The face of the US Army has changed forever

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U.S. Army Selects First Female Infantry Oficer

There's about to be a, "Yes, ma'am," in an Army infantry unit.

After earning the coveted black-and-gold Ranger tab in August 2015, U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, will once again make history by becoming the first female infantry officer, the Army said.

Griest will become the first woman to lead an infantry unit into combat.

"I think it's awesome," U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Harlee Bradford told Business Insider. Bradford was one of the first women to train in the first gender-integrated, notoriously grueling Marine Corps' Infantry Training Battalion in 2013.

"Are we supposed to be surprised that a woman can do what a man can do? I'm happy for her. My only advice would be -- don't let someone else tell you what the hell you're capable of," Bradford added.

More on Griest and other female graduates of the U.S. Army's Ranger School:

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The face of the US Army has changed forever
FORT BENNING, GA - AUGUST 21: Capt. Kristen Griest salutes during the graduation ceremony of the United States Army's Ranger School on August 21, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia . Capt. Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver are the first women ever to successfully complete the U.S. Army's Ranger School. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, U.S. Army First Lt. Shaye Haver, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right, pose for photos with other female West Point alumni after an Army Ranger school graduation ceremony at Fort Benning, Ga. Haver and Griest became the first female graduates of the Army's rigorous Ranger School. Their history-making is among the state's top stories of 2015. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut (L) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas chat as they wait to receive their ranger tabs at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia August 21, 2015. The two pioneering women made history on Friday as they became the first females to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling 62-day Ranger school, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Though Haver and Griest are still not eligible to take part in front-line combat, according to reports, a decision on whether to change that policy could come in the fall.. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut (L) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas wave to family and friends as they wait to receive their ranger tabs at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia August 21, 2015. The two pioneering women made history on Friday as they became the first females to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling 62-day Ranger school, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Though Haver and Griest are still not eligible to take part in front-line combat, according to reports, a decision on whether to change that policy could come in the fall. REUTERS/Tami Chappell TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove, Texas, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Conn., left rear, stand as they are recognized for being the first female graduates of the Army's Ranger School, during a luncheon for military women â active-duty service members and veterans, spouses and caregivers â at the Vice President's official residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, left, Maj. Lisa Jaster, center, and First Lt. Shaye Haver, right, pose together after an Army Ranger School graduation ceremony, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Fort Benning, Ga. Jaster, who is the first Army Reserve female to graduate the Army's Ranger School, joins Griest and Haver as the third female soldier to complete the school. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)
Maj. Lisa Jaster, center, embraces First Lt. Shaye Haver, left, and U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, right, after an Army Ranger School graduation ceremony, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Fort Benning, Ga. Jaster, who is the first Army Reserve female to graduate the Army's Ranger School, joins Griest and Haver as the third female soldier to complete the school. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)
U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest, left, of Orange, Conn., stands in formation during an Army Ranger School graduation ceremony, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. Griest and First Lt. Shaye Haver became the first female soldiers to complete the Army's rigorous school, putting a spotlight on the debate over women in combat. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange, Connecticut, speaks with reporters Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was scheduled to graduate Friday from the Army’s elite Ranger School. Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver are the first two women to complete the notoriously grueling Ranger course, which the Army opened to women this spring as it studies whether to open more combat jobs to female soldiers. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
U.S. Army Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, right, speaks with reporters, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was scheduled to graduate Friday from the Army’s elite Ranger School. Haver and Army Capt. Kristen Griest are the first two women to complete the notoriously grueling Ranger course, which the Army opened to women this spring as it studies whether to open more combat jobs to female soldiers. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
In this April 26, 2015, photo, 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, one of the 20 female soldiers, who is among the 400 students who qualified to start Ranger School, tackles the Darby Queen obstacle course, one of the toughest obstacle courses in U.S. Army training, at Fort Benning, in Ga. Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest are the first women to complete the U.S. Army's grueling Ranger School and were scheduled to graduate Friday, Aug. 21, alongside 94 male soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., families of the soldiers confirmed Wednesday. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)
CLEVELAND, GA - JULY 14: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (L) takes part in mountaineering training during the at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Mount Yonah July 14, 2015 in Cleveland, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Ebony Banks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, GA - JULY 14: U.S. Army U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest (2nd L) takes part in mountaineering training during the at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Mount Yonah July 14, 2015 in Cleveland, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Yvette Zabala-Garriga/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
FORT BENNING, GA - JUNE 23: U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest (R) participates in an obstacle course as part the training at the U.S. Army Ranger School June 23, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Scott Brooks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
FORT BENNING, GA - JUNE 28: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (R) participates in an obstacle course as part the training at the U.S. Army Ranger School June 28, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Scott Brooks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, GA - JULY 14: U.S. Army Soldiers 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (R) takes part in mountaineering training during the at the U.S. Army Ranger School on Mount Yonah July 14, 2015 in Cleveland, Georgia. U.S. Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger School. (Photo by Ebony Banks/U.S. Army via Getty Images)
In this April 25, 2015, photo, Capt. Kristen Griest, right, talks to another soldier as she waits at Lawson Airfield for the Airborne Assault exercise to begin during U.S. Army's Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. Griest and 1st Lt. Shayne Haver are the first women to complete the grueling Ranger School and were scheduled to graduate Friday, Aug. 21, alongside 94 male soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., families of the soldiers confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 19. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)
In this April 25, 2015, photo, Capt. Kristen Griest waits at Lawson Airfield for the Airborne Assault exercise to begin during U.S. Army's Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. Griest and 1st Lt. Shayne Haver are the first women to complete the grueling Ranger School and were scheduled to graduate Friday, Aug. 21, alongside 94 male soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., families of the soldiers confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 19. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)
A female Ranger students holds a position with her team during an exercise on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase ofArmy Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. Pentagon leaders decided in 2013 to investigate the possibility of opening all military jobs to women. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
Army Rangers students carry a zodiac boat into the Yellow River on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. A female Ranger student is pictured (middle left). Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase of Army Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. Pentagon leaders decided in 2013 to investigate the possibility of opening all military jobs to women. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

A female Army Ranger student lifts a rucksack onto her back on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase of Army Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

Captain Kristen Griest (R) participates in the Darby Queen obstacle course as part of the training at the Ranger Course on Ft. Benning Georgia, June 28, 2015. When two women completed the daunting U.S. Army Ranger school this week they helped end questions about whether women can serve as combat leaders, as the Pentagon is poised to open new roles, including elite Navy SEALs, to women in coming months. Army Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver on Tuesday completed a 62-day course including parachute jumps, helicopter assaults, swamp survival and small unit leadership that earned them a Ranger badge. Picture taken June 28, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Army/Pfc. Ebony Banks/Handout THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

A female Army Ranger student crosses the Yellow River on a rope bridge on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Two out of 19 females have made it to the final phase of Army Ranger training which ends at Camp James E. Rudder on Eglin Air Force Base. Pentagon leaders decided in 2013 to investigate the possibility of opening all military jobs to women. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

In this In this Aug. 13, 2013 file photo, U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms Third Class Danielle Hinchliff, left, and Master-at-Arms Third Class Anna Schnatzmeyer, both of Coastal Riverine Squadron 2, train under the watchful eye of instructor Boatswain's Mate Second Class Christopher Johnson, right, while training on a Riverine Assault Boat as they participate in a U.S. Navy Riverine Crewman Course at the Center for Security Forces Learning Site at Camp Lejeune, N.C. As the first two women pass the grueling course to become Army Rangers, the U.S. military services appear poised to allow women to serve in most, if not all, front-line jobs, including as special operations forces, according to several senior officials familiar with the discussions. The decision comes four years after an independent commission recommended opening all combat jobs to women. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
Soldier climbs the Prusik Tower during the 2004 Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Ga., April 24, 2004 (Photo by Russ Bryant/WireImage)
FORT BENNING, UNITED STATES: US Army Rangers demonstrate their patroling at the Ranger Training Bridgade at the US Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia 20 December 2002. The Ranger's primary mission is to engage in the close combat direct fire battle. AFP PHOTO/Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
397109 16: A U.S. Army Ranger climbs a rope during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
397109 14: A U.S. Army Ranger unit goes through its paces during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
397109 13: A U.S. Army Ranger unit goes through its paces during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
397109 04: A U.S. Army Ranger rappels down a tower during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
The winners after the last event, Staff Sergeant Adam Nash and Staff Sergeant Colin Boley from the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., April 24, 2004. (Photo by Russ Bryant/WireImage)
Staff Sergeant Adam Nash of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and Team 15, takes a moment to watch his team mate finish the slide for life at Victory Pond During the Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Ga., April 24, 2004. (Photo by Russ Bryant/WireImage)
397109 01: A U.S. Army Ranger slides down a cable as an explosion goes off in the backround during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
A U.S. Army ranger holds up two Ak-47s that were captured in an assault on a Panamanian Defense Force installation at Rio Hato, north of Panama City, Dec. 21. The boxes contain the weapons. (AP Photo)
U.S. Army rangers take a break on a rooftop during patrols in West Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, April 2, 2005.A car bomb exploded Saturday in central Iraq, killing five people, including four police officers on patrol, while gunmen killed an education official in Baghdad. A U.S. Marine was killed in Ramadi, the military said (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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In December 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women.

"I totally support women in combat, women being eligible to compete for any position in the military," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Business Insider in an interview earlier this year.

"But I would agree with military leaders there can be no lowering of the standards of the requirements to perform specific jobs, lowering standards will put lives at risk," Gates added.

'Rangers Lead the Way'

The motto of the U.S. Army's elite regiment could not be more fitting: "Rangers lead the way."

In April 2015, West Point graduates Griest and First Lt. Shaye Haver entered into the first gender-integrated Ranger School, alongside 380 men and 18 other female candidates.

Ranger candidates arrive for the 62-day training in the best shape of their lives and survive on a meal a day and just a few hours of sleep -- all the while completing some of the toughest military training in the world.

"Ranger School is a gut check," Jack Murphy, a Special Operations 75th Ranger Regiment veteran and the managing editor of the military-focused publication SOFREP, told Business Insider.

"... When you see another soldier wearing a Ranger tab on his or her uniform you know that you have both slogged it out through some extremely challenging training, which automatically builds a certain amount of trust in each other," Murphy added.

Each year, approximately 4,000 students attend Ranger School.

Sixty percent of those candidates wash out of the course.

Griest, a military police officer from Connecticut and Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot from Texas, completed the full Ranger course in four months and graduated in August 2015 with 94 of their male counterparts.

Welcome to Ranger School

The U.S. Army divides the grueling course into three phases: "Benning," "mountain," and "Florida."

During the Benning phase of Ranger School, which takes place in Georgia, a soldier's physical stamina, mental toughness, and tactical skills are evaluated and fine-tuned.

On the last day of the Benning phase, Ranger candidates conduct an arduous 12-mile march while carrying a 35-pound ruck sack — and without the luxury of drinking water. About 50% of students will pass this phase of the course, according to the Ranger School website.

During the appropriately named mountain phase, Ranger students are sent to the northern Georgia mountains to continue to learn how to sustain themselves in adverse conditions.

"The rugged terrain, severe weather, hunger, mental and physical fatigue, and the emotional stress that the student encounters afford him the opportunity to gauge his own capabilities and limitations as well as that of his peers," according to the U.S. Army.

The last phase consists of fast-paced field-training exercises in which candidates are evaluated based on their execution of high-stress raids, ambushes, and close-combat attacks.

All students must pass an intense physical fitness test that includes 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run with a 40 minute time limit, six chin-ups, a timed swim test, a land-navigation test, several obstacle courses, three parachute jumps, four air assaults on helicopters, and 27 days of mock combat patrols.

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