U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today praised Senate passage on Wednesday of a bipartisan resolution they introduced commending Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver for their historic accomplishment of being the first two women soldiers to complete United States Army Ranger School and earn their highly coveted Ranger tabs.
The Ranger School prepares members of the Armed Forces to serve as leaders and members of elite combat forces tasked with dismounted infantry, airborne, airmobile, amphibious, and independent squad and platoon size operations. According to the U.S. Army, last year 4,057 students attempted the notoriously difficult 8-week Ranger School, and only 1,609 earned the Ranger tab.
"I'm so proud to honor Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver for their towering achievement in being the first females in history to earn their Army Ranger tabs. I know what it means to be first, and from one firstie to another, I say hats off on leading the way for many more women to come," Senator Mikulski said. "Captain Griest and First Lieutenant Haver have shown that women can compete on a level-playing field with men to serve in the defense of our nation. The Army's recent announcement to permanently open Ranger School for women marks another important step in expanding roles for women in the military. Continued gender integration will improve readiness and help our Armed Forces to recruit the best talent we can throughout all of our services."
"Earning the right to wear a Ranger tab is not for the faint-hearted. The rigors of the course test even the strongest service members. Many try; few succeed," said Senator Collins. "Captain Griest and Lieutenant Haver have demonstrated that character, courage, and tenacity, not gender, are the hallmarks of great service members and leaders. Through their grit and determination these distinguished and inspiring soldiers have made history and serve as role models for girls and boys - women and men - in the United States and around the world."