Over the last twelve months the Pentagon has taken bold steps to establish what they’ve called a “gender neutral” military, and on April 19, 2015, for the first time in history, 19 women began Ranger School.
Maj. Lisa Jaster, U.S. Army Reserve, was one of them.
In Part I of the “Earning a Tab” series, created by Army vet Rebecca Murga, Lisa describes her life, including her intense daily workout routine and how she balances child care and her job with Shell Oil with her desire to make it through the grueling 61-day Ranger School, among the U.S. military’s most demanding courses as evidenced by a historical failure rate of nearly 60 percent.
She quotes her 6 year-old son, whose support for his mother’s goal is at once heartbreaking and motivating: “I’m already proud of you, mommy,” he said. “You don’t have to do this.”
“In my mind the stress is off,” her husband Allan, a Marine Corps reservist, says. “She’s already done awesome things for her country, the Army in general, and for women.”
On the eve of her departure she recalls how people she hasn’t heard from for years have wished her well.
She recounts one in particular, obviously moved by the sentiment: “A very old friend sent me his Ranger tab along with a note that read, ‘I thought my daughter would be the first female Ranger, but I hope it’s you.'”
Look for Part 2 of “Earning the Tab” at WATM next week.