Apache pilot among 1st Army women to graduate Ranger School

AP News
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Posted: Aug 19, 2015 12:02 PM
Apache pilot among 1st Army women to graduate Ranger School

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A 25-year-old officer from Texas who flies Apache attack helicopters is one of the first women to complete the Army's grueling Ranger School, her father confirmed Wednesday.

"She's kind of built for this thing," Chris Haver said of his daughter, Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas.

She is one of two female soldiers scheduled to graduate Friday from Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The two-month course tests soldiers' ability to overcome fatigue, hunger and stress during combat operations. The Army opened Ranger School to female soldiers for the first time this year as part of the military's push to open more combat jobs to women.

"It's just completely amazing," Chris Haver said of his daughter's accomplishment. "I'm super proud. I know a lot of guys that have been through it and tell me how hard the course it. They tell me it's the toughest, most mentally demanding course they've been too."

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Shaye Haver followed in her father's footsteps when she became a helicopter pilot. He also was a career Army aviator who flew Apaches.

Haver's father said she's always been mentally tough and incredibly physically fit. He said she has run marathons and was a member of the triathlon team at West Point.

The Army has not released the names of the female soldiers, who finished the Ranger course alongside 94 men.

While the graduating female soldiers have earned the coveted black-and-gold Ranger tab to wear on their uniforms, for now they're still unable to join the elite 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning.

The military's toughest jobs remain closed to female soldiers. That included positions in infantry, armor and special operations units such as the Ranger Regiment.