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).
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.
There are currently 11 Virginia-class attack submarines in commission (as Nov. 24, 2014). These submarines have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary’s military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.
Press release, Image: US Navy