Fort Benning Soldiers Struck by Lightning

Nine students and two instructors remain hospitalized tonight.

A series of lightning strikes injured 17 U.S. Army Ranger School students and two instructors late Wednesday at Camp Rudder in the Florida swamps.

This is the first Ranger School class to include women. There are two females in the class of nearly 165 students. (Neither woman was involved in the incident.)

When lightning struck, the students were in the field on the seventh day of a 10-day mission. Nine soldiers were airlifted to Eglin Hospital immediately.

Training was halted.

“The ranger students and instructors reacted and got everyone proper medical care quickly,” Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade commander Col. David G. Fivecoat says. “Ranger students and instructors are tough, 31 students will return to training and continue with increased medical monitoring as they try to earn their Ranger tab.”

(sources: WTVM, USA Today, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

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