Maj. Lisa Jaster: 3rd Female Ranger
Published: October 14, 2015
Maj. Lisa Jaster: 3rd Female Ranger, Army Maj. Lisa Jaster became the third woman to complete the rigorous Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia since the January 2013 decision to open the combat training to women.
Jaster, 37, took an unusual route as a higher-ranking Army reservist. The mother of two temporarily left a job as an engineer with the Shell Oil Company in Houston to take on the Ranger School, according to the Washington Post.
Jaster will graduate Friday at a ceremony in Fort Benning with 87 men who finished the course. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, became the first women to complete the course on Aug. 21.
Jaster, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, spent 180 days in the course, longer than the minimum 61 days it takes, but within the realm of the possible for male or female students.
“I just think it’s phenomenal for her to do this at that age,” said Terron Sims II, a former Army captain who graduated from West Point with Jaster in 2000. “Forget gender. Her willingness to sacrifice at that age is just phenomenal and speaks a lot about her.”
Those who have been critical of the Army’s decision to open the Ranger School to women this year have charged that the military branch has lowered its standards to give female candidates multiple attempts to achieve the school’s three phases, reported the Army Times.
Army officials have pushed back against the criticism, saying that standards for the course have not been changed.
“Approximately 34 percent of students who enter Ranger School recycle at least one phase of the course,” said Col. David Fivecoat, commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.
“Recycling each phase is uncommon. However, this occurs for approximately 15 students each year, with each situation considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances.”
The Post said that Jaster joined the Army in 2000 and was on active duty for seven years, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. She met her husband, Marine Lt. Col. Allan Jaster, while she was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
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