Female Ranger students make history, will graduate Ft. Benning's Ranger School

Female Ranger students make history, will graduate Ft. Benning's Ranger School

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - On Monday, August 17 the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence announced 94 men and two women met the standards of the Swamp Phase and will graduate the Ranger Course.

A graduation ceremony will be held on August 21 on Victory Pond at Fort Benning, GA. for those students who met the standards of the entire Ranger Course.

The Associated Press and other media outlets have confirmed the names of the two women are Capt. Kristen Griest, of Orange, CT, and 1st Let. Shaye Haver, of Copperas Cove, TX. The two are both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The U.S. Army has not released their names.

The families of Haver and Griest issued a statement on Wednesday. It says:

Family Statement on first women graduates - Washington, DC: 
The families of CPT Kristen Griest and 1LT Shaye Haver wish to issue the following statement:
"CPT Griest and LT Haver are just like all the Soldiers in Class 8-15 - happy, relieved, and ready for some good food and sleep. Like everyone who will pin the tab on Friday, they are exceptional Soldiers and strong teammates." 
The families are asking that you respect their privacy and the privacy of all the families and friends of Ranger Class 8-15. This is a monumental and joyous occasion for all 96 Soldiers who will be pinning on the Ranger tab on Friday, August 21.
The journey of Class 8-15 has been exciting and exhausting and just as they trained as a team, they wish to celebrate as a team.

In January, the Army announced its decision to allow women to participate in Ranger training. 

"It's history," said Sergeant First Class Rachel Lester, a Ranger training observer. "We're always evolving. The Army is number one in making history." 

For now, the women are still not allowed to serve as Rangers. The Secretary of Defense has until next year to decide if that will change.

Nineteen women and 381 men started Ranger Class 08-15 on April 20.

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