Five years ago, the first women to go through Ranger School broke through the Army’s camouflage ceiling.

This week, News 3 has been looking back at the historic gender integration of the Ranger School and the combat branches of the Army. This is the last in a series.

In 2015 when Capt. Kristen Griest, Capt. Shaye Haver and Maj. Lisa Jaster earned Ranger tabs, the story read like a book.

Retired Brig. Gen. Pete Jones said it was only the start of the story.

“Was it really the last pages of the book?” asked Jones, the commandant of the Infantry School back in 2015 and 2016. “It was really the first pages of the book. It wasn’t just about integration of women into Ranger School. It was about fully integration of women fully  into all branches of the Army.”

And it has been an uncomfortable story, at times, for those who lived it.

“It’s nice when people come up and say followed story or supported it,” Griest said “…Uncomfortable in not something I did. It was really an achievement for the Army to realize the best level of training we have for soldiers could be opened up to 100 percent of soldiers.”

Haver said being a first has come with a responsibility to do your job as well as you can. And hope the men who watch and follow will see that.

 “… What Kristen and I wanted to do up front was show by our actions,” Haver said. “Hey, we’re here just like you to work like you, give it our best shot like you. Make mistakes just like you.”

They have done it well, says one veteran journalist and author. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon has covered this story since the beginning.

“It is about opportunity and access to opportunity,” Lemmon said. “…And you can not spend time around these women without thinking that America is better off for having their brains, their guts, their courage, their heart, their strength, all of that dedicated to protecting this country.”

The final chapter of this story is still years away, says the retired colonel who commanded the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade in 2015 when women integrated it.

“The women attending Ranger School influenced opening all jobs and all units to women,” said retired Col. David Fivecoat. “But how is the Army going to sustain that change? It’s a two-decade question.

“Who’s going to be the first woman that’s an Infantry battalion commander? Or the first woman who’s an Infantry Brigade commander? So those questions are all going to be answered in the next 20 years. It will be interesting to see how the Army is going to sustain this.”

Note: Series video editor Karien Graf