Transgender officer may be first ‘woman’ in elite community


Two female candidates for the Navy’s all-enlisted Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) program joined boot camp in June, but the first “female” to join the SWCC may have male DNA.

According to, Capt. Jason Salata, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command, said:

“The first female member of these elite communities will come not from the outside, but from within. In October, an SWCC petty officer notified their chain-of-command that they identified as being transgender.”

Navy policy dictates that a sailor needs a doctor’s diagnosis that the gender transition is medically necessary, then needs command approval to begin the process. Sailors also have to pass the “physical standards and requirements of the gender to which they are transitioning.”

An amendment is currently up for floor consideration that would deny service members funds for gender transition treatments. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the amendment “undermines national security.” Arguing for the amendment, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) advised transgenders hoping to join the military to “choose what gender you are before you join.” He says the government doesn’t want to block transgender people from joining, but he says taxpayers don’t want to “foot the bill for it.”

The candidates have not been identified, as Salata says the Navy does not provide updates on any candidates progress through the training. Salata did note that there is currently only one female in the SWCC program.

The SEAL officer program will also have a female candidate, as a woman currently in a college ROTC program has applied for a place in the program. In the summer, she will complete the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection program and her training begins Oct. 1

About 65-percent of SEAL officer candidates complete their training, and Salata won’t speculate about the likelihood that the first woman will be joining elite Navy force.

“It would be premature to speculate as to when we will see the first woman SEAL or SWCC graduate,” Salata said. “Managing expectations is an important part of the deliberate assessment and selection process; it may take months and potentially years.”

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