A big first for the US Navy: The branch has its female SEAL candidate. A second woman is a candidate to become a special warfare combatant crewman, another elite special operations job previously open only to men. "They are the first candidates that have made it this far in the process" since the Pentagon opened front-line combat positions to women more than a year and a half ago, a spokesperson for the Naval Special Warfare Command tells NPR.
The women, who have not been identified, still need to get through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, which is grueling; they will need to complete the same training a man would. The spokesperson says it could still "take months and potentially years" before we see the first woman graduate from the SEAL or SWCC program. In another first for SWCC, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Command confirms to Military.com that a petty officer recently informed their chain-of-command they identify as transgender. (Read more Navy SEALs stories.)