By Hank Berrien
Despite the fact that no woman has ever completed the U.S. Navy SEALs or Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) qualification training pipeline, the Seals and the SWCC have changed the language of their ethos and creed statements to be gender-neutral.
Some examples: The first paragraph of the SEAL ethos used to say, “A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.” Now it reads, “Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed.” Another change in the first paragraph: from “I am that man” to “I am that warrior.”
Fourth paragraph: What was “The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men” is now “The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from others.”
Last paragraph: What was “Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold” is now “Brave SEALs have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold.”
Regarding the SWCC creed, “Brotherhood” in the first paragraph has been changed to “group of maritime warriors.” Also, “I challenge my brothers to perform, as I expect them to challenge me” will now be “I challenge them to perform, as I expect them to challenge me.”
As American Military News reports, Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup confirmed the changes, stating:
Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC. … The previous versions of the SEAL Ethos and SWCC Creed were written prior to the law allowing women to serve as operators in Naval Special Warfare. The changes do not in any way reflect lowering standards of entry, rather they ensure that all those who meet the requirements to train to become a SEAL or SWCC are represented in the ethos or creed they live out. This improves the posture of the NSW force by ensuring we draw from the greatest pool of talent available.
Stroup acknowledged, “To date, no women completed the SEAL or SWCC qualification training pipelines.”
A prospective candidate for the Seals must be able to do 42 push-ups in two minutes, swim 500 yards breaststroke in less than 21 ½ minutes, run 1 ½ miles in eleven minutes, perform 50 sit-ups in two minutes, and do 6 pull-ups. That’s just to be a candidate. Once past that test, the candidate enters the Delayed Entry Program phase to reach optimum levels, making them qualified for Boot Camp. Then the candidate enters PRE-BUDS, a 7-9 week Apprenticeship Training Division School (A-School), with immediate assignment to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL) training, a seven-month training course. SEALs reportedly will not endorse a candidate for BUD/S training unless the candidate can do the 500 yard swim under 9:00, 100 pushups in 2:00, 100 sit-ups in 2:00, 20 pullups, and run 1 ½ miles in under 9:00 in boots and pants.
For a look at “Hell Week” for Navy SEALs, see below: