Navy SEALs Get Two Female Candidates for First Time in History
The Navy SEALs have made history by allowing two women to become candidates for the elite military outfit, 55 years after its establishment by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. The Navy SEALs are trained to operate in all the environments (Sea, Air and Land) for which they are named. SEALs are also prepared to operate in climate extremes of the scorching desert, freezing Arctic, and humid jungle.
According to Military.com, one woman was present in boot camp applying for the Navy’s all-enlisted Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) program. The second woman – a junior in a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program (ROTC) – is on track for applying to become a SEAL officer in 2018.
This move is over a year in the making, as it was first announced in March 2016 that female sailors could enter the Naval Special Warfare training, beginning with the prep course in May 2017, and undergo unit assignment the following month. For officers, the earliest possible scenario would see the women entering training completing qualification in January 2018 and receiving assignments the following month.
“That’s a three-week block of instruction. Then the [prospective SEAL officer] will compete like everyone else, 160 [applicants] for only 100 spots,” Naval Special Warfare Center Deputy Commander Capt. Christian Dunbar told members of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service.
These first female candidates represent a major milestone for the Navy, which has previously allowed women into every career field except the SEALs and SWCC community. With these candidacies, the final barrier for female servicemembers has been broken, allowing qualified candidates to join these special forces regardless of gender.
Navy SEALs are known to have the most brutal and intense training program known to man – and now women. These women have their work cut out for them at Naval Special Warfare Center, the home of Navy SEAL training in Great Lakes, Illinois, which takes place after recruit training. Great Lakes is known turns civilians into seamen and sailors.
Future SEAL and SWCC operators endure intense physical training for nine weeks to prepare them for their ‘A’ school in San Diego, California. It consists of “relentless swimming, running, and strength and conditioning every single day” according to the video on the SWCC website.
But before these women even step into boot camp, they must pass the Physical Training Test (PST), required for every Navy SEAL candidate . Every recruit must be in tip-top shape, enduring a rigorous test entailing a 500-yard swim in 12 and a half minutes, followed by 50 push-ups in two minutes, 50 sit-ups in two minutes, 10 pull-ups in two minutes, and a one and a half mile run in 10 minutes, 30 seconds.
Once they’ve finished Boot Camp — if they make the cut — they will attend PRE-BUDS, a 7-9 week Apprenticeship Training Division School (A-School), to prepare them for BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL) training. BUD/S is a seven-month training challenge that develops your mental and physical stamina and leadership skills. Each BUD/S phase includes timed physical condition tests, with the time requirements becoming more demanding each week.
Their motto to “be prepared, stay focused, make mature choices, and understand what you are volunteering for” explains the rigor of the training programs. The Navy SEALs training program will stress these new candidates beyond their limits to make sure they’re worthy to serve with the world’s best fighting force.
“All the barriers have been removed. Our planning has been completed and is on track,” Dunbar said.