FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 11, 2015) -- The remaining eight women in the first gender-integrated class of the Army's Ranger School were recycled, May 8, along with 101 men, to retake the Darby Phase of the course.
A total of 19 women and 381 male Soldiers began the two-month Ranger School, April 20. After the first four days, eight women and just under half of the original men remained. Another 71 male students, recycled from a previous class, joined the group following the physical assessment when the class moved to Camp Darby.
Those recycled begin the Darby phase of Ranger School again, May 14, with the next class. Statistically, more than a third of all Soldiers, who complete Ranger School, must recycle through at least one phase. Each student has up to three recycle opportunities to try to complete the course.
Ranger School begins with a physical assessment and then has three phases: the Darby Phase on Fort Benning focuses on patrolling, small-unit tactics and leadership. The Mountain Phase on Dahlonega, Georgia, has 115 male students, who began it May 9, after they successfully met all requirements to move forward.
The final phase of Ranger School takes place in Florida and focuses on skills needed to survive in a rain forest or swamp. Historically, about half of the Soldiers, who begin the school, eventually complete the final phase, according to statistics tracked by Fort Benning over a six-year period.
Earlier this year, women participated for the first time in four different iterations of the two-week Ranger Training Assessment Course, or RTAC. Nineteen Service members, who successfully completed RTAC, advanced to the two-month Ranger Course, also dubbed an assessment because officials said they are assessing whether to keep the course gender-integrated in the future.
For the first gender-integrated Ranger class, no changes were made to the deliberate evaluation process used to determine which students are dropped, recycled or allowed to move forward to the next phase, officials said.
Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, visited the Ranger School at end of the Darby Phase and said he was impressed with the motivation of the Soldiers, including the eight women recycled.
"I had the opportunity to visit the Ranger students yesterday and was impressed that whether going forward to the mountains or recycling the Darby phase, they were motivated to continue training and focused on successfully completing the Ranger Course," Miller said. "They're a strong group of Soldiers, who are working their way through the U.S. Army's most physically and mentally-demanding course."
(Editor's note: Information taken from a Fort Benning news release and the Ranger School webpage.)