Week one of Army Ranger School ended recently with 8 out of 16 female soldiers completing the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week. These female soldiers are part of the first co-ed class of U.S. Army Ranger School. The female and male soldiers who made it through RAP week now have 57 days to go to complete the physically and mentally punishing infantry course.
The number of male soldiers completing the Ranger Assessment Phase was 184 males out of 380. According to a military press release the success rate was within historic norms for the Ranger course. This year’s success rate was 48 percent (48.3 percent for men and 42.1 percent for women).
Opening All-Male Infantry Course to Female Soldiers
As we reported earlier this year the Pentagon announced that, “Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved the participation of both men and women in the spring 2015 Ranger course assessment.” Female soldiers, like their male counterparts, who graduate the Army Ranger course will receive a Ranger tab. Unlike male soldiers, however, the women who graduate will not have the opportunity to serve as part of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Initiating the first co-ed class of U.S. Army Ranger School was part of a 2013 directive from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. According to the Pentagon, All of the services are directed to open combat-arms roles to women by next year. The Pentagon faces a deadline of September to develop gender-neutral standards for all military occupations. They then have until the end of December to finalize plans to allow women to compete for those jobs.
A Look at RAP Week
What does week one of Army Ranger School entail. There a numerous physical and mental challenges both male and female soldiers must overcome. And during RAP week, Ranger School candidates must endure these challenges on two meals a day while getting three to four hours of sleep a night. And in case you were wondering, female soldiers must undergo the exact same challenges and meet the same requirements as male soldiers.
Here’s a video that takes you inside RAP week. This official Fort Benning video was shot last week so you will only see male Ranger School participants in the video.