It’s hard not to be completely inspired by Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, who are set to become the first-ever female graduates of the U.S. Army's Ranger School tomorrow. But after hearing the details of their grueling training, we guarantee you'll be even more impressed (by all the graduates in fact), if that’s even possible.
“Ranger School is one of the toughest training courses for which a soldier can volunteer,” according to the U.S. Army’s web site. “For over two months, Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies."
Both Griest and Haver were required to pass the same physical tests as the men. This means they had to be able to do 49 push-ups in under two minutes, 59 situps, a five-mile run within 40 minutes, and 6 chin-ups. Whoa.
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In addition to that initial test, the soldiers had to march 12 miles in three hours, complete four days of military mountaineering, and spend 27 days doing mock combat patrols, the New York Times reported.
Both women already have notable military backgrounds (Griest was a military police platoon leader and Haver was an Apache attack helicopter pilot), but their graduation tomorrow comes with extra significance, as the military is in the process of expanding combat roles to women.
Ranger School first opened to women this year. As of now, women are still not allowed to serve in infantry or special-operations posts, so despite graduation, neither woman will get to change jobs. However, allowing women to participate in the training was part of the military's ongoing research into which combat roles should be opened to women, following a 2013 ruling that said they should no longer be barred from combat. Decisions must be made by Jan. 1.
The women's families released a statement Wednesday that read, in part: "Like everyone who will pin the tab on Friday, they are exceptional soldiers and strong teammates. The journey of Class 8-15 has been exciting and exhausting, and just as they trained as a team, they wish to celebrate as a team."
According to NBC News, 400 soldiers started the training, including 19 women, but only 96 soldiers graduated.
Feeling inspired by Captain Griest and Lieutenant Haver (and who wouldn’t)? Remember these ultra-tough women (and their male classmates, too) when things start to get hard at your bootcamp class this weekend.