29-year-old Janina Simmons is the first black female soldier to graduate from Ranger School. The Sergeant 1st Class completed the course on Friday, 26 April, passing on the first try.
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‘I’m excited. It’s surreal,’ Simmons told ConnectingVets. ‘I’m humbled to be here… 62 days of training and I made it the first time through.’
According to ConnectingVets, about 34% of Ranger candidates must repeat at least one phase in the three-phase course.
Congratulations SFC Janina Simmons!
She graduated @USArmy Ranger Schhol yesterday @FortBenning and earned the coveted tab! She is the first African-American female to graduate the school! What a great example of dedication and determination! #Respect pic.twitter.com/UMUbDNhpH5
— Alex Licea (@alexlicea82) April 27, 2019
Simmons, who is based in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, took to Facebook to let the world know she did not do this alone. It was her girlfriend that gave her the support she needed to meet this milestone.
‘She stuck with me and was more than supportive,’ Simmons wrote, sharing a picture of her with her girlfriend at graduation. ‘I didn’t do that, WE did that.’
Popular Military reports that Simmons and her girlfriend got engaged at the graduation. However, GSN cannot find any other sources to substantiate this. In the aforementioned Facebook post, Simmons does use an emoji of a diamond ring, which may suggest an engagement.