First women rangers – level 3
A historic moment at the US Army Ranger School after two women became the first to wear the tab of a US Army ranger. Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver were the only two women to complete the gruelling 62-day course which included parachute jumps, helicopter assault and swamp survival.
“For me, really, I think, the swamps both in Darby and Florida were just frustrating. You’re going through at night. You’re either cold or extremely hot, one or the other… And you are walking under night vision for hours on end, you don’t know when it’s going to end, tripping over things…”
Only they and 94 men completed the training which began with 19 women and 381 men.
It was the first time women had been allowed to participate.
“I was skeptical if they could handle it physically. Shaye was the only one who volunteered to take the weight. She took the weight off me. She carried it the last half of that rock, literally saving me. I probably wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for Shaye.“
But the men praised the women for their dependability and Griest received a special mention for her land navigation skills.
The women acknowledged they had initial concerns that their gender might have been an issue for some of their fellow soldiers. Surpassing all doubts, both Griest and Haver said the way to make it through ranger school is intense physical and mental conditioning.
Difficult words: gruelling (extremely hard and tiring), assault (an attack), on end (without stopping), weight (something heavy), rock (mountain or hill), praise (to express admiration of), dependability (being dependable – reliable), surpass (to be even better than something).
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