Army Rangers’ first female soldiers make history In this photo taken on Aug. 4, 2015, a female Army Ranger stands with her unit during Ranger School at Camp Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, she and one other female were the first to complete Ranger training and earn their Ranger tab this week. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
Army Rangers’ first female soldiers make history
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Two women have passed the Army's Ranger School, becoming the first females to complete the grueling combat training program and earn the right to wear Ranger tabs on their uniforms.
 
The Army's Ranger headquarters in Fort Benning, Georgia, says the women and 94 men passed the tough two-month course that tests their ability to overcome fatigue, hunger and stress during combat operations.
 
While completing the leadership course lets the two women wear the coveted Ranger black-and-gold tab, it does not let them become members of the Ranger regiment. Neither woman has been identified by the military.
 
Allowing women to participate in the Ranger course is part of the military's push to open more combat jobs to women. But the toughest jobs remain closed to female soldiers, including infantry, armor and special operations positions. That includes the 75th Ranger Regiment, which requires additional schooling that is physically and mentally challenging before soldiers can join.
 
Still, former Army officers such as Sue Fulton, who in 1980 was among the first women to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, celebrated the news as another milestone toward ending gender barriers in the military.
 
"This answers whatever questions may still remain about whether women have the strength, the will and the physical courage to become combat leaders," said Fulton, a former Army captain who now chairs the West Point Board of Visitors, an advisory panel of presidential appointees and members of Congress.
 
"Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level," Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement. "This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential."
 
"We owe soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable," he added.
 
The 62-day Ranger school includes three phases, each in a different part of the country: wooded areas of Fort Benning, the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia and swamps in Florida.
 
The first 20 days of Ranger school focus on military skills and endurance. Then, the mountain phase near Dahlonega, Georgia, includes more small-unit operations and survival techniques. The final so-called swamp phase takes place in Florida and includes airborne assault, amphibious operations and extreme mental and physical stress.
 
Female soldiers were held to the same physical standards as men. That included passing a fitness test of 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, six chin-ups and finishing a 5-mile run in 40 minutes. Graduates also had to perform a 12-mile foot march in three hours, complete three parachute jumps and four air assaults on helicopters as well as endure 27 days of mock combat patrols.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What is "mental toughness?"
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (35)
  • nicobald19513@ccps.org-har
    9/02/2015 - 08:16 p.m.

    These women defy the ideology of gender roles. Just because they are females doesn’t mean that they can’t do the same job a man would do. The women that go through these rigorous courses are treated the same and held to the same standards as men. They don’t get special treatment just because they’re women. This is a step in the right direction to get rid of gender role stereotypes. After the women make it through the difficult courses, they still are not entitled to the same jobs that a man would be. I feel that if the women can make it that far they should have the opportunity to apply for the same ranks in the military. They went through the strenuous courses, so they should be allowed the same advancements as the men.

  • margspro21450@ccps.org-har
    9/02/2015 - 09:52 p.m.

    Gender roles are prominent in American culture. For hundreds of years people believed that men should handle more grueling physical tasks while women were faced with cooking and other domestic chores. Though we have begun to move away from this mindset, you can still see traces of it today in settings like the military. The two women who completed the Army Ranger School have defied gender roles and stereotypes by proving that females are just as tough physically and mentally as males are. Women like the two newest army rangers are taking steps to change the culture of America and end misogyny in gender roles.

  • chasgree18276@ccps.org-har
    9/03/2015 - 08:18 a.m.

    In our culture women may join the military but don't have access to the "toughest jobs" such as infantry, armor and special operations positions. My ideology on this is that it's not an equal opportunity to women and it's not fair. If a female wants to be in the military and perform the hardest tasks required then she should be aloud. The two women in this article have only earned the right to wear the ranger tabs but have not been recognized by the military. These two women along with only 94 men completed the course and I strongly believe that they should be recognized as equals.

  • keaton-hab
    9/03/2015 - 11:13 a.m.

    I think it is cool and it is a good thing to get women to go to the army. we owe soliders to go to the army and have a chance to go home on visits on the holidays.

  • imanpric19306@ccps.org-har
    9/05/2015 - 10:48 a.m.

    This article talks about a women pushing through the gender roles, but it also could make a person think about gender role ideology. Gender role ideology is defined as the attitude towards man and women's roles in society. This article challenges the gender roles that are a staple in America. These women went and dominated in a predominantly male environment. Which is not seen all that much in the military. This also can be equated as a sort of phenomenon in culture because gender role press on women to be home makers. In conclusion this article shows how are culture has broken passed sexism and our bias gender roles.

  • cordburn18250@ccps.org-har
    9/07/2015 - 09:38 p.m.

    Females in the military. What a talked about topic in America! Woman of America have many challenges presented to them on top of the already preset challenges, for example, woman who want to be in a certain sector of the military, such as infantry, which I personally believe should be opened for anyone willing and able.

  • audreyj-1-glo
    9/09/2015 - 07:50 a.m.

    I think that mental toughness is having the mental capability to handle the conditions in which you will face.

  • lillyw-1-glo
    9/09/2015 - 07:58 a.m.

    Critical thinking question: "Mental toughness" is the ability to cope with stress in this kind of situation that they may have to go through every day as an Army Ranger, and to stay calm and positive and have the correct reaction to a situation. Not only do they have to pass the mental challenges but the physical challenges as well, which are quite difficult.

  • mikaylam-1-glo
    9/09/2015 - 07:59 a.m.

    "Mental toughness" is the ability to cope with challenges not physically but mentally.For example, a person with strong "mental toughness" is able to hold a great amount of stress, pressure, and worry before "breaking". Normally in the military, like the 2 women mentioned in the article, you have to pass a series of tests that prove that you won't "break" and can handle the tasks you might have to face in the future mentally prepared.

  • jilmarir-1-glo
    9/09/2015 - 08:03 a.m.

    Mental toughness is being able to go through hard times without breaking down and not being sensitive.

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