Late last month, Sgt. Class 1 Janina Simmons made history as the first black female soldier to pass U.S. Army Ranger School. Simmons, 29, joins over a dozen women who have completed the course; around 34 percent of Ranger candidates need to go through at least one phase of the three-phase course multiple times in order to pass.

At graduation, the senior drill sergeant proposed to her girlfriend, who was a major support system while she was in the course. “She stuck with me and was more than supportive!! I didn’t do that!! WE did that,” she wrote on Facebook.

Simmons also made history last year when she finished first in the Fort Jackson Bataan Memorial Death March qualifier, completing the 16-mile ruck march in 2 hours and 52 minutes while carrying 25.8 pounds.

Completing Ranger School was a dream for Simmons that opened up a variety of job opportunities. “I’m excited. It’s surreal,” she tells ConnectingVets. “I’m humbled to be here…62 days of training and I made it the first time through.”