She made history once. Now she's done it again. Kristen Griest, one of the first female soldiers to earn a Ranger tab, has become the US Army's first female infantry officer after the military overturned a ban on women in combat positions, reports the Army Times. "Like any other officer wishing to branch-transfer, Capt. Griest applied for an exception to Army policy to transfer from military police to infantry," says a rep from Fort Benning in Georgia. "Her transfer was approved by the Department of the Army [on Monday] and she's now an infantry officer." She'll be eligible to hold a command position when she graduates from the two-month Maneuver Captains Career Course at Fort Benning on Thursday, per ABC News.
"I am proud of Capt. Kristen Griest, not because she is the first, but because she is following her heart," Lisa Jaster, who graduated from the Ranger course two months after Griest and Shaye Haver, tells the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "She is a leader of soldiers who puts her whole self into her job and will continue to make sacrifices in order to make our Army stronger." Griest could be the only female infantry officer for months, though a military official says she likely won't take command of her infantry unit until next spring or summer, per NBC News. Around that time, at least nine other women are expected to enter the Army's infantry branch after completing training. Thirteen women have been approved to enter its armor branch.