Late last week, it appeared that the Army had lowered the standard for the 12-mile foot march in the first co-ed class of Ranger School.
Army officials from Fort Benning, Ga., put out a statement that eight female candidates had competed the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week, which included a 12-mile march with a 35-pound rucksack, rifle and fighting load carrier vest.
Military.com did a story last November from an interview with Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Benning, that Ranger students had to carry a ruck weighing approximately 43 pounds on the march which has to be completed in under three hours.
I noticed the eight-pound discrepancy and so did a reader, who emailed me about it.
I asked Fort Benning about it, and here is what Col. William J. Butler, deputy commandant of U.S. Army Infantry School at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Benning, had to say.
"The weight of the rucksack for the 12-mile foot march is 35 lbs., dry weight," Butler wrote in an emailed response. "With the 8 quarts of water, that is an additional 16 lbs. on each student. Six of those quarts (12 lbs) are in the rucksack and two each one quarts (4lbs) are on the vest. The rucksack weighs 47 lbs with the water in it that the students consume throughout the foot march."