Congressman investigating if first female Army Rangers received 'special treatment'

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Congressman investigating if first female Army Rangers received 'special treatment'

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Two women were among the U.S. Army Soldiers  undergong Mountaineering training during the Ranger Course on Mount Yonah in Dahlonega, Ga., July 14, 2015.

A U.S. congressman, citing "sources" who allege the Army's first female Rangers received "special treatment," has asked the Pentagon for test scores, evaluations and other documents related to their performance, according to People.

Instructors allege that First Lts. Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver, both West Point alums and the first female soldiers to graduate as Rangers, "did not carry the same amount of equipment as the men, did not take their turn carrying the heavy machine guns and were given intensive pre-training that was not offered to men," among other special exceptions, sources told People, describing the information given to Rep. Steve Russell, the Oklahoma lawmaker behind the request.

Instructors also allege that the women were allowed to repeat parts of the school, at Fort Benning in Columbus, over and over and over, but the men were given a limit on repeat attempts, according to People.

An Army spokesperson denied such allegations.

"There was no pressure from anyone to lower any standards – the standards remained the same and the (s)oldiers that graduated ... accomplished the very same demanding standards of Ranger School as previous classes," Lt. Col. Garrett said in a statement to People.

A source told People that this "discrepancy" is what has motivated Russell's inquiry into the documents.

"The training of our combat warriors is paramount to our national defense," Russell wrote to Army Secretary John McHugh, in a letter requesting the documents no later than Sept. 25, according to People. "In order to ensure that the Army retains its ability to defend the nation, we must ensure that our readiness is not sacrificed."

Following their graduation, both Griest and Haver reflected on the success in an interview with the AJC.

"It’s definitely awesome to be part of the history," said Haver, a helicopter pilot from Arizona.

Griest, a military policewoman from Connecticut, added, "I came here to try to be a better leader and improve myself and I feel like I did that.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Arnold, the senior noncommissioned officer in charge at the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade said then, “Our standards have been met. We didn’t have to change our standards."

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