Female Ranger screening builds stronger leaders

| December 13, 2014 | 0 Comments
Photo by 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs Sgt. Amanda Carrasco, 2-27th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, crosses the finish line during the Pre-Ranger female screening in Hawaii. The 10-day assessment could pave the way for future female Rangers.

Photo by 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs
Sgt. Amanda Carrasco, 2-27th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, crosses the finish line during the Pre-Ranger female screening in Hawaii. The 10-day assessment could pave the way for future female Rangers.

 

Staff Sgt. Tramel Garrett
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The air was thick and the heat unforgiving as a small group of female Soldiers crossed the finish line after a 12-mile road march.

However, this wasn’t a typical road march; it was the final graded assignment of the first 12-day Pre-Ranger female screening, hosted by the 25th Infantry Division’s Lightning Academy/Jungle Operations Training Center.

“This 10-day assessment was intended to screen and select candidates for attendance at RTAC (Ranger Training Assessment Course), the Army’s premier Pre-Ranger course, located at Fort Benning, Georgia,” said Capt. Thomas Dybicz, Lightning Academy cadre.

The Army searched far and wide for female Ranger candidates. Interested female Soldiers had until October to apply for possible enrollment. A few in Hawaii accepted the challenge and could possibly pave the way for women in the future.

“It’s a good challenge and definitely a good way for me to broaden my horizons, to learn more for my Soldiers,” said 1st Lt. Sara Roger, fire support officer, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID. “It will give them a better training experience.”

Although the ultimate goal is attending a future Ranger Course, the standard remains the same for all students.

“They did the same events as the male course. We mirrored the classes at Fort Benning, so Soldiers have a good understanding on what it takes to pass these events,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Welch, Pre-Ranger instructor.

The course began with a physical fitness test, which included 49 push-ups in two minutes, 59 sit-ups in two minutes, a five-mile run in 40 minutes, and to top if off, six pull-ups.

“My biggest challenge was doing a physically-challenging event right after a physically-challenging event,” said Sgt. Brittany Bradford, military intelligence, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-21st Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT. “It was like running a marathon and then running it again the next day.”

The physical activity didn’t stop after the fitness test; the group had to complete a combat water survival assessment, consisting of equipment removal and a 49-foot swim in full combat gear.

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Many of the candidates credit the course with improving their tactical skills and leadership capabilities.

“I see the potential of the leadership capabilities that I’ve learned in the past 10 days,” explained Bradford, a native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “This is worth it, and I hope they continue on with this, because this would be a great opportunity to integrate and improve leadership all around.”

“I learned a lot about myself, and it has definitely made me a better leader,” said Sgt. Amanda Carrasco, 2-27th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT. “I learned I could push myself harder, and a lot of it is just mental, and now I know I’m physically prepared.”

The Soldiers worked together as a team to get through all of the obstacles and synchronized themselves in order to make this evaluation a success.

“You’re not going to get through this class or Ranger school by yourself,” said Welch, a Franklin, North Carolina, native. “You will need help from your Ranger buddies. It’s not something you can do on your own, and that’s part of the learning process.”

Roger is waiting for the opportunity for a future Ranger course and had some advice for female Soldiers who want to attend the course.

“I feel that they are Soldiers, and if they feel that they perform as well as their counterparts to their left and right, then by all means go for it,” said Roger, a native of El Paso, Texas. “Don’t let anyone ever hold you back.”

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