by Patrick T. Conway, MS, CSCS,*D
TSAC Report April 2016
Vol 41, Issue 1
In August 2015, two women, Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver, completed the United States Army Ranger School and earned the coveted Ranger Tab (3). Both applicants demonstrated that women are able to succeed in this elite level of military training. In December 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced women will be allowed to serve in all combat units (9). As expected, this resulted in a flurry of comments on the subject. Some of the comments praised this change while some were not as supportive and raised concerns (8).
Nindl et al. identified several obstacles that can derail women from reaching or succeeding in the elite combat schools and which will need to be mediated (5). The main obstacles this article will focus on are the current standard fitness requirements for attending an advanced combat school such as Ranger training, the high absolute strength and power demands required by these combat schools, and the unique physiology of women compared to men which may be of note in this context.
This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report