First female to join pre-Ranger courses at Fort Benning - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

First female to join pre-Ranger courses at Fort Benning

Second Lt. Kelly Derienzo, recent Field Artillery Basic Officer Leaders Course and Fort Sill Pre-Ranger Course graduate, sits still Jan. 11 while her classmate, 2nd Lt. Brian Sullivan, gives her a short haircut. (Source: Marie Berberea/U.S. Army website) Second Lt. Kelly Derienzo, recent Field Artillery Basic Officer Leaders Course and Fort Sill Pre-Ranger Course graduate, sits still Jan. 11 while her classmate, 2nd Lt. Brian Sullivan, gives her a short haircut. (Source: Marie Berberea/U.S. Army website)

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) – 2nd Lt. Kelly Derienzo, currently stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, is getting ready to be one of the first women allowed to go to Fort Benning's pre-Ranger course.

The announcement is according to an official U.S. Army release on its website.

The Ranger School, which opened in 1952, trains soldiers in infantry-related skills.

"With the Army now saying females are leading combat arms Soldiers, it wouldn't be right for them not to go to Ranger School. It's a leadership school," said Capt. Jonathan Worswick, Fort Sill Pre-Ranger Course officer in charge. "If they can't be afforded the opportunity to get the best leadership training the Army can give then we've done a disservice to all the people we're asking them to lead."

In November 2014, the Army chose 31 women, 11 officers and 20 non-commissioned officers to be observer-advisers for the school.

The Army has now allocated 40 seats for female candidates Ranger training assessment course.

To move on, Derienzo had to cut her hair to a quarter of an inch from her scalp.

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