Connecticut Woman Among First Female Grads of Army Ranger School

A 26-year-old military police officer from Orange, Connecticut, is making history and is one of the first two women to complete the Army's elite Ranger School.

A defense official confirmed on Wednesday to The Associated Press that Capt. Kristen Griest, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is scheduled to graduate on Friday from Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. The official was not authorized to disclose the name publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Griest will graduate alongside 25-year-old 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas. Haver's father confirmed that his daughter, an Apache helicopter pilot and West Point graduate, also finished the Ranger course.

The Griest and Haver families issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying the women "are just like all the soldiers in Class 8-15 - happy, relieved, and ready for some good food and sleep."

Connecticut House Republican Leader Themis Klarides issued a statement congratulating Griest for being one of the first women to successfully complete the grueling Army Ranger school program.

“Kris Griest is truly a groundbreaking woman for her commitment to excellence which proved that there really are no bounds for women and girls,’’ Klarides said in a statement. “Orange and the entire state of Connecticut are in awe of your accomplishments.’’

Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to the report.

The West Point Flickr account posted a photo of Griest and the Class of 2011 Cadets.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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