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People Magazine alleges Ranger course "fixed" to graduate first women

A People Magazine story claims that two women who recently became the first to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling Ranger school received special treatment.

That prompted what described as a "blistering denial" late Friday from the U.S. Army that the course was “fixed” to allow women to pass and earn the coveted Ranger tab.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Malcom B. Frost, the Army’s chief of public affairs, said that the People Magazine article charging that Army Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were given special treatment was “flat-out wrong” and “pure fiction,” reported.

Earlier this month, Oklahoma congressman Steve Russell raised questions about whether the women received special treatment and requested their performance records.

That prompted a group of women who had graduated from West Point to file a Freedom of Information Act request for Russell's Ranger school file.

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.

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.

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 ›