Fort Benning, GA - Ranger School

United States Army Rangers - Wikipedia

Fort Benning, Georgia, is the home of Army Infantry and Maneuver. Within the walls of the well-known post include schools like Airborne, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, Armor, and the famous Ranger School. On August 21, 2015, Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Harver became the first two female soldiers to earn their Ranger tab. Later, on December 13, 2019, Staff Sergeant Danielle Farber and Staff Sergeant Jessica Smiley became the first two female enlisted soldiers from the National Guard to complete Ranger School.  Becoming an Army Ranger is not for the weak or fainthearted. Soldiers must endure three phases, the first being at Fort Benning centered on physical and mental toughness. The next phase takes place in the mountains and tests the soldiers on mountaineering tasks as well as combat patrol operations. The last phase is located in swampy areas where soldiers must demonstrate extreme physical and mental toughness while leading more intense combat patrol operations. In spite of the severe challenges at Ranger School, over 45 female soldiers have earned their tab.

Even though Captain Griest and Lieutenant Harver completed Ranger School, the Army still did not allow them to join the 75th Ranger Regiment until January 2016. This was due to debates about a women’s physical capabilities, sexual harassment, and health. Some argue the biological differences of a male and female are too different, that women will never be strong enough to complete critical tasks. Others believe women can perform just as strong as men and can complete the mission using their unique strengths. Some military personnel believes since sexual harassment and assault are already an issue with branches having an even ratio of males to females, combat arms units having only a couple of females in a unit full of men increases a female’s percentage of getting sexually harassed or assaulted. On the other hand, others argue that sexual harassment remains an issue even in the absence of women. Lastly, one side agrees that health has always been a problem for everyone whereas the other side thinks women are prone to have more health issues than men. Like any debate, the truth can be found on both sides. The significance of female soldiers passing the Army’s toughest leadership school continues to open the door for further research and intensity within the discussion over females in combat arms units.


Works Cited

“Army Ranger School.”,

Britzky, Haley. “How the First Enlisted Female National Guard Soldier to Graduate Ranger School Got It Done.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 21 Jan. 2020,

Davis, Audrey. “Women Warriors: Will General Mark Milley Allow Women in the 75th Ranger Regiment?” Newcomb College Institute of Undergraduate Research, vol. 1, no. 3, 2017, pp. 25-30.

Lamothe, Dan. These are the Army's First Female Ranger School Graduates: Some History: First Lt. Kristen Griest and Capt. Shaye Haver are the First Women to Graduate the Army's Ranger School. WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post, Washington, 2015. ProQuest,


Latitude: 32.391267200000
Longitude: -84.822907400000