Navy Lifts Ban on Female Submarine Crews
Congress can still block policy change
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2010 5:28 PM CST
In this undated photo released by the U.S. Navy, the USS Hartford 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 has moved to allow women to serve on submarines, lifting the ban that has prevented the service from fully integrating. The Navy's top leadership approved the policy change, opening a 30-day window that began Monday for congressional comment. If Congress wants to continue to keep women off subs, both houses would have to pass legislation to that effect before the window closes.

Assuming Congress goes along with the change as expected, it will be at least 18 months before a woman actually serves on a submarine, and the opportunity will be open only to officers, ABC News reports. Once the change is fully implemented, women will not be allowed to serve alone—at least two will have to be on a mixed-gender submarine.