‘Best Ranger’ Changes Tune on Female Rangers


The Ledger-Enquirer newspaper in Georgia published an interesting article about how the U.S. Army’s top Ranger has changed his tune on allowing female soldiers into the historically all-male infantry training course.

The article was written by Chuck Williams, one of the relatively few reporters whom the Army invited to watch the first two female officers making their way through the third and final “swamp phase” of Ranger School at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Williams interviewed Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Lemma, who along with Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Briggs in April won the Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Georgia. Lemma, shown at right the above photograph, was initially opposed to opening up the course to women, according to the article:

“I questioned it, too. I questioned the process as well. How wouldn’t you? Years of Ranger School going back to the 1950s, and we are finally getting females through,” he told the newspaper. “If you are a male and you are tabbed, you are probably going to question it.”

But Lemma changed his mind after turning the question on himself, according to the article:

“You got to ask yourself why you are saying, ‘I don’t think females should be in Ranger School,'” he told the newspaper. “Is it a pride thing? Do you feel that tab you have earned is less masculine now because females are now equal to you? “If that is the case, then that is you. You’ve got to look at yourself. Obviously, you are not comfortable with who you are. You feel intimidated. I think you have to question why you feel that way.”

The two women began the final phase alongside 125 men. If they can complete the course, they’ll graduate Aug. 21 and become the first-ever female soldiers to wear the Ranger tab.

–Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • mka

    Great. Let us have a company of all women,and see how they perform.

    • Lost 2

      Hell, just make it a platoon…

      • Kim

        Hey! It’s not a damned competition for the Olympics and NO ONE GETS A MEDAL unless for bravery! If women can qualify, then why the hell not in equal positions IF THEY PROVE TO MEASURE UP regardless of what’s between their legs or not! Women can be ‘BALSY’ TOO Y’know!

        • Ed

          Didn’t these same women get an unprecedented 3rd attempt to pass the 2nd phase? They had a short article about it a month ago and didn’t provide one piece of evidence on why they should get what appears to be a set aside just because they were women. A correction to my ignorance would be welcome

          • Steve

            If by “an unprecedented 3rd attempt” you mean “the same opportunity for a 3rd attempt that 8 of their male peers in this class –and hundreds before them– also receive” then yes, that is correct. So they are not receiving special treatment.

    • JRM

      Maybe you should ask the Israeli army how woman perform in combat. They’ve been doing it for years.

      • Hondo

        Not true.

        Do some basic research. There’s even some links to comprehensive research articles in these Posts.

        • Bluto

          failure. You’re right. They now have instructors but no one in a line company

    • aethon007

      The system isn’t broken. And so far in 100% of cases in the army where women were integrated, the standards have changed to provide females with a bit of privilege. Additionally, this will now become part of the quota system the military reports out on formally (yes they do!), which looks at how many of each demographic is represented in each area, for example now…will be combat/ Rangers. Don’t think it will happen? Little research on DACOWITZ will tell you a bit more about the aggressive special interest groups pushing ONLY for the interests of women.

    • Bluto

      Yea there will be witnesses. If a woman completes this they will be awesome. I don’t see it

  • JCitizen

    The French resistance and other partisan forces used women extensively – especially when it took opposing forces off guard. They fought in tough circumstances, and terrible conditions. Having a women on patrol may add another tactical advantage we are not gauging here. That is the only thing I can say about it.

    • Fred

      Times have changed since the days of WWII. Those women were not hauling around 100 lbs rucksacks nor required to haul around a wounded comrade weighing 200 lbs with his 100 lbs rucksack. Having graduated Ranger School in 1976 I can tell you it is very physical. No one is questioning a woman’s mental ability but I don’t want to see men left behind because their Ranger Buddy can’t evacuate them and that is a real danger when their Ranger Buddy weighs 120 lbs. Now, if you are saying standards are changed one bit and the female can make it through Ranger training then she can wear the Tab. But I am guessing that the 2 survivors currently in Ranger School have not met the same exact standards during their training as the male students. The politicians want women wearing the Tab so one of them will be allowed through. Your French resistance example is great when talking about an individual running around the countryside cutting wires, setting off explosives and messing with the enemy. Today’s missions are a little more technical than that and requires stamina and strength that women unfortunately do not have. Rangers Lead The Way!!!

      • Falconi

        I think Ronda Rousey and others in her line of work might disagree with your assessment of the physical capabilities of women.

      • Kim

        In all honesty for the physical part in general: THAT HOLDS TRUE! Simply a matter of different PHYSICAL muscle build up having to do with Female hormones Oestrogyn (needed for their fertility which makes them soft and protective) as opposed to Male hormones Protestoron (which makes males strong and aggressive when challenged: an evolutionary process where male dominance has to make them fight to become leaders of the pack or herd or whatever: in nature male fight for the rights of women and unchallenged dominance in their group.. human males just the same). However: among all the female population among (wo)mankind there are several LIONESSES. Observe the behavior of a Lioness fighting off the male Lions: Lions ROAR.. Lionesses do ALL THE HUNTING (while the males lazily watch them prowl). LET THE LIONESSES INTO THE FOLD: THEY’LL PROVE THEIR WORTH!!!

        • Nance, Elliot

          Male lions hunt as well. I’ve seen a video with like four or five lionesses attacking a water buffalo and a male attacking another one. Male drops his instantly, lionesses take like a minute before theirs goes down. Not to mention all the male lions that live alone and therefore hunt for themselves.

          Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against women being allowed to participate in Ranger school but so far only two women have made it to the final phase, which is roughly ten percent of the women who got to the first phase. If they pass then that is great and good for them but IMO it simply isn’t a high enough success rate to be worth opening it up.

          • Medic

            First women have ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE. MEN HAVE TESTOSTERONE. Just wanted to clarify that. Second: I have no faith, coming from an SF background that woman will ever measure up. We are designed a certain way for a reason.

          • Aethon007

            They are in the fold. But they don’t have to do exactly what the men do to prove their worth….do they? Only male traits prove worth?

          • crackedlenses

            War (and thus the military) is the province of men, to quote LOTR. Men have defined war and what is required to excel at it. Women will need to keep this in mind if they wish to enter.

        • Crow T.

          The only males who are living off the females are ailing. Otherwise, they are patrolling and protecting the pride’s range. If you want to see how femal e lions depend on males for survival, you could watch the Nat Geo special, Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas (1992).

        • Hondo

          I take from the spellings for Estrogen(s) and Testosterone(s) that you are Be it or Canadian or Aussie (etcetera)? That might very well confuse some of us Colonialists (LOL).

          Additionally (BTW), males also have DHT (T is anabolic, DHT is androgenic).

          And females DO produce testosterone – in trace amounts – in their adrenal glands. And males DO produce estrogens – both in their adrenal glands and from the aromatase factor that converts an amount of testosterone to estrogens (which is why bodybuilders taking large amounts of testosterone or similar types of anabolic steroids frequently also take an automated inhibitor – like Arimidex – to counter that effect).

          I am not sure that you want to use the Lion / Lioness example in your example. The males tend to hunt the larger, more dangerous prey AND protect against other serious predators while females hunt antelope, zebras, etcetera. A study of numerous National Geographic shows and articles repeatedly confirm that. ALSO…when an outside pack of young, strictly bachelor males attack a family pride, the pride males fight back but not the females. If the youngsters win (generally killing off all the pride males, though occasionally just killing most and driving a few remainders of), they immediately KILL the cubs – ALL the cubs. And the response of the females of the pride (who have remained passive throughout) at that point? They welcome the new male members (no pun intended) into the pride by immediately going “into heat” and mating with EVERY male of the new group. (If you locate the film footage and narration somewhere, it is quite graphic and detailed). BTW, the bachelor males come about as various prides who have achieved an equilibrium will chase off juvenile males achieving adulthood if they become “an extra”… so maybe sticking to HUMAN examples might be better?

          Maybe the factual Dahomey “Amazons”?

          Of course, an established anomaly (especially an ultimate failed one) does not make a rule.



    • Stefan S.

      Sorry 4K years of recorded history and we didn’t need them then or now.

    • jon

      Women keep repeating that empty mantra over and over

  • louie

    the new female Rangers should be put on a dangerous mission asap

    • Joshua

      That was out of necessity. Guess what? This does not prove anything. One time repeat after a quick lesson learned maybe, but third time’s a charm does not mean crap in combat. This is not a game people. It’s kill or be killed and any weakness will be exploited as it should be. All those men who received a third or fourth chance, heck maybe even a second chance, should not be aloud to graduate from an indoctrination course. They are a liability.

      • Anthony Bennett

        I cannot disagree, when push comes to shove, what female is going to best a male combatant in hand to hand?

    • Kim


      • Anthony Bennett

        Hmmmmm, When I graduated from Military freefall school, I was put on a C 141 and let it rip, At what point do you get to as you stated, “get ready” Once school is over, it’s GO TIME. Maybe we should have the men, sit tight until they “get ready” to deploy……

    • Nance, Elliot

      They aren’t Rangers and even if/when they complete the course they wont be Rangers. They’ll be considered Ranger qualified.

    • Chuck

      Because their male counterparts are required to do so too, right? Shut up, Carl.

    • Hondo

      The will be “Rangers” only in the sense of having a Ranger shoulder “Tab”. They will then return to their previous regular unit, whether Commo, Logistics, Transport, etcetera.

      Passing Ranger School Course (while required for Rangers in the Ranger Regiment at some point, but NOT initially) does NOT pass anyone into the Ranger Regiment.

      (Why was the Desert Phase removed… isn’t a lot of the Earth’s land surface Desert?)

      And then:
      (See “RASP” under “Selection and Training”)

  • Dr. George Gallant

    Having spent time in the Army and in combat, I feel that having women in combat in the long run will destroy the military. My wife feels the same way, she says a certain amount of innocents is gone from a woman serving in combat.
    A woman in combat is not serving her nation but serving her PRIDE ONLY.

    • Joshua

      My wife and I are of the same opinion.

      • Heya

        younmean innocence, not innocents, right doc?

    • Falconi

      Your statement about women only wanting to serve in combat out of pride is about as prideful a statement as I’ve ever heard. Women already serve, and die I might add, in combat.

      • crackedlenses

        But not as infantry.

        • Falconi

          This is true. But to say that women in combat are only serving their pride is horribly inaccurate. I’d wager they are as patriotic and courageous as anyone else.

          • Hondo

            But as the Israelis of the IDF point out, many factors have to be strongly considered when looking at this topic.

            Equality, fairness, pride, ego – and yes, patriotism and courage HAVE to take a back seat to the two primaries of (A) accomplishment of the Mission, and (B) minimizing as much as possible UNNECESSARY casualties!

            See especially the stance – and change of same by IDF retired Major General Ron-Lal…

    • jon


    • LDH2O

      Women have been in combat for decades and in many militaries. The long run has come and gone and your prediction did not hold up.

      • Hondo

        Simply NOT true… I note that NO reference links or historical information is presented to reflect this.

        It is simply an opinion.

        • Aethon007

          Except only in very modern times women have never served openly alongside combat troops in war.

        • Hondo


          Absolutely true. And then such service (such as Israel and their current two lightweight co-ed battalions that do Border Patrol work in quiet zones) isn’t hardcore combat.

          • aethon007

            Hondo, From what I have read, the Israeli 1948 war is the closest women have come. They served in combat alongside men for a period of time.

            1. Men were found to take unnecessary risks in efforts to be overprotective of the women.
            2. The Arabs would not allow themselves to be taken by a woman. Therefore, they fought to the death, which made for a very intense combat.

          • Hondo

            Yep…. that’s exactly what I stated in one of my Comments in reference to the Israeli experience….

    • bobbutch

      As an old Sgt (Korea) I would simply remind these young women that they will be confronting radical Islamist and we all know how they treat American prisoners. Isis would love to get hands on an American service women. The video of her being sexually abused and then beheaded would be a great propaganda coup for them and have would have a deleterious effect on this nation. Ladies as Kipling said in his famous poem “save the last bullet for yourself”. You will sorry if you don’t.

      • Hondo

        Actually, that was not quite what Kipling said (though U. S. Cavalry and Infantry troops of the American Plains Indians War were frequently given that “Save your last bullet advice”).

        What Kipling said – in one of his great poem-stories was”

        “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
        An the women come out to cut up what remains,
        Jest roll to your rifle an ‘blow out your brains,
        An’go to your Gawd like a soldier.”

        From The Young British Soldier by Rudyard Kipling.

        Also, we must remember that these female officers passing Ranger School does NOT mean that they are going into the Ranger units. They cannot. They will simply return to their former assignment unit with a Ranger Tab on their shoulder. To get into a Ranger unit, into the 75th Ranger Regiment, they would have to pass the very difficult RASP selection process (to my knowledge still prohibited to females) and be accepted into a Ranger unit, then to STAY in the Rangers, at some point early on they then have to attend and pass the Ranger Course. Many soldiers attend RASP, become Rangers, and then later (often after a deployment even) attend and pass Ranger Course…. while others go to Airbourne School, attend Ranger Course, decide they want to go the whole route and apply to RASP and go for it.

        Getting “The Tab” doesn’t put them into any combat role.

  • Dan Wise

    I was in the Army as a Military Policeman, with my first MOS being Infantry. I felt the same way for a long time, until………I was IN COMBAT (Not just being in theater…but COMBAT….smalls fire, IED’s, Ambushes, etc….) with FEMALES in my Squad!!!! Guess what, they did fine, the same as their male counterparts. The bottom line is, some are good, some are bad, just like MALE Soldiers. If they can meet the standards (Don’t lower the standards one bit!!!!), then why not? I agree, there is a sense of lost innocence, or masculinity, but like I said, if they can meet or exceed the standards, then why stop them. Please don’t bring up the personnel hygiene argument, or going to the latrine…..we are all adults, and we looked at each other as brothers and sisters in arms. My female Soldiers used the bathroom either in front of us, or right next to the vehicles, just like the men…..nobody cared…..we were in COMBAT! Also, the females Soldiers I had when I was in Afghanistan “humped” up and down those mountains and never faltered or fell out!!! So, please, bring on the arguments.

    • Eric

      Just because a very small percent of women can make it, should not be the basis for policy. So now the military is basing policy and standard on an insignificant statistical percentage, that hasn’t even been repeated yet?

      • aethon007

        ..because once you open it up to women where there is such small amount of qualified and capable (compared the the males), you have instantly made it unequal and given privilege to the females. Inequality either happens up front (admission) or once in (standards).

    • Rick Hagan

      Were you in sustained combat? Over a long period of time? What were you doing? Protecting convoys? Women were in the wagon trains fighting the Indians but that doesn’t mean you want to build an army with them. Give me a military principal you are meeting just having women there… Is it more proficient? Do soldiers fight better? Is there a psychological advantage? Why do you have them there? Just because? That not a reason either. It does complicate the whole war fighting process. More complication equals more possibilities that things can go wrong. Ever hear of KISS? How will you deal with the “fraternization” that WILL go on? Now you have brought “DRAMA” into the mix.
      Standards have already been lowered. Ever wonder why pull-ups aren’t around any more? Why are there two PT charts? Do we use the male or female? Following your rationale then there would have to be a single PT chart. Single bathroom facilities, co-ed barracks and so on… because a “soldier” would be a soldier. A single hair cut standard a gender neutral uniform. Do you really want to go there? You can’t sometimes be men and women/ male and female and other times be the same.
      I am in special operations and I have known some women who I think could do just fine… but that is no reason to do so. There is no NEED. The second and third order effects… long term strategic consequences. How will it effect the society long term? If you needed to change it back would we be able? Or would you approach it like we do the national debt? Let our grandchildren deal with it…

    • Joshua

      Conventional warfare is not the same. Oh by the way I have seen the complete opposite. Women bring nothing but drama and you cannot trust them. I love my wife and daughter, but every single WM I have ever met and gotten to know is scheming. Because of that I cannot and 90% of the men I have served with, have the same opinion.

      • charlesneal

        Perhaps their actions were directly related to a LACK OF TRUST IN YOU.

        And YOU do not get to speak for anyone other than yourself and most certainly not for that wife unless she has been ruled mentally unable to make decisions on her own. .

    • Kim


    • Why not you ask? Because there isn’t a need to swell the ranks of Rangers. You are asking all the wrong questions. You should be asking yourself this:

      Why is Obama trying to downsize the military, while trying to put women in combat roles?

      • FASnipeHT2

        You mean Congress!

        • Hondo

          Right on! Congress controls the Budget!

    • karlluffel

      I do not buy your argument about humping up and down the mountains with women as though they had no problems. Most of my time with females in a field environment was with OCS. Women were almost always weak with a ruck on their back (especially when carrying an equal load)…usually due to physical differences. Some can make it, but on the whole, they struggle. Not prejudiced…just observing the facts of many women over time. Making a ruck march to standard in most combat arms (3 hours/12 miles) is tough for many women…not all though. The fact that these two women made it thru mountain phase is certainly commendable, but keep in mind, they did have some advantages not awarded to men. In particular, they had a one year train-up with assigned trainers and were exempt from the jobs. Men do not get that privilege.

    • dan brister

      Put them in the jungles like Vietnam bet they will not be arround long a whole new game .

  • PeterP

    Soon it want make a difference. Most troops will be replaced by robots. If you get a chance to see what Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or (DARPA) is doing you will be amazed. I say in about 10 years or less robots will do most jobs in the military. How will people feel when robot’s are going to Ranger School?

    • Falconi

      Well, the lack of sleep and food won’t be an issue, nor will humping around their spare batteries, but the swimming challenges could be interesting… :)

    • aethon007

      We DO use robots: they’re called drones.

      But the costs of the machinery vs. the risk of compromise I think, will prohibit that in MOST cases. Today – we use automation whenever we can, instead of troops. As you can see, it is by no means been a replacement. It seems to just expand our overseas interventions (ie…non-declared war on Pakistan and other countries with Obama’s countless drone strikes).

      • Hondo

        Ahhh, yes…. Obama’s drone war.

        It’s too bad that drones weren’t available prior to the Obama administration and availing for use by the GWB Cabal.




        (Over 100,000 flight hours in 2005… during GWB admin)

        As aircraft get extremely sophisticated and capable of maneuvers that would literally kill a human pilot, ALL combat aircraft will become UAVs (their correct term).

        • Aethon007

          I get that Hondo. And references not needed for me. Familiar with all those sites…and numbers. Obama ..and as you state due to techno and strategic advances/ changes, has increased use of drones to record numbers…in fact by multiple factors and in the name of us and in countries with which we have no declared war and in some instances without legitimate official approvals.

          Keep up the good fight, Hondo. Great to read your thorough and researched responses. Hard to find these days on this subject. There are so many lies about women in combat believed by both men and women. I think this comes from the television. Especially the idea of women having fought in combat throughout history. Almost all movies based on history show this big fat lie these days. TV is now much more than entertainment…it is part of our social conditioning as never before.

        • Hondo

          You’re right, Aethon 007… however unlikely to “keep up the good fight”.

          My very positive and agreeable reply to you was immediately deleted by the Administrator.

  • guest

    This is great. We get two pro female ranger reports this week instead of the usual one. We are blessed.


    Political Pressure

  • Ken

    Amazing accomplishment for those two women thus far. but Still a ways to go. It shouldn’t be a battle of the sexes. He or she, who walks the walk, should be commended-just as long as the standards are not manipulated for some short-term political end. Rangers Lead The Way!!

    • Kim


      • Mark

        Well said Kim if the gals can do the course as it stands with no allowance for gender how can you argue against it? I was in the 2/75th in WA, broke a hip prior to getting to Ranger School and was cycled out medically. it has bugged me ever since as work unfinished! Im pulling for these women, and would be honored to follow them into battle! Just MHO

    • aethon007

      Great accomplishment for the women.
      Bad strategy for the Army….since so far in 100% of cases, the standards HAVE been compromised and the military’s periodic reporting to Congress on it’s quota of demographics (this is a real and officially submitted report) will eventually demand ANY accommodation be made to increase female participation here. To date – there have been no exceptions. Remember Kara Hultgreen who was pushed through training in a hurry to be the first female (fill in the blank)…and was ultimately killed, prior to being combat certified.

      The military’s fault for rushing through their experiments in social engineering.

      • Hondo


  • greg

    Military police??? Questionable combat requirements!!! And if you have not been through ranger school then your opinion is strictly hypothetical. And I am sure all the real women love the fact that their husbands where next to some woman urinating in the street. I am absolutely tired of all the soldiers in the army using the word COMBAT to justify their arguments. Definitions of combat are very different among support, combat support, and combat units. Rucking in the mountains of Afghanistan or riding shotgun in a gun truck in OIF is not combat!!!!! Sorry to burst your bubble..

    • Airborne_fister

      As an FO. I was attached to a sniper team in Afghanistan. We had females attached to us. They were our medics. They taught us what to do if SHTF. They never went on long missions with us. Also. Ranger school is a leadership course. Send them to a BATT. And see how they are treated. Or if they can hack it.

  • greg

    Our society can believe what falsehoods it wants. The third world combatant does not care about our countries ideas, freedoms, or agendas to make everybody feel special. They will kill you just the same and exact cruelty on you however they see fit if given the opportunity to do so. So I hope your ready to meet that MAN!! Because the base and ISIS don’t give a crap about your dreams to be the first woman to wear a ranger tab, or to be the first ranger commander. They will hurt you just the same…..

    • Anthony Bennett

      And THIS dose of REALITY is bought to you by GREG….Mark his words are suffer the consequences.

  • freddy

    Before the females were allowed, was it common for the males to be allowed to be recycled at least 3 times?

    • Mark


    • Ken R

      Recycles happen for many reasons. I don’t know current Ranger policy but it was common when I went thru in 1972. After graduation I was fortunate to be assigned to 3rd Ranger @ Ft Benning for a few months. One late night detail had me picking up the injured Ranger students at the Harmony Church helipad; an entire Chinook load back from the Mountain Phase. All that had healable injuries re-cycled. I recycled twice; started in April, graduated in October.

      • jon

        3Rd bat didnt reactivate in 70s

    • Bluto

      NO. And GO’s did walk patrols with females. I believe they started in April. 5 months at Benning with their detached duty getting ready for a what a year. Whatever. Another institution “normalized”

  • Curtis Edwards

    robots in Ranger School lol

  • This is all about SYMBOLISM and GENERATING ARTIFICIAL HISTORY. I don’t care what these PC politicians want. What they need to explain is why are they pushing for women to be able to be Rangers when they aren’t even required to sign up for Selective Service if the draft was re-implemented. Sounds like to me that they want all the cool looking jobs with the option to opt-out of war when it suits them best.

    • condor

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Anthony Bennett

      I hadn’t thought of that, but that’s a very very convincing argument! If the zombies in Washington are so very concerned about the plight of women in the military, then why in fact are they not required to register for selective service? Equal is equal……..excellent point!

    • Hondo

      I love that idea.

      And NO deferments (excepting major physical disabilities and mental health problems… mild disabilities can still be put into positive National Service).

      Let the sons and daughters of the wealthy and politicians face the same responsibilities.

  • Carl

    There is no question that “a few” females will graduate from any military school/course that now bars them, i.e. Ranger, SF, PJ, Recon, SEAL etc. The question is do we spend money, and time to accommodate those small numbers. In addition, do we also accept the fact that there will be fraternization between the sexes with emotions like jealousy kicking in to cause disharmony on the teams and platoons. Is this really what we want just to be shown as “equal?”

    • FormerActionGuy

      There was a reason the Greeks, Romans, Spartans, Mongols, Samurai and Macedonians (Alexander the Great) didn’t allow women in combat. Survival means more than political correctness. If women were just as capable as men to be warriors don’t you think they would have proved it before now? Oh wait Obama and the leftists are here now.

  • sfrgrjku11

    Agree with 7 above. Cultural Marxism infecting our military. This is about making females feel equal, regardless of reality. “V” or “G” identifier is solid gold at promotion board time. Did these women adhere to the EXACT SAME standards as their classmates? At EVERY training juncture? Doubt it.

    • Ranger Tom Evans

      While you may “doubt it”. The reality is that the ARTB held the females to exactly the same standards as their classmates at every training juncture.. They need to be congratulated on their accomplishment.

      • Hondo

        Thank you.

        And I agree that being the case that they do deserve congratulations.

        It is good to hear from someone who has had some personal and direct observations into this Class Course (seeing you know the actual realities and one could only absolutely know by personal knowledge).

        So, not having direct contact capability, here’s an indirect “Way to go Ranger” congrats.

  • If women want to be in combat and work with men and take on roles that men fill then they should have to go through the EXACT SAME Rigorous Traning and Hardships as men, with NO MODIFICATIONS AT ALL!!! They shouldn’t be catered to in any way! They have something to prove so demand the EXACT SAME FROM THEM AS YOU DO THE MEN!!!
    Same Standards For All Military, No Favors For Females!!!

    • Mike Jardine

      This course has not been watered down for them in any way. If that were not true, then, what would be the point of the exercise when the point of the exercise IS to see if they can pass the course?

      It was only a matter of time. The only questions about it came from knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who refused to see this was inevitable.

      A nation’s military should represent a vast cross-section of its population. ALL, and I do mean all, able-bodies persons found in the population should be given the right to defend the society to the fullest extent of their abilities.

      After all, when the defecation hits the air-circulating device, it’s their asses on the line, too.

      We will have a stronger, not weaker, military because of this.

      Kudos to these female soldiers and I hope they make it.

  • cpauld1

    Has everyone forgotten why Adm McRaven, [JSOC] requested SOCOM for female soldiers to be made available to “officially” join the Rangers on missions in Afghanistan? His reasoning was simple; Only females were allowed to make direct contact with muslim women, enter their quarters and ‘search’ them to ensure they were not smuggling weapons, and/or to ensure that they were actually woman under the burkas.
    This was the basis for the “Cultural Support Teams” incorporating well trained females to accompany Rangers, Green Berets and etc. with a mission to deploy to Afganistan with their male ‘brothers’ in an active combat role.

    • crackedlenses

      That was a great idea, and probably still is. It is, however, not compared to opening up infantry slots for women.

    • Dan Brister

      That shows you how screwed up our Military is you do not ask permission for crap you search her if she likes it or not .In Vietnam you did not ask you just did it and the media killed us and the media is the only reason we are even talking about this they run the show,we just get killed because of them.while in Vietnam you learned to hide from the press they were your enemy,they are the reason we were not ever welcomed home.Keep the press out and you can get the job done.

  • KenLand

    This is the way the military is looking at it. If women can pass Ranger School, they will be qualified for all the combat arms branches. They are back dooring this.

  • ben

    Ronda Rousey.

    • guest

      Did she go through Ranger School? Is she even in the military? She is an actress and entertainer, you might as well mention Demi Moore. She played a SEAL.

      • Falconi

        For the record, Ronda Rousey is a professional MMA fighter.

        • crackedlenses

          That’s great. Notice that they will never put her up against a male competitor in a similar or higher weight class. Also notice that MMA fighting is in no way comparable to the role of infantry in modern conventional warfare.

          • Hondo

            I don’t believe that was ever stated or inferred, just that she was NOT a Demi Moore strictly actress type (in fact has only had a couple bit parts like in “Expendables 3” and “Furious 7″… neither of which I have watched as these genres don’t appeal to me).

            But definitely not an “actress”.

          • crackedlenses

            Definitely not an actress or performer; considering her skillset she is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

          • Hondo

            But that isn’t what YOU initially said… you dismissed her as an actress and entertainment – not as whether relevant or not.

            I felt that the original poster presented her as someone that (as a female) was more likely to handle the physical aspects of RS more so than the current candidates.

            It seems you keep resurrecting this post in avoiding that you didn’t know who Rousey was at that time – other than a screen credit on a couple movies.

            Skill sets are OBVIOUSLY very specific. Whether for a Ranger, a SEAL, a firefighter, a boxer, or an MMA fighter (an MMA fighter has to be prepared to go three 5 minutes rounds; a boxer has to be prepared to go 10-12 three minute rounds… so even though the two fighters seem similar, their required skill sets are quite different).

            I watch American Ninja Warrior quite consistently (one of the few TV shows that I watch at all). And I note that both active and former military personnel competitors – even from Spec Ops / elite units – do NOT automatically do that well… the specific skill sets (and extreme strength and stamina requirements as pertinent to ANW don’t simply “morph” over from their intense military training). One example that jumps out was an Army Spl Forces Captain (who was both Airborne qualified and “Tabbed”) who mustered out 6 months earlier, was currently with an Army Reserve SF unit and who had taken up marathons, triathlons, and had an extensive daily workout routine. And yet flunked out on the first obtacle.

            Does that mean that such people are incapable of doing extremely well as ANW contestants? Of course not. It simply means that none will be until they spend months of training for the SPECIFIC skill sets as demanded by the ANW obstacles.

          • crackedlenses

            First off, I did not make the post as “guest” demeaning Rhonda Rousey as an actress or entertainer. From what I have seen of her she is a very proficient MMA fighter, and someone I would not want to tangle with in the ring or on the street.

            My posts were merely trying to point out that Miss Rousey is not really pertinent to the discussion of whether or not women as infantrymen is a good idea. She is a good MMA fighter; this does not mean she would fare well on the battlefield or even in the ring against a larger and stronger male opponent.

          • Hondo

            Whatever…. the comments speak for themselves.

          • Hondo

            To Crackedlenses… As my attempts to Reply to you keep getting IMMEDIATELY deleted….

            We are arguing with each other on issues that we both AGREE about.

            When I first replied, it was to “Guest”. Why it ended up under your Reply, I don’t know though have to imagine it was a technical glitch… As this ain’t my first (forum) rodeo. And after that I believe I got defensive as I thought that you were defending Guest’s position – and attacking my responses.

            For that, I apologize.

            As to pertinent status, once this Thread got going, it branched out into numerous areas that are either pertinent in the widest imaginable sense – or not at all. Some examples:
            – Kurtish Peshmerga women soldiers are their best and most fearsome (I imagine the poster meant Kurdish)
            – If you put a platoon of women (infantry? Rangers?) in the jungles of the Nam, they wouldn’t last a week (ironically, local force VC did employ some women fighters, but at VERY low levels in only some units… Main Force VC and NVA not at all that I have been able to determine).
            – That the IDF has ALWAYS had a high proportion of female combat soldiers (though I myself discounted that in a number of Replies and Posts though the more extensive rebuttal citing a number of sources was repeatedly deleted by Admin)
            – Etcetera

            As to whether Rousey could physically qualify – with appropriate skill set training – as combat infantry, I don’t know. I know that “as is”, no, she couldn’t. MMA fighting or boxing or powerlifting or Olympic Lifting or competitive martial arts, etcetera, does NOT in and of itself translate over into COMBAT CAPABILITY! Could she so qualify PHYSICALLY with specific ground combat (i.e. Light Infantry) skill set training. Possibly.

            But that proves nothing. The vast majority of even fit females who regularly workout can’t qualify for national / international AMATEUR ranks of MMA, boxing, powerlifting, Olympic style weightlifting, etcetera (even those these are all broken down by gender-specific and also weight classes). Yet, many a young man (also fit and who regularly works out in that sport) and in that corresponding weight class (and who could NOT qualify in the Male division) could readily not only qualify for, but dominate the Female division of that sport.

            In ANW (American Ninja Warrior) females DO have to compete with males (and there are no weight classes nor age classes). And only ONE female has ever made it to the overall Finals (last year, Katy Catanzaro, 21st out of 30 finalists coming out of just Dallas, who then went on to complete as the first woman the qualifying Finals in Las Vegas where she was 7th out of 15). While no one, male or female as ever completed / won the overall Finals, of the 27 Americans listed with best records over its 7 seasons, none are female. And this is a situation where the top competitors specifically train for the ANW obstacles (and to my knowledge no current or recently active military personnel has done exceptionally well in processing through the ANW brackets… again a matter of skill sets being trained for).

            And this is just talking about the PHYSICAL aspects… then there’s the psychological, morale, etcetera factors. Both as applies to the Friendly unit and as viewed by the Enemy side (“the Enemy always gets a vote”).

          • crackedlenses

            My response to you was deleted as well…hmmmm.

            Thank you for the informative post; I both agree completely and I’ve learned some new facts. Much appreciated.

          • Hondo

            Crackedlenses… you’re more than welcome and sorry about the breakdown in philosophical points (as they were actually in mostly agreement).

            Yes, I guess that the Admin here is pretty “PC”, eh?

            I knew it was bad when they censored legendary “White Feather” name… Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock! (I did NOT insert any asterisks)

            Is that over the top or what?

            In fact, to Reply to you, I have to technically reply to myself as any reply to you is immediately deleted.

  • Stefan S.

    The end results of 30 years of the left’s PC chick-ification of America. Boys are now medicated metro-sexual wimps and the girls want to be boys. World turned upside down.

  • ben

    By the way 3/502 INF…

  • JohnD

    They have a tab, they qualify! Life is tough and progresses! Change is inevitable. Starship Troopers was more than shower scenes! Good science Fiction is prophecy!

    • guest

      But in starship troopers I never saw any of them carrying their bodyweight in gear and equipment, or loading 155 howitzers.

  • guest

    A overwhelming blast of pro female ranger, and females as combat warriors, propaganda is coming our way to prepare us for the major changes with introduction of females everywhere. If one or two the these ladies graduate the ranger course, the female camels head is already inside the tent. Soon her whole body will follow.

    • guest

      Within a year we will have numerous women graduating from BUDS and the SEALS, as well as from the Marine Infantry Plt. Leaders Course. Within five years the mandated ratio of male to female in combat arms will be 50/50 across the board. That is if we do not get in a shooting war first.

      • crackedlenses

        And when the shooting war starts we will pay for this nonsense in blood, just as the Europeans will.

  • Tom

    They can only go thru the swamp phase when it is warm!
    They cannot handle that same phase when it is cold.
    Remember 1995 event,
    Thats when the school got soft.!

    • Watcher

      Clinton’s military.

  • Hondo

    Let Ranger School Instructors speak privately and anonymously with the involved journalist(s) / reporter(s) and talk specifically if the specific Course that these female candidates are going through is being run with kid gloves or modified into an easier than norm format in ANY way… or if the School has been gradually dumbed down and / or “softened” over the last several Courses (in recognition of the pending intake of initial trial female candidates). If true in the first case, SHAME on them. If the latter case, heaven help us all.

    However, if neither is true, then so be it. If they legitimately earn the Tab, then they earn the Tab.

    That doesn’t mean that they could necessarily work their way through RASP and into the Regiment. Or even that they should (there’s a LOT of psychological and morale and effect viz a viz the enemy that has to be taken into consideration – as Israel discovered). But are their exceptions to general rules? Absolutely. Are there females with the toughness and endurance and strength to make it through the Course. Undoubtedly. But taking exceptions and then making them The Rule is illogical – and a bad way to run any organization.

  • Tom

    If a female can qualify without lowering the standards then, that should be no problem. It’s been reported in the past that in some branches of the military; that standards were lowered and that poses a danger to the other soldiers.

  • Ashley

    question… How is it equal if they change the standards ?

    • Mike Jardine

      Who said the Rangers in charge of training these remarkable female soldiers and leaders had lowered the standards to give them a pass?

      Who said that?


      That’d be NO ONE.

      • Hondo

        Actually, if you look at Replies, it has been reported that they had very specific advantages as compared with male candidates. I believe that mentioned was that they were both given a year off from their assigned duties and personal trainers to get them physically and mentally prepared.

        And – as I posted – unless School personnel and especially Instructors are allowed to be interviewed privately and anonymously, I don’t know that we will ever know (or at least for some time)!

  • ron pond

    I’ll bet they are all above the rank of Capt. and no matter what they will graduate. even if their numbers are scores are not up to standards with the male counterparts.

  • Hondo

    An interesting and somewhat relevant article that provides some information to the GENERAL TOPIC involved here:

    When Israel first became a nation in the 1947-48 War of Independence (aka 1948 Arab War), women were routinely used in combat units as frontline soldiers (personnel were seriously at a premium). In fact, the average ran to about 20% of combat units being females. Following that war and the formal formation of the IDF, females were prohibited from any combat or even frontline forces. This changed in the early 2000s with the formation of one (possibly two) “light” battalions (not “light infantry”) that are border patrol organizations.

    While the removal from frontline units were for a number of reasons, one of the primary ones – yet seldom mentioned – is that AARs repeatedly showed that Arab enemy forces, upon discovering that they were confronted by female Israeli military troops, fought to the death (with resulting higher Israeli casualties) rather than surrendering or fleeing (with resulting lower Israeli casualties).

  • Steven Jacobs

    very fine article

  • Hondo

    Decent article, however seems to toe “the company line” (especially as I have had Comments and Replies deleted that did not – with VG logic – toe that company line end up getting deleted… and they assuredly did NOT violate the User Agreement).

    As censorship tends to stick in my craw, it seems that it is definitely time to move on.

    I will track this Ranger School / female candidates story closely through other venues. But I think most of us can guarantee how it will end!

  • Sgt. Ship

    Been there, done that in the 1970s. Bring a lot of body bags