Being and becoming a Navy SEAL is serious business, physically and mentally, and has been male-dominated. However, that may soon change. A woman has enlisted to become a Navy SEAL, according to Cosmopolitan and the Associated Press, and she starts training this summer. The candidate, whose identity cannot be disclosed due to legal reasons, is a midshipman. Another woman, too, has enlisted and hopes to join another of the Navy’s special operations teams — she’s training for the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program (SWCC), reported CNN.
“They are the first candidates that have made it this far in the process,” Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command, told the Two-Way, reported NPR.
Big ups to both of these women, especially given that women weren’t even allowed to serve in combat roles until January 2016 (!). And, since that change took effect, there were NO female applicants — until now!
As you may know, ~anyone~ becoming a Navy SEAL has the odds stacked against them. What, exactly, are the odds?!
Seventy-three percent of aspiring SEALs and 63 percent of SWCC candidates fail to make the cut, according to the Naval Special Warfare Center briefing in June, reported CNN.
Yes, this news about a potential female Navy SEAL may remind you of an IRL version of G. I. Jane. After all, none of us can forget Demi Moore’s character going through an insanely grueling training program for the fictitious U.S. Navy Combined Reconnaissance Team — similar to U.S. Navy SEAL training.
The film G.I. Jane came out in 1997 — 20 years ago! So, it was only a matter of time before a woman offscreen could become a Navy SEAL. However, there’s still a lot of training ahead for the midshipman.
For instance, she’ll be evaluated for three weeks at a SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in California ~before~ SEAL training, and also before moving on to a SEAL Officer Selection Panel in September, according to CNN. There’s also Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (aka BUD/S), starting with two months of physical training in Illinois, and then more and more training after that, assuming the candidate passes her physical screening test at the end of the first stage of training — which we have no doubt she’ll do!
You may be wondering when we’ll be able to see the first female Navy SEAL, and that’s a great question.
“It would be premature to speculate as to when we will see the first woman SEAL or SWCC graduate,” Walton told NPR. “It may take months and potentially years.”
Like we said above, we couldn’t be more proud of the midshipman and the SWCC candidate, and hope that they inspire more and more women to follow in their footsteps.