Shayne Haver (25) and Karen Griest (26), 1rst female-graduates of Ranger School, earn elite-tab.

FORT BENNING, Ga. (AP) — First Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas, and Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut, graduate alongside 94 male soldiers at a ceremony on the shore of ‘Victory Pond.’

Shayne Haver, 25, is a pilot of Apache helicopters. Karen Griest, 26, is a military police officer and has served one tour in Afghanistan. Both are graduates of West Point – The U.S. Military Academy. Of 19 women who began the Ranger course, Shayne and Karen are the only two to finish so far; one is repeating a prior-phase of training in hopes of graduating soon.

Karen Griest says she hopes her success shows that women ‘can deal with the same stresses and training that men can.’

Maj. Gen. Scott Miller says no-one should doubt that all 96 graduates meet Ranger standards, regardless of their sex.

The success of Shayne Haver and Karen Griest and the prospect of the Army fully integrating women into its ground combat force is ‘policy catching up with reality,’ given the extensive combat-experience women had (and are having) in Iraq and Afghanistan.• Janine Davidson (Defense policy analyst; Council on Foreign Relations; former Air Force cargo-plane pilot)

US Army Rangers are ‘masters (and mistresses) of special light-infantry operations’ i.e. seizing key-terrain and infiltrating hostile-territory by land, sea or air. Rangers are an arm of U.S. Army Special Operations Command and United States Special Operations Command/Temp.

bigstory.ap.org

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