2 Women Kicked Serious Butt In The Elite Ranger School. What Happens Now?
Posted by GreaterGoodness
In August 2015, the United States Army saw two women graduate from its Ranger School – a first ever in the Army’s history. First Lieutenant Shaye Haver and Captain Kristen Griest stood with 94 men at their graduation ceremony on August 21st in Fort Benning, Georgia. A monumental occasion, for sure – but what does this mean for the futures of Haver, Griest and future women soldiers in the Army?
Ranger School Prepares Soldiers for the Worst
The two women went through a grueling training regimen that included a physical fitness test, a swim test, a land navigation test, a four-day mountaineering hike and multiple air assaults on helicopters. They also navigated obstacle courses, marched 12 miles in three hours, completed several parachute jumps and did nearly a month of combat patrolling. The Army made no concessions or changes for the women, holding the female soldiers to the same standards as the male soldiers.
Despite Performance, Women Cannot Become Rangers After Ranger School
These difficult physical standards all prepare soldiers to become official members of the Army’s special-operations elite forces, the 75th Ranger Regiment. Despite passing the course with flying colors alongside their male compatriots, Haver and Griest are not eligible to become part of the 75th Ranger Regiment because they are women. This year was the first year that the Ranger School accepted female students at all, and barriers still exist that keep women from serving in many combat positions.
Making History for Women in the Army
Haver’s and Griest’s accomplishments at the Ranger School mark a momentous occasion for women in the Army, prompting officials to question whether women should have the opportunity to serve in combat positions and in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Their graduations from Ranger School make it difficult to argue that women should not be Rangers, suggests the New York Times.
While many jobs in the United States military branches are closed to women as of August 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter plans to hear arguments for the integration of women in September 2015. Representatives from all branches of the military plan to speak to Carter, with different branches seeking different exceptions allowing women to serve in more positions.
With First Lieutenant Haver and Captain Griest setting an all-time first for servicewomen in the military, it seems likely that standards are about to change. Women have been barred from combat positions for decades, but Haver and Griest have just proven that female soldiers can hold up to the same combat and field standards as male soldiers.