Ranger School Update, And An Alternative View

Havok Journal tells us that the three women who were recycled yet again did manage to complete the Darby phase on the third try.  They will now go on to the Mountain Warfare phase in north Georgia.

The author posits that the reason women have been failing so badly at Ranger school is that the Army is doing it wrong.  The lesson to be learned is the Marine Corps':
A three-week pre-Ranger course or Ranger Training Assessment Course... is designed to ensure prospective Ranger students can meet the week 1 Ranger Assessment Phase standards, and to hone the patrolling and fieldcraft techniques they already know. Notice I did not say, ‘learn the patrolling and fieldcraft techniques,’ I said ‘hone.’

Pre-Ranger courses are designed to improve the knowledge of basic infantry tasks, patrolling techniques, and troop leading procedures a Ranger student already possesses, not to learn them for the first time. The women who entered the Ranger School did not have this baseline knowledge, and were thus set up for failure.... The Marines sent their female enlisted to the Marine Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) course at Camp Lejeune, NC and their officer volunteers to the Infantry Officer’s Course (IOC). 122 of the 358 women who entered ITB graduated (34%), while all 29 female Marine officers failed to complete IOC.

You cannot be successful at advanced training unless you demonstrate proficiency in the fundamentals. If the Army wants women to be successful at its premier combat arms course, they must send women through foundational combat arms training.
It is true that the USMC experienced a much higher pass rate with female enlisted than the 0% rate for female officers. On the other hand, the enlisted course is also easier -- easier than either IOC or Ranger School -- and it appears that the USMC lowered upper body strength standards for the women at ITB but not IOC.

IOC is also longer, as is Ranger school, and a lot of the difficulties for women with these standards show up over time through higher injury rates.

In any case, congratulations to the three women at Mountain Warfare school. They've done more than any of their peers before them, and those who do best at the hardest things deserve the greatest respect.

No comments: