On Friday, Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver will become the first women
to graduate from the U.S. Army's physically and mentally demanding Army Ranger School. The grueling course started in April
with 400 soldiers — 381 men and 19 women — and after months of little food and sleep, as well as workouts and tests in different terrains, Griest, Haver, and 94 men made the cut.
Although Griest, a military police officer, and Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot, can't apply to be Rangers yet — women are still not allowed to serve in around 25% of Army jobs — they accomplished something few people could imagine ever trying. The U.S. Armed Forces is in the process of opening up all combat jobs to female military personnel
, which means it may not be long before women will find their way into elite units such as the Rangers. All branches of the military have until January 1 to ask for exceptions to the Pentagon's integration ruling. The fact that Griest and Haver made it through the program will help the case for gender equality.
What is it actually like to go through such an intense training program? These photos, originally published by Military.com, offer a glimpse of what it actually looks like to train for this unit. It's a lot of dirt, a lot of discomfort, and a lot of determination.