First Woman Makes it Through SEAL Officer Screening

The First Woman Makes It Through SEAL Officer Screening
  • Beginning in 2016, women were allowed to apply to become a Navy SEAL.
  • Only about 6% of people who apply to become a SEAL meet the requirements. 
  • Navy SEALs make up 1% of the Navy.
  • During Navy SEAL training, candidates endure many stresses, including staying awake and functional for five days straight. 

The Navy experienced a milestone in 2019 when, for the first time, when a female completed the SEAL officer assessment and selection.

During a meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women, the Navy announced that a woman had successfully completed the mentally and physically demanding SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS) process. Despite her achievements, she didn’t get offered a SEAL contract.

The reason she wasn’t offered a contract was that she did not list the SEALs as her number one choice, which is what she was eventually awarded placement to.

Had she been selected, she would’ve been the first one to attempt and complete the SEAL’s 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition training.

SEAL officer selection is a gender-neutral process. The selection board is never told the gender or other identifying information about any of the candidates. Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare had this to say about the selection process:

“Selection is based on the candidate’s scores during the two-week SOAS assessment. This process ensures every candidate has a fair and equal chance based on Naval Special Warfare standards.”

About 180 people are selected each year to attend the SEAL officer assessment and selection. Typically the top 85 candidates move on to continue SEAL training.

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