RAP week, formerly known as the Ranger Assessment Phase, is something that about only 40% of students makes it through. It includes everything from over 10-mile road marches, to struggling through water survival tests. This past April, Ranger School became open to women for the very first time. In order for this to happen, the Army announced this past January that as they were integrating women into Ranger school, they would be required to go through a 16-day prep course. This course was known as the Ranger Training Assessment Course, or RTAC. As RAP week is seen as one of the largest accomplishments to the students, finally opening up the opportunity to women was a big step. Any women that were to graduate were then able to wear the Ranger tab on her uniform. However, these women were not to be assigned to the Ranger Regiment – the elite special forces/operations team.
First of all, these fitness tests that the soldiers go through are absolutely insane. According to a Washington Post article, they stated that the test required each soldier to complete 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, 6 chin-ups, and a 5-mile run in less than 40 minutes. I mean, no wonder the graduating rate is only at 50%! Normally the first testing phase knocks out 60% of all the students. Not only are these women going through RAP week, but keep in mind that they’re experiencing the RTAC as well. RAP week can sometimes take months to get through, as students can fail portions and have to go through the week multiple times to graduate.
So here’s my question: how much more do these women have to go through to be considered equal to the male soldiers? They go through the exact same training, the exact same assessments, yet we hold them back from becoming real rangers? What the actual fuck, get your shit together US Army. I know that I certainly couldn’t carry 45 pounds on a 12-mile hike without a GPS, or walk across a 70-foot log along a rope to only drop about 40 feet into the water. Can someone please give me a logical reason, why we aren’t allowing these women to actually trail blaze like they are capable of? It’s quite possible we could highly benefit by awarding them these positions in the Ranger Regiment. Not only have they proved to be just as physically and mentally capable as male soldiers, but they could also contribute in new ways that the all male Ranger Regiment has not experienced yet. However, we won’t know until these women are given a chance. It’s unfortunate that we can’t show our patriotism in the same way.