News has leaked that the US Military is seeing its first two women in training roles for positions that women have never yet occupied: women have only been allowed to hold combat roles since January 2016.
The candidate to become an elite SEAL is a midshipman – a Navy officer cadet – and she is joined by another woman who hope to be the first to join the Navy’s special operations teams.
Both of these women’s identities have been protected to ensure their privacy as they train for their potential new roles.
The Daily Mail reports:
The women’s identities have been protected to ensure their personal safety and security along with ‘career viability as future special operator,’ claimed Lieutenant Commander Mark Walton, a spokesman for Naval Special Command, to CNN.
According to a Naval Special Warfare Center briefing last month for the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, eight SEAL and seven SWCC classes made entirely out of males have graduated since March 2016.
Walton said that the SWCC candidate will undergo months of Navy training and screening evaluations.
The potential SEAL will undergo three weeks at a SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in California before moving to a SEAL Officer Selection Panel in September.
Aspiring SEALs and SWCC candidates also have to withstand rigorous Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.
It is both physically and mentally challenging, beginning with two months of brutal training in Illinois. If candidates don’t pass a physical screening test, then they risk being kicked out.
Afterwards is basic conditioning, combat diving and land warfare training. According to the SEALs website, this culminates with what is known as Hell Week – ‘the ultimate test of man’s will.’
The Navy reports that there are usually 1000 SEAL candidates but only 200 or 250 candidates make it through.