of Washington Post
As more and more women continue to prove themselves to be just as ambitious and strong as men, two in particular are about to make history as the first females to graduate
from the Army's grueling and exhausting Ranger School.
They join 94 other students who will graduate at Fort Benning, Georgia this Friday. At the start of the course, which began in April, there were 400 students, 381 men and 19 women.
Undertaking the course means students are taught how to operate in multiple atmospheres and surroundings; woods, mountains and even swamps. They're also made to train on little food and minimal sleep.
On top of all that, they must undergo a tough fitness test consisting of 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, 6 chin ups, swimming, running a mile in 40 minutes, completion of a land navigation test, a 12 mile foot march which must be done in three hours, parachute jumps, air assaults on helicopters and 27 days of mock-up combat patrols (I'm exhausted just writing and thinking about that lot!)
What makes the success of the two women, whose names have not yet been released, even more impressive is that it was only this year's program which was open to women, as a trial run.
In a statement, Army Secretary John M. McHugh said:
This course has proven that every Soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential.
Despite their achievements however, the women won't be eligible to apply for the 75th Ranger Regiment which is an elite special ops force and it's thought that The Pentagon won't make any decisions on exactly what roles the women can take on until later this year.
Janine Davidson of the Council on Foreign Relations, herself a former U.S. Air Force aircraft commander said, "This is an important moment and an important week because I see it as reality and perception catching up with each other. Women have been on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq."