First Female Sailor Has Completed Navy Special Warfare Training

It’s been five years since women became eligible to apply for any combat job in the military, and no surprise, military women are going for some of the toughest jobs serving our country. On July 15, the first woman graduated from training in the elite Naval Special Warfare unit — a training the Navy says only 35% of participants manage to complete — to become a Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen.

We’re thinking they need to update the “crewmen” part of that classification!

The new SWCC was one of 17 graduates of the training. The Navy has not released the new SWCC’s name, which is a standard practice for anyone in special forces. However, it’s clear the Navy is proud of her accomplishment.

“Becoming the first woman to graduate from a Naval Special Warfare training pipeline is an extraordinary accomplishment, and we are incredibly proud of our teammate,” Rear Adm. H. W. Howard III, commander, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command, said in a statement about this military first. “Like her fellow operators, she demonstrated the character, cognitive and leadership attributes required to join our force.”

Graduate of Crewman Qualification Training Class 115 receives a compass at Naval Special Warfare Center
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anthony Walker

What’s next for this new SWCC?

“Following graduation, the newly-minted SWCCs will report to either a Special Boat Team or follow-on training,” according to the statement.

The Naval Special Warfare Center is the pipeline for Special Boat Teams community and the Navy’s better-known SEAL community. According to USNI News, SWCC and SEAL training are similar, but SWCC training focuses on operating small boats and inserting and extracting SEALs and other special forces at sea. The training takes nearly 40 weeks.

Eighteen women have attempted to pass the SEAL or SWCC training since women were first allowed to apply in 2016, but this graduate is the first to complete either training. However, three of those women are still in the training pipeline, the Associated Press reports.