Each branch of the Armed Forces has been asked to integrate women into all positions—or provide proof that they cannot do so—by 2016.
For the first time, women will graduate from the U.S. Army’s prestigious Ranger School, officials announced on Monday.
Two female officers have completed training in what is considered one of the most difficult military programs, and will graduate on Friday, alongside their male classmates, the Army said. Their names weren’t released. According to NPR, both are lieutenants who attended West Point.
The two-month Army Ranger School program, founded in 1950, is a physically intensive training that aims to mold participants into elite military fighters. It takes place in the hills of Fort Benning, Georgia, and in the swamps of Florida, where trainees hone combat and leadership skills while learning how to survive with little sleep and food.
- From The Huffington Post.
Both women, officers and graduates of West Point, will speak on Thursday. Their names have not yet been released.
“Whether I agree or disagree with it, they have changed my mind,” says Sgt. Major Colin Boley, the operations sergeant major for the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. Boley, a recipient of the Silver Star who served in the elite 75th Ranger Regiment, completed more than a dozen Ranger deployments and won the Best Ranger competition a decade ago. “I didn’t think that they would physically be able to bear the weight and I thought they would quit or get hurt, and they have proved me wrong,” he says.