Skip to Content

Sailor makes history as the first woman to complete the grueling Navy special warfare training

A female sailor made a historical accomplishment after being the first woman to complete the demanding 37-week training course to become a U.S. Navy special warfare boat operator.

They are the boat operators who transport U.S. Navy SEALs and conduct their classified missions at sea.

She wouldn’t be publicly identified in keeping with standard military policy for special operations forces. According to Navy officials, the woman was one of 17 sailors to graduate and receive their pins.

She is also the first of 18 women to have tried out for a job as a special warfare combatant-craft crewman (SWCC) or a SEAL to successfully complete the training. This feat is impressive, considering that only 35% of the men and women who train for the SWCC graduate.

Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander of Naval Special Warfare, said in a Navy statement:

“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. Like her fellow operators, she demonstrated the character, cognitive and leadership attributes required to join our force.”

Of the 18 females who hoped to get a Navy special operations job, 14 didn’t finish the course. However, three of them are still in training—one for SWCC and two attempting to become SEALs.

The training to become a combatant craft crewman comes next after an initial recruit boot camp. It includes the following phases: a two-month preparatory course, a three-week orientation at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California, and seven weeks of learning basic navigation and water skills, physical conditioning, and safety.

The final stage is a 72-hours crucible called “The Tour,” an event designed to test candidates’ grit and physical toughness. Many military hopefuls often fail this phase of the training.

Those who pass move on to seven weeks of basic crewman training to learn combat, weapons, and communications training. Then, they will undergo a seven-week intermediate-level seamanship course, and finally, survival, evasion, resistance and escape training, and a cultural course.

The woman’s graduation is a turning point for the progress of females in the military. It was only five years ago when all combat posts were opened to women.

The female sailor will now head to one of Naval Special Warfare’s three special 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.

According to Naval Special Warfare, around 300 sailors complete the SWCC course yearly. At any one time, there are between 760 and 800 in the force.

Congratulations to the first female Naval Special Warfare combatant-craft crewman! You are indeed a trailblazer for women who want to become an SWCC or SEAL.

Watch the video below from NBC News to learn more. 

Please share this story with your friends and family to inspire females who plan to follow in this incredible woman’s footsteps.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.