On July 15, 2021, 17 sailors of Crewman Qualification Training Class 115 completed the assessment and selection to become Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC). Included in the class is Naval Special Warfare Command’s first female operator.

The first female operator passed Naval Special Warfare training
Cmdr. Brad Geary, NSW Basic Training Command commanding officer, addresses CQT Class 115 during their graduation ceremony (U.S. Navy)

SWCC is a special operations force under Naval Special Warfare Command that operates small watercraft to conduct special operations missions. Their exploits were highlighted in the 2012 film Act of Valor which featured active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs and SWCC operators.

SEALs and SWCC go through similar but separate specialized training programs at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. SWCC operators train extensively on watercraft and weapons tactics to facilitate infiltration and exfiltration of other special operators under any condition. Historically, only 35 percent of candidates complete the course to become operators. The SWCC motto is “On Time, On Target, Never Quit,” and they live up to every word.

When you need a treeline obliterated from the water, you call SWCC (U.S. Navy)

The graduation of the first female sailor from the SWCC course is a historic milestone for the Navy. “Becoming the first woman to graduate from a Naval Special Warfare training pipeline is an extraordinary accomplishment, and we are incredibly proud of our teammate,” said Rear Adm. H. W. Howard, commander, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command.

“Like her fellow operators, she demonstrated the character, cognitive, and leadership attributes required to join our force.”

The first female operator passed Naval Special Warfare training
An SWCC graduate receives a compass prior to the ceremony. (U.S. Navy)
Following graduation, the sailors will either report to a Special Boat Team or further specialized training. In addition to their watercraft and weapon skills, SWCC operators are required to possess a plethora of special operations skills like parachuting, medical treatment, navigation, and engineering.This article was written by Miguel Ortiz and originally published on WE ARE THE MIGHTY.

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