Female sailor becomes the first woman to complete Naval Special Warfare training

Navy sees first female special operators for special boat team

The Navy announced a historical achievement Thursday after a female sailor became the first woman to successfully complete the grueling Naval Special Warfare training and receive her pins.

The Navy did not identify the woman but said she was one of just 17 candidates to make it through the 37-week assessment and become a Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC).

"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. Hugh Howard, commander of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command said. "Like her fellow operators, she demonstrated the character, cognitive and leadership attributes required to join our force."

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Following their graduation, the SWCC’s will either provide additional training or report to a Special Boat Team – which are responsible for transporting Navy SEALs during operations and conducting their own covert missions.

The newly minted female SWCC will eventually be assigned to one of the Navy's three elite boat teams.

"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 said.

Just 35 percent of candidates make it through to become an SWCC, and just 18 women have even attempted the program.

While 14 women have not successfully completed special operations training within the Navy, three women are still in the training pipeline, including one for the SWCC program, and two attempting to become SEALs.

Last year a woman made it through the Army’s elite Special Forces and joined one of the once-male only Green Beret teams. 

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Another female has finished her special forces training and awaits her team assignment. A second woman will attend the Military Freefall School next month.

Though nine women have attempted the Marine special operations training, a female has not yet been able to successfully complete the program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.