On July 15, 2021, the US Navy hosted a graduation ceremony for those graduation of his intensive 37-week training course to become a Special Combat Vessel (SWCC) crew. Of the 17 sailors who received their pins, one stood out for a specific reason: it was a woman.
A special diploma
Special Warfare Combat Crew members are boat operators who transport Navy SEALs to their destinations and carry out their own missions. The new graduate, who is not identified according to Navy policy, will lead one of the unit’s three special boat teams.
âTo become the first woman to graduate from a special naval warfare training program is an extraordinary accomplishment and we are incredibly proud of our teammate,â said Rear Admiral HW Howard III, Commander of Naval Special Warfare. Associated press. âLike her fellow operators, she has demonstrated the character, cognitive and leadership qualities required to join our force.
“She and her fellow graduates have the opportunity to become experts in covert operations, as well as manned and unmanned platforms to provide distinctive capabilities to our navy and the nation’s joint defense force,” he said. -he adds.
Since female soldiers were allowed to apply for the SWCC and become SEALs, only 18 have tried. Of this total, 14 have not completed the course and three are still in training, one to join the SWCC and two to become SEAL. According to the Navy, only about 35% of those who start training actually complete it.
A grueling training
Training to become a crew member of a Special Warfare combat vessel begins after someone has completed Navy Recruit Training Camp. This includes a two-month preparatory course and a three-week orientation at the Naval Warfare Center in Coronado, Calif.
From there, recruits are to complete another seven week stint, during which they undergo physical conditioning, safety training, and basic water and boating skills. Upon completion of this course, recruits must then endure a 72 hour event known as “The Tour”. It’s a test of physical strength and courage, and it’s the point at which most applicants fail.
The tour is followed by an additional seven weeks of training to learn the basics of the crew member trade, including weapons, combat and communications. SWCC operators are trained extensively on craft and weapon tactics, as in the field, it is their job to facilitate infiltration and exfiltration on other special operators.
It is then that they move on to the intermediate level seamanship course, which also lasts seven weeks. Finally, after completing survival, resistance, escape and escape training and enrolling in a cultural course, they are ready to graduate.
After graduation, seafarers undergo additional specialized training or report directly to a team of special boats.
Women in the US military
Women have been allowed to take on the most dangerous and difficult positions in the military since 2015. In the same year, two female soldiers graduated from the Army Ranger School.
A year ago, a female soldier became the first woman to successfully complete the Army Special Forces course and join one of the Green Berets teams. Right now, another has completed her training and is due to report back to her group next month, while another will report to her team after attending military freefall school in August.
There are currently two women enlisted in the Air Force’s special warfare formation. One has completed the assessment and selection process and will be eligible for the assignment as soon as she completes the remainder of her training, while the other is still in preparation.
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No female recruit has ever successfully completed Marine Special Operations training. While nine attempted it, only two made it through the second phase. However, neither met performance expectations and was not selected to move forward.