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. They have become the first females to complete the grueling combat training program and earn the right to wear Ranger tabs on their uniforms.
 
The announcement was made by the Army's Ranger headquarters in Fort Benning, Georgia. The women and 94 men passed the tough two-month course. It 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. They include infantry, armor and special operations positions. That includes the 75th Ranger Regiment. It requires additional schooling that is physically and mentally challenging before soldiers can join.
 
Still, former Army officers such as Sue Fulton praised the news. In 1980, she was among the first women to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Fulton believes it is 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. She is a former Army captain. Now she chairs the West Point Board of Visitors. It is an advisory panel. It is comprised 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 is in a different part of the country. They are 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 (78)
  • Steve0620-yyca
    8/24/2015 - 09:02 p.m.

    I think that it is great that the two women had passed the training course because there aren't that many women in the army. Although the women get to wear the ranger tabs, there are still some sections of the army that the women can't get into yet unless they do the requirements. I think that the women have done a good job in trying to get where they are. They have to go through some touch challenges but I think that they are going to do well.

  • haileyb-1-bro
    8/27/2015 - 01:34 p.m.

    I think this article shows and tells not only boys or men can do things. I beleive that girls and women can do whatever they put their mind to, and they may even do better than men and boys. I think people shouldn't be judged by gender, but by their capability and additude. It makes me feel proud that women and girls are finally breaking through and showing what they are really capable of doing. Hearing this article makes me want to congradulate theese two women on their hard work and dedication. Now after hearing and reading this article, it makes me want to let nothing in my way either, just like this women have done.

  • brandomt-mil
    8/28/2015 - 09:46 a.m.

    The mental ability to get through any obstacle at any cost to the best of your ability.

  • logano-mil
    8/28/2015 - 09:48 a.m.

    The ability to power through any bad and still come out with a positive attitude.

  • santfordr-mil
    8/28/2015 - 09:48 a.m.

    Mental toughness is the ability for the mind to stay strong during any extreme situation

    • hannahs-3-mil
      8/28/2015 - 12:29 p.m.

      I agree

    • alexanderh-mil
      8/28/2015 - 12:32 p.m.

      So true.

  • thomasm-mil
    8/28/2015 - 09:50 a.m.

    Mental toughness is being able to withstand the stress and pressure something puts on you. Being able to not go crazy is just one of many topics in mental toughness.

    • tracyg-mil
      8/28/2015 - 12:40 p.m.

      I believe crazy may be the wrong term used, you can be mentally tough and have a breaking point. Having that breaking point, or going crazy as you say, helps an individual a lot. After you reach your breaking point, it helps build someone as an individual much stronger, even their ability.

  • ethanw-1-mil
    8/28/2015 - 09:50 a.m.

    I believe that mental toughness is the ability it withstand intense levels of stress, anxiety, and other emotions that could prove harmful if not trained.

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