As of December 2022, there are no female members of the United States Navy SEALs, a special operations force that conducts various missions, including direct action, special reconnaissance, and counter-terrorism. The training and selection process for SEALs is highly competitive and physically and mentally demanding, and it has traditionally been open only to men.
In 2015, the Department of Defense announced that it would open all military occupations and positions to women, including those previously closed to them. This included the SEALs and other special operations forces. Let’s have a look at what it takes for a woman to become a Navy SEAL.
Can a Woman Become a Navy SEAL?
Yes, a female can become a Navy SEAL by meeting the requirements and successfully completing the training. They must meet the following criteria to begin training.
- Be eligible for security clearance.
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Be 28 years old or younger
- Eyesight: 20/40 vision in your best eye, 20/70 vision in your worst eye (correctable to 20/25), and color blindness
- Pass a physical test for divers
- Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test
The physical requirements vary with age. To pass a Physical Readiness Test, you must maintain these fitness standards after Boot Camp.
Does the Navy SEAL Training for Men and Women Differ?
Navy SEAL training is a highly demanding and rigorous process designed to test and develop candidates' physical and mental abilities. It includes several phases, each building upon the skills and knowledge learned in the previous phase.
- Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training. This phase is the initial training period for candidates, taking place at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California. It includes physical conditioning, diving and small boat handling. It is designed to test candidates' mental and physical toughness, as well as their ability to work as a team.
- SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). This phase is the final phase of SEAL training, and it takes place at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California. It includes advanced training in weapons, tactics and advanced combat diving.
- SEAL Team Placement. Upon successful completion of SEAL training, candidates are assigned to a SEAL team, where they will receive additional specialized training and be deployed on real-world missions.
SEAL training is extremely challenging, and the dropout rate is high. Candidates who can complete the training and become SEALs are highly skilled and highly respected soldiers.
How Does a Woman Start the Process of Becoming a Navy SEAL?
Start by contacting a recruiter. They can provide information on the requirements for becoming a SEAL and help you through the application and selection process. To become a SEAL, you’ll need to complete the same demanding physical and mental training program as men.
The selection process for the SEALs is highly competitive, and the training is physically and mentally grueling. It is not for everyone and requires a strong commitment and a high level of physical and mental fortitude. Women interested in becoming SEALs should be ready for a challenging but rewarding journey.
Read more about becoming a Navy SEAL here.