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US Army Opens Ranger Course to Women

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, left, and Capt. Kristen Griest pose for photos with other female West Point alumni after Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning, Ga., Aug. 21, 2015.

The U.S. Army said Wednesday that it would open its elite Ranger School to all soldiers regardless of gender, after two women made history last month by becoming the first to pass the grueling leadership course.

"Giving every qualified soldier the opportunity to attend the Ranger Course, the Army's premier small unit leadership school, ensures we are maintaining our combat readiness today, tomorrow and for future generations," Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said.

Last month, two women and 94 men passed the tough, 62-day Ranger course that tests their ability to overcome fatigue, hunger and stress during combat operations.

Captain Kristen Griest, 26, a military police officer, and 1st Lieutenant Shaye Haver, 25, an Apache helicopter pilot, were part of a test group, and their graduation increased pressure on the military to integrate women into more jobs that are still restricted to men.