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Women On The Front Lines48:12
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Two women, graduating from the Army’s Ranger School. First time ever. A real achievement. Should American women fight our toughest battles?

U.S. Army Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, right, speaks with reporters, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was scheduled to graduate Friday from the Army’s elite Ranger School. (AP)
U.S. Army Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, right, speaks with reporters, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was scheduled to graduate Friday from the Army’s elite Ranger School. (AP)

Gender and military history made yesterday, as the first two female graduates ever from Army Ranger school came forward to speak to the world.  Captain Kristen Greist, 26. Lieutenant Shaye Haver, 25. West Point grads. And now, today, being awarded the Ranger tabs after making it through one of the US military’s most grueling tests of physical endurance and leadership. Their achievement comes straight into the final rounds of Pentagon debate and change over women in combat. This hour On Point: a big achievement, the US military, and where and how American women will fight.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Anna Mulrine, defense corespondent for the Christian Science Monitor. (@annamulrine)

Molly O'Toole, politics reporter at Defense One. (@mollymotoole)

Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness. Served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

1st Lt. Christina Tremblay, military police officer with the West Virginia Army National Guard. Served three combats tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

From Tom’s Reading List

Defense One: Meet the Women Who Survived Army’s Ranger School (Navy SEALs Are Next) — "Defense Department officials so far have approved 111,000 jobs for women since beginning their review in January, with 220,000 to go. Each job approval requires 30-day Congressional notice, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters Tuesday. The final approvals and exceptions to the rule will be announced 'on or about' Jan. 1, 2016."

Christian Science Monitor: New female Rangers did more than pass: 'They beat me,’ male student says — "They introduced themselves as Rangers, and America heard from two women who have made military history, as the first female soldiers ever to earn a Ranger tab."

Washington Post: How did these two women become the first to complete Army Ranger School? — "The two women who will graduate Friday from the Army’s Ranger School did not seem particularly destined to break that gender barrier. Both were strong students and gifted athletes, like many others who emerge from high schools across the country every year. But they made their mark on the U.S. military this week by tapping rare levels of determination that intensified over time."

This program aired on August 21, 2015.

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