EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FL (WTVM) – According to Fort Benning, the 44 Army Ranger students and instructors who were struck by lightning on Wednesday have returned to duty - and back to the final phase of the Ranger school - at Eglin Air Force Base, FL.
The final nine Ranger students and two Ranger instructors who remained hospitalized for observation have been released after a lightning strike on Aug. 12 at 4:55 p.m. CST at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
A total of 44 people - 40 Ranger students and four Ranger instructors - were evacuated to a local hospital.
At the time of the incident, they were conducting lightning protection protocols when lightning struck nearby. The two women Ranger students were not among the 44 injured.
In total, 17 soldiers and two instructors remained overnight in the hospital. The remaining 23 students and one Ranger instructor were treated and released.
The group was in day seven of the 10-day training cycle.
"The Ranger students and instructors reacted and got everyone proper medical care quickly," said Col. David Fivecoat, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade commander. "Ranger students and instructors are tough, 31 students will return to training tonight and continue with increased medical monitoring as they try to earn their Ranger tab."
There are 125 Ranger students participating in the third and final phase, the swamp phase, which began on Aug. 2 at Eglin Air Force Base.
Students who meet the standards of the Swamp Phase will travel to Fort Benning, Georgia on Aug. 21 to graduate at Victory Pond.