Ranger grad Capt. Kristen Griest to be first female Army infantry officer

Ranger grad Capt. Kristen Griest to be first female Army infantry officer

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - Captain Kristen Griest, an Army Ranger graduate, will become the first female infantry officer.

The announcement made on Thursday was confirmed by Bob Purtiman, spokesman for the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning. Purtiman said she was approved as an officer on Monday.

Capt. Griest is expected to graduate from the Maneuver Captain's Career Course on Thursday, a requirement for all captains unrelated to her being an infantry officer, Purtiman said.

Following her August 2015 graduation of Ranger school Griest said she hoped the experience of the female women Ranger students would further women's roles in the military.

"I do hope that with our performance in Ranger school we've been able to inform that decision as to what they can expect from women in the military. That we can handle things physically and mentally on the same level as men," Griest said. "And that we can deal with the same stresses and training that the men can."

Griest, along with 1st. Lt. Shaye Haver and Maj. Lisa Jaster were the first three women to graduate from the integrated Army Ranger course in 2015. All three women were graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Griest won't be the only woman in the Army's infantry. In March 2016, the U.S. Army announced that 22 women's requests were approved to be a part of the Army's infantry branch.

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