The country's first two female Army Rangers, First Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest, graduated from the rigorous program earlier this week in Ft. Benning, GA.
It takes guts, strength, and determination to become an Army Ranger, but these two graduates have proven that you certainly don’t need to be a man to do it. According to a report from Philly.com, First Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest are the first two female officers to finish the rigorous Ranger School curriculum in history.
Friends and family gathered in celebration at the graduation ceremony in Fort Benning, GA this Friday, where officials congratulated the two graduates and their 94 other male classmates.
The two women earned national attention after finishing the grueling nine-week program that tests soldiers’ ability to lead and make difficult decisions. The Pentagon recently announced that it would move to open all combat positions to soldiers that meet military standards, regardless of gender. First Lt. Haver and Capt. Grist are spearheading the movement.
Despite their success, there are still many roadblocks for women looking to join all-male units. Although Hayer and Griest both possess the necessary qualifications, they are still ineligible to apply for the coveted elite regiment.
Griest, 26, served as a military police officer and finished one tour in Afghanistan. Haver, 25, currently works piloting Apache helicopters. Both women are graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and were the only two out of 19 women who completed this year’s Ranger course.
General Scott Miller told the graduates, “You’ll leave Victory Pond today with a small piece of cloth on your shoulder, but more importantly you carry the title of Ranger from here on out.”
The landmark graduation ceremony will hopefully open the doors for increased gender equality in the military, and Griest said on Thursday that she hopes to show that women can deal with the same stress and training as men.