For more than 120 days, Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver have ground it out at Ranger School, the Army’s famously difficult school designed to build elite leaders capable of withstanding the rigors of combat. They’ve withstood fearsome weather, exhausting hikes, sleepless nights and simulated combat patrols designed to test their reaction time, teamwork and tenacity under fire.
On Friday, the two women will become the first female soldiers ever to graduate from the course at Fort Benning, Ga., receiving the coveted black and yellow Ranger Tab alongside 94 male counterparts. Griest, a military police officer from Orange, Conn., and Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot from Copperas Cove, Tex., are among a group of 20 women who qualified to attend the first gender-integrated Ranger School beginning April 20, and the only two female soldiers to complete it to date.