HomeNewsArticle Display

Female Airman earns a Ranger tab

2nd Lt. Chelsey Hibsch, 374th Force Support Squadron officer in charge of logistics and supply, speaks during a Women’s History Month luncheon at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 26, 2019.

Then 2nd Lt. Chelsey Hibsch, 374th Force Support Squadron officer in charge of logistics and supply, speaks during a Women’s History Month luncheon at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 26, 2019. Hibsch is the first female to complete the Ranger Assessment Course and is the first female in the Air Force to attend the Army Ranger School in Fort Benning, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Machiko Arita)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Since 1955, when the Army began accepting Airmen into its school, nearly 300 Airmen across different Air Force Specialty Codes have earned the Ranger tab. 1st Lt. Chelsey Hibsch joined those ranks and became the first Air Force female Airman to earn the tab. She pinned on her tab at the Army’s Ranger school graduation held at Fort Benning, Georgia.

The Army Ranger Course is one of the Army’s toughest leadership courses, with a concentration on small-unit tactics and combat leadership. The course seeks to develop proficiency in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations in an around-the-clock, all-climates and terrain atmosphere. Only about half of those attending the Ranger School actually graduate. All of the students go through rigorous challenges, learning more about themselves and their ability to persevere despite adversity.

According to Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Billings, Airborne Ranger and Training Brigade public affairs officer, there are three phases the students go through.

“In the Fort Benning phase, the students become trained on squad operations and focus on ambush and recon missions, patrol base operations and planning before moving on to platoon operations,” said Billings. In the mountain phase, students develop their skills at the platoon level in order to refine and complete their training in the swamp phase. After these three phases, Ranger students are proficient in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations around the clock in all climates and terrain.”

Hibsch, a former enlisted Airman, qualified for a slot in the course by attending the Air Force’s Ranger Assessment Course (RAC) hosted by the Air Force Security Forces Center, then further improved her skills with the Tropic Lightning Academy in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. RAC is based on the Ranger Assessment Phase week and the first two weeks of the Army Ranger Course.

Lt. Col. Walter Sorensen, Air Force Security Forces Center chief of training and Ranger qualified himself, said of Hibsch and the course, “Ranger school is truly not for the weak or faint of heart. It speaks well of all those who persevere to find that inner grit and motivation to push through all that Ranger school throws at them,” he said. “The perspective tabbed Airmen earn serves them well when the mission gets challenging and others look to them to find a way.”

When Hibsch was in the RAC, she talked about how it was “an unmatched learning experience on leadership and followership.” The instructors provide RAC as a stress-oriented battle course for Airmen to develop better leadership and command tools under the mental, emotional and physical strain, improving their resilience and coping mechanisms to better prepare them for the rigors of Ranger school. She told of how lessons learned in RAC could apply to Ranger school because she had an “understanding of how you function when you’re hungry, tired, wet, cold and worse.”

“Then, you have to lead a team of individuals feeling the exact same way,” she said. “You really find out a lot about your teammates and yourself in these stressful situations.”

Hibsch will take her leadership training to a new organization, acting as a flight commander in the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California, which provided support to Tyndall AFB, Florida, after Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc on that installation last year. Her previous assignment was with the 374th Security Forces Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan. She led Pacific Air Force’s 2018 Defender Challenge Team to six event trophies and the overall Defender Challenge Championship.


Facebook Twitter
Home Sweet Home 🇺🇲 Airmen assigned to the 130th Engineering and Installation Squadron were welcomed home by frien… https://t.co/R5KLJ1LTNV
Five agencies have come together to bridge the gap between startups, small businesses & government. Since late 2018… https://t.co/M4RS08YC3c
We're here to help @USNavy ✈️💪 https://t.co/fIG8iBpha0
RT @USAF_ACC: The A-10 Thunderbolt II, what a machine.🐗💪 Happy #WarthogWednesday! The #a10warthog is a slow, yet maneuverable aircraft cap…
Airmen from around the country, including Dover Air Force Base, Seymour Johnson AFB, South Carolina Air Guard and L… https://t.co/BjQQN0WwwA
Depression isn't always obvious. Check on your wingman. https://t.co/CmBO1X7RC7 @USAFHealth https://t.co/Qpbh7rMEfr
.@AirMobilityCmd and @AETCommand are increasing the lethality of the force. How? They are using scanned 3D images t… https://t.co/jrAdQl8fRh
Ohio @AirNatlGuard, @178thWing and @179AW sent Disaster Relief Beddown Sets to Puerto Rico to aid earthquake relief… https://t.co/thmLxnZqJC
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Airfield Pavement Evaluation (APE) team ensures mission-ready airfields. See… https://t.co/82900N49g9
.@GenDaveGoldfein addressed attendees @CNASdc. He was asked how to reconcile USAF's needs “of the future over the p… https://t.co/JitRS7rQwU
RT @USAfricaCommand: MALAWI: Air Forces Africa helps develop Malawian Air Force ---- “The force development program is helping us lay the f…
RT @KadenaAirBase: #ICYMI, #TeamKadena executed its first Exercise #WestPacRumrunner with joint partners focused on improved interoperabili…
RT @AirForceCE: At @March_ARB, emergency management technicians ensure our Airmen from the @163ATKW stay tactically ready. During a recent…
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams respond to a simulated unexploded ordnance discovery and complete tasks to safely… https://t.co/k6dsZSes1V
RT @AFWERX: Take a look at all current and upcoming #AFWERXChallenges you can be a part of: https://t.co/lquAvSmyxG https://t.co/VM5ykfWIjh
It's lit. 🔥 Firefighters from 36th CES, @AndersenAFBGuam and 28 of their counterparts from Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Saip… https://t.co/SC2BR0a9C7
RT @TeamFairchild: #TeamFairchild’s 97th Air Refueling Squadron successfully completed their first mission as our newest squadron! This mis…
#MilitaryWorkingDogs have a strict diet that corresponds with their constant training regimen, but sometimes treats… https://t.co/0PWQtw7rwE
RT @thejointstaff: Meet #SEAC4 Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez and learn more about his role as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman and the…
RT @AirForceCE: Welcome to the Lock Shop! 🔐 Securing everything from assets to machinery, the shop plays an integral role in the larger Ai…