Women, however, have increasingly made it through the nine-week Army Ranger course, and the numbers of those trying out for other special operations jobs are slowly inching up. The courses have encompassed a number of phases and have run from about nine weeks to a year or two for the most elite commando jobs.
They have involved a wide array of grueling physical fitness tests, combat water survival, day and night land navigation, long road marches carrying heavy packs, extended patrols through various climates and extensive mental, psychological and leadership testing.
In the nearly four years since the Pentagon announced it was opening all combat jobs to women, at least 30 have earned the Army Ranger tab, two have graduated Marine infantry school and three have passed the grueling initial assessment phase for Green Beret training.
“We’re really interested in those elite women that are the first to make it through physically demanding training,” said Holly McClung, a nutritional physiologist at the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Massachusetts. “The real point of the study is to characterize this unique cohort of women that has made it through these traditionally male trainings.”
The goal, said McClung, has been to identify the attributes — whether mental, physical or psychological — helping the women succeed. By unlocking those secrets, maybe they could help other women compete for the same jobs.
McClung and Julie Hughes, a research physiologist, were planning to have the military women come to an Army base in Natick, Mass., in groups of two or three, and go through a range of tests over three days to identify biological and physiological markers that would help define them as hyperfit. Having several tested at the same time, McClung said, will make it more interesting and encourage competition.
Read more here: http://www.foxnews.com/