She is one of two female soldiers scheduled to graduate Friday from Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. And that’s an extraordinary feat for these two women that they’re graduating.
The combat-focused training teaches the special operations force how to conduct airborne and air assault operations, seize airfields, destroy strategic facilities, and capture or kill the nation’s enemies. She’ll have something else to add to her uniform: a Ranger tab.
Barno said women have proved they can serve in the Rangers, as well as in other combat specialties that use similar skill sets.
Their names have not been released for fear of “harassment by die-hards” who would likely oppose the idea of women being in the U.S. Army Rangers.
The services must make their recommendations to Defense Secretary Ash Carter this fall.
Echoing that fact, more than 9,000 women have been recognized for their service, receiving Army Combat Action Badges for “actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy”, according to a recent Congressional Research Service study. He also was a career Army aviator who flew Apaches.
Despite the historic promotions, neither the two female Rangers nor any other women troops will be sent into combat in the immediate future.
But the two females who graduate on Saturday will reportedly not be allowed to join the 75th Ranger Regiment – the whole point of completing Ranger School.
The secretary of defense has until early next year to spell out new combat roles for women.
Under current law, the Pentagon has until September 30 – the end of the fiscal year – to develop gender-neutral rules for all remaining jobs closed to women.
“Because women can not serve in infantry units or Ranger units”, he notes.
In the class, 19 women started, according to officials.
“It’s game over for a discussion of whether women can successfully serve”, he said.
“I am trying to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed or fail”, Fivecoat said. Senior leaders are reviewing those results.
“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these [standards] be accepted?”
Last week, retiring Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno made similar remarks in stating that standards, and not gender, should be the guideline in qualifying for an MOS. “We tax you mentally, physically and emotionally”. “I think it’s something that we should all be really proud of”.
The military is working determine how to best integrate women into combat roles. They also regularly accompanied patrols so they could question and search the women they encountered.