Thursday, September 3, 2015

Army officially opens Ranger School to female soldiers

Army officially opens Ranger School to female soldiers: The Army's elite Ranger School is now open to all qualified soldiers regardless of gender, the service announced Wednesday.

The school had been open only to men until April, when the Army ran a gender-integrated assessment of the course. Nineteen women started the course on April 20.

Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver on Aug. 21 became the first women to earn the distinctive black and gold tab when they graduated from Ranger School.

One female soldier from that original group of 19 is still working to earn the tab; she advanced to the Swamp Phase, Ranger School's third and final phase, last weekend.

In its announcement Wednesday, the Army said "qualified personnel will be able to attend all future classes" of Ranger School "regardless of gender."

"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.