"U.S. Army Soldiers participate in close arm combatives during the Ranger Course on Ft. Benning, GA., April 20, 2015. Soldiers attend Ranger school to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat stimulated environment. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nikayla Shodeen/Released Pending Review)"

U.S. Army officials announced today that eight out of 16 female soldiers who started the first co-ed class of Ranger School have made it through the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week.

Only 57 more days to go. Check out the Military.com story here.

Whether you like this effort or not, these females deserve a lot of credit for taking on this challenge. There are a whole lot of people out there who want to see them fail. They may not make it, but at least they have had the guts to try.

The Army released a video of the first week. Check out it.

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m4carbinephaseIIThe House Armed Services Committee called on the Pentagon Wednesday to explain why the Army and the Marine Corps use different types of 5.56mm ammunition for the M16A4 rifle and the M4 carbine, and to develop a plan for a common round.

The Committee also proposed an increase in the Obama administration’s request of $1.4 million forupgrades to the M240 medium machine gun to improve the longevity of the weapon and also give a boost to the U.S. small arms industrial base.

The recommendations came from HASC’s Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces in deliberations this week on 2016 defense budget. [click to continue…]

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M240LThe House Armed Services Committee called for the Army to devise modernization plans for the M240 7.62mm medium machine gun as lawmakers noted that inventory is “aging significantly.”

The asked for $1.4 million for M240 modifications and the House Armed Services Committee granted it in their markup of the 2016 defense budget. But the committee wants the Army to do more to ensure the machine gun’s sustainment.

Lawmakers requested that Army Secretary John McHugh brief the committee by March 1, 2016 on the Army’s long term sustainment strategy and life-cycle sustainment plans for the machine gun. [click to continue…]

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U.S. Army scientists are working with a new database of the human body to ensure uniforms and equipment fit female and male soldiers better.

The Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, completed the latest comprehensive anthropometric survey of soldiers, called ANSUR II, in 2012.

The ANSUR II 3-D Shape Database uses three-dimensional shapes and contour data to improve the fit of clothing and equipment for warfighters. It incorporates the latest Army anthropometric survey data and 3-D whole body scans, providing a searchable platform for the data and the 3-D shapes.

The previous survey was completed in 1988.

The 2012 survey set out to address changes in Army personnel body size and shape, and the resulting data showed that soldiers have increased in overall body girth since 1988. The new study also set out to document the sizing needs of the increasing number of women serving in the military.

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MRERations on the battlefield have come a long way over the history of war. Military scientists are constantly trying to make them more nutritional — and although it’s hard to believe sometimes — taste better.

As part of Military.com’s “5 Things You Don’t Know” series, we took a look at the history of rations and where they might be going. For instance, U.S. military leaders didn’t start worrying about how the rations tasted until 1944.

As for the future? Having a hot dog or a piece of pizza printed for on the battlefield is not out of the realm of possibility. Check it out here. And for mobile readers, use this link.

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SureFire’s potent new Titan key-chain light is now available.

This little task light throws out 125 lumens. It’s a little pricy, but I want one.

“The groundbreaking Titan is the world’s first professional-grade key-chain flashlight,” SureFire officials maintain. “This ultra-compact, dual-output feat of engineering boasts a proprietary faceted reflector that shapes the light from its high-performance LED into a broad, smooth MaxVision Beam at both 125 and 15 lumens—astounding levels for a finger-sized light.”

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RA-1 Military Free Fall Advanced Ram-Air Parachute SystemThe Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group was the first unit to field the new Military Free Fall Advanced Ram-Air Parachute System, RA-1, which is built for static line or free fall operations.

The RA-1 replaces the MC-4 system. The RA-1 allows soldiers to exit at altitudes between 3,500 feet to 35,000 feet Mean Sea Level. It also increases the total jumper exit weight to 450 pounds. [click to continue…]

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