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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, August 12, 2017 1:00 am

Woman drops SEAL training

Was only female candidate in process

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO – The only woman in the Navy SEAL training pipeline has dropped out, a Navy special warfare official confirmed Friday.

The female midshipman voluntarily decided to not continue participating in a summer course that's required of officers who want to be selected for SEAL training, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a Naval special warfare spokesman, told The Associated Press. The Navy has not released the woman's name, part of a policy against publicly identifying SEALs or candidates for the force.

No other woman has started the long process required to become a Navy SEAL, Walton said.

Another woman has set her sights on becoming a Special Warfare Combatant Crewman, another job that recently opened to women. They often support the SEALs but also conduct missions of their own using state-of-the art, high-performance boats. She has started the various evaluations and standard Navy training.

The entry of women in one of the most elite fighting forces is part of ongoing efforts to comply with then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter's directive in December 2015 to open all military jobs to women, including the dangerous commando posts.

That decision was formal recognition of the thousands of female servicewomen who fought in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in recent years, including those who were killed or wounded.