US Navy Gets Its 1st Female SEAL Candidate

Elias Hubbard
July 22, 2017

The Navy says it has its first female candidates for two elite special operations jobs previously closed to women - including a prospective SEAL.

According to NPR, an unnamed woman (for security reasons) is on track to becoming the first woman SEAL in history, along with a female colleague who is on track to becoming a special warfare combat crewman.

The latter is training for the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, or SWCC.

These women have already made history, but they still face a long road ahead of training and tests before they officially make the cut. But there were no female applicants in the 18 months since that historic change until now. Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command told NPR, "they are the first candidates that have made it this far in the process".

To become a SEAL, candidates must make it through the strenuous Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training - or BUD/S - but most don't make it through. Mark Walton, spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command, told the Two-Way when asked what makes training so hard. Walton also confirmed to NPR that the SEALs have their first transgender person among their ranks. "It could be the physical stuff, it could be mental, it could be medical". In the physical screening tests (PST) necessary to have around an 80 percent chance of graduating BUDS, candidates must be able to do 80-100 pushups in 2 minutes, 80-100 situps in 2 minutes and complete a 1.5 mile run in 9-10 minutes, among other physical activities.

The next stages include basic conditioning, combat diving and land warfare training.

The attrition rate for SEAL candidates is 73 percent to 75 percent, and 63 percent for SWCC, according to the Navy.

What makes the training so hard?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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