ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSNewYork) — The first two women to pass the U.S. Army’s Ranger School recently spoke for the first time publicly about their experiences.
They were preparing for Friday’s graduation ceremony after surviving the grueling school, CBS2’s Craig Boswell reported Thursday.
“It’s definitely awesome to be a part of the history of Ranger School in general, so graduating with these guys next to me,” 1st Lt. Shaye Haver said.
Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest were part of a test program to see how women perform under the intense physical and mental course.
“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 andmentally on the same level as men,” Griest said.
Their colleagues were impressed to say the least.
“Hey, these women are for real. They are here to stay. They’re caring the same way we are. They’re doing the same stuff we are and that’s what really solidified it for me,” Ranger Chris Carvell said.
Retired Capt. Joan Grey was in the first class of women at West Point.
“Either the ground broke or we broke,” Grey said.
She said it’s long past time for accomplishments like this to be newsworthy.
“We want it to get to the ‘so what?’ (point). Okay, man, woman, if they can do the job, good for them,” Grey said.
For now, Griest and Haver will not be allowed to join a Ranger regiment, but Pentagon officials said that could soon change.
“The department’s policy is that all ground combat positions will be open to women unless rigorous analysis of factual data shows that the positions must remain closed,” Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said.
Haver and Griest had words of advice for other women looking to advance in the military.
“To the other females who plan on coming I hope that they come with a strong mind,” Haver said. “That’s what it takes to get through here. Just like everyone sitting next to me here had to do to make it to tomorrow.”
“Just came here to try and be a better leader and improve myself and I feel like I did that, and for other women who have that same goal in mind, just keep that goal in mind and just don’t lose sight of it,” Griest added.
The military has until Oct. 1 to present the findings of their analysis to the Pentagon for review, Boswell reported.
One other woman from the original class of 19 is still working her way through Ranger training and could still graduate. The next class begins in November and it, too, will have female Ranger candidates.