Army Major Lisa Jaster

Army Major Lisa Jaster

Inspirational speaking tends to feel like a male-dominated forum. That’s why when I find a female speaker, it’s refreshing. For every soft-spoken male telling you how to navigate difficulties with a positive attitude, there’s an Alpha Male who climbs on stage to beat his chest.

Lisa isn’t your typical extreme sports enthusiast-turned speaker. She’s one of only three women in history to complete the Army Ranger program. For years the program has been seen as “too intense” for women; in fact, when the first two females graduated last year, they still weren’t able to join the 75th Ranger Requirement.

The Army Ranger program is so difficult that 36% of entrants quit after only four days. The absolute minimum amount of time it takes to complete the training course is 61 20-hour days. To say that Rangers are cut from a different cloth than the rest of us, even from other soldiers, is an understatement. Oh; she also graduated the program at 37, when the average age is 23. No big deal.

Most speakers have a background in business; either they’re self-made millionaires or they left behind a CEO position somewhere. But here’s the kicker; Jaster was an engineer with both the Army Reserves and Shell Oil. As far as speakers go, she’s the best of both worlds: the background of both a soldier overcoming odds and someone with a corporate background from one of the biggest companies out there.

She also has that sweet Southern Mama quality. She’s a wife and a mother from Texas, with her husband also serving. She’s patriotic and a family woman and this really makes her well-rounded for any group.

Jaster was beat by two other women for the title of first female Rangers because she had to repeat several stretches of her training. This has become the basis for her speeches; never giving up. She could have quit the world’s hardest training course at any point. She wanted to. But by persevering she went on to make history, and hopefully inspired other women to go forth and complete the course as well.

Women are still prohibited from serving in most of the Army’s combat roles, but as long as women like Jaster continue to overcome these obstacles, there’s hope for women to serve anywhere that they want. Because of women like Jaster, we may very well see policy changes in our lifetime.

If Jaster can spend half of an entire year completing the impossible away from her child and husband, surely anything can be possible. Jaster shares how she took strength from the support of her family to go on and do the impossible. Seeing Jaster speak is truly inspirational, and it’s refreshing to have a female perspective on impossible odds.

It’s hard to find a speaker with so many hats. Usually they have a background in only one area; but when you see Jaster, you’re getting someone with a family, a corporate background, and military experience. She’s the best of three worlds and I would highly recommend her.

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