Meet Major Lisa Jaster, the first U.S. Army Reserve female officer to graduate from Ranger school. This is no ordinary feat. Ranger school is considered to be one of the toughest military training courses, and was just opened to females in early September. It is a grueling, two-month long course where Army volunteers engage in adverse situations, requiring quick action. According to the US Army Reserve, 36 percent of students fail in the first four days.
Not Jaster. She is the third woman ever to graduate from Ranger school, joining the ranks with Captain Kristen Griest and First Lieutenant Shaye Haver (both in their twenties). According to the U.S. Army Reserve, the average age of people who complete Ranger school is 23 years old — Jaster, at 37 years old, is well above that average age, but still managed to kick serious butt.
She serves as an engineering officer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Huntsville Engineering Center in Alabama and is a mom to two children, 7 and 3 years old. Jaster opened up to the U.S. Army Reserve and commented on why she decided to face this mental and physical feat:
“I want [my children] to know that their parents weren’t afraid to try hard and do something more,” Jaster said. “It’s a bigger deal than just the Jaster family and I want them to know that it’s important to be part of the big picture,” Jaster added. “It’s important to try to do hard things, but it’s also important to look at the big picture and see how you can add to society and maybe make the world a little bit better.”
Jaster, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, who practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (in her limited spare time), also noted that her family has helped her achieve her goals.
"Some people worry that having a family is a detriment or that will de-motivate me, but I think having that will make me stronger and will push me through," she said.
Photo by Paul Abell, courtesy of the U.S. Army Reserve