National

Third woman set to graduate from Army Ranger School

Almost two months after the first two women graduated from U.S. Army Ranger School, a third one appears set to join them.

Maj. Lisa Jaster, 37, has successfully completed the Florida phase of the Army’s toughest combat leadership school and is scheduled to graduate on Friday at Fort Benning, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Army officials declined to comment on Sunday. Previously, the Army has made official announcements late Monday or Tuesday regarding classes that included the women.

Jaster is the mother of two children, 7 and 3, and serves in an Army reservist. She is a 2000 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Jaster works as an engineer for Shell Oil in Houston.

When Jaster graduates, she will join Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, who earned their tabs on Aug. 21. Griest, Haver and Jaster were among 19 women who started the course on April 19 at Camp Rogers on Fort Benning, Ga. Previously, Ranger School had been open only to men. That changed as the Army conducted a pilot program earlier this year. After Haver and Griest graduated, the school was open to all soldiers — male or female — who qualified to attend. Only 3 percent of the Army’s soldiers have earned the tab.

Like Jaster, Haver and Griest are both graduates from West Point. Haver, an attack helicopter pilot, graduated in 2012, and Griest, a military police officer, graduated in 2011.

Jaster will have been in the school 180 days when she graduates. If a soldier goes through all four phases with recycling — having to repeat a phase — the course takes 62 days. Less than 50 percent of the soldiers who start the school pass and only 30 percent of those go straight through without a recycle.

Jaster, like Haver and Griest, failed the first patrol phase at Camp Darby twice before being offered on May 29 a chance to start the course over from the beginning. All three women took what the Army termed a “Day 1 recycle,” and started over in late June. From that point, Griest and Haver went stright through without repeating a phase.

Jaster recycled in the north Georgia mountains and Florida swamps. Students are graded on their ability to lead small-unit patrols. They are also graded by the their peers.

Jaster’s graduation comes as an Oklahoma congressman has asked the Secretary of the Army for Ranger School records from the classes that included the women. Rep, Steve Russell, R-Okla., one of two Army Ranger qualified congressman, has questioned if the women were given special treatment. Russell’s office said on Friday it has not received the records it requested last month.

  Comments