The first women to become elite U.S. Army Rangers endured two months of grueling training, identical to that required of men. Their achievement comes as the Navy prepares to let qualified women become SEALs and the Pentagon mulls putting women on the front lines of combat.
With impeccable timing, the new Rangers — and the rest of their graduating class — showed the nation that the Armed Forces are ready for the change. Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, both West Point graduates, won the respect of male soldiers during the harsh training, which tests physical and mental limits on minimal sleep.
In interviews before their graduation ceremony last Friday at Fort Benning, Ga., male Rangers said that at times when they couldn’t continue to carry their gear on punishing hikes, the women, not other men, stepped in to help. Captain Griest rejected arguments that standards should be lower for women.
Bravo to her and Lieutenant Haver for decimating the myth that women are inherently weaker than men. Being a Ranger or SEAL or Green Beret is not possible for everyone, male or female. But those who can rise to the honor should be allowed to claim it, regardless of gender.
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