A woman has made history by becoming the first female to successfully finish the demanding monthslong training course to become a Naval Special Warfare combatant-craft crewman, according to the Associated Press.
The outlet described these service members as “the boat operators who transport Navy SEALs and conduct their own classified missions at sea.”
The achievement makes her the first to succeed out of the 18 females who have pursued a post as a SWCC or a Navy SEAL, according to the outlet.
Navy officials did not identify the woman or provide more details on her — a routine military policy for special operations forces. She will now head to one of Naval Special Warfare’s three special boat teams.
The AP noted that out of the 18 women who have pursued a Navy special operations position, 14 did not finish the the course, while three are presently still in the midst of the training process, including one woman for SWCC and two women seeking to become SEALS.
“Becoming the first female to graduate from a Naval Special Warfare training pipeline is an extraordinary accomplishment and we are incredibly proud of our teammate,” Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III said, according to the outlet. “Like her fellow operators, she demonstrated the character, cognitive and leadership attributes required to join our force.
“She and her fellow graduates have the opportunity to become experts in clandestine special operations, as well as manned and unmanned platforms to deliver distinctive capabilities to our Navy, and the joint force in defense of the nation,” Howard noted, according to the AP.
The path to becoming a combatant craft crewman is very demanding.
The AP reported that according to Naval Special Warfare around 300 people try the SWCC course each year but only around 70 sailors finish it.
“The training to become a combatant craft crewman comes after the Navy’s initial recruit boot camp, and includes a two-month preparatory course, a three-week orientation at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, Calif., and seven weeks where they learn basic navigation and water skill, as well as physical conditioning and safety. At the end of those seven weeks is a 72-hour crucible called ‘The Tour,'” according to the news outlet.
But even candidates who make it through all of those weeks of training still have multiple weeks of work ahead of them.
“Those who pass move on to seven weeks of basic crewman training to learn combat, weapons and communications training, followed by a seven-week intermediate-level seamanship course, and finally survival, evasion, resistance and escape training and a cultural course,” according to the AP.