Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs, Navy.mil, Jan 21
NORFOLK -- Following the successful integration of female officers onboard submarines, the Submarine Force will be immediately opening service on submarines for enlisted female Sailors. The Chief of Naval Operations detailed the enlisted women integration plan in Naval Administrative (NAVADMIN) message 19/15 entitled, "Opening Submarine Force Billets to Enlisted Women." The plan was formally approved in December 2014 for federal funding by Congress.
With Congressional approval, Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces, can begin implementing the plan which was first submitted and approved by CNO, June 30, 2014, and Secretary of the Navy, July 1, 2014. The plan includes opening all submarine ratings and Navy enlisted classification codes to enlisted women in Fiscal Year 2015 for a two-phase integration onboard the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and Ohio-class guided-missile submarines (SSGN), and the Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN).
"We are the most capable submarine force in the world," said Connor. "While we have superb technology, the ultimate key to our success is our people. In order to continue to improve and adapt in a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that we continue to recruit and retain the most talented Sailors. Today, many of the people who have the technical and leadership skills to succeed in the Submarine Force are women. We will need them. Integrating female officers into the submarine force has increased our talent pool and subsequently the force's overall readiness, ensuring that we will remain the world's most capable force for ensuing decades. Following our successful and smooth integration of women officers into the Submarine Force, the Navy's plan to integrate female enlisted is a natural next step."