Will Women Be Allowed to Train as Navy SEALs?

The requirements of a Navy SEAL can be quite brutal: 50-90 push-ups in 2 minutes, 50-90 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and 10 pull-ups are just for a warm up… Now run a mile and a half in less than 10 minutes, swim 500 yards in 12 minutes, and see what else you can do afterwards! These are just the physical requirements that U.S. Navy SEALs must be able to complete just in order to get a chance to train at the Navy SEAL Training Compound in Coronado.

According to the Navy’s newest military plans, women are going to have that chance to become a Navy SEAL. Special Operations forces have been closed from female applicants, however, things are about to change. The announcement was released last week and has received many mixed signals as to the excitement or fear that many individuals possess. At Coronado’s special and expeditionary warfare training and operations base for the Navy SEALs, the uncertainty settles over the decision to allow women to train and possibly serve as Rangers for the Navy. By March 2016, these women could begin the career of a Navy SEAL. Although the exact details are yet to be ironed out, the U.S. Special Operations Command is working to open commando jobs to women and initiate a transition phase.

To qualify for front-line positions, women must perform at the same physical standards of any male sailor. There is a possibility that women may be kept out of some job positions if research and testing deem these jobs to be unsuccessful.

The hell-like program that Navy SEALs endure is hard enough. The Navy has a 75% dropout rate in the 21-week Coronado training course called Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S). The program is centered around carrying logs overhead, spending hours in the freezing Pacific ocean, and multiple hours of boot camp exercises. Due to the fact that this is an extremely difficult physical test, the standard may be a challenge for a sizably smaller sailor.

Along with the physical aspect of a tough Navy SEAL, strong mental awareness is a key player. A 2009 study by the Coronado SEAL command did show that chess players were very successful in BUD/S. Although muscles play a big part of Naval SEAL training, the mental ability to continue with strenuous training is half of the battle as well. The future of women within the Navy SEALs is uncertain but we may see some female representation in other areas before long.