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First Female Army Infantry Officer Is Capt. Kristen Griest

Image: First Female Army Infantry Officer Is Capt. Kristen Griest
Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut (L) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas chat as they wait to receive their ranger tabs at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia August 21, 2015. (Tami Chappell/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 09:34 AM

Capt. Kristen Griest has become the first female Army infantry officer and is expected to graduate from the Maneuver Captain's Career Course on Thursday.

Griest, 27, had already made U.S. military history last August when she and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver became the first women to graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School, reported 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," said Bob Purtiman, a spokesman for the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, Georgia. "Her transfer was approved by the Department of the Army [on Monday] and she's now an infantry officer."

The Army Times said that Griest, who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy  in 2011, is expected to be the first of numerous women officers, as the Army announced last month that it approved the request of 22 female cadets to enter the infantry and armor branches as second lieutenants.

Sue Fulton, who was a member of the first West Point class to include women in 1980, told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that she believed Griest will stand out as an officer.

"At West Point, our highest goal is to train and develop leaders of character like Kristen Griest," Fulton told the Ledger-Enquirer. "Having gotten to know her, I can tell you that the last thing Kris will want from this is more attention.

"Just as she shunned the media after Ranger School, she will just want to get to work. Which is why she is the kind of officer we need in the infantry: extremely tough, smart, a quiet professional and a team player. She is the first of a select group of women who will step up to the challenges of Army Infantry, and make it stronger through their talent and selfless service," Fulton added.

Griest said before her graduation from Ranger School last year that she was looking at several options in the future, reported The Washington Post.

"I think that Special Forces is something that I would definitely be interested in if my timeline permits for that," Griest told the Post. "Currently, I'm trying to pursue civil affairs, which is under the Special Operations umbrella that is currently open to women. But there are several other options out there, and I'm honestly not very decided about it."

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Capt. Kristen Griest has become the first female Army infantry officer and is expected to graduate from the Maneuver Captain's Career Course on Thursday.
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2016-34-28
Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 09:34 AM
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