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Thread: 2 Women to Graduate from Ranger School

  1. #21
    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    I was sitting back and discussing this with some folks at work earlier this week.

    What really, wickedly impresses me about the females who will graduate is that they did it without a modification of the standards.

    For reference I graduated Ranger school in 1999 (I think only 4 East Coast Marines did that year, not sure about West Coast (1MARDIV or 1st Force). I was the only Marine in the class.) I am about 6'1'' and at the time was about 200 pounds -- I am far from a stud or olympic athlete, but I have always been in decent shape. In the 62 days I was a student, I lost 22 pounds ... probably about 7-8 pounds of muscle mass. From the start, a woman has a smaller ratio or her body weight as muscle, they naturally have a higher percentage of body fat. Having seen photos of the two women who have made it, they are not hulking athletes, they appear fairly average. So, they likely have less muscle, are not as tall (think obstacle course etc.), they weigh less (higher rucksack to body weight ratios). So all told, those two women very likely had to push harder than I did to do the same thing I did ... and they did it. Good for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    True. It is only telling if more ladies make it, as is (Not with any standards getting lowered).. BUT like you, i do feel eventually the Ranger school will get pressured "In the name of Diversity and equality" to lower the standards just to get more Ladies passing it..
    I don't think we will really see that.

    In the early 80's, women were allowed to train as Navy Divers, the standard was never lowered and while the attrition rate for women is higher than for men, the standards have not been modified "in the name of diversity and equality" to allow a high pass rate for females and females remain a below average (of overall Navy female population) source of personnel for Divers and Special Operations officers (different from NSW.)

    The Ranger class graduating this week has a higher than 75% attrition rate for males, the females are just under 90%.

    For comparison:

    BUDS (SeAL training) has a roughly 75% attrition rate.

    USMC Amphibious Reconnaissance School as a 65% attrition rate.

    However, manning for SeALs, USMC Recon, the Ranger Regiment are above average as compared to other combat arms units. The Ranger regiment is manned better than other Army Airborne regiments and MARSOC has manning much better than standard infantry units ... people want to be there -- they compete to be there. There isn't a manning crunch that means they need to lower standards for anyone and still fill their TO&E. Half of the Soldiers in my Ranger class were not going to the Regiment.

    Now, the standards to become Airborne qualified were modified decades ago since the necessity to have Airborne personnel who were not also 'special operations' assets. The missions changed and the school changed to meet the requirement.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Did I?

    It wasn't intentional.

    Sorry.

    Oh, no big deal. Like you said, just curious.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    I was sitting back and discussing this with some folks at work earlier this week.

    What really, wickedly impresses me about the females who will graduate is that they did it without a modification of the standards.

    For reference I graduated Ranger school in 1999 (I think only 4 East Coast Marines did that year, not sure about West Coast (1MARDIV or 1st Force). I was the only Marine in the class.) I am about 6'1'' and at the time was about 200 pounds -- I am far from a stud or olympic athlete, but I have always been in decent shape. In the 62 days I was a student, I lost 22 pounds ... probably about 7-8 pounds of muscle mass. From the start, a woman has a smaller ratio or her body weight as muscle, they naturally have a higher percentage of body fat. Having seen photos of the two women who have made it, they are not hulking athletes, they appear fairly average. So, they likely have less muscle, are not as tall (think obstacle course etc.), they weigh less (higher rucksack to body weight ratios). So all told, those two women very likely had to push harder than I did to do the same thing I did ... and they did it. Good for them.



    I don't think we will really see that.

    In the early 80's, women were allowed to train as Navy Divers, the standard was never lowered and while the attrition rate for women is higher than for men, the standards have not been modified "in the name of diversity and equality" to allow a high pass rate for females and females remain a below average (of overall Navy female population) source of personnel for Divers and Special Operations officers (different from NSW.)

    The Ranger class graduating this week has a higher than 75% attrition rate for males, the females are just under 90%.

    For comparison:

    BUDS (SeAL training) has a roughly 75% attrition rate.

    USMC Amphibious Reconnaissance School as a 65% attrition rate.

    However, manning for SeALs, USMC Recon, the Ranger Regiment are above average as compared to other combat arms units. The Ranger regiment is manned better than other Army Airborne regiments and MARSOC has manning much better than standard infantry units ... people want to be there -- they compete to be there. There isn't a manning crunch that means they need to lower standards for anyone and still fill their TO&E. Half of the Soldiers in my Ranger class were not going to the Regiment.

    Now, the standards to become Airborne qualified were modified decades ago since the necessity to have Airborne personnel who were not also 'special operations' assets. The missions changed and the school changed to meet the requirement.
    . In your professional opinion, What would you guess the odds are, that there will be Females in the Ranger Regiment in the next couple of years?
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 08-20-2015 at 09:15 PM.

  4. #24
    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
    . In your professional opinion, What would you guess the odds are, that there will be Females in the Ranger Regiment in the next couple of years?
    I think it is a 100% chance. Now, their role there may vary if the current prohibition of women from the infantry is not altered. Right now there are females in support/non-combat arms roles within most Special Operations forces / units, the Ranger Regiment is no different. A female Navy Intel Officer I know has 4 Bronze Stars (1 with a V) for two tours she spent in support of and deploying with NSW. I think even including women in those jobs, there will be some instances where logistics will create issues:

    ie. when I was a Division Officer for a direct support Division, we would receive requests for Sailors to augment ships while on deployment. Some ships would specifically state the team could only have [x] number of females due to limited berthing spaces. In those cases I think it is appropriate to keep logistics in mind ... 1 or two females over the berthing limit can be handled (usually by putting them -- or the most senior ones from the ship) in an officer stateroom. Too many just can't be supported based on the way ships' berthing is currently designed.

    But, I think we are getting past the point of saying that 'women' can't do those jobs. The number might be small, but some can ... and if they can & they want to I don't have a problem with letting them.

    A couple of things I could see:

    If the infantry prohibition IS NOT changed:
    -modify those support roles to require that females filling those billets would have to at least complete Ranger school.

    -creation of a sub-set or specialty set of support personnel (women) who provide specialized support to combat units (ie the female enhancement teams in Iraq.)

    If the infantry prohibition IS changed:

    -a gradual phase in period of women into the companies and platoons. I don't think it is best to have the previous graduates of Ranger school who could not be assigned be instant company commanders without having had platoon commander experience ... but having them there as advisors/mentors to the platoon commanders would make sense.

    I think eventually we will see the prohibition on females in the infantry and other combat arms areas changed; I think the percentage of females that actually do the job will always remain low -- lower than the overall percentage of females in the military.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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