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Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver pinned on their Ranger Tabs Friday, officially making history as the first women to earn the coveted black and gold tab. Griest, Haver and 94 of their male classmates were celebrated during a graduation ceremony on Victory Pond at Fort Benning, Georgia. The group, Ranger Class 08-15, will “surely go down in history for many reasons,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Arnold, the senior enlisted soldier for the Airborne and Training Brigade.

Photo: Courtesy of John Bazemore, AP. U.S. Army First Lt. Shaye Haver, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right

Not only does the class boast the two women, but a soldier who beat cancer twice to earn his tab, and several who survived a lightning strike that hit

the class last week during training in the Florida swamps, Arnold said. “You’ve acquitted yourselves quite well,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, to the graduates. “You’re leaving Victory Pond with a small piece of cloth on your shoulders, but, more importantly, you carry the title of Ranger from here on out.”

Miller, who graduated from Ranger School almost 30 years ago to the day, recalled what the speaker at his graduation said. “He said, more or less, ‘you have people who will question the standards of Ranger School. When they question those standards, what I ask you to do is invite them back to Fort Benning, Georgia, and re-validate their tab,’” Miller said. “To date, we’ve had zero takers.” Full Story

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