Over the years, many women serving in the Army have made considerable efforts but just a few have made the mark. Such is the grueling nature of the military’s training course at its Ranger School for persons seeking to the Infantry and Armoured combat unit.
From statistics, on about 40% of men successfully complete the course while just 25% – both male and female – graduate without repeating at least one phase of the rigorous training course.
Despite this, a 29-year-old woman from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, recently completed the challenging 62-day training course without recycling. In the process, Sgt. 1st Class Janina Simmons became the first African-American female soldier to graduate from the Ranger School.
The 62-day training course is designed such that an individual’s stamina and endurance are tested. Also, the training includes long patrols conducted with little or no sleep, several vigorous physical activities and tests and marches carrying a heavy combat load. With this success, Simmons joins a dozen more women who have completed the course and can proudly wear the coveted black and gold Ranger tab.
Talking to ConectingVets about her achievement,
“I’m excited. It’s surreal. I’m humbled to be here…62 days of training and I made it the first time through. ”
Apparently, this wouldn’t be the first time Simmons would be making history. In 2018, she became the first woman to win the Fort Jackson qualifier for the Bataan Memorial Death March.
The U. S Army Training and Doctrine Command had this to say about her race,
“Simmons completed the 16-mile ruck march in two hours and 52 minutes, carrying 25.8 pounds in her rucksack. By around mile 12, she had overcome all of her competitors. She remained in first place for the last four miles.”
The 29-year-old has so many job options available for her, though she admits that she has to “sit down and re-sort her goals.”