The first females to ever graduate from the U.S. Army’s elite Ranger School were given special treatment to ensure they graduated, under pressure from the Pentagon, say military sources.
In August 2015, Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver made history as the first women to ever graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School.
Griest and Haver, both alums of West Point, received their tabs at Fort Benning, Georgia, after completing weeks of grueling training in the mountains, woods and swamplands.
Griest and Haver started out in April in a class comprised of 381 men and 19 women. The students were forced to train with minimal food and little sleep for 62 days while performing exhausting exercises.
Army Ranger School consists of three phases:
- 21 days of water survival, land navigation, a 12-mile march, patrols and an obstacle course;
- A 20-day phase that includes assaults, ambushes, mountaineering and patrols;
- A 17-day phase that covers waterborne operations.
After 62 grueling days, the class had winnowed down to 94 men and 2 women: Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver.
While Griest and Haver’s graduation was hailed as a victory for women wanting to serve in military combat positions, sources at Fort Benning claim Kristen and Shaye were given preferential treatment to ensure they didn’t fail.
“The women got special treatment and played by different rules,” multiple sources told People Sept. 24.
Military subordinates claim a general had told them “a woman will graduate Ranger School. At least one will get through.”
Sources told People the women were sent to a two-week training camp in January to prepare them for Army Ranger School, which didn’t start until April 20 for the men.
Insiders also claim women were allowed to repeat the training until they passed, while men flunked out if they failed a test.
“Once in the school they were allowed to repeat key parts – like patrols – while special consideration was not given to the men,” sources said.
While the Army has denied allegations that it had pressured the Rangers to guarantee a woman graduated, Congressman Steve Russell (R-Okla.) has asked the Army to release the performance records of all women who began Ranger School in April, including their patrol grade sheets, spot reports, official and peer evaluations and sick call reports.
Rep. Russell, a Ranger graduate and combat veteran, says lowering standards for women in combat positions endangers lives and compromises national security.
“The training of our combat warriors is paramount to our national defense,” Congressman Russell wrote to Army Secretary John McHugh. “In order to ensure that the Army retains its ability to defend the nation, we must ensure that our readiness is not sacrificed.”
Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver have not commented on the allegations, but eight female West Point graduates have since requested Congressman Russell’s Ranger performance records.
Another group of women is set to begin Ranger School in November.