Since the birth of SEAL Teams, NSW’s commitment to embracing diversity, equality and inclusion has left a positive and lasting impact on its culture. The acceptance of the best fully qualified candidates has directly led to the development [as the SEAL Ethos reads]’ordinary citizens with an uncommon desire to succeed’, in America’s Best Warriors.
Naval Special Warfare’s long history of inclusion began at the height of World War II in 1945, before the creation of SEAL teams, when Engineman 2n/a Class Fred “Tiz” Morrison became one of only six sailors to complete training for the newly formed Underwater Demolition Teams. He was the first Black UDT Frogman and later became the first Black UDT instructor. In the years to come, the UDTs will provide the manpower needed to assemble the first SEAL teams.
In 1957, William Goines joined two foreign naval officers, five Army Rangers, four United States Navy officers, and 85 enlisted sailors for frogman training. He became one of only 13 to pass three weeks of training and several years later, after undergoing individual interviews with his leaders, now retired Master Chief Petty Officer Goines became one of 40 sailors, and the only black male, selected to join the new formed SEAL Team 2. At the time, he was the first and only black male on either SEAL team.
With an eye on the fight of tomorrow, NSW management recognizes they have to work hard to move the needle and salutes every diversity achievement along the way.
“I believe that the effective recruitment, retention and development of a diverse force will give NSW a significant competitive advantage,” said Rear Admiral Keith Davids, Commander Naval Special Warfare Command. “Talent knows no color, no class, no sex, no creed. Diversity is a force multiplier and makes us a stronger and more capable fighting force. Having a diversity of perspectives and experiences will give us the mix of skills, knowledge, ideas and creativity we need to solve our country’s toughest problems.
In 2020, Cmdr. Blythe Blakistone made history when she became the first woman to command an NSW – Tactical Communications Command 1 unit, which supports SEAL teams, other special operations forces and conventional forces around the world by providing tactical communications in all environments and levels of conflict.
A year later, in July 2021, another historic milestone followed for NSW when the first female SWCC candidate graduated from training. She won and was accepted into a community where only about 35% of applicants successfully complete the training. SEAL and SWCC operator jobs have been open to female sailors since 2016, and since then only 18 women have attempted the physically and mentally challenging training.
In preparation for the fight of tomorrow, the Naval Special Warfare Assessment Command (NSWAC) was established on August 18, 2022. The mission of the NSWAC is to conduct diverse outreach, increase the assessment of NSW candidates, and assess the leaders at all levels for strategic selectivity and the development of its people. The NSWAC conducts outreach and assessment activities for potential candidates and selects individuals based on their character, cognitive and leadership qualities.
NSWAC outreach events span the country and educate young leaders about career opportunities within Naval Special Warfare. The NSWAC Outreach Team, utilizing active duty SEAL and SWCC operators, engages with the public at sporting events, high schools, universities and more. One of NSWAC Outreach’s main areas of effort is to support events that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Highlights of NSWAC’s outreach efforts include women’s professional soccer games, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and women’s wrestling tournaments.
The NSWAC not only conducts awareness activities but also assessments. One of its assessment programs is SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection (SOAS). SOAS is a two-week program that assesses potential SEAL officer candidates against their peers in a fair training environment. Potential candidates are selected based on the following characteristics: academic achievement, commitment, communication skills, conduct, honor, integrity, leadership, peer reviews and physical fitness.
“The assessment and selection techniques, targets and strategies that NSW currently implements will directly affect our ability to deal with future threats as we transition from an era of counter-terrorism to one of strategic competition with close competitors,” the Command said. Master Chief Deryck Dickerson, NSWAC. “That’s why optimizing the organizational makeup of Naval Special Warfare now – hiring the most qualified, talented and competent people for the job – and fostering a cohesive culture based on diversity, will enable our workforce and maximize our abilities to compete and win in all areas.”
The Department of Defense is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
In September 2021, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday set out the United States Navy’s goal of becoming the most diverse U.S. military service branch over the next 20 years. According to a 2020 DoD study, the Navy already ranks first for diversity when it comes to minority enlisted service members — more than 40 percent more than any other service.
On March 29, 2022, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) released its Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Action Plan for fiscal year 2022-2023, which outlines strategic actions, priorities, initiatives and measures of success in implementing the USSOCOM 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Plan.
Simultaneously, in a memorandum to all SOF personnel, US Special Operations Command leadership acknowledged that the “talent pool” from which it draws its strength has changed in a myriad of ways. Along with the increasingly complex operating environment, and since our nation’s demographics, experience, motivation and mindset have evolved so much, SOF’s approach to diversity and inclusion became crucial in optimizing its organizational composition for future fights.
Since 1962, Naval Special Warfare has been the nation’s premier maritime special operations force – a highly reliable and lethal force – always ready to conduct full-spectrum operations, unilaterally or with partners, in support of national objectives. , and particularly well placed to expand the fleet. achieve, providing options across the board for naval and joint force commanders.
As a component of Naval Special Warfare, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 (NSWG-2) strives to produce, sustain and deploy the best maritime commandos on the planet, enabling Naval Special Warfare to conduct full-spectrum operations , unilaterally or with partners, to support national objectives.
For more information on Naval Special Warfare Command, visit https://www.facebook.com/NavalSpecialWarfare or https://www.nsw.navy.mil/. For more information on the NSWG-2, visit https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NSWG-2.