Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio had a few things to say about the first two women to become Army Rangers.
It’s one of the biggest moments in Army history: two women have completed the Army Ranger School and have earned the elite Ranger label for the first time ever — and two 2016 GOP candidates for president, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, have an opinion on it.
The women, 1st Lt. Shaye Haver of Copperas Cove in Texas and Capt. Kristen Griest of Orange in Connecticut, received black-and-gold Ranger tabs at a graduation ceremony on Friday along with 94 men who also completed the training, according to a Washington Post report.
Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the candidates for president running for the GOP, said at the Iowa State Fair that he was supportive of the women, stating that anyone who can pass the rigorous training requirements “absolutely can serve our country,” he said according to a CNN report.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also praised the two women, saying they were “clearly qualified,” and that such decisions should be made by the military, and not by people on Capitol Hill. “If you’re range ready, you’re combat ready,” he said according to CNN.
Women still face some significant obstacles. They are still barred from joining all-male combat units like the 75th Ranger Regiment. But the Army says that they will likely open it up to women at some point down the road.
Griest, 26, has served in Aghanistan as a military police office,r and Haver, 25, flew Apache helicopters. Both are West Point graduates, and were the only two out of 19 women to complete the Ranger course.
The positions that remain closed to women include combat positions like the infantry, and armor and some artillery positions, as well as the Special Operations forces. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter expects to weigh in in December on whether any exceptions would be invoked to prevent women from joining some parts of the Army.