An unidentified female sailor has become the first woman to complete the Navy’s arduous special warfare training course (SWTC). The Associated Press reported July 15 that by finishing the 37-week course, she now qualifies to serve as a crewman on the combatant craft that transports SEALs on classified missions while at sea.
As a matter of routine, the Navy declined to identify the female sailor by name. According to the AP story, she is one of 17 sailors to finish the course, and one of 18 women to try. Fourteen of these women have since dropped out. Two others are still in training to become combatant craft operators, and a third is in SEAL training. The attrition rate for SWTC is high, with only 35 percent of all applicants successfully completing it.
“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,” Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander of Naval Special Warfare, said, according to the AP report. “She and her fellow graduates have the opportunity to become experts in clandestine special operations, as well as manned and unmanned platforms to deliver distinct capabilities to our Navy, and the joint force in defense of the nation.”