First female Pennsylvania National Guard soldier finishes Ranger School

Pennsylvania

ANNVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The first two enlisted female National Guard soldiers finished Ranger School. One of them works at Fort Indiantown Gap.

The U.S. Army calls Ranger School one of the toughest courses for officers and enlisted soldiers, but that didn’t stop Sgt. Danielle Farber from making history in Pennsylvania.

“I’ve always been a really big girly girl, so shaving my head was nowhere in my future,” Farber said.

Her thirst for challenge changed that. Farber was a junior at Kutztown University when she decided to join the Army.

“I really wanted to do a lot of things that other females could look up to,” she said.

The Kennett Square native quickly stole the show. She spent nine years as a signal support systems specialist and a medic, then she started the Pennsylvania National Guard’s training program to go to Ranger School.

“It’s the Army’s premier small unit tactics and leadership school,” 1st Sgt. Troy Conrad said. “It was pretty easy to tell that she had the capability.”

Farber is the first female guard soldier in Pennsylvania to complete Ranger School, which takes more than 60 days.

She joins Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Smiley of South Carolina in being the first two enlisted female guard soldiers to finish the course.

“Ranger School will teach you a lot about who you are whenever things get really bad with the lack of food, the lack of sleep. And everyone’s experiencing that around you, so it’s a testament to your leadership,” Conrad said.

“It was a very long, rigorous course,” Farber said. “Every day was kind of a new learning experience, for sure, a new challenge. Luckily, the entire group works really well together.”

Farber tells other women the hard work is worth it.

“If they want to do it, do it,” she said.

Farber has a bachelor’s degree in sports studies and hopes to become a registered nurse.

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