First woman to join Navy SEAL training pipeline drops out

The first woman to step forward to attempt Navy SEAL training has dropped out of the process, but another female is poised to possibly become the first to make it through the Marine Corps’ infantry officers’ course.

A Naval Special Warfare official confirmed that a female candidate who started the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection program — a precursor to the rigorous half-year SEAL tryout course — has removed herself from the applicant pool, as first reported by Task & Purpose.

The three-week officer introduction program in Coronado is designed to give prospective applicants a taste of SEAL life to see if they want to continue. If they do, the next step is review by a SEAL officer selection panel. Those chosen by the panel get orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL, where SEALs are forged on the beaches of the Silver Strand.

The first female candidate bowed out about halfway through the assessment program, according to Josh Cotton, an analytics expert who did work for the SEAL command looking at candidate attrition rates.

The dropout rate in SEAL training is infamously high. Roughly 75% of the men who start the course don’t finish.

There are no other women in the SEAL pipeline, a Naval Special Warfare official said Friday. However, one female is continuing in training to become a Naval Special Warfare combatant-craft crew member — another direct action job that only recently opened to women.

The outlook appears good for one woman attempting the Marine Corps’ infantry officer course, also known as a notoriously rough physical ordeal.

A female Marine officer is nearing the halfway mark of the course, according to the Marine Corps Times.

If successful, she would become the first woman to pass the 12-week course required to become an infantry platoon commander. At least 30 others have tried and failed.

jeannette.steele@sduniontribune.com

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