U.S. Army Females Make History, Graduate From Ranger Training


From Fox News. 

The first two women to pass the Army’s notoriously difficult Ranger School impressed male classmates left in their dust during road marches and proved their mettle as teammates by helping carry heavy weapons when others were too fatigued to lift another ounce.

Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, of Orange, Connecticut, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, of Copperas Cove, Texas, will become the first women to wear the Army’s coveted Ranger tab when they graduate alongside 94 male Soldiers Friday at Fort Benning.

“They can serve by my side anytime because I know I can trust them,” 2nd Lt. Erickson Krogh said. “Especially these two. I’d have no qualms about serving with them in combat.”

As the Pentagon weighs a decision on allowing women to serve in combat jobs long held by men only, a Ranger School comrade offered a blunt assessment of Griest and Haver as they spoke to reporters Thursday.

Despite proving their grit in the two-month Ranger course, the two women are still unable to join infantry, armor and special forces units — including the 75th Ranger Regiment. That could change next year after the Pentagon makes its recommendations.

“Truly, it’s a huge credit for anyone, man or woman, to endure the intense training and curriculum at Ranger school, and to prevail and graduate,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a press conference Thursday. “Clearly, these two Soldiers are trail blazers.  And after all, that’s what it means to be a Ranger. Rangers lead the way”

……“I do hope that, with our performance in Ranger School, we’ve been able to inform those making decisions that we can handle things mentally and physically on the same level as men,” said Griest , a military police officer and Afghanistan veteran stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. “”I’m definitely interested to see what new doors do open up for women.”

She said she might be interested in a special forces career if that path was open to her.

Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, said she plans to stick with aviation. She acknowledged going into Ranger School with some doubts as to how male Soldiers would react.

“It’s pretty cool that they have accepted us,” she said. “We ourselves came into this with our guard up just in case there were haters or naysayers. But we didn’t come with chips on our shoulders like we had anything to prove.”

Several male classmates chosen by the Army to attend a news conference with Griest and Haver acknowledged they too weren’t sure at first that female Soldiers could handle long marches and patrols carrying rucksacks, rifles and other gear weighing 100 pounds or more.

Spc. Christopher Carvalho, a medic in the same Ranger school class, said his skepticism ended on the first road march when the women left many of their male counterparts far behind.

“Right then and there that’s what validated me to say these women are here to stay,” Carvalho said.

Classmates 2nd Lt. Michael Janowski and 2nd Lt. Zachary Hanger both told of how Haver and Griest jumped in to help carry heavy loads when other male trainees were too fatigued to assist.

Hanger called the women “absolutely physical studs.”

In a joint statement, their families say Haver and Griest are “just like all the Soldiers” graduating this week from the grueling two-month Ranger course

Congratulations to the two gals! Women have toughed it out in the military for decades. As for combat, women have been there, done that since time immemorial.

If you go through the same training and succeed, you’ve earned it. There’s always going to be that percentage of bad-mouthers who don’t like it no matter what.

I’m very proud of CPT Griest and 1LT Haver.



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