Army Ranger School top brass refutes claims that female students got free pass

1LT Kristen Geist (center) will graduate Ranger school on Friday August 21, 2015.

There have been critics from the very beginning who didn’t think women should be allowed to enter Ranger School alongside their male counterparts — arguing that if they were included, standards would drop. That in order for these women to earn Ranger Tabs it was inevitable some things would have to change.

Now that two women have graduated, those critics are taking to social media to rip the program apart, criticizing this class and spreading rumors on the internet about how the women were essentially given a free pass.

But there will always be people who refuse to give credit where credit is due. That’s according to the No. 2 officer in the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade overseeing Ranger School.  In a rare post on social media, Maj. Jim Hathaway took to Facebook to address the rumors floating around about how the women passed.

“No matter what we at Ranger School say the non-believers will still be non-believers,” he said.

The first two women to graduate from Army Ranger School are First Lt. Kristen Griest, a military police officer, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot. The women will be among 96 graduates at a Ranger School ceremony at Fort Benning tomorrow.

Maj. Hathaway directly addressed the critics:  “We could have invited each of you to guest walk the entire course, and you would still not believe, we could have video recorded every patrol and you would still say that we “gave” it away. Nothing we say will change your opinion. I and the rest of our cadre are proud of the conduct of our soldiers, NCOs and officers, they took the mission assigned and performed to the Ranger Standard.”

Another rumor the Major shot down:  the fact that the females were afforded unprecedented recycle opportunities.  Regarding accusations that this class got more sleep, less physical training, and were coddled he said, “That simply did not happen.”

He also said the ridiculous rumor that President Obama was coming to this graduation and that RIs were told to pass them before they even started Florida, “is absolutely false.”

In this photo taken on Aug. 4, 2015, a female Army Ranger stands with her unit during Ranger School at Camp Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, she and one other female were the first to complete Ranger training and earn their Ranger tab this week. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
In this photo taken on Aug. 4, 2015, a female Army Ranger stands with her unit during Ranger School at Camp Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, she and one other female were the first to complete Ranger training and earn their Ranger tab this week. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

The Washington Post asked for and received permission to republish Major Hathaway’s comments.

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