After 55 Years, The Navy Has Its First Woman SEAL Candidate
Two women will make history as the Navy’s first female candidates competing for some of the military branch’s most elite combat roles, including the SEALS. According to a military site, which operates independently from the U.S. armed forces, one woman was present in boot camp applying for the Navy’s all-enlisted Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program. The site added that a junior in a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at an undisclosed college is on track for applying to become a SEAL officer.
The Navy would not disclose the identities of the applicants, citing security considerations, but confirmed that the two women are the first female candidates to make it this far in the process. It’s been almost 20 months since the Pentagon opened all combat roles within the U.S. military to women. At the time of the Pentagon’s historic announcement, the Navy was ahead of other military branches in terms of integrating women into key positions. In 2010, the Navy lifted its ban on female submarine crew members. Within a year, the first female officers started serving aboard submarines. By early 2016, women reported for duty to the U.S.S. Michigan, a guided missile submarine.
The late President John F. Kennedy founded Navy SEAL teams in 1962, though the Navy’s use of special operators date back to World War II. The SEAL officer candidate will embark on a three-week instruction course over the summer, followed by officer selection, which begins Oct. 1. The women will undergo the same training as men do, without exception. “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.
Whoever these unnamed trailblazers are, the path ahead for them won’t be easy. To become a SEAL or SWCC, they’ll need to make it through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, or BUD/S, which is designed to be extremely physically and mentally demanding. Few candidates who undertake the training emerge as SEALs or special boat operators. The officer program isn’t easier, though — the Navy attributes the differing success rates to a larger number of candidates in the enlisted program.
What makes the training so difficult? “It’s different for everyone,” Walton said. “It could be the physical stuff, it could be mental, it could be medical. There could be a lot of different reasons.” Female candidates for these jobs will have to complete the same training that men do, without any allowances for differing average physical capabilities. “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.” Female candidates aren’t the only change to come to the Navy’s elite operations. Walton confirmed that SWCC now includes one transgender person. And if the two women in the Navy’s special operations pipeline are successful, we may not get much detail. “If you announce who they are, that removes the point of them becoming a special operator,” said Walton. “I guess we’ll see what we do … when we get there.”
Bravo To The Women Who Are Going For These Elite Military Positions! Hooyah!
Susan Z’s Conclusion:
From the few movies I have seen where SEALS are part of the plot, they are definitely pretty tough, do or die, kick ass personalities. I am sure these two women will hold their own, even when sexism rears its ugly head as it always does when females encroach on male territorial grounds.
Seven of Wands: Inverted (Upside Down)
Challenged to make a stand. Inverted it shows these women will have to prove themselves as qualified as the men but also differently because they are women and breaking new ground.
Six of Wands: Inverted Victory card! Inverted shows it will be a different end game victory for these two women. More than likely, they will have to work twice as hard to prove themselves.
Two of Pentacles: Fluctuation in career path. I feel both women who applied for these elite military positions are dedicated to their military careers and did not have this elite goal in mind but the rules changed and they went for it.
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine. (life cycles) Learn more at her website: www.szrwhitewings.com