Tuesday 24th October, 2017
12.8
13 ℃ | 17 ℃Birmingham
navy-only-woman-in-seal-training-pipeline-drops-out
SAN DIEGO - The only woman in the Navy SEAL training pipeline has dropped out, a Navy special warfare official confirmed Friday.

The female midshipman voluntarily decided to not continue in a summer course that's required of officers who want to be selected for SEAL training, Naval special warfare spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, told The Associated Press. The Navy has not released the woman's name, part of a policy against publicly identifying SEALs or candidates for the force.

No other women are in the process required to become a Navy SEAL, Walton said.

Another woman has set her sights on becoming a Special Warfare Combatant Crewman. They often support the SEALs but also conduct missions of their own using state-of-the art, high-performance boats. She has started the long process of going through various evaluations and months of standard Navy training.

Officials have said it would be premature to speculate when that Navy will see its first female SEAL or Special Warfare Combatant Crewman.

The entry of women in one of the military's most elite fighting forces is part of ongoing efforts to comply with then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter's directive in December 2015 to open all military jobs to women, including the most dangerous commando posts.

That decision was formal recognition of the thousands of female servicewomen who fought in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in recent years, including those who were killed or wounded.

The woman was participating in the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection program. It is open to Naval academy and Navy ROTC midshipmen and cadets during the summer before their senior year.

The three-week-long program in Coronado, across the bay from San Diego, tests participants' physical and psychological strength along with water competency and leadership skills. The program is the first in-person evaluation of a candidate who desires to become a Navy SEAL officer, and it allows sailors to compete against peers in an equitable training environment.

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