The first two female soldiers in the history of the U.S. Army to earn the Ranger tab have been identified as 1st Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest, according to sources close to the women.
Haver, an Army aviator, is a 2012 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Griest, in the Military Police branch, is a 2011 graduate of West Point.
Griest entered Ranger School as a first lieutenant and has yet to pin on her captain’s bars. She’ll have something else to add to her uniform: a Ranger tab.
The women are scheduled to graduate Friday morning at Fort Benning.
They were among 400 soldiers, including 20 women, selected for Ranger School on April 19. It was the first Ranger class in Army history to include female candidates.
The Army has not yet released the names of the women soldiers in the program. During media opportunities at Fort Benning, Fort Merrill in the north Georgia mountains and Fort Rudder in the Florida swamps near Destin, reporters were not allowed to interact with the students to ensure the integrity of the course.
Col. David G. Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, said it was a conscious decision to keep the women’s names out of the press, though the Christian Science Monitor was the first to report that all three women remaining in the course were officers and graduates of the U.S. Military Academy.
As photographers took pictures and video of the women soldiers during training, the Army asked that names on the uniforms and ruck sacks not be shown and that females soldiers be pictured with male students.
“I am trying to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed or fail,” Fivecoat said. “Even with you guys focused in on them, we want to make sure we are not.”
Williams reports for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.