Today, a female college student is set to make history by graduating from one of the toughest special operations courses in the entire U.S. military.
Sandboxx News has learned that on Thursday a female cadet will become the first woman in the Army to ever graduate from the Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School (SFUWO).
A rising junior at a state school and a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the female student has also been chosen as the class honor graduate, a remarkable distinction reserved for the best student who has distinguished him or herself through his or her physical and mental fortitude.
“The news is a very big deal. [Combat] Dive school is arguably the toughest school in the military with the highest attrition rate. It demands perfection and attention to detail every single day. The course is long and wears down everyone,” John Black, a retired Special Forces warrant officer and combat diver, told Sandboxx News.
Graduating from one of the toughest special operations schools in the military will set the female cadet up for success in her military career, whether she pursues a conventional or special operations path.
Located in Key West, Florida, SFUWO trains Army special operators, such as Rangers, Green Berets, and even Delta Force operators, to become combat divers, dive supervisors, or dive medical technicians. Although SFUWO is an Army school, commandos from other services, such as from the Air Force Special Operations Command, also attend from time to time.
A six-week course, the CDQC graduates approximately 300 students every year. It teaches surface and subsurface waterborne infiltration, including the use of the Draeger closed-circuit/ semi-closed-circuit underwater rebreather.
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Admission to the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC)—the flagship course of the SFUWO and the one that the female cadet will be graduating from—is highly selective. A special operator must have already excelled at his home unit and passed several in-house assessment and training courses before getting orders to Key West.
It isn’t uncommon for seasoned Rangers and Green Berets to fail CDQC. It’s also not uncommon to have fatalities in what is, by all accounts, a very difficult course, both physically and mentally. Only a few weeks ago, a Green Beret from the 10th Special Forces Group died during the CDQC.
“Dive school is extremely difficult. To endure the physical and mental aspects of the course, it’s a huge achievement. To be the honor grad is a big deal. She’s the fastest and the best. Big congratulations to her and those that will follow,” Black added.
This isn’t the first time an ROTC cadet has graduated from the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC). Several universities send ROTC cadets to the schoolhouse during the summer, with a rare few making it through. However, up to this point, no female, regardless of service status, had ever graduated.
Although this is a high point for the Army special operations combat diver community, not everything is rosy within their ranks. The community has been suffering from some degree of neglect throughout the past two decades of fighting terrorism in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
Feature image: A 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion critical skills operator surfaces from the ocean and advances up a beach, completing a combat dive exercise in Key West, Fla., Feb. 18, 2015. (DoD Photo).
Editor’s Note: The article has been updated to reflect that the cadet will be the first Army female to graduate from the CDCQ.
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For anyone wondering, I am in ROTC with this cadet. She has been a triathlon athlete since before she finished elementary school. This woman has more physical and mental endurance than any Cadet and most Soldiers I have come across. As a requirement for our Cadre to approve someone from our program to attend CDQC they must attend a Pre-Dive course- which she was 1/8 of the class that graduated. If anyone has deserved making history, it’s this cadet.
BULLSHIT! I hope for her sake and more importantly for the sake of her future teammates she never does real world operations
The is PC at it’s worse, and will just get people killed.
P sucks D says
I bet he’s a fat white American mal.
Hendrick Van Derdecken says
Why do all leftist comments have misspelled words? I see a pattern here.
Christopher Martin says
He is dumbass for that comment. But leave color out of the picture ugly comes from all types he is just jealous congratulations to the young lady two is one one is none.
P, keep your mental midget comments to yourself.
Larry R Parkinson says
P, you must be jealous, I’m sure you barely made it thru Basic.
Stop being an ass although it must be in your DNA. CLOWN…..
Margaret Lamont says
Gary Willson says
P never saw the movie, G.I. Jane. Demi Moore proved women can do it !!!
Relax SF. For a professional you can’t even spell soldier. Fake!
Thank you, Stavros.
As always great to read your articles.
As always another lie from the army. As a graduate of this course and the rest of the special forces pipe line I know for a fact that these women are being pushed through for political agendas. What a travesty. Just pure propaganda. Can’t wait to clean these pos generals out of our Beloved special operations forces. These woke punks are destroying us as demonstrated in Afghanistan! Those generals in charge should face criminal charges for allowing that disaster to happen!
Jeremiah McKenna says
I would absolutely love to see the evaluation as well as if the same levels are required. They dumb it down way too much just to allow women to pass.
Just an FYI, she isn’t the first female to graduate SFQC. A female Air Force TACP (Could have been CCP) trainee finished a few classes ago. Not sure if she went on to finish her pipeline, but she did graduate SFQC.
Lewis Chapman says
A tip of the Beret to the young lady. I’m a 1968 graduate of SF Training Group at Bragg (May, ’68) and considered the scuba school after being assigned to the 7th Group. However, I knew that I was not ready. I graduated from high school with 3 Varsity football letters and an Honorable Mention to the All State team. Placed 3rd in the state in wrestling and I still didn’t think I was ready for scuba school (my dad was a WWII Navy and I started swimming as a youngster). Training in the water is a different toughness. I did however obtain Open Water scuba certification (Professional Association of Diving Instructors – PADI) after returning home from Vietnam Nam.
There is no beret tip for this. It is all a sham. Keep your pride in tack Green Beret, you earned your green beret and everything else you did. These women are being pencil wiped through. And that is an unmitigated fact!
This wokeness is costing lives down range. Turn on the war room with Steve Bannon and watch real reporting on Afghanistan and see what these pos generals are doing to our military! As a force recon marine and then a green beret for 23 years it just breaks my heart!!!!
You sir, are not applying any sort or critical thinking to this which is expected as a green beret. Maybe you are too far removed from the situation now. It is IMPOSSIBLE to graduate CDQC without being extremely fit and pass all the gate (one man/NAV swims/ etc) they don’t “push” people through this school because it’s a MASSIVE safety issue. You know better. Apply some critical thinking.
I call BS!
A ROTC cadet passing that course???? Most guys go to a Pre-Scuba that’s a bloody miserable experience. I know dudes from SF, Ranger Regiment and LRS that failed that course, all some of the toughest, fit guys I ever met. There is no way, unless the standards were lowered terribly. Which in today’s Army would not surprise me. Much like almost every other challenging course in the military today.
Yes standard changes and nothing a pencil can’t fix when a failed politician craps out! Every spec ops course is going through it. It was just a matter of time before sfqc had it done! The general officer corps is corrupt and to the bone! Most anyway! Just look what they are letting happen in Afghanistan! It will be good to have Trump back.
Vivien H says
It’s true. I am in ROTC with her
Hendrick Van Derdecken says
Oh really? What detachment? No names, just a detachment.
That shows you don’t know much about ROTC. When I went through, ROTC had everyone from your first day college kid to twice deployed Army Rangers looking to commission. Additionally we sent ROTC cadets to schools like Sapper school among other difficult schools. Finally, she isn’t the first ROTC cadet to pass the course. May not happen regularly but it’s happened.
Andre R Austin says
I’ve known a few who have graduated from the course and those who know will tell you that there is one school that is a real challenge. Do your research and find out what it takes to be a PJ.
PJs go to sfqc!
Sorry I meant CDQC not SFQC!
SF Soldier says
Please Stop writing about Special Forces. Being a SF solder myself for 25 years, there is no reason for any one to talk, show pictures, or in you case, talk out your ass about SF in any way. You know nothing about SF. You now have put a SF solder at risk with a picture, name, and School. Are you that stupid to talk out your ass while putting out her name and where she live.
Stavros Atlamazoglou says
Thanks for your comment, “SF Soldier.” I would be very much obliged if you could point out where we published her name, university, or location. Also, please be advised that the feature picture is open source and not of the student in question, as you can read at the bottom of the article. We take operational and personal security seriously.
She isn’t Special Forces… she’s a ROTC student. Army sends cadets goes to various schools during summer time like Airborne, Air Assault, etc. I’m just surprised they send a cadet to combat dive school.
Anthony salvaggio says
Sf. / sfc. John black. U trained me at ft Sherman. Panama. In 12/79. Never forgot u. And Sfc Reyes. AATW. RLTW. DOL. TONY SALVAGGIO
I’m surprised as well. We only need to send soldiers who will use the training in there units, and not wasting tax payers money. There are no reason Cadet should be going down there.
I highly doubt you were in the military, let alone SF. Your grammar, as well as attitude, tell a different story.
Jacob Mitchell says
You doubt his service based on his grammar? Maybe you just can’t take criticism. You’re clearly pushing an agenda.
John Ferguson says
Yes,I wasn’t special anything.A grunt in the Marines 0331.I was just proud of that.SF and SOF to me is in America are the best overall.I was in the 11th Meu.I was impressed with thier knowledge and comradare.Did I spell that right? Lol.Just loved being a Marine.
Jacob Mitchell says
I too am tired of this trash. The fact that they selected her as the “honor grad” tells you all you need to know. It’s a shame politics has invaded SOF to the extent it has.
Dave Emery says
Amen. Female in combat dive school? I agree they all should do SERE level 2 (Hahahaha) but combat dive school? Wow. I don’t know whether to be impressed or depressed. Any female Delta operators yet? Can’t wait for the first trans commando at the Unit. Gives new life to go f*ck yourself.
Exactly! Totally compromised of any integrity to not only pencil whip her through pre scuba, then sfqc, then make her honor graduate!!! What a bunch of bS!!!! But then again is there anything that is real anymore! Or is everything made for tv Hollywood gi Jane bs?
Roderick Newsome says
I am SO proud of you Mowry! You represent this Command, the Bde, and your Bn exempleary! Way to blaze a path and a standard for others to achieve. Go enjoy this year and I know you will achieve great things! Best of luck (dont forget who selected you)…ha!
And a bouquet of flowers for your stylish contemporary woke statement.
Well now her name is on the internet. Maybe you should delete your post.
Army man says
Mowry? Really guy? Wow. Maybe it is true, all those thingd they say about the Officer Corps… I mean, if youre dumb enough to be posting her name. Unless its disinformation, but I doubt it.
Rafael Ramirez says
“SF Solder”, I did not know the Green Berets accepted people with an elementary school diploma, you are illiterate as fuck.
Jeremiah McKenna says
She’s NOT and SF Soldier. All she did was pass one course and unfortunately, like many other women, been given lower standards just to allow them to pass.