Navy Will Allow Women to Serve on Submarines

Female officers will be the first to join sub crews
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2009 3:41 PM CDT
In this undated photo released by the U.S. Navy, the Los Angeles class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) is seen anchored off the US Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Don S. Montgomery)
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(Newser) – The Navy is going to start allowing women to serve on submarines, with the first female officers reporting for duty in 2011. The close confinement of subs has kept co-ed crews at bay, but that's going to change, reports the Honolulu Advertiser. “I believe women should have every opportunity to serve at sea, and that includes aboard submarines,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

Integration will be gradual, at first covering only officers and only the larger submarine types. Some military spouses have voiced concerns about mixed-gender crews, but a Navy spokesman noted that "a lot of those same concerns were voiced early on with integrating women in the surface fleet, which we've been doing now for 16-plus years."