Approximately six months ago, Lisa Jaster and 18 other women entered the US Army Ranger School, the grueling training course that had become open to female soldiers for the first time. Of those 18, only Jaster and two others—Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver—passed the first stage. On August 21, 26-year-old Griest and 25-year-old Haver became the first women to graduate from Ranger School. Meanwhile, 37-year-old Jaster was just beginning the course’s third and final phase. She passed it last week and is now set to be the third woman in history to receive a Ranger tab.
Jaster’s accomplishment is perhaps less noteworthy on account of her gender than it is for her age, or the fact that she has two children. She’s also had a non-linear career, which is increasingly common among women today.
After graduating from West Point and joining the army in 2000, Jaster spent seven years on active duty, four of them overseas. During that time she also attended the University of Missouri to earn a master’s degree in engineering. In 2007, she left active duty and went to work as a project engineer for Shell, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Between 2010 and 2014, while taking on greater responsibilities at Shell, she was also a triathlon coach. In 2014, she went back to the army as a reservist.
Jaster had to re-do each phase of the Ranger School course at least once, taking 180 days to finish instead of the 61-day minimum. But more than 250 of the 400 soldiers who started Ranger School alongside her in April had dropped out or failed by August, according to an August article in the Washington Post. There’s no word on whether Jaster, who still has her engineering job at Shell, intends to put her Ranger skills to use in an active-duty role.