POLITICS

This All-American Badass Is Now The First Female Infantry Officer

U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest already finished Army Ranger school -- now she's an infantry officer, too.
Army Capt. Kristen Griest, completed training at Army Ranger School in April 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Army Capt. Kristen Griest, completed training at Army Ranger School in April 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Since the Pentagon opened up all combat roles to women in the military, some men weren't happy about it and wondered whether women would, or could, make it.

Army Capt. Kristen Griest just proved their doubts were unfounded. 

Griest already exceeded expectations when she became the first female to complete Army Ranger school, known as the "Army's toughest training." Now she's making history again as the Army's first female infantry officer, according to the Army Times.

"Like any other officer wishing to branch-transfer, Capt. Griest applied for an exception to Army policy to transfer from military police to infantry," Bob Purtiman, a spokesman for the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence, told the Army Times. "Her transfer was approved by the Department of the Army and she's now an infantry officer."

With that rank, Griest will command units of up to 300 soldiers and organize land combat missions -- and if her training is any proof, she'll kick some ass, too.

Griest graduated Army Ranger school at the top of her class, enduring a grueling set of courses in the wild and earning the respect and adoration of her peers. CNN reports:

The students were forced to train with minimal food and little sleep and had to learn how to operate in the woods, mountains and swamplands.

Students also had to undergo a physical fitness test that included 49 pushups, 59 situps, a 5-mile run in 40 minutes, six chin-ups, a swim test, a land navigation test, a 12-mile foot march in three hours, several obstacle courses, four days of military mountaineering, three parachute jumps, four air assaults on helicopters and 27 days of mock combat patrols.

The Army expects more women to follow in her footsteps: it reported that 22 women had already applied for infantry and armor officer positions, and announced a new application window for women who want to transfer into infantry. 

The Pentagon announced in December that it would lift gender restrictions on all military service. The infantry, armor and Special Forces opened 220,000 jobs across the military, according to the Army Times.

Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that Griest would finish her officer training on Thursday. Her transfer to infantry officer was approved on Monday.

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