Earlier this summer, the Navy had its first ever woman recruit for the grueling training required to become a Navy SEAL. Now, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton has said in a statement that it was the recruit’s choice to no longer continue with a summer course on offer for potential SEAL recruits, just a few weeks into her preliminary training.
According to the Associated Press, the unnamed midshipman was enrolled in a program in Coronado, CA that was open to all midshipmen and Naval ROTC cadets between their junior and senior years at the academy. Successful completion of the course leads recruits through the elite SEAL training pipeline, and those who succeed go on to further training with the group.
The three-week program tests cadets’ mental and physical stamina, as well as water competency and leadership skills. People who successfully pass this program go onto the six-month SEAL training, of which 75 percent of trainees end up dropping out before the program’s completion.
While there is still a woman candidate vying to be a Special Warfare Combatant Crewman, the Navy cannot say when or if any woman within the ranks will successfully complete the SEAL training.
It has only been four years since women were allowed to serve in active combat after then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta rescinded the ban on women at the front lines of battle. Even after that change happened, it took another two years, until 2015, for the military to open all other jobs to women, which gave women the opportunity to join the ranks of the Navy SEALs and other elite fighting forces.
Have you served in the military? Tell us @BritandCo!
(h/t Refinery29; photo via Chip Somodevilia / Getty.)