Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver

First Two Females In Army's Ranger Program Graduate From Intensive Ranger School
FORT BENNING, GA - AUGUST 21: Capt. Kristen Griest (left) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver look on during the graduation ceremony of the United States Army's Ranger School on August 21, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia . Griest and Haver are the first women ever to successfully complete the U.S. Army's Ranger School. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)Jessica McGowan — Getty Images
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When Griest, a platoon leader, and ­Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot, enrolled in the Army’s notoriously grueling Ranger School, they were simply soldiers. When they graduated in ­August—the first women ever to do so—they were icons. What got them through the brutal regimen of runs, marches, and other mental and physical trials? “I was thinking really of future generations of women—that I would like them to have the opportunity,” said Griest. Their accomplishment, astounding in its own right, transformed the debate about women in warfare, proving that women can perform on the battlefield as ably as men. And that undoubtedly buttressed the Pentagon’s December decision to open all combat positions to women—without exceptions.