Ranger Instructors have long joked about females attending the course. At least as far back as the 1980’s. Usually it was in response to some (seemingly politically motivated) change the POI or interpretation of standards. Now, like it or not, the time is here.
Since September 2014, the Army has sought out and began grooming female volunteers to attend as either students or observer/advisers. In January females began attending the two week Army National Guard Ranger Training and Assessment Course (RTAC) at Fort Benning, GA. All National Guard personnel are required to pass RTAC before attending the Ranger Course; but the Army has only said female Ranger Candidates must attend RTAC as a prerequisite.
The first “female class” will be 6-15, which begins on 20 APR 15.
The photo above has generated much comment fodder as the soldier appears to wear a turban of braided hair instead of the traditional buzz-cut. But the picture is from last fall and any female candidates will report with “Short Hair” IAW the AR 670-1 standard.
Short hair is defined as hair length that extends no more than 1 inch from the scalp (excluding bangs). Hair may be no shorter than 1/4 inch from the scalp (unless due to medical condition or injury), but may be evenly tapered to the scalp within 2 inches of the hair line edges. Bangs, if worn, may not fall below the eyebrows, may not interfere with the wear of all headgear, must lie neatly against the head, and not be visible underneath the front of the headgear. The width of the bangs may extend to the hairline at the temple.
Female Observers/Advisors Participating in Ranger Course Asessment
Female Students for the US Army Ranger Course