In honor of Women’s History Month, Fort McCoy hosted an online observance March 18 featuring one of the first female Army Rangers.
Capt. Shaye Haver was one of the first two women to complete Army Ranger School after it was opened to women in 2015. She participated in a question-and-answer session with Fort McCoy Soldiers and employees over Microsoft Teams.
Haver said that while she faced challenges going into a field that hadn’t accepted women before, she was extremely focused on doing her best and becoming a valuable member of the team.
“I knew I was going to be expected to perform in a certain way. And so I took that very seriously. I prepared myself very seriously,” Haver said. “I was dead set on not being the weakest link, and so therefore I threw myself into being competent and tactically proficient.”
She said, however, that along the way, both in Ranger School and back home at her unit, she learned that it was also important to build relationships. She said she had to learn that she didn't always need to be the best and that she could rely on support from her team members when she needed it.
Haver said she thought the best way to foster diversity and inclusion is to start with small groups. Talking to a handful of people across a table is easier than trying to start a discussion in a lecture hall.
“How do we get (people) comfortable? We include them,” Haver said. “We ask them questions.”
She said it’s important that the Army and the United States continue to promote equal opportunities for all people
“I think it’s important that we continue to move this (goal) post down the road, that we continue to get closer and closer to this ideal,” Haver said. “We want everybody to feel accepted (and) useful and ... have the same opportunities to succeed or fail.”
Haver also said she is grateful for those who have supported her and encouraged her to push her limits, including her family, friends, and military mentors.
“I have been extremely blessed,” she said. “If not for the persistence and determination of those men and women who came before me and raised me, I would not be where I am today.”
Women’s History Month commemorates and celebrates the vital role of women in U.S. history. The observance began as Women's History Week in 1981. Since 1995, presidents have issued proclamations declaring March as Women's History Month. These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields, according to www.womenshistorymonth.gov.
This Equal Opportunity event was organized by Fort McCoy Garrison Headquarters and Headquarters Company.