Kristen Marie Griest

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Kristen Marie Griest
Cpt. Kristen Griest.jpg
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
AwardsRanger Tab.svg Ranger

Kristen Marie Griest is one of the two first women, along with Shaye Lynne Haver, to ever graduate from the US Army Ranger School, which occurred on 21 August 2015.[1][2][3] Griest and Haver were ranked 34th on Fortune magazine's 2016 list of the World's Greatest Leaders.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Griest attended a Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, CT, where she ran cross country and track.[5]

Military career[edit]

Griest graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2011 and commissioned into the Military Police branch of the U.S. Army.[6][5] She served as a Platoon Leader in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) at Fort Campbell, KY from 2011-2014, including a deployment to Afghanistan[5] in 2013. [7]

Griest began Ranger training in the spring of 2015 as part of a one-time pilot program to see how women would do in Ranger School. She started the course with 19 other women, marking the first time women have ever been allowed to participate through the course. At the culmination of 2 unsuccessful attempts to complete the first phase, all women had failed one requirement or another. Griest, along with Shaye Haver and one soldier still in training, was given the opportunity to start from the beginning, commonly referred to as a "Day 01" recycle. The three of them began training with Ranger Class 08-15.

When Griest graduated from Ranger school, the premier leadership course in the US Army, women were not allowed to serve in Ranger/Infantry roles due to the Pentagon's exclusion policies on women in combat. That policy changed on 3 December 2015 when Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the US military would open combat positions to women with no exception.[8]

In 2016, Griest became the first female infantry officer in the US Army when the Army approved her request to transfer there after graduating from the Maneuver Captains Career Course (MCCC). She took command of Bravo Company, 2-505th Parachute Infantry Regiment on April 7, 2017, and is currently serving in that position in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.[9]


  1. ^ Lamothe, Dan (18 August 2015). "These are the Army's first female Ranger School graduates". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  2. ^ Thompson, Mark (18 August 2015). "Female Army Ranger Grads Are Among Nation's Top Soldiers, But Can't Fight". Time. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  3. ^ Oppel, Richard A. (19 August 2015). "2 Women Set to Graduate From Ranger School Are Experienced Officers". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  4. ^ Colvin, Geoff. "Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Ed Stannard (20 August 2015). "Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange breaks barrier, earns Army Ranger tab". The New Haven Register. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Find a West Point Grad". West Point Association of Graduates. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  7. ^ Michelle Tan (21 August 2015). "First female Ranger grads share credit with classmate". The Army Times. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  8. ^ "The combat jobs women can now fight for". The Atlantic. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  9. ^ Martinez, Luis. "Trailblazer Becomes Army's First Female Infantry Officer". ABC News. Retrieved 18 August 2017.