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Janina Simmons and her girlfriend at graduation


The first black female Soldier to pass Ranger School is officially in the history books.

29-year-old Sergeant 1st Class Janina Simmons completed the gruelling course in April, 2019, getting through on the first try.

“I’m excited. It’s surreal,” Simmons told. “I’m humbled to be here…62 days of training and I made it the first time through.”

While several women have completed the leadership course, Simmons wants to see more putting in the effort to get through it.

Janina Simmons

“I need more NCOs to get out there…I have to lead from the front. It’s good to speak from experience. When you have soldiers who say ‘I don’t know if I can do that,” I can say ‘well, I did it and so can you,” said Simmons.

She says she did not do it alone, the support of her girlfriend contributed to her success. “She stuck with me and was more than supportive!! I didn’t do that!! WE did that 

Janina Simmons and her girlfriend at graduation

Simmons is a senior drill sergeant, and no stranger to having to endure long hours, little sleep, or endless games. However, she now has to re-evaluate her life goals, as “Ranger School” was at the top of the list.

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