Army testing waters for female Rangers

The Army is asking for female volunteers to for a possible a Ranger course in the spring of 2015. Female soldiers have been serving alongside Army Rangers in combat roles since 2011 and now the Army is looking to step up enrollment and have women formally sporting the Ranger tab.

cultural support team

A Cultural Support Team in Afghanistan. (Photo: Military.com)

A final decision will be made in January to go forward or not with the assessment, although volunteering, selection and training will begin as soon as possible.

“We will be prepared to execute the assessment professionally and objectively, if directed,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning in a press release.

The Ranger assessment course would bring men and women together in training to prep military institutions, schools and brass for future integration decisions for the elite force. All women in the ranks from specialist to major may volunteer if they meet the physical qualifications.

Ranger qualification will remain the same for all students. Women will have to meet the same physical qualifications as men. Women who do will undergo the same Army National Guard Ranger Training and Assessment Course at Fort Benning.

The assessment is expected to be open to all women in the ranks of specialist to major, if they can meet the physical qualifications and prerequisites.

The Army is also looking for women to serve as advisers to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade and is accepting volunteers in the ranks of staff sergeant to master sergeants, chief warrant officers 2 and 3, first lieutenants, captains and majors.

Rangers need women not just in command but in the field as many of their contacts abroad include women who culturally are not allowed to meet with or speak to men outside of the family.

Women who serve in combat roles alongside the Rangers and certain special forces units make up what are called “Cultural Support Teams.”