Two female students headed to final phase of Ranger School, in the Swamp

A ranger finds a good place to eat his first hot meal in days while tolerating the rain during the 2nd phase of ranger training called mountaineering in Dahlonega, Georgia. There are three phases in ranger training which include the Benning Phase in Fort Benning Georgia, Mountain Phase in Dahlonega, Georgia, and the Florida Phase at Camp James E. Rudder. Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

The two women who successfully completed the second phase of Ranger School are now moving on to Camp Rudder, on Eglin Air Force Base for the Swamp Phase.

Two of the three female Ranger School students and 125 male students will move on to Florida this weekend, officials announced today.  The three women are part of the Army’s gender-integrated assessment of the grueling two-month Ranger School, according to Army Times.

During the 17-day Swamp Phase, students learn waterborne operations, small boat movements and stream crossings and are required to execute extended platoon-level operations in a coastal swamp environment, the article said.

Col. David Fivecoat of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade said, “The coastal swamps of Florida will continue to test the students. Only the best will be successful and earn the Ranger tab.”

“This is the third and final phase of the school, and it focuses on the continued development of the students’ leadership and small-unit tactics,” according to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade website.

The female officers started the 20-day Mountain Phase earlier this month after three tries at the school’s first phase, known as the Darby Phase, at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The Army said that the third female student, along with 60 male classmates, will recycle the Mountain Phase at Camp Merrill in Dahlonega, Georgia. That phase involves intensive platoon training and operations in the Chattahoochee National Forest.  “Students receive instruction on military mountaineering tasks, mobility training, as well as techniques for employing a platoon for continuous combat patrol operations in a mountainous environment,” according to the ARTB website.

Until now, Ranger School had only been open to men. But because of the wider effort to determine whether to open combat arms jobs to women these assessments are now being done.

Students who successfully complete the final rotation are expected to graduate Aug. 21 at Fort Benning.





  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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