More than a year after the Pentagon’s mandate to put women in combat units and special forces, US Navy officials say it has the first female candidate for duty in a special force.
Two women are in the training camp as candidates for the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) program or usually spoiled as Swick.
Another unnamed woman has filed a petition in the election of officers for the fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1, and is due to complete the initial steps of the pipeline, a selection and assessment in a special operation, by the end of this summer.
This female candidate will compete with 160 applicants to become one of 100 selected cadets.
A spokesman for the Navy Special War Command, Captain Jason Salata, said that a female enlisted candidate had been trained for the Special Warfare Combatant Crewman (SWCC).
Related to security issues, Salata says that the US Navy will not identify candidates or provide updates on their conditions in the selection. In special operations, where operators maintain their identity, public attention may affect the candidate’s career.
The first female candidate is a milestone for the US Navy, which has previously allowed women to enter every career field except in SEALs and SWCCs.
Earlier in January, a US Army official said that a woman had graduated from Ranger school and in an effort to join the 75th Ranger Regiment, but no women had made it through the selection process to other AD special operations elements.
The Air Force and the Marine Corps have also seen several women candidates for special operations, but have not announced who qualified. Both women who are now preparing to enter the Navy’s special operations training course must address some of the most frightening levels of friction in any military training process.
The SEAL, which graduates six Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL classes per year, has an average attrition rate of 73-75%, while the special boat operator averages 63%.
The SEAL officer’s attrition level is actually lower. (Beni Adrian)