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West Point women call for Rep. Russell's Ranger records

U.S. Army First Lt. Shaye Haver, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right.

A group of female West Point graduates is asking the Army to turn over the Ranger records of Oklahoma congressman Steve Russell, Stars and Stripes is reporting. 

The Republican freshman reignited debate this week over women in combat by requesting performance records to prove the first two women to graduate Ranger School at Georgia's Fort Benning, First Lt. Shaye Haver and Capt. Kristen Griest, were not given special treatment when receiving tabs in August.

Russell asked the Secretary of the Army for paperwork documenting the women's performance to make sure that soldiers who passed the course deserved to do so, his spokesman said.

Stars and Stripes quoted Sue Fulton, a former Army captain and a member of the first female class of West Point in 1980, who said she filed a Freedom of Information Act request Thursday for Russell’s Ranger School file on behalf of an informal group of her fellow graduates.

The congressman earned his tab in the mid-1980s and went on to serve 21 years in the Army, including time as an infantry commander during the Iraq War, according to his congressional bio.

“He like too many older men have biases about what women are capable of,” Fulton was quoted as saying. “Ranger instructors and their leaders are known for their integrity but somehow when women pass the standard that integrity is no longer respected.”

Fort Benning commanders have said repeatedly that any women who attempted the course were held to the same standards as men, according to the Associated Press.

Russell, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, was part of a congressional delegation that visited the Ranger School in April, shortly after the women began the course.

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Phillip O'Connor

O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently... Read more ›