In first, two women enlist to join U.S. Navy's combat roles

| Updated: Jul 22, 2017 15:18 IST

New York [USA], July 22 (ANI): Two women have enlisted as the first female candidates seeking to join the U.S. Navy's special operations teams. One of the candidates, a midshipman, will train with other potential officers this summer in hopes of becoming the first female Navy SEAL. The other candidate is training for the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, or SWCC. These women have already made history, but they still face a long road ahead of training and tests before they officially make the cut, reports the CNN. Women weren't allowed to serve in combat roles, including special operation forces such as the SEALs and SWCC, until January 2016. But there were no female applicants in the 18 months since that historic change until now. In December 2015, then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that the U.S. military as a whole would no longer limit what jobs women could serve in, opening the path for female service members to apply for previously off-limits positions in special operations units in all branches. At the time, all the services had 30 days to both remove the official restrictions and develop plans on how to fully implement the changes. But there were no female applicants in the 18 months since that historic change until now. The SWCC candidate will undergo months of Navy training and screening evaluations, said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command. Meanwhile, the SEAL will be evaluated for three weeks at a SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in California as a prerequisite to SEAL training before moving on to a SEAL Officer Selection Panel in September. There are about 1,000 SEAL candidates who start training every year, Walton said. Usually only about 200 to 250 candidates make it all the way through training.(ANI)