All eight female soldiers who survived the initial days of the first Army Ranger School course to include women failed to make it to the second phase, but can still try again and pass, Army officials said Friday.

The women were attempting the famously difficult 62-day course as the Pentagon weighs which combat jobs women will be allowed to hold in the future. Army officials at Fort Benning, Georgia, said that 115 men in the class had moved on to Ranger School’s second phase – mountaineering at Camp Merrill, Georgia – but that eight women and 101 men will be left behind at Fort Benning to try Phase One again.

Top Pentagon leaders dropped a longtime ban on women in combat units in January 2013, but gave the services until later this year to seek exceptions and provide justification.

Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, the top general at Fort Benning, said he met with the students Thursday, and was impressed that those who can try the first phase again want to continue.

“They’re a strong group of soldiers who are working their way through the U.S. Army’s most physically and mentally demanding course,” said Miller, commanding general of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence.

About 35 male soldiers who tried Phase One with the women failed to meet standards that would allow them to repeat, and will be sent back to their units, Army officials said.

The first phase of Ranger School is known as the Darby Phase, and it focuses heavily on leading patrols successfully.

Students also must tackle an obstacle course known as the Darby Queen at Fort Benning, and receive grades from Ranger instructors and their peers. Those who do not pass at least 50 percent of graded patrols are held back, a process known as “recycling.”

The soldiers held back in the Darby Phase failed for a variety of reasons, including mistakes in patrolling and problems observed in spot checks by Ranger instructors and in peer evaluations, said Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade that oversees the school.

“The vast majority, however, failed several opportunities as a squad leader or team leader to lead a patrol successfully,” he said. “All the recycles have been checked by medics to ensure that they do not have serious injuries.”

The Ranger class began April 20 with 19 women and 380 men. No breakdown was provided on why each of the women failed to complete Phase One.

Camp Darby, near Fort Benning, which is home to the second part of the “Benning Phase” of Ranger School, is named after World War II Col. William O. Darby, who led the famous Darby’s Rangers, which evolved into the U.S. Army Rangers.