Army Ranger Grad to Become US Infantry's 1st Female Officer

The military recently opened all combat positions to women

One of the first two women to graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School is set to break another barrier, becoming the first female officer in the Army's infantry.

Capt. Kristen Griest had her request to transfer from military police to infantry approved Monday, and she will be the first woman to hold that position, a spokesman at Fort Benning confirmed to NBC. The Connecticut native is expected to graduate from a captain's course Thursday, according to the Army Times, which first reported the news.

Her transfer comes five months after Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all combat positions to women. Army and Marine Corps generals told senators earlier this year that it will take several years to fully integrate women into combat roles, but some branches have started recruiting women for those roles, The Associated Press reported.

And the Army announced on April 15 that it approved 22 women's requests to transfer as 2nd lieutenants into its infantry and armor branches. Those transfers would go through after training and standards requirements are met, according to an Army news release.

Griest rose to national prominence when she and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver graduated from the notoriously rigorous Ranger school, an elite unit that prides itself on "intestinal fortitude," with a grueling, weekslong training course that spits out many who enter it. 

When she graduated, Griest said her successful completion of the elite program shows that women "can deal with the same stresses and training that men can." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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