The Army is looking for qualified female captains and sergeants first class to serve as observer/advisers at Ranger School.

Interested soldiers have until Friday to submit their applications, according to an All-Army Activities message obtained by Army Times.

Soldiers selected for the positions will serve alongside the Ranger instructors, but they will not grade students. Successful applicants will be assigned to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade for two years beginning Jan. 1.

The Army on Sept. 2 announced that Ranger School is open to all qualified soldiers regardless of gender, less than two weeks after the first two women graduated from the storied school.

Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, both West Point graduates, made history Aug. 21 by becoming the first women to graduate from Ranger School and earn the right to wear the distinctive black and gold tab.

They were part of a gender-integrated assessment of the school, which until earlier this year had been open only to men. One female soldier from the group of 19 women to start Ranger School in April is still in the course.

This isn't the first time the Army has called for observer/advisers. More than two dozen women were selected to serve in those positions during the gender-integrated assessment. They have since returned to their original units.

As observer/advisers, the women did not grade Ranger students. Instead, they served as extra eyes and ears and as a sounding board for the all-male Ranger instructor cadre.

Here's what the ARTB is looking for now that Ranger School is open to all soldiers.

• ARTB is authorized to select four female captains and five female sergeants first class to serve as non-grading cadre.

• Qualified applicants will have an initial phone interview followed by additional screening at Fort Benning before final selection.

• Selected soldiers will serve from Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2018. They will receive permanent change of station orders for Fort Benning, Georgia.

• Female officer applicants must be captains in year groups 2007-2009. Applicants must have completed the required time in a key development position in accordance with Army PAM 600-3, which governs commissioned officer professional development and career management.

War-zone experience is preferred. Applicants also must have met the standard for the Army Physical Fitness Excellence Badge during their last three rating periods, and they cannot have a physically limiting profile.

• Female noncommissioned officer applicants must be sergeants first class. They must have at least two years time in grade and have completed time in a key position required for promotion to master sergeant.

War-zone and drill sergeant experience are preferred. They must have received an "excellence" block check for physical fitness and military bearing on their last three NCO evaluation reports and have met the standard for the Army Physical Fitness Excellence Badge during their last three rating periods. Applicants cannot have a physically limiting profile.

"Service members of the United States armed forced participate in an obstacle course as part of their training at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Ft. Benning Ga., June 23, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment, (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Brooks/ Released)"

Soldiers participate in an obstacle course as part of their training at the U.S. Army Ranger School on June 23 at Fort Benning, Ga.

Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Scott Brooks/Army

Applicants must submit their completed packets to the ARTB personnel section by Friday. Packets should be scanned as one PDF file and contain these documents:

  • Officer or enlisted record brief with Department of the Army photo.
  • Last three officer or NCO evaluation reports.
  • Most recent Army Physical Fitness Test scorecard and supporting body fat content worksheet, if applicable.
  • Letter of intent addressed to Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the ARTB, expressing the applicant’s reasons for seeking the assignment.
  • Letters of recommendation from the applicant’s current rater and senior rater. Additional letters of recommendation may be included.

Once the application deadline has passed, the applicants will be screened by ARTB and Human Resources Command.

Candidates should learn by Oct. 12 if they have been chosen for further screening. In-person interviews at Fort Benning are scheduled for Oct. 15-16. Final selections should be completed by Oct. 23.

Selected soldiers must report to Fort Benning no later than Jan. 1.

"U.S. Army Soldiers conduct Mountaineering training during the Ranger Course on Mount Yonah in Cleveland, Ga., July 14, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger Course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment, (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Brooks/ Released)"

The Army has for the first time issued reclassification options for female enlisted soldiers who want to go into a combat arms MOS. These jobs were recently opened to women, just like the Army's storied Ranger School. Three female soldiers have earned the coveted Ranger tab. Here, soldiers, including Capt. Kristen Griest, one of the first female graduates, conduct mountaineering training during the Ranger Course on Mount Yonah, Ga.

Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Scott Brooks/Army

The road to opening Ranger School has been bumpy, with critics for months accusing the Army of lowering the standards of Ranger School or giving the female students an unfair advantage by allowing them multiple attempts at the school's three phases.

Army leaders, including leaders at the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the ARTB, have repeatedly said the standards remain unchanged.

This month, Rep. Steve Russell, a retired lieutenant colonel and Ranger graduate who led an infantry battalion in Iraq, asked the Army to release documents relating to the performance of the first female students in Ranger School.

A group of female West Point graduates quickly fired back, filing a Freedom of Information Act request for Russell's Ranger School records.

The issue gained even more steam over the weekend after a People magazine article, citing anonymous sources, questioned the Army's insistence that the female students were held to the same standards and laid out examples where the female soldiers allegedly received special treatment over the men.

The Army's top spokesman, Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, issued a blistering and lengthy statement calling the article "pure fiction" and an "attack on the integrity of the United States Army."