Profiles of Women Soldiers

Capt. Kristen Griest

Capt. Kristen Griest

2015: One of the first female Soldiers to earn the Ranger tab

Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye L. Haver made history by being the first women to meet all the requirements to complete Ranger School and earn their Ranger tab. Griest and Haver are also both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

"I knew how badly I wanted to go [to Ranger School] when I was a second lieutenant, before I became a platoon leader," Griest said, during an Aug. 20 press conference. "I was hoping to go to this course because it is the best training the Army can provide, and I wanted to have that training before I had a platoon."

Since Ranger School opened in 1950, only 77,000 Soldiers have earned the Ranger tab. Of the 4,057 Soldiers who attempted the course in 2014, just 1,609 tacked on the tab.

First Lt. Shaye Haver

First Lt. Shaye Haver

2015: One of the first female Soldiers to earn the Ranger tab

Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest made history by being the first women to meet all the requirements to complete Ranger School and earn their Ranger tab. Griest and Haver are also both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

"The reasons I chose to come were the same as the men here: to get the experience of the elite leadership school and to give me the opportunity to lead my Soldiers the best that I can," said Haver. "I think if females continue to come to this course, they can be encouraged by what we have accomplished, but hopefully they're encouraged by the legacy that the Ranger community has left."

Since Ranger School opened in 1950, only 77,000 Soldiers have earned the Ranger tab. Of the 4,057 Soldiers who attempted the course in 2014, just 1,609 tacked on the tab.

Cpl. Erica Gunter

Cpl. Erica Gunter

2015: The first woman of 13M Military Occupation Specialty to become a launcher chief

Gunter made history when she was promoted to a corporal and assigned as a Multiple Launch Rocket System launcher chief, a position usually held by a staff sergeant. Her new position means that she is the first woman in the 13M military occupation specialty to enter the non-commissioned officer corps and be assigned as a launcher chief. While other female 13Ms have attained such status, they were all reclassified into the MOS, whereas Gunter began her career as a 13M two years ago during the second 13M Advanced Individual Training class open to women.

Maj. Chrissy Cook

Maj. Chrissy Cook

2014: The first female Bradley commander to lead her crew to "Top Gun" Status

Cook, an engineer officer, made history in the 1st Cavalry Division, July 8, 2014, when she led her Bradley crew to "Top Gun" status during gunnery. She led her crew to a top score of 835 with nine of 10 engagements, passed to seal "Top Gun" status, June 17. This marks a page in the history books as the Army continues to open doors to female Service members for service in direct combat roles. As an engineer, Cook's branch has long been open to males and females.

Maj. Gen. Nadja West

Maj. Gen. Nadja West

2013: The first African-American female major general of the Army's active component

West is also Army Medicine's first African-American female two-star general. She is the joint staff surgeon, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. West is a graduate from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. She attended the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she earned a Doctorate of Medicine degree.

Lt. Gen. Flora D. Darpino

Lt. Gen. Flora D. Darpino

2013: The first female judge advocate general of the Army

Darpino began serving as the 39th judge advocate general of the U.S. Army, Sept. 4, 2013. She was promoted during a ceremony at the Pentagon, and assumed the duties of the position. The judge advocate general serves as the senior uniformed attorney in the Army. Darpino received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., her Juris Doctor from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and her Master of Laws degree in military law from the Judge Advocate General's School. Darpino received a direct commission into the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps in January 1987.

Spc. Jessica Jones

Spc. Jessica Jones

2013: One of the first female Soldiers to graduate the artillery mechanic course and recognized as her company's honor graduate

Jones made history, July 16, 2013, as one of the first women to attend the U.S. Army Ordnance School's Artillery Mechanic (91P). The 15-week military occupational specialty has, until the beginning of this class, been restricted to male students. Jones and Spc. Angelika Jansen are the first females to hold the military occupational specialty. The course is one of six the Army opened to women as part of an effort to loosen the combat exclusion provisions under the Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule.

Spc. Alexandra Seccareccio

Spc. Alexandra Seccareccio

2013: The first woman to obtain the multiple launch rocket system crewmember specialty

Then-Pvt. Seccareccio graduated from a military occupational specialty previously closed to females, 13M. The first class of female Soldiers in the 13M, multiple launch rocket system crewmember military occupation specialty, graduated Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, April 30, 2013.

Maj. Gen. Laura J. Richardson

Maj. Gen. Laura J. Richardson

2012: The first female deputy commanding general of a maneuver division

Then-Brig. Gen. Richardson became the deputy commanding general of support for the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, July 5, 2012. She was promoted to brigadier general on March 2, 2012, while serving at her previous assignment as the commanding general of U.S. Army Operational Test Command.

Brig. Gen. Margaret W. Burcham

Brig. Gen. Margaret W. Burcham

2012: The first woman to be promoted to a general officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Burcham was promoted at the Corps' Washington, D.C. headquarters, Jan. 27, 2012. In September 2011, Burcham became the first woman selected to command a Corps of Engineers division when she took command of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division located in Cincinnati. The division consists of seven engineer districts that include more than 4,800 personnel operating in a 17-state region with the responsibility for the federal water resource development throughout the Great Lakes and Ohio River basins.

Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson

Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson

2011: The Army's first-ever female African-American reserve officer to obtain the rank of major general

Anderson was promoted during a ceremony at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 1, 2011. She was assigned as the deputy chief of Army Reserve. She had previously assumed responsibility as deputy commander of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Oct. 1, 2010. As a citizen-Soldier, Anderson is employed by the United States Courts, where she serves as the clerk of Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Wisconsin, located in Madison, Wis.

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho

2011: The first female and first nurse to become surgeon general of the Army

Horoho was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and became the 43rd surgeon general of the Army by Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2011, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va. Horoho had previously commanded the Army Nurse Corps since 2008, when she received a rare two-grade promotion from colonel to major general - skipping the rank of brigadier general

Sgt. Sherri Gallagher

Sgt. Sherri Gallagher

2010: The first female to be selected as Best Warrior's Soldier of the Year

Gallagher competed against 24 of the Army's finest warriors, representing 12 commands worldwide in the 2010 Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va., Oct. 25, 2010. Described as the "Super Bowl" of Army competitions, the competition tests each competitors' Army aptitude, conquering urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams, and warrior tasks and battle drills relevant to today's operating environment.

Gallagher is also the first Service member to win the national high-power rifle championship in 23 years and the second women ever to win - her mother was the first. In 2012, Gallagher joined the Army's Golden Knights Parachute Team.