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Women Could Serve in Navy Riverine Units by October, SEALs by 2016

Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen in a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen during a 2009 exercise. US Navy Photo

The Navy will issue a report to the Pentagon by July on the service’s plan to allow women to serve in Costal Riverine Units — one of the few remaining Navy specialties closed to women, according to a report a May 2 implementation report released Tuesday. If approved, female officers and enlisted could serve be assigned to the units as early as October.

The riverine unit integration is the first of five so-called “decision points” in response to the January removal of the ground combat exclusion rule that prevents women from serving in frontline combat units.

“Eighty-eight percent [of Navy jobs] are open to women and we are committed to doing more,” said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director of the Navy’s office of military personnel plans and policy in a Tuesday Pentagon briefing with reporters.

The second point is integrating Navy jobs that work directly with the ground combat element (GCE) of the U.S. Marine Corps. Navy Corpsmen, Chaplains and Naval Gunfire Liaison Officers — positions working closely with Marines on the ground — still remain closed to women.

The Navy will follow the Marines’ lead in integration into the GCE based on plans the U.S.M.C. are currently developing — starting with a recalibration of the Marine physical fitness standards planned to begin this year, said Col. Jon Aytes in the same Tuesday briefing.

Current plans call for Marines to decide on full integration of women into infantry and reconnaissance battalions by March 2015, according to a copy of the Navy’s plan.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 8.52.56 AMBy far the trickiest integration will be in the Navy’s Special Warfare and U.S. Special Operations Command communities. SOCOM is currently studying mixed gender units and plan to complete their studies by 2014. The Navy will follow SOCOMs lead in integrating the SEALs and the supporting Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen rate. According to the Navy’s plan, SWCC and SEAL sailors could enter the training pipeline as early as 2016.

The remaining positions closed to women in the Navy are limited by accommodations aboard ships, Kurta said.

The Navy has a plan to include female officers on its fleet of Virginia-class (SSN-774) attack submarines by early 2015 and will decide by March 2015 if the service can integrate the Los Angeles-class (SSN-688) and Sea Wolf-class (SSN-21) attack boats.

The Navy stated in its plan that the Block V Virginia boats and the planned Ohio-class Replacement (ORP) ballistic missile nuclear submarine will be built with gender neutral standards.

The Navy’s remaining men-only surface ships — Cyclone Patrol Craft (PC), Avenger-class mine sweepers (MCM-1) and (for enlisted) Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates (FFG-7) —will all leave the fleet by the mid-2020s and may not be worth integrating. The Navy will decide on the remaining ships by June 2014.

  • ThomDees

    Not to be sexist, but where is the science that supports any of the Left’s ideas of placing women in combat roles in the Spec War Community? GI Jane was Hollywood bologna and a complete and utter work of fiction. It seems that some influential people and politicians have been watching too many reruns of “Xena Warrior Princess.” This is a life an death matter, not a social experiment. They will be weakening or destroying the combat effectiveness of these units and risking the lives of not just these women, but of their teammates and the countless many other sailors, marines and soldiers who count on the completion of these extremely physically challenging covert and necessary missions. These missions often challenge the most fit operators on the Teams. 99% of all males could not qualify for BUD/S and far less could ever complete the training and become SEALs. They could not make it through the selection process nor the training for the Teams, let alone become effective operators. Forcing the Special Warfare community to train women as operators can only mean one thing, lessening the physical qualifications in what what one official describes as “a recalibration of the physical fitness standards as is being done in the Marine Corps.” This is akin to creating less capable and much less physically qualified operators. This is like putting female competitors in MMA competitions with male competitors. The results would be brutal and no amount of social engineering can overcome biological reality. They are obviously intending to diminish or destroy the full mission capabilities of the Teams in compliance with the wrong-thinking, politically motivated, and martially inexperienced social engineers. Some planners have sat behind far too many desks or perhaps they have watched far too much TV. Women just cannot do the job. Let them try now, with the current standards, I don’t care. I am all for letting these GI Jane wannabes go for it. But how can the brass diminish the value of the Teams’ 60 years of experience and training just so some woman can wear the Trident? If she earns it as it is earned now, then OK, but apparently it’s not going to be that way. Will the SEALS and SWCC standards be diminished for men too? To what extent will these politically motivated actions to allow women to earn their pins diminish the physical training standards and requirements? Any lessening of these physical requirements, by “recalibration” or other means will diminish the mission readiness and the operational capabilities of these elite units. When will some feminist groups and liberal politicians realize that women don’t have the physical attributes nor the testosterone to be real warriors with the possible exception of pilots. The real limitations are evolutionary and made abundantly clear by human biology. Wishful thinking, fanciful movies, nor politically motivated directives can change these realities.

  • 20ftat20seconds

    This is pure craziness and the upper echelon brass supporting this forced political position are selling out with the cost of good men AND women’s lives at stake. We don’t even pit men against women in professional sports because we know how the outcome will be 99.9% of the time, and now we want to do it in the most rigorous of combat situations where American lives are on the line? This could lead to mutiny if the standards are weakened as many of us suspect they will be; I.E. Army Airborne training softening physical standards and eventually eliminating pull-ups so women (who don’t even jump as part of anything outside of training) can graduate and their tab. There are a couple freak of nature chicks out there they may be able to barely hang on in some rigorous Special Operations training programs (kudos to them), but the reality is that weaker, unqualified women will be pushed through training to meet quotas coming from the top.

  • 02144pomroy

    They have all lost their friggin’ minds! I can hear it now:
    CHIEF: Get me that can of ammo…NOW!
    FEM : Give me minute Chief….I’m changing my tampon.

    Once these guys become “upper echelon” they cease to be true warriors and become
    gutless politicians.

  • Sandy

    not happening – what might happen is the creation of an all-womens SPECOP force based on the OSS model – intel collection, especially HUMINT. Now THAT would have tactical value – mixed units have no tactical value – it has been proven detrimental all throughout history. Time for you leftists to stop trying to fight human nature or leave the country.

  • jade joyce

    Ok women can do anything a man can to yall people think that all we will do is let people down and destroy the military but all because we’re little and all that don’t mean we can’t do what guys do. I really look forward to females becoming seals & I plan on joining when I graduate high school