By Walter T. Ham IV
20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., March 20, 2015 – An Army chemical corps officer assigned to the 20th CBRNE Command here has played a pioneering role in gender integration in the U.S. military.
Maj. Angela Scott, from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Coordination Element 5, was one of 26 females to take part in the second Ranger Training Assessment Course to accept women.
Scott completed the first eight days of the course before joining roughly half of the attendees who couldn’t finish the entire course. Only 58 of the original 122 graduated from the pre-selection course, held at the Ranger School on Fort Benning, Georgia, including five female soldiers.
No Stranger to Trailblazing
Also a 1998 graduate of the first gender-integrated class at the Virginia Military Institute, Scott said attending RTAC was an incredible opportunity.
"Since I was a teenager, I've had something inside of me that drives me towards a certain lifestyle and beliefs," said Scott, a native of Quinton, Oklahoma. "I believe in never quitting, the extreme loyalty of always having someone's back and always finding a way to get the mission or job done. This seems to fit into the lifestyle and philosophy of the Rangers, and therefore, I was drawn to attempting to be a part of that community.”
Scott said she trained for two months before the course, employing a Ranger-tailored physical training program and practicing the obstacle course, land navigation, combat water survival and long-distance marching with heavy ruck sacks.
"I also have two very young children, who are up a lot at night,” Scott said. “So this helped out with training for sleep deprivation and learning how to remain calm in certain situations.”
The major said RTAC improved her leadership skills and demonstrated the power of teamwork, adding that the training course gave the soldiers a chance to test their mettle against a rigorous set of standards.
"There should be one standard, and whoever wants to attempt to meet this standard, should be allowed," said Scott, who served in Iraq twice. "If they don't meet the standard, then that's on them."
"America is a place where with hard work, dedication and a dream, you can come from nothing and become someone that greatly contributes to society," Scott said. "The country's military shouldn't be any different."