Women Still Unable to Break Glass Ceiling of Navy SEAL Qualifications

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Prior to now three years, two girls have been chosen to start out the grueling strategy of turning into Navy SEALs, however neither made it, has realized.

Throughout a gathering Sept. 13 of the Protection Advisory Committee on Ladies within the Providers, or DACOWITS, a Navy officer instructed the board that there have been two girls presently within the “pipeline” to grow to be Navy SEALS — one enlisted and one officer.

However when requested for clarification, a Navy Particular Warfare Command spokesman stated the officer misspoke. As a substitute, three feminine sailors are pursuing paths to grow to be Particular Warfare Combatant Craft Crewmen, and one officer is ready for outcomes from the SEAL Officer Evaluation and Choice Board to find out whether or not she can be supplied a SEAL contract.

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The spokesman added that two enlisted girls have been supplied SEAL contracts — a requirement to enter Naval Particular Warfare however just one step on the best way to turning into a SEAL — in 2019 and 2020 and commenced coaching however left early within the course of. The spokesman declined to say at what stage they left, citing the “integrity of Naval Particular Warfare Middle programs and the privateness of its candidates.”

With the primary girls graduating from Military Ranger College in 2015 and the Protection Division opening all army occupational specialties and scores to girls in 2016, feminine troops have made inroads into almost all areas of service.

Nonetheless, the particular operations neighborhood, with its bodily calls for and excessive operations tempo, has remained elusive to feminine troops.

Based on Navy Capt. Jason Birch, former commanding officer of SEAL Staff 10, one lady serves as a Naval Particular Warfare operator; three have graduated from the U.S. Military Particular Operations {Qualifications} Course; the primary feminine Inexperienced Beret graduated in 2020; and ladies have served within the seventy fifth Ranger Regiment. The Air Power graduated its first first feminine particular techniques officer in June.

However breaking the glass ceiling of the Navy SEALs has confirmed tough.

To this point, 13 girls have been chosen for Particular Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman coaching, with one finishing the course and turning into the Navy’s first feminine Naval Particular Warfare operator — the boat operators who transport Navy SEALs and conduct their very own categorized missions — in July 2021.

Eight girls have participated within the SEAL Officer Evaluation and Choice course of previously seven years. Two accomplished evaluation and choice, though they didn’t obtain SEAL contracts, in response to the Navy.

“Though neither have been chosen for a contract, feminine service members and civilians have a wealthy historical past of service inside NSW, and their various skills and capabilities will proceed to evolve and professionalize the NSW drive,” the spokesman stated in an e-mail to

To grow to be a Navy SEAL or Particular Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman, candidates should meet sure bodily, mental and medical necessities earlier than they’re supplied a contract.

As soon as they obtain a contract, they enter the “pipeline,” which begins with the candidates attending a seven-week Naval Particular Warfare Orientation in Coronado, California.

In the event that they make it by that orientation course, candidates start their specialised coaching, whereas enlisted SEAL candidates transfer on to Primary Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) coaching.

Officers who need to grow to be Navy SEALs should endure the bodily demanding two-week SEAL Officer Evaluation and Choice course earlier than a board decides whether or not they need to be given a contract, after which they might enter BUD/S.

Birch instructed the DACOWITS panel that the Navy is growing outreach to potential swimming pools of candidates and has positioned feminine instructors on the Navy Particular Warfare Coaching Middle with the intention to generate curiosity amongst potential feminine Navy Particular Warfare candidates.

The feminine instructors — the Navy plans to extend their numbers from 4 to 11 — assist “normalize” for college students the thought of ladies working alongside males, Birch stated, and supply “downrange credibility” for feminine recruits who could also be occupied with Particular Warfare.

As for outreach, the service is working with girls throughout the Navy and different branches to draw candidates, he stated.

“Clearly, we won’t have [female] SEALs exit to the business, as a result of we have no but, so it has to start out someplace,” Birch stated.

— Patricia Kime may be reached at Observe her on Twitter @patriciakime.

Associated: The First Lady Has Made it By SEAL Officer Screening

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