School.

    “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.

    This means that all qualified, regardless of gender, will be able to attend the Army’s top school for teaching leadership and combat operations, where instructors push students to their absolute mental and physical limits.

    Nineteen women began the experiment in April. Only Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver finished the course and received the Ranger tab on Aug. 21, Army Times reports. One female candidate is still making her way through and could potentially still graduate. She recently moved on to the Swamp Phase, which is the final phase before Ranger School ends. The two who graduated so far are not part of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Army officials insisted, despite criticism, that they weren’t easier on women during the evaluations.

    Military officials in the other services have joined the rush of announcing their intentions to eliminate barriers and to open up previously closed roles to female soldiers. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stated Tuesday that although Marine officials have yet to deliver their recommendations, he is determined to decline approval for any exemptions, as he sees no reason why women should remain locked out of Marine infantry and special operations roles. (RELATED: Navy Sec Signals Intent To Let Women Be Marine Infantry, Special Ops)

    The Navy’s top admiral also recently said that the current plan is to allow women to become Navy SEALs. For Adm. Jon Greenert, what matters is whether women can pass the physical requirements and Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. (RELATED: Top Admiral: Elite Navy SEALs Will Open Up To Women)

    All of the services have until Oct. 1 to submit exemption requests to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in order to keep some specialties male-only. Otherwise, full integration is expected by Jan. 1, 2016.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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