Posted on Jun 24, 2015
COL Jon Thompson
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This Stars and Stripes article raises some questions about the first class of female Ranger students. One of the article's sources says that it was not peer evals that caused them to recycle but the fact they failed two patrols. This shifts the focus back to the RIs and alludes that "There's the sense that no RI really wants to be the first one to pass a woman," one of the sources said. Were the women given a fair chance? Do you think this will cause the Army to look at grading and force a solely objective score? Let me know.

http://www.stripes.com/news/army/ranger-school-creates-admiration-frustration-in-assessment-of-women-1.353934
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Responses: 13
SFC William Swartz Jr
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Considering that the RIs were being observed at all times by female observers to ensure that this didn't occur, I highly doubt it.
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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5 y
Wouldn't the O/As need a high level of tactical acumen to even be able to adjudicate whether the females were graded fairly? A more cynical (and realistic) view is that the O/As did not possess any qualifications necessary to actually be capable of judging the patrol grading process. Their sole purpose is to cover RTB's collective fourth point of contact when the RIs failed all of the females.
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CPT David Jones
CPT David Jones
5 y
High level? No. A familarity of patrolling basics would be necessary, but the RI's evaluation is about how the students react to the changing tactical 'battlefield' and how they lead those in their squad in the Darby patrolling phase. And the female OAs would have had plenty of time to observe that dynamic across the class, since the leadership roles change 2-3 times per patrol. The leadership that does the planning is replaced before the execution of the plan, and then again during. And trust me, the RTBs hand was forced by DA to have the OAs present, it was not their wish.
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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5 y
CPT David Jones Sir, I think everyone agrees that there was no constructive purpose for having O/As at Ranger School. Their very presence seems to presuppose that RIs would be inclined to discriminate against females without close supervision and scrutiny. With respect to the RIs' evaluations of Darby Phase patrols, I would dispute your point that only a basic familiarity of tactics would suffice when observing the fairness of the grading. I have been told that Darby Phase patrols require strict adherence to the FOOM boards and that missing a single detail results in a No Go.
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CPT David Jones
CPT David Jones
5 y
My point, LT Elifson, was that I could teach a class in a few days that would give the average Non-infantry soldier the basics of patrolling (including FOOM, LDA, LODA, SODA, L/U ) so you would know what you were observing, if a key tactical step was missed or not executed properly, and be able to judge whether the students were getting a fair evaluation (or not) by the RI. The O/As were prepped far beyond a few days. Regardless of that fact, even back in my day (the Stone Age, haha) RI's were upheld to a full outbrief to the RTB chain of command on every failed patrol and the exact grading points. Scrutiny, as I said, is at much higher levels in this experiment.
As for whether the O/As serve a constructive purpose, the historical example would be the integration of women into the Basic Airborne and Air Assault courses both of which employed a similar advisory role.
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LTC Foreign Military Advisor
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That would be an interesting allegation to prove as fact. RI reports of GO patrols are easy to submit, NO-GO patrol reports are closely reviewed and validated by the chain of command before a Ranger Student is either recycled or dropped. I have no doubt every patrol walker and observer was clearly briefed to ensure bias was minimized as much as possible to enable all Ranger Students to compete against the standards.
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SSG Platoon Sergeant
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Again another ridiculous assumption. RIs are professional and don't care who you are in their grading. There are simple performance measures in the Ranger handbook that need to be met, if you fail to do it, you don't pass, simple.

Has nothing to do with sex, age, rank, or even MOS.
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COL Jon Thompson
COL Jon Thompson
5 y
I fully agree they are professionals. But there clearly are subjective scores as well. In my recycled class, we had an RI who was doing his last patrol before retiring. He gave a GO to every PL including one who left a sensitive item on the OBJ. I find it interesting that there was a higher failure level among males as well. One of my co-workers who is an active duty Infantry NCO said that perhaps they were going more objective, by the book and taking the subjectivity out of it. I thought it would be the peer evals that would get them so I was surprised to see that does not seem to be the case.
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
5 y
COL Jon Thompson I think everyone there had something to prove. The Peer issue would have self corrected really really quickly, especially since they do have RIs. I think your take mirrors my own. They went pure "objective" and zero "subjective" on this one. If any question comes up on any report, it will be "by the letter" for every student involved.
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SSG Platoon Sergeant
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One of the LTs in my company just graduated, he went through with the women and said that he didn't see anything that would be considered unfair treatment in any way.

Thankfully I went straight through, but that being said, I got GOs on the patrols I felt I deserved a go and a NO-GO on the ones I felt I didn't deserve a go, seemed very fair to me.
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COL Jon Thompson
COL Jon Thompson
5 y
I was waiting to hear from their peers as I feel that would be the most honest report on what was actually going on.
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