On January 15th, Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved female soldiers to attend Ranger Training Assessment Course (RTAC) in preparation for U.S. Army Ranger School.
According to Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno, this pilot run serves as an assessment to determine if and how women can be integrated into the Ranger Regiment.
"We're just going to let the statistics speak for themselves as we go through this," he said, in response to a question from a soldier. "The main thing I'm focused on is the standards remain the same. In order to earn that tab, you have to do all the things necessary to earn that tab. We want to try a pilot to let women have the opportunity to do that."
Therefore, the women who graduate from this 62-day course will not be assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, but instead will earn a Ranger tab on her uniform.
Morning reports confirm,
On Monday morning, 399 soldiers began the course, said Gary Jones, a spokesman for Fort Benning, Georgia, where the first phase of Ranger School takes place.
Of those soldiers, 19 were women. A total of 81 soldiers did not pass the PT test— 78 were men, three were women. That leaves 16 female soldiers still in training, Jones said.