And just like that, the Army's Ranger School is open to both men and women - without exclusions, exceptions, or fanfare.
One indication that women in Ranger School is now the norm - the Army is treating this class like all the other Ranger candidate classes, and not giving away any information about the students. When asked about the number of women in this class, Fort Benning spokesman Bob Purtiman responded, "We are now running an integrated Ranger course...We are going to treat this like we do the other schools — such as Airborne — in which we don't release that information."
Purtiman did say that the most recent Ranger class, which started earlier this week, began with 417 students. At the end of the first day of physical assessment - which involves pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and a five-mile run - the class was down to about 300 candidates. According to Purtiman, many that didn't meet the standard failed to do the 49 required push-ups.
According to Stripes.com, multiple sources close to Ranger School said that about a half dozen women did start the class.
If all goes according to plan this class should graduate in about 2 months, although there is a chance that any number of candidates could be forced to recycle during one or more of the different phases. Each of the women who passed in the first class of women earlier this year had to recycle at least one phase.