A woman will train with other potential officers this summer in hopes of becoming the first female Navy SEAL.
The candidate, a midshipman, and another woman have enlisted as the first female candidates seeking to join the Navy’s special operations teams.
The latter is training for the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, or SWCC.
These women have already made history, but they still face a long road ahead of training and tests before they officially make the cut.
Women weren’t allowed to serve in combat roles, including special operation forces such as the SEALs and SWCC, until January 2016. But there were no female applicants in the 18 months since that historic change until now.
The candidates’ identities and training progress are confidential to protect their personal security and “career viability as future special operator,” Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command, told CNN.
Eight SEAL and seven SWCC classes — all entirely male — have graduated since March 2016, according to a Naval Special Warfare Center briefing last month for the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.
The SWCC candidate will undergo months of Navy training and screening evaluations, Walton said. The SEAL hopeful will be evaluated for three weeks at a SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in California as a prerequisite to SEAL training before moving on to a SEAL Officer Selection Panel in September.
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