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More Female Soldiers Graduate Army Ranger School

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The number of female soldiers who have graduated from Army Ranger School has just increased to an even dozen, as the most recent graduates join ground-breakers Army Capt. Kristen Griest, Army Capt. Shaye Haver, and Army Reserve Maj. Lisa Jaste.

Ranger School is one of the toughest training courses for which a Soldier can volunteer.

The Army Ranger course is designed to push soldiers to their mental and physical edge. Participants have limited sleep and food while performing exhausting exercises. The physical fitness test includes 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a five-mile run in 40 minutes, three parachute jumps, and 27 days of mock combat patrols.

The tough standards make sure that only the strong survive, which is why the completion percentage for men is only 40 percent.

The Ranger Course, which was conceived during the Korean War, has changed little since its inception. It has three phases: Benning Phase of Ranger School is designed to assess a Soldier’s physical stamina, mental toughness, and establishes the tactical fundamentals required for follow-on phases of Ranger School; Mountain Phase, which focuses on military mountaineering tasks, mobility training, as well as techniques for employing a platoon for continuous combat patrol operations in a mountainous environment; and Florida Phase,  which focuses on the continued development of the Ranger student’s combat arms functional skills. Students receive instruction on waterborne operations, small boat movements, and stream crossings

Women continue to make great strides in the military. Lt. Col. Megan Brodgen assumed command of the 3rd Special Forces Group support battalion, the first time that role had been filled by a woman.

Currently 170,000 women serve in the Army, with 600 women in infantry and armor jobs.

Joining  Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas as the destination for female officers who completed the training standards for infantry and armor are Fort Campbell in Kentucky and Fort Carson in Colorado.

Article written by: Debbie Gregory.

Male Classmates Validate Female Rangers: Military Connection

Male Classmates Validate Female Rangers

By Debbie Gregory.

The August Ranger School graduating class was the first to include women graduates; two to be exact. The women earned not only their Ranger Tabs, but also the respect of their male classmates.

Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were two out of 19 women who enrolled in Ranger School, alongside 380 men. Of those male students, 94 graduated with Griest and Haver. On average, 40 percent of males successfully complete the course.

A third woman who started the class has opted to recycle through the Mountain Phase.

Male classmates may have been skeptical at the beginning of their first course, but it didn’t take long for the men to realize these women were capable, both physically and in determination.

During Mountain Phase, 2nd Lt. Michael Jankowski credited Haver as the one who stepped up when he needed help.

Jankowski said he found he was at a point where he had to turn to a teammate.

“I had a lot of weight on me, and I was struggling,” he recalled. “I stopped and asked if anyone could take some of this weight.”

The males in his platoon hesitated. “I got a lot of deer-in-the-headlight looks and guys were like ‘I can’t handle any more weight,'” he said. Haver offered to take some of Jankowski’s load.

“She was the only one who would volunteer to take that weight,” he said. “She took the weight off me, and carried it. … She literally saved me. I probably wouldn’t be sitting here right now. From that point there was no more skepticism.”

Spc. Christopher Carvalho offered a similar testimony during the Ranger Assessment (RAP) Phase week. Here, students carry a 47-pound rucksack along with other gear on the march.

“One particular incident that stood out in my mind was the 12-mile ruck march during RAP week,” he explained in a recent interview.

“These two women finished well ahead of some of the males,” he said. “Right there and then – that validated it for me that these women are here to stay. They are carrying the same weight we are, and they are doing the same stuff we are.”

“It’s pretty cool that they have accepted us,” Haver said. “We ourselves came to Ranger School skeptical, with our guards up, just in case there were haters and naysayers. But we didn’t come with a chip on our shoulder like we had anything to prove.

“Becoming one of the teammates — that we could be trusted just like everyone else — whether it was on patrol or to carry something heavy or whatever — it was that every single time we accomplished something it gave us an extra foothold in being part of a team.”

Griest agreed.

“My main concern in coming to Ranger School was I might not be able to carry as much weight or not be able to meet up to the same standard,” she said. “I tried to do as much as I could, and I saw everybody else helping each other out and you just try to be the best teammate that you can.”

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Meet One of the Army’s Newest Rangers, Part II: Military Connection

Military Connection: hover

By Debbie Gregory.

First Lt. Shaye Haver is one of the two women who have made history by making it through grueling Ranger School. Haver is an Apache helicopter pilot from Copperas Cove, Texas.

Set on emulating her father, an Army helicopter pilot, Lieutenant Haver became a leader of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Ranger School is considered one of the military’s most difficult courses physically and mentally. Haver performed the same physical tests as the male students, including an initial requirement to complete 49 push-ups, 59 situps, six chin-ups and a five-mile run in no more than 40 minutes. The course included a 12-mile foot march in three hours, four days of military mountaineering and 27 days of mock combat patrols. In total, they hiked roughly the distance from New York City to Boston with heavy packs.

Haver receives her black and gold Ranger tab today at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In addition to serving as an early step toward integrating women into combat, allowing female soldiers into Ranger School reflected a reality that women have been serving in dangerous front-line military jobs for years, like top gunners in Humvees and door gunners on helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. The service branches will make recommendations to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter this fall.

Haver and fellow graduate Kristen Greist will not be able to join the elite 75th Ranger Regiment unless the military’s top leaders open all combat roles to women.

Retiring Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno said that any soldier who remained in Ranger School – male or female – can meet the standards the service has established for a job and should be able to serve in it. Odierno expects the Army will start another Ranger School course in November, which it will again study to decide if the course will be open to women permanently.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Meet One of the Army’s Newest Rangers, Part II: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Meet One of the Army’s Newest Rangers: Military Connection

Kristen Griest in training. Nikayla Shodeen / US Army

By Debbie Gregory.

Army Capt. Kristen Griest is one of the two women who have made history by making it through grueling Ranger School.

Griest, 26, of Orange, Connecticut, said her successful completion of the two-month program shows that women “can deal with the same stresses and training that men can.”

According to her brother, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mike Griest, an Army aviator, his sister loves testing her endurance. “If she had been allowed to go infantry out of college, she would have done that,” he said.

Griest receives her black and gold Ranger tab today at Fort Benning, Georgia. However, she will not be able to join the elite 75th Ranger Regiment unless the military’s top leaders open all combat roles to women.

Griest, who said she had several peers and mentors who encouraged her to tackle the program, admitted that she felt some extra pressure as a female soldier.

“I was thinking of future generations of women,” she said, “so I had that pressure on myself.”

Cmd. Sgt. Major Curtis Arnold said he suspected Griest had extra motivation to graduate “because you know everyone is watching. And truthfully there are probably a few folks who want you to fail. So you’ve got to put out 110 percent.”

Officials say the Army, Navy and Air Force likely will not seek exceptions that close any jobs to women. Marine Corps leader have expressed concerns about allowing women to serve in infantry jobs, and may seek an exception.

The service branches will make recommendations to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter this fall.

Ranger School is considered one of the military’s most difficult courses physically and mentally, dating back to the 1950s. It includes phases at Fort Benning, on the mountains of northern Georgia and in the Florida Panhandle swamps in and around Eglin Air Force Base.

Women have been steadily making strides into previously male dominated jobs across the military. Women are also now serving on Navy submarines and in Army artillery units.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Meet One of the Army’s Newest Rangers: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Vying to be First Women to Pass Army Ranger School: Military Connection

Military Connection: woman ranger

By Debbie Gregory.

The US Army continues to assure that the most qualified individuals are assigned to any given military position; individuals, meaning no distinction between male or female military personnel. The Army Ranger School is no longer an exception to this guideline.

Two female West Point graduates are advancing to the final phase, vying to earn the US Army Ranger tab. Staff Sgt. Gregory Space, and instructor assigned to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion at Camp Merrill, GA, assures that there are no compromises made for the female trainees because of their sex. Despite critics who may doubt that the standards are equal, Space offered the following assurance:

“I would tell them I was there, and I was one of the ones upholding those standards,” he said. “And I will be able to honestly tell them that.”

Among the first women to graduate from West Point Military Academy is Sue Fulton, now the chair of the West Point Board of Visitors, who reports directly to the President of the United States. Fulton concurs that women are being tested on how capable they are in leadership, in being tenacious and overcoming obstacles. The fact that they all are graduates of the United States Military Academy is evidence of their determination to take on any challenge.

“They are not going to give up, and that’s exactly what you want in a combat leader,” Fulton explained.

Nineteen women were among the original group who began the Ranger School in Ft. Benning, GA. Statistics show that only three percent of all soldiers qualify as Rangers, proving that this is not easily passed by any candidate. Of the original 19 women, eight passed the physical testing, then failed their patrol missions. This is not indicative of their sex in that 70 percent of all Ranger candidates experience a failed course and start the course over from the beginning, or “recycle” in the program.

“By accepting the Day 1 recycle, they absolutely validated their place here,” said Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Arnold. “This is tough, physically and mentally demanding training, and a soldier has to earn that Ranger tab. . . . What it said was they were here to earn it, that this was not a sideshow and there was not an agenda.”
Of the eight facing the option to recycle, five were dropped and three continued by starting over again. The remaining two female candidates successfully completed the 18-day Mountain Phase course. One woman and 60 men are being given an opportunity to recycle for a second try to successful complete the Mountain Phase.

The training will continue to the final phase in Florida; a 17-day extended platoon-level operation in a coastal swamp environment near Valparaiso. Those individuals who pass the final phase will graduate August 21st at Fort Benning, GA.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Vying to be First Women to Pass Army Ranger School: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Last Three Female Ranger Candidates Try Again: Military Connection

rangerschool

By Debbie Gregory.

Three female soldiers who refuse to give up their dream of earning the coveted Army Ranger Tab have passed the grueling physical fitness test that kicks off every cycle of the course.

The one female major and two female first lieutenants who were offered Day One Recycles, passed the Ranger Physical Assessment, said Col. William Butler, deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School. The original group consisted of 19 women.

The famously punishing first four days of Ranger School are known as the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week.

It includes a physical fitness test consisting of 49 pushups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run in under 40 minutes, and 6 chin-ups; a swim test; a land navigation test; and a 12-mile foot march in under 3 hours.

“Anybody that takes a day-one recycle — be it a male or female soldier — it displays an incredible amount of grit and determination; they want to earn the Ranger Tab,” said Col. David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. The three female soldiers are on their third attempt to make it through the two-month course.

The women were given the opportunity to start Ranger School all over after twice failing to pass the first phase of the school, also known as the Darby Phase. They did not have to repeat RAP week the first time they were recycled.

“They earned it,” Fivecoat said last week. “The overall performance of the three … was very high. All three were close to making it through the Darby Phase. Let’s not forget, they were given a Day One Recycle, which means they get a chance to start all over again, and that includes RAP week. That is a daunting task for anyone, male or female.”

The women are part of a one-time, integrated assessment of the storied school. The assessment is part of a wider effort to determine whether and how to open combat arms jobs to women, and it is a first for Ranger School, which until now has been open only to men.

Ranger School students who make it through RAP week move on to the Darby Phase, which is fifteen days of intensive squad training and operations in a field environment at Fort Benning.

Whatever happens, the three females that remain have developed a reputation for themselves in the eyes the Ranger instructors.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Last Three Female Ranger Candidates Try Again: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Miltary Connection: Female Soldiers In Army Ranger School Fail To Advance

Military Connection

By Debbie Gregory.

The remaining eight female soldiers washed out of the Army’s prestigious Ranger School after 11 others didn’t make it past the first cut. Sadly, none of these brave women will earn the vaunted black and gold Ranger tab. As for the men, 115 of the original male contenders met the requirement to begin the Mountain Phase of Ranger School in Dahlonega, GA.

The eight female candidates, along with 101 male candidates, will be recycled to repeat the Darby Phase of Ranger School.

Approximately 35 male Ranger students failed to meet the standards of Ranger School and will not be recycled, the press release said.

“They will return to their units having learned a great deal about themselves and small unit tactics, patrolling, leadership, and team work,” according to the release.

While some headlines are declaring this a failure, which suggests it’s a sign that women can’t handle the demanding tests, women made it past some of the physical hurdles at nearly the same rates as men. And the fact that no women candidates moved forward this time doesn’t spell the end of women tackling the Army’s toughest leadership course, which spans two months, three phases and endless physical obstacles, including sleep and food deprivation

These women completed the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week, which consists of day and night land navigation, obstacle courses, skill tests and a 12 mile road march with a rifle, fighting load vest and rucksack weight approximately 47 pounds.

The Darby Phase will not repeat RAP week, according to officials.

The important take-away from this exercise is that the Army has stood by what Ranger School graduates and women soldiers alike have demanded: maintaining the incredibly high standard of what senior military leaders call the “Army’s most physically and mentally-demanding course” while making room for women who could handle the test and sought the chance to meet that bar. No one wanted any slack cut, and none was.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Miltary Connection: Female Soldiers In Army Ranger School Fail To Advance: By Debbie Gregory