Female Lieutenant Earns Back-to-Back Sapper and Ranger Tabs

January 6, 2022Coffee or Die
first female double tabbed

2nd Lt. Amanda Atkinson, 3rd Infantry Division, graduated from the US Army Ranger School Dec. 10, 2021, making her the first female soldier in the 3rd Infantry Division and fifth in the Army to obtain both the Ranger and Sapper tabs. Atkinson had already graduated the Sapper Leader Course on July 2, 2019, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. US Army photo by Sgt. Trenton Lowery.

An Army lieutenant with the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart recently completed back-to-back graduations of two of the Army’s most demanding combat training schools. Amanda Atkinson, a second lieutenant with the 3rd ID’s Gila Battalion, graduated the Sapper Leader Course in July and Ranger School in December, becoming just the fifth female soldier to wear tabs from both schools.

Atkinson is the 94th woman to graduate Ranger School, completing the course with another 3rd ID soldier, 1st Lt. Rafael Eirea-Lamberto.

“Lieutenants Atkinson and Eirea-Lamberto represent the fighting spirit of the Gila Battalion,” said Lt. Col. Brian T. Looney, commander of the 9th BEB, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “I am extremely proud of these two leaders and their dedication to excellence.”

Ranger School is widely viewed as one of the toughest training programs in the military, with 61 days of training in three phases: Benning, Mountain, and Florida. Candidates must successfully complete each phase. The Sapper Leader Course is an intensive 28-day course that covers the skills and tactical work of combat engineers.

Sapper Ranger
2nd Lt. Amanda Atkinson is pinned by her husband at the US Army Ranger School graduation, Victory Pond, Fort Benning, Georgia, Dec. 10, 2021. US Army photo by Sgt. Trenton Lowery.

“I wanted to attend [Ranger] to better myself and improve my leadership skills before taking a platoon. Being a female did not affect how I was treated at the school,” Atkinson said. “My instructors and peers held me to the same standard as all the other Ranger students.”

Atkinson, a native of Harbeson, Delaware, and Eirea-Lamberto, a native of Miami, Florida, both started and graduated Ranger School on the same dates and crossed paths many times while in training.

“We were in the same squad during Mountain phase and the same platoon during Florida phase,” Eirea-Lamberto said. “We pushed each other and watched each other’s back.”

Atkinson was also a member this past May of the first all-female Sapper team to compete in the Best Sapper Competition. She trained for the competition with Eirea-Lamberto.

Read Next: Officer Faces Discharge Over Deadly Marine AAV Sinking

Coffee or Die
Coffee or Die

Coffee or Die is Black Rifle Coffee Company’s online lifestyle magazine. Launched in June 2018, the magazine covers a variety of topics that generally focus on the people, places, or things that are interesting, entertaining, or informative to America’s coffee drinkers — often going to dangerous or austere locations to report those stories.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay: The World War II General Who Firebombed Japan

Who exactly was Gen. Curtis LeMay? And how did he become the commander who razed more than 60 Japanese cities during World War II?

eric smith marine corps commandant nominee
Highly Decorated Marine Officer Nominated To Be Next Commandant

President Joe Biden has nominated a highly decorated Marine officer who has been involved in the transformation of the force to be the next Marine Corps commandant.

USS Arizona
Profile of a Ship: USS Arizona

When the USS Arizona sank, it took 1,177 crew members with it. Today it remains beneath the water as a memorial to all those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

b1 bombers bosnia
US Bombers Fly Over Bosnia in Sign of Support Amid Continued Secessionist Threats

A pair of U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew low over Sarajevo and several other Bosnian cities...

SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird: The Spy Plane That Could Outrun Missiles

Lockheed Martin’s SR-71 Blackbird was a government secret for years. Now retired, a newer version plans to take its place.

medal of honor recipient remains returned
Missing 73 Years, Medal of Honor Recipient's Remains Return To Georgia

Soldiers of the 9th Infantry Regiment made a desperate retreat as North Korean troops closed in arou...

dear jack
Dear Jack: My Battalion Is Out of Control

In this installment of “Dear Jack,” Marine veteran and amateur life coach Jack Mandaville advises a lieutenant colonel on how to restore order in the lower ranks.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved