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. jmast23

    what's long & hard and full of seamen?

    October 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dwighthuth

    Watch your bucket's ladies or some Seamen will try and stick his swab into it and steal your water.

    October 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. alienmom

    you can thank Admiral Mike Mullen for this insanity.He has been pushing this for years All PC crap .There will be trouble,everyone knows that.These women haven't survived sub school yet.But if they made it through Nuke power school,then they are definitely smart enough.Doesn't make it right.Besides being on a boomer is a piece of cake compared to Fast Attacks.Keep them off Fast Attacks.Whoever said the dolphin pin is a joke is not a real sailor,probably an airdale boo hoo!

    October 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ABH1


    October 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ABH1


    October 22, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gunner

    Retired navy gunners mate and think serving with women would be great.We didn't have any in the 50's and 60's and had to wait until we pulled into port for liberty to find any. May as well put a few bars on board and that way we won't have to come in at all.As far as DADT that was no problem,we knew how to deep six anyone that came out.

    October 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. El_Capitan_De_Amerigo_Vespucci

    All men in the navy are gay so these women should have nothing to worry about.

    October 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rocketship

    Women will eventually take over the military including commander in chief.

    October 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. janda

    I guess as long as they keep them away from the cruise missile firing controls on those 5 bad days every month.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Whenwilltheylearn

    This is just a bad idea all the way around. Lived the military life and have seen what "putting women in the mix" does....they deploy....and come home pregnant.....hmmm...do you have any idea how many families and marriages are completely destroyed? A little "bat, bat of the eyelashes"...and suggestive humor....and guys falling all over themselves for a possible "hook-up"...missions get compromised and it just goes downhill from there. One thing I do think should be in the "requirements" across the military....is if the women want to do these jobs....then their "physical requirements" shouldn't be any less than any man that has to qualify. No extra minutes to run your PT , no exceptions....should be the same across the board. If women want their equal chance to do all the military stuff, then I agree with the former comment of make the whole crew women, or the whole unit women, and we'd all see how quick that would go to crap.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I completely agree!

      October 22, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ExSubDriver

    This is what the submarine service has to look forward to when PC determines staffing on warships:

    Holly Ann Graf is an officer of the United States Navy, holding the rank of Captain. Until January 2010 she was commanding officer of the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, a major vessel of the fleet. She was the first woman to command a cruiser in the history of the Navy. Earlier, she had been the first woman to command a destroyer when she served as skipper of the USS Winston Churchill. She received significant media coverage even before being relieved of command of her ship for cause.
    On 13 January 2010, Graf was relieved of command of USS Cowpens by Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan, commander of Carrier Strike Group Five, as non-judicial punishment following an admiral's mast. The punishment followed an investigation which verified allegations of cruelty and maltreatment of her crew, and conduct unbecoming an officer. Graf was found to have violated articles 93 and 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice during her tenure as captain of her ship. The investigation was initiated after multiple allegations and complaints of physical and verbal abuse were made to Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Navy Inspector General by members of the crew. Graf was subsequently replaced as the ship's commanding officer by Captain Robert Marin.
    The report found that Graf frequently abused members of her crew verbally and physically, creating what one crew member described as "an environment of fear and hostility." She frequently screamed and cursed at her officers and men, and often grabbed junior officers during heated discussions. Subsequent reports by Time revealed that Graf had a history of abusive treatment of subordinates as far back as her tenure on the Curtis Wilbur. Previous complaints had not been acted upon by Navy leaders. Many who served with her thought she was the closest thing they'd seen to a female Captain Bligh.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marrk

      I have seen a number of high ranking females "removed" in my organization, although they just get moved around some. There are good ones, but very few and far between.

      October 24, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc4Subs

      I believe to date in 2010, 16 Commanding Officers have been relieved for cause and only one a female! Not being a math wiz I will leave it to you to decide if that is statistically significant or not. Yes there were many charges made against her and probably most were true. All that proves is that the system works at least most of the time, should she and most of the others been weeded out prior to reaching command of course. But like most things human it is not perfect. It is not a matter of gender, but of personal integrity.

      October 25, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. sdgman

    Just bunk them with the gay sailers (there are plenty of them) so the scared little soldiers who are afraid of being sodomized in their sleep will be able to feel safe. 'Cause we all know that when "don't ask don't tell" is finally erased, all those evil gay guys and girls are gonna go a-rapin' the defenseless little hetero soldiers.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DeepSea

    Being in the navy myself and being exposed to various ships and subs I can tell you this, serving on subs sucks. If they want it, go for it. I've met good and bad female officers and enlisted (far more bad) and if they wish for a chance then fine...

    However for them to be in the infantry would be a terrible idea. I also had the joy of deploying to Afghanistan with the Marines and can say without a doubt, they are perfectly fine in support roles but if they "need" a separate PFT standard to get by then they don't have what it takes to stand next to a real rifleman.

    If any female wishes to disagree then try a real PFT and show you wish to be held to the SAME standards and not just similar. I've met some who can, but not many ever try.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. larry

    Smells like fish inside and out. Boy am I in trouble. 🙂

    October 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TTommy

    How about making them cook?

    October 22, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • campana

      Many husbunds sent their wives to war rightly becouse they were unable to cook.

      October 23, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
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