To assuage fears that different standards will apply to men and women in Ranger School, the latter have been required to sport short haircuts, as well.
“The standard for the Ranger course is for students to have the shortest haircut authorized by AR 670-1,” Col. William Butler, deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School, told Army Times.
The idea is to maintain strict standards of hygiene. Short hair makes it much easier to spot ticks. Women are not allowed to have hair extending more than one inch from the scalp. If there are any bangs, they may not fall below the eyebrows.
Nineteen women were brought into the two-month long Ranger School on Monday for the first time ever, in an attempt to answer the larger question of whether combat occupations can be opened up to women in the military. As of Thursday, just 8 of 19 women have managed to survive the Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP) and will continue on in the course. For the first day of RAP, students needed to complete 49 push-ups in two minutes, a five-mile run in 40 minutes, and six strict chin-ups.
On Thursday, the last day, students had to hike for 12-miles with a 35-pound pack, a rifle, and a vest.
During the planning process, officials have taken extra steps to ensure the training runs smoothly, even updating the packing list requirements to include certain items for the women, such as sports bras, tampons, and a female urinary diversion device, which allows women to urinate while standing.
According to the Pentagon, all jobs have to be opened to women by January, or else the military needs to request waivers from Congress to keep certain jobs closed.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was noncommittal this week when asked about his predictions about performance, answering that “maybe” all jobs will be opened. However, Carter seemed to think that female performance will be sufficient enough to open up most jobs.
For now, women who complete Ranger School will not be assigned to a regiment, although they will receive a Ranger tab.
This report, by Jonah Bennett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.