Army set to graduate its first female Rangers

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FORT BENNING, GA – You know them, you love them, you can’t wait to see them. The Kilgore College Rangerettes. Yeah, high-kicking Texas ambassadors known around the world.

But don’t uses the term Rangerette when referring to the US Army’s first female Rangers, unless you want to end up on the business end of one of their high-kicking boots.

The current class started in April with 381 men and 19 women. This week at Fort Benning, the Army will graduate the 94 men and two women who made it through out of the 381 men and 19 women who started.

The course includes a physical test of 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a five-mile run in 40 minutes, six chin-ups, a swim test, a land navigation test, and a 12-mile march in three hours. That’s sometimes faster than a commute into Houston.

This is the first time the Army opened its ranger course to women, but it’s on a trial basis. The Army brass still hasn’t figured out what to do with them. Unlike the new ranger men, the women cannot apply to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, an elite special operations force.

And that’s partly because federal law says women cannot serve in combat.

Yeah, there are Rangers and there are Rangerettes. It’s pretty easy to tell the different, and if you can’t, someone will be glad to explain it.

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