- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The U.S. Army is “working through” a number of firsts for Ranger School — a packing list that includes sports bras, tampons and a female urinary diversion device that allows students to discreetly urinate while standing.

The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade must have its updated packing list complete before the first Ranger School class to include women begins in April.

“We had to add bras to the packing list. Those are the gender-specific things we’re working through,” said Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the brigade, which runs Ranger School, Army Times reported Tuesday.

The logistical hurdles don’t end with the packing list, either. The barracks for Ranger School students only has one latrine.

“We have to separate the sexes by time for when they use the showers or latrines,” Col. Fivecoat said, Army Times reported.

The army confirmed in early February that 5 out of 26 women completed its preparatory course for the next Ranger School. Officials hope that 40 women will make the cut before April. Those soldiers will then join 25 observers/advisers — 17 NCOs and eight officers — who were chosen by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.

SEE ALSO: Army Ranger prep course passed by 5 out of 26 women

Army Times reported that the observer/advisers will be on hand to help male cadre navigate some of the issues that female students will cause to come up for the first time. 

“Some of the issues could be just a lot of the Ranger instructors have never worked with females before, so they’re not sure how to handle certain issues, like personal hygiene issues. Or just the treatment of them, to ensure they treat them the same as a male student,” observer Sgt. 1st Class Tiffany Easter told the newspaper.

Ranger School students are tested on land navigation skills, a Combat Water Survival Assessment, the Ranger Physical Assessment and a 12-mile road march. There is also a 62-day course composed of jungle, mountain and swamp phases.

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

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