Girls Nonetheless Unable to Break Glass Ceiling of Navy SEAL {Qualifications}

Up to now three years, two ladies have been chosen to begin the grueling strategy of changing into Navy SEALs, however neither made it, has realized.

Throughout a gathering Sept. 13 of the Protection Advisory Committee on Girls within the Providers, or DACOWITS, a Navy officer informed the board that there have been two ladies at present within the “pipeline” to change into Navy SEALS — one enlisted and one officer.

However when requested for clarification, a Navy Particular Warfare Command spokesman mentioned the officer misspoke. As an alternative, three feminine sailors are pursuing paths to change into 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 might be provided a SEAL contract.

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The spokesman added that two enlisted ladies have been provided SEAL contracts — a requirement to enter Naval Particular Warfare however just one step on the best way to changing 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 Heart programs and the privateness of its candidates.”

With the primary ladies graduating from Army Ranger Faculty in 2015 and the Protection Division opening all navy occupational specialties and scores to ladies in 2016, feminine troops have made inroads into almost all areas of service.

Nonetheless, the particular operations group, 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 Workforce 10, one lady serves as a Naval Particular Warfare operator; three have graduated from the U.S. Army Particular Operations {Qualifications} Course; the primary feminine Inexperienced Beret graduated in 2020; and ladies have served within the seventy fifth Ranger Regiment. The Air Pressure graduated its first first feminine particular ways officer in June.

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

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

Eight ladies 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, based on 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 abilities and capabilities will proceed to evolve and professionalize the NSW pressure,” the spokesman mentioned in an electronic mail to

To change into a Navy SEAL or Particular Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman, candidates should meet sure bodily, mental and medical necessities earlier than they’re provided 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 means of that orientation course, candidates start their specialised coaching, whereas enlisted SEAL candidates transfer on to Fundamental Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) coaching.

Officers who wish to change into 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’d enter BUD/S.

Birch informed 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 Heart in an effort 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 kids the concept of ladies working alongside males, Birch mentioned, and supply “downrange credibility” for feminine recruits who could also be interested by Particular Warfare.

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

“Clearly, we will not have [female] SEALs exit to the business, as a result of we haven’t any but, so it has to begin someplace,” Birch mentioned.

— Patricia Kime could be reached at Comply with her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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