After a second attempt at the first phase of Ranger School, none of the eight female students will be moving forward to the mountain phase of the course, officials from Fort Benning, Georgia, said Friday.
A total of 195 students from the class – all of them men – will move on to Dahlonega, Georgia, for the mountain phase.
Three women – and two male students – were given the opportunity to start Ranger School all over, officials said. This is referred to as a Day One Recycle and is a normal course procedure that's used when students struggle with one aspect of the course and excel at others, officials said.
The next Ranger School class begins June 21.
The other five women, who started Ranger School April 20 and were recycled back into the Darby Phase along with 101 of their male classmates on May 8, will return to their units and will not be recycled again. A total of 29 students were dropped from the course for failing to meet the standards of the Darby Phase.
These students did not meet the standard for a number of reasons, including leading patrols, poor peer evaluations, too many negative spot reports, or a combination of all three.
The vast majority, however, were unable to successfully lead a patrol, officials said.
The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade command team talked to all of the Ranger students this week, said Col. David Fivecoat, the brigade commander, in a statement.
"The group that was unsuccessful was, of course, disappointed in their performance," he said. "However, each Ranger student, whether successful or unsuccessful, learned more about themselves, leadership, and small unit tactics, and returns to the Army a better trained Soldier and leader."
A total of 19 female and 381 male soldiers started Ranger School April 20.
The women were part of a one-time, integrated assessment of the storied two-month school. The assessment is part of a wider effort to determine whether and how to open combat arms jobs to women, and it is a first for Ranger School, which until now has been open only to men.
Initially thought to be a one-time assessment, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on Thursday said the Army is looking at additional assessments in the future.
"We'll probably run a couple more pilots," Odierno said during a breakfast meeting with reporters. "It's been a real success for us, and we'll see how it goes from there."
On average, about 45 percent of Ranger School students will graduate. As many as 60 percent of all Ranger School failures will occur in the first four days during the Ranger Assessment Phase, commonly known as RAP week.
On average, more than 37 percent of Ranger School graduates recycle at least one phase of the school. About two-thirds of those who complete RAP week will eventually pass the Darby Phase and move on to the mountain phase, according to data on the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade website.
Odierno said the standards for Ranger School will not change.
"We've set standards for Ranger School for a very long time," he said. "I'm adamant about maintaining that. I do believe it's important we maintain the integrity of the Ranger tab."
Of the 19 female soldiers who started Ranger School on April 20, eight of them made it through the grueling RAP week. Of the 381 male students, 184 remained after RAP week.
RAP week spans the first four days of Ranger School. During this time, soldiers are evaluated on a series of punishing physical events, including a physical fitness test, a swim test and a land navigation test. Students also must complete a 12-mile foot march wearing a 35-pound rucksack in under three hours.
The Darby Phase of Ranger School is 15 days of intensive squad training and operations in a field environment. It takes place at Fort Benning. It includes airborne training for students who are airborne qualified, the Darby Queen advanced obstacle course, and patrols.
Twenty women qualified to attend the integrated Ranger School assessment after successfully completing the Army National Guard Ranger Training Assessment Course.
To prepare for the April assessment, the Army required female candidates to attend the two-week RTAC, setting aside seats for female candidates in each iteration of the course between January and April.
RTAC has historically been a strong indicator of whether a candidate will be successful at Ranger School. Data has shown that more than half of the soldiers who complete RTAC will successfully complete Ranger School.
Women who successfully complete Ranger School will receive a certificate and be awarded the coveted Ranger tab. They will not, however, be assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, which is separate from Ranger School.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.