- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The U.S. Army Ranger school has 31 female candidates for its planned Ranger Course Assessment next spring.

The Maneuver Center of Excellence in Fort Benning, Georgia, said on its Facebook page Monday that Fort Benning’s Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade has chosen 11 officers and 20 noncommissioned officers as observers and advisers for the course.

Candidates went through a week of training to give them an idea of the rigors that Ranger School inflicts upon soldiers.

“I was very satisfied with both the quality and quantity of the volunteers we received,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

“Their performance and professionalism over the course of the week was extraordinary. This group did very well for what was a very physically challenging week for any soldier,” he added.

U.S. Army statistics on Ranger school show that roughly 50 percent of volunteers have dropped out before graduation for the past six years and that 60 percent of Ranger School failures happen during the first four days.

SEE ALSO: U.S. Army Ranger School seeks first female volunteers for 2015

A final decision on whether the Army will move forward with the assessment will be made in January, Army Times reported Monday.

Women who take part in the course will be subjected to three phases of a 62-day course. The school has a mountain phase, a swamp phase and a jungle phase. Volunteers must also complete a land navigation course, a  Combat Water Survival Assessment, the Ranger Physical Assessment and a 12-mile road march.

“During each phase Ranger students must receive a ‘passing grade’ in one leadership position during a patrol, a positive peer review and no more than three major negative spot reports,” Army Times reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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