The U.S. Army’s elite Ranger School was opened to women for the first time ever on Monday, as the Pentagon is seeking how to best integrate women into combat roles. Nineteen women started on day one, passing the initial physical test, and 8 of them have now passed the grueling four-day “RAP week,” or the Ranger Assessment Phase — a hopeful sign that the first generation of women could soon graduate from the elite training program and become some of the Army’s best soldiers. Usually, about 40 percent of all participants make it through this phase, which, according to the Washington Post, includes “everything from chin-ups and push-ups to an exhausting 12-mile road march and a water survival test that calls for climbing along a rope that is suspended over water.” This year, 48.3 percent of men and 42.1 percent of women made it through the entire week, which is seen as the largest hurdle to graduating. About 75 percent of those students who make it through go on to graduate from the school. Any woman who graduates will receive the prestigious Ranger tab on her uniform, but as of now the 75th Ranger Regiment — the elite force that performs raids and other special operations — remains closed to women.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.