Two women are set to graduate from Army Ranger school, the first ever to complete the vigorous 62-day course, the Army announced Monday night.
A graduation ceremony for the two women and 94 men will be held on August 21 on Victory Pond at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Perviously, the grueling school had been closed to women, but was reopened earlier this year on an experimental basis. Nineteen women and 381 men started the class on April 20, with 96 ultimately completing the course.
“Congratulations to all of our new Rangers. Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level," Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement.
[sharequote align="right"]"This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential."[/sharequote]
"This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential," he added. "We owe soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable, and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retain the best Soldiers to meet our nation’s needs.”
The Ranger Course is designed to push soldiers to the edge, testing their mental and physical capabilities while forcing them to operate on minimal food and sleep, the Army said.
During the school students were tested on a variety of fitness barometers and completed a land navigation test, 12-mile foot march in three hours, several obstacle courses, four days of military mountaineering, three parachute jumps, four air assaults on helicopters, rubber boat movements and 27 days of mock combat patrols, the Army added.
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