A female midshipman candidate will train with other potential officers this summer in hopes of becoming the first female Navy SEAL, according to CNN. Another woman, meanwhile, is also training to seek placement in the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program (SWCC). The two women, in fact, have already made history--having been the first female applicants to join the special operations forces since Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a change in military processes that allowed women to formally apply to serve in combat roles.
The two women, who remain unidentified to protect their personal security, may have already made historic feats, but their journey to serving in combat roles is far from over, LL. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command told NPR.
“It would be premature to speculate as to when we will see the first woman SEAL or SWCC graduate. It may take months and potentially years.”
The SEAL candidate will begin her training at a SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in California as a prerequisite to SEAL training. From there, she'll move on to a SEAL Officer Selection Panel in September. The SWCC candidate, on the other hand, will undergo months of training and screening evaluations, Walton added.
That's not all, though.
The two women must also go through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, or BUD/S, which is meant to test the physical and mental grit of applicants. The physical training alone last two months, beginning in Illinois. Candidates who fail to pass the screening face removal. If they were to make the cut, the candidates would undergo basic conditioning, combat diving, and land warfare training. This includes the infamous "Hell Week"-- what the Navy describes as the "ultimate test of a man's will."
According to the the Naval Special Warfare Center briefing in June, about 73 percent of aspiring SEALS, and 63 percent of SWCC candidates, don't make the cut.
"It's different for everyone," Walton said of the rigorous trainings. "It could be the physical stuff, it could be mental, it could be medical. There could be a lot of different reasons."