First woman to join Navy SEAL training pipeline drops out

Pierre Vaugeois
Août 13, 2017

Navy SEALs are some of the most elite warriors on the planet.

Shaye Have and 1st Lt. Kristen Griest became the first women to complete grueling Army Ranger training - among the most intense and demanding that the military has to offer - the Army heralded it as proof that every soldier could reach her full potential amid a growing call for equality.

A woman aiming to become the first female Navy SEAL officer quit about a week into the initial training, Task and goal reported Thursday. She was the only woman in the pipeline.

The female midshipman, identified by in July as an ROTC junior at an unnamed US college, was the elite SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) program's first female entrant since the Department of Defense lifted restrictions on female applicants for combat arms and special operations forces roles in 2016. Navy media officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The woman dropped out of the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection program.

According to the AP, the three-week program in Coronado, California, tests physical and psychological strength, water competency and leadership skills. Those selected by the panel are offered the chance to complete the arduous BUD/S SEAL training course that includes the famous Hell Week - which is perhaps the most hard military training week in the world.

The efforts followed demands for equal treatment after thousands of American servicewomen served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including many killed or wounded in service, according to the AP. But even then about 10 percent of military jobs remained closed to women.

The entrant, one of a handful of female applicants who have applied for elite special warfare roles, appears to have exited the training pipeline after completing just half of the command's screening evaluations, sources told Task & Purpose.

The services have been slowly integrating women into previously male-only roles.

In September 2015, the U.S. Marine Corps released a study that found that all-male infantry units performed at a higher-level than "gender-integrated" units, which were far less effective and more injury-prone.

There are no other women in the SEAL pipeline, a Naval Special Warfare official said Friday.

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