It was a challenge to spot 37-year-old Major Lisa Jaster among the 88 Ranger School graduates, but there was no camouflaging her smile. Receiving her Ranger badge was a mission accomplished.
"There's no quitting, I can't have quit in me. There was never an option to stop and quit," said Jaster. "When Kris and Shaye moved on and I didn't, that was one of the hardest moments at Ranger School for me."
Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver were the first women to finish Army Ranger School in August. They returned to Fort Benning, Georgia today to show their support.
Nineteen women began Ranger School in April as part of a Pentagon mandate to open combat units to women. It took Jaster 180 days to finish.
"Once you get in the field and start training, shoulder to shoulder, gender stops mattering very quickly," she said.
For inspiration, she carried a photo of her 3-year-old daughter Victoria and 7-year-old son Zachary in her pocket.
"All I had to do was look at that picture and remember I didn't come to Ranger School just to get a piece of cloth on my shoulder," Jaster said.
"I wanted to do something. I wanted to better myself as a leader and I wanted to help the Army in this endeavor."