MILITARY

Army opening Ranger job to women; About 60 women could participate in the next course

The Army will allow as many as 60 women to participate in the next Ranger course, allowing women for the first time to compete in the grueling two-month combat school. It is considered one of the first steps into the military special operations field.

Army Secretary John McHugh approved the change that would allow women in the course beginning in late April.

While completing the leadership course would let women wear the coveted Ranger tab, it does not let them become members of the Ranger regiment. Currently only men can be in the 75th Ranger Regiment — the special operations forces unit based at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Joining the regiment requires additional schooling that is physically, emotionally and mentally challenging.