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Aug 23, 2015 11:26 AM

NH Ranger shares his thoughts on first female Army Rangers


Two women just made history graduating from the elite Army Ranger training, and a former New Hampshire Ranger says it's likely only a matter of time before they join their male colleagues in combat units.

"These two women and I belong to a very, very small fraternity," said James Steiner, who is also a Green Beret.

U.S. Army First Lt, Shaye Haver, a West Point graduate and Apache helicopter pilot, and Cpt. Kristen Griest, also a West Point graduate and a military police officer, survived the grueling training as Army Rangers but will not be allowed to join their 94 colleagues in the all-male combat units.

"I see these women as the cutting edge of major change that is going to occur," Steiner predicted.

Steiner was a cadet at West Point in 1976 during another historic change when women were finally allowed to enroll at the military academy -- a controversial decision at the time.

He remembers his class was polled on the decision. "How many of you are in favor of women coming to West Point," he remembers being asked. "Without thinking about it, I raised my hand because i was in favor of it. I thought it made a whole lot of sense and I looked around and I was the only one in the class."

Over time, however, Steiner says the military is becoming more aware of the value of women in combat missions.

"Already elite units - Delta - they've brought women on combat missions with them because they realize the role, the important role, that they women play in making the missions succeed. And that's really what it's about: making the mission succeed," Steiner said.

"America should be proud of them because they have stood up, they've been counted, they've been tested to an infinite degree, and they've succeeded," he said. "And America loves winners. Those are two winners right there."


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