These are the Army’s first female Ranger School graduates
August 18, 2015 By Dan Lamothe – washingtonpost
For more than 120 days, Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver have ground it out at Ranger School, the Army’s famously difficult school designed to build elite leaders capable of withstanding the rigors of combat. They’ve withstood fearsome weather, exhausting hikes, sleepless nights and simulated combat patrols designed to test their reaction time, teamwork and tenacity under fire.
On Friday, the two women will become the first female soldiers ever to graduate from the course at Fort Benning, Ga., receiving the coveted black and yellow Ranger Tab alongside 94 male counterparts. Griest, a military police officer from Orange, Conn., and Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot from Copperas Cove, Tex., are among a group of 20 women who qualified to attend the first gender-integrated Ranger School beginning April 20, and the only two female soldiers to complete it to date.
The graduation of Haver and Griest, both in their 20s and alumnae of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., increases pressure on the Army to integrate women into more combat jobs. They have not previously been identified by the Army, but The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Georgia were able to do so after observing Ranger School training several times this year.
Ranger School was opened to women for the first time in April as the Army assesses how to integrate women into more jobs in combat units across the service. That followed a January 2013 decision by senior Pentagon leaders to open all jobs to women, with the services granted until this fall to make recommendations on whether anything should remain closed. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter is expected to rule on each request by Jan. 1.
After historic graduation, Army removes all restrictions on women attending Ranger School
September 2, 2015 Dan Lamothe – washingtonpost
The Army announced Wednesday that it is opening its legendary Ranger School to women on a full-time basis, following the historic graduation last month of two female soldiers.
The school, with headquarters at Fort Benning, Ga., has been a centerpiece of the military’s ongoing research on integrating women into more jobs in combat units. Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, a military policy officer, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, an Apache helicopter pilot, became the first women to graduate from school Aug. 21, after spending months alongside men enduring the grueling training.
Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement that the service must ensure that the opportunity afforded to Griest and Haver is available to “all soldiers who are qualified and capable,” and that the Army is continuing to assess how to select, train and retain its best soldiers. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the service’s top officer, added in the same statement that combat readiness remains the Army’s top priority.
“Giving every qualified soldier the opportunity to attend the Ranger Course, the Army’s premier small unit leadership school, ensures we are maintaining our combat readiness today, tomorrow and for future generations,” Milley said.
Meet the Army’s first female infantry officer
6:57 p.m. EDT April 27, 2016 Michelle Tan, Army Times
Capt. Kristen Griest, one of the first women to earn the coveted Ranger tab, will once again make history by becoming the Army’s first female infantry officer.
Griest is expected to graduate from the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course on Thursday wearing the distinctive blue infantry cord, officials confirmed to Army Times.
“Like any other officer wishing to branch-transfer, Capt. Griest applied for an exception to Army policy to transfer from military police to infantry,” said Bob Purtiman, a spokesman for the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, Georgia. “Her transfer was approved by the Department of the Army [on Monday] and she’s now an infantry officer.”
More women are expected to follow in her footsteps; the Army earlier this month announced that it had approved requests from 22 female cadets to enter as second lieutenants in the infantry and armor branches. Thirteen of the new officers will enter into the armor branch, the other nine will go infantry. After commissioning, the new officers must successfully complete branch-specific training before they will qualify as infantry and armor officers.