October 22nd, 2010
02:28 PM ET

Women to begin serving on U.S. submarines


Women will serve on the USS Wyoming and three other U.S. Navy submarines.

Women will begin serving on four U.S. submarines in December 2011, the U.S. Navy announced Thursday.

Twenty-four are in training to be the first women to serve aboard U.S. submarines, the Navy's Submarine Group 10 said in a statement. The subs on which they will deploy are the USS Wyoming and USS Georgia, both homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia, and the USS Ohio and USS Maine, homeported in Bangor, Washington.

The Navy said it will not identify the women until they have completed their submarine training. The 24, chosen from graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy, ROTC programs and Officer Candidate School, began their training in July, the military said.

Three women will serve aboard each sub at any one time, two as submarine officers and one as a supply officer. The subs have crews of 154. The Wyoming and Maine are ballistic-missile submarines and the Ohio and Georgia are armed with cruise missiles. Each of the submarines has two separate crews - known as the blue and gold crews - that rotate duty time so the subs can spend the maximum amount of time at sea.

The submarine force is the last of the Navy's surface forces to allow women to serve. They have served on noncombat surface ships since 1973 and combat surface ships since 1993.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Congress in February that the Navy would take steps to put women aboard submarines.


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Filed under: Military • U.S. • U.S. Navy
soundoff (443 Responses)
  1. David

    Yeah the women will be on the Murray Povich showw to figure out which of the shipmates is the father of her chilldren.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. bogle

    Quoting Dr. Evil, "I love my my submarine....It's long...Hard....and full of seamen.". Maybe that is why certain women want to be submariners?

    October 26, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Subsalior

    This decision will eventually be shown to have been a mistake. The reasons are complicated and detailed and too lenghty to be explained in this short venue. "Social-Engineering" has no place in that environment. I know...I've "been-there-and-done-that". The sad part is that the "Politically-Correct" crowd that promotes this will never admit to this being a bad policy.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Liz

    While there are a lot of men complaining here, remember that this isn't a "political move" as much as it is a necessary move for the submarine community to be the best in the world. I work for the Navy and saw the discussions being had. The submarine community is HURTING for people because now that Lasik corrects vision to 20/20, everyone who previously couldn't fly and had no choice but to be submariners are now able to fly. Women now make up more than 50% of college graduates and by saying no to them, you're reducing the pool of available engineers who are both capable AND desiring to do this job.

    I've been working with the submarine community as a civilian for years and they are truly the smartest, most professional members of the military I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I have no doubt they'll handle women on board in the same way they handle all their tasks: respectfully and professionally.

    November 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • FT2

      lol well obviously you have never went underway with a bunch of sailors on a submarine. it sounds more like youve only interfaced with them in port where the submariners are on their best behavior, especially when they know a female is around. Submariners have their own unique culture that has been created without women for the past 100 years. This will not be an easy thing to change for the men that have been apart of this culture for so long and adding women to the mix honestly isnt the best idea in the world. There are reasons that for so long women werent allowed in the sub force and the reasons are still there.

      November 11, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. ET2 Rodriguez

    I love my wife who acts like a woman, she decorates the house, helps the kids with homework etc..., she doesn't try to do guy stuff. Women need to understand the headache and money if takes for these ships to operarate with women. I served on a combatant for a few years while women served on tenders and there was so much pregnancy and drama

    November 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |

    After deploying on 22 different submarines, I have to wonder where the additional toilet paper will be stored. They will have to tow a barge!

    March 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. subsailor

    i have been designated ss for over 5 years i feel like this is the stupidest idea EVER do i feel that women can do this job in a word yes i add HOWEVER the amount of experience that is required to even operate a submarine requires multiple years 20+ of experience to even do the job in the first place not to mention if one of these selected women do end up with a bun in the oven it isn't the idea of her not being able to work it is her not being able to work for a year tell the person that has to fit the bill for her not being there tell his son/daughter that had to wait 5 years for him to be home every night that he has to go back to another boat because of a GREAT idea that someone who has spent 5 minutes reading a book on submarine life according to jules verne that daddy has to go back to another boat how can anyone justify this as a great reason for doing this here is an idea let things the way they are and the people that agree with doing this let well enough alone.....

    October 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. FT2

    I think its funny actually how the people that argue it to be a good thing for women to be onboard one.. But i bet the ones that argue this honestly have no idea what its like to actually live on one. Sure it all sounds good written down on paper and sure the sub force actually needs the people. But women dont fit into the culture. it wont work. especially when it will only be at the most 3 mixed with a crew of over 150 guys. Im not talking bad about the capabilites of women, hell i know women smarter and more capable than me, but just being able to do the job isnt really the problem, its everything else thats comes with being a submariner

    November 11, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Female Marine Officer

    I can't believe the amount of ignorant remarks on this blog. I went to the Naval Academy.. became a Marine Officer and was one of the first 10 in my specialty that had JUST opened to women. Sure there was prejudice and challenges, but if a woman can do the job, why do some of you bloggers have such an issue with it? Honestly? Tow the toilet paper? What? I was one of the only females in Afghanistan in 2001... coming off a MEU. When I arrived at the base the first thing my EX-O said was, "Thank god you are here, we need all the help we can get." No weird feminist comments about me being the first female. I'm still in the Marine Corps- I've had 3 children.. was smart enough to get pregnant each time immediately FOLLOWING a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan (I've been 4 times); took my 6 weeks of maternity leave and even worked from home when on maternity leave; Iùve gotten nothing but great reports from my bosses. Like my peers, I work hard. I'm happily married, work hard, and don't have ignorant idiots giving me daily problems in my job. Those of you that are out- you need to stop worrying about gender so much- on a daily work day, no one cares. It only comes up in the beginning and then it dies pretty fast. This will work out just fine, I am sure of it.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • PM

      Hoooo Raaaah! Nuf Said! It is about mission, always has been, always will be; not about bias or prejudice.

      February 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Poppy

    Indeed its the same with navy men....(shudders)

    October 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Did Zombies Eat Everyone's Brain?

    Wow way to live in 1950's dude!
    You sir are a bigot!

    October 23, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dave Barak

    It sounds like it's been awhile since you were in, and it sounds like you have a major chip on your shoulder. I was in the Navy, and I still maintain close ties with the Navy, and I've, so far, only seen hard-working women.

    October 23, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Female Doc

    The laziness goes both ways! You pinging on women in the Navy just goes to show why you are an ExNavyguy. It's time to get with the times and let women have the same opportunities. I personally would not want to serve on a sub but if you can pass the qualifications then WHY NOT! I was a shipboard corpsman and an FMF corpsman so I know what it is like to be on water and out in the field. All I can say is It is about time!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Current Navy Guy

    Ok, so I am IN the Navy and have done 3 ship deployments, multiple surges, and a tour in Iraq, all with women. I have never had an issue with a female sailor that I did not also have with a male sailor. I have seen more male sailors kicked out or have performance issues due to pregnancies that female sailors. My guess is that you have issue with women for the same reason other male sailors do... you felt that you were awesome and somehow no one else held that view. You might even have been a chief or an officer but I bet you felt that you were God's gift to the Naval service and somehow just couldn't get that paperwork for "Sailor of the Century" processed. The worst thing in our Navy are ignorance, close mindedness, and just plain stupidity, and I'm glad you are an ex-navy guy and not still a current navy guy.

    October 23, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joe normal

    People on the Internet can claim to be anyone. In this case, the guy (exnavyvet) is likely a Chinese CCP propagandist, with their relentless attempts to insult the US (often by pretending to be from the US).

    If it doesn't make sense it's probably not true. Promotions for getting pregnant? Complete nonsense. Use critical thinking people.

    October 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
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