Home Military First Female Navy SEAL Applicant Drops Out Halfway Through Assessment Program

First Female Navy SEAL Applicant Drops Out Halfway Through Assessment Program

The first woman to attempt the rigorous Navy SEAL training program has dropped out of the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection program that pre-qualifies applicants for the rigorous six month SEAL tryout course.

The pre-qualification assessment is a three-week introduction program which gives applicants a real life view of what being a SEAL is really like before continuing on with the rigorous tryout.

If they decide to continue on, they go under review by a SEAL officer selection panel, where if chosen, are given orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL where they prove themselves on the Silver Strand beach.


The first female applicant bowed out about halfway through the assessment program and there are no other women interested in tackling the honor.

Task & Purpose reported:

The woman on track to become the first female Navy SEAL officer has voluntarily exited the training pipeline, multiple Naval Special Warfare Command sources have confirmed to Task & Purpose.

The female midshipman, identified by Military.com in July as a ROTC junior at an unnamed U.S. 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.

Had she completed the three-week course, she would have been eligible for review by the NSW officer community manager and officer selection panel in September and, if selected, received orders by October to report to NSW’s grueling 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training course.

“No women have entered the full training pipeline just yet,” a Navy official who declined to be identified told Task & Purpose. “She didn’t make it to BUD/S.” (NSW public affairs officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment).

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 first weeks of the program, which began on July 24 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, include physical training with NSW Group 1 and a “mini” version of the BUD/S challenge that awaits the most qualified candidates.

The news of the entrant’s departure was first made public by Josh Cotton, a former Navy personnel research psychologist who worked for the Institute for Selection and Classification from 2009 until 2014. Cotton’s tenure with the institute focused on helping the branch screen sailors for various jobs; during his last 3.5 years with the ISC, Cotton worked with the NSWC helping officials refine screening evaluations like SOAS, BUD/S, and Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command, according to a DoD biography.


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