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First 4 Enlisted Females Begin Submarine School Today, Ahead Of USS Michigan Assignment

USS Michigan (SSGN-727) in Guam in 2012. The boat will be the first US submarine with female enlisted sailors by 2016. US Navy Photo

USS Michigan (SSGN-727) in Guam in 2012. The boat will be the first US submarine with female enlisted sailors by 2016. US Navy Photo

The first four of 38 enlisted women selected to serve on guided missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN-727) will begin their training at the Basic Enlisted Submarine School in Connecticut today, the next step in removing one of the last gender barriers in the Navy.

The Navy selected four chief petty officers and 34 petty officers in June who would enter training and, if successful, would next year become the first enlisted women to serve on a submarine. About 50 female officers serve on submarines now after the Navy’s male-only policy change in 2010.

According to a news report in The (New London) Day, these four women are in the Submarine Electronics Communications Field and will go through school with 75 male sailors. The women will then go to technical training at “A” schools and “C” schools where applicable, before being incorporated into the Blue and Gold crews of Michigan in 2016. Enlisted women will begin serving aboard new Virginia-class nuclear attack subs starting in 2020, the Navy announced in January.

The sub school in Groton, Conn., lasts eight weeks, with new classes starting every other week, The Day reported. Capt. David Roberts, the commanding officer of the Submarine Learning Center, told the newspaper that only the first four women would start this week but that more would begin attending sub school within the next month or two.

To prepare for female students, the sub school in had to update the barracks to meet Navy privacy standards, as well as bring in female senior enlisted sailors to serve as mentors, The Day reported. The first female sailors will serve aboard the larger Ohio-class boats as-is, but new Virginia-class subs may be built with mixed-gender crews in mind, The Day reported.

Sub builder General Dynamics Electric Boat told the newspaper that several options are being considered, such as installing doors instead of curtains in the bunk rooms, rearranging chief petty officer quarters to allow for two private bunk areas, and lengthening toilet stall doors.

  • Walter Adams

    We are well on our way to building a military based on a vision hatched in a Vassar fraternity house. When we get it made we will at long last be able to – – what?
    Fill up the extra time that plagues sub commanders?
    Extend the hours spent at Captains Mast?
    Find a place to put all the Gynecologists infesting every naval base?
    If we ever have another “gut bustin’, mother lovin’ NAVY War”, do these deep sea maids know the casualty rate among submariners in the last one?

    • Navyjag907

      Probably a Vassar sorority house. I agree with your comments. Putting women on submarines adds nothing to the capabilities of the boat but certainly adds a host of problems which have to be exacerbated by any CO’s knowledge that any strong measures, however warranted, against a problem female is likely to end in his relief.

  • Hugh

    My father was a British Army officer in France in WW1 and 2. I was taught to respect and protect women. I firmly believe there is no place for women in any front line unless a country is in a last ditch stand repelling invasion. Modern politicians have no idea!

    • Realist

      Tell that to Israel genius. Women fight as hard as the men do.

  • cincinnaticl6

    Political correctness overrides common sense whenever liberals are in power. To the left all of this is fun and games, but one day the country will be in another major war, and national morale will be critical. What happens when things like the “Wounded Warrior” commercials show maimed young females or casualty rates start to include many dead young women? Where where the morale be then? What about when volunteers are replaced by draftees willing and unwilling? All actions have consequences, and in wartime those consequences often can’t be reversed in time.

  • dan

    I have said it many times, women do not belong anywhere forward, especially on subs or ships in Naval consideration that is. Lowering standards so women can pass does not change the standards for witch they were created. Women in general bitch so much about everything they are bound to get there way at some point. Think about it, the naval command spends billions to modernize the fleet to ALLOW women to serve with men. Women cannot serve as well as men, period, they are weak and small and very petty. Have an all women crew, they wouldn’t do that because then they would only have themselves to blame instead of crying men are not letting us be equal to deflect the real issue, they are pathedic. I have served with women, they cant reach it and they cant lift it, help me help me, its your job to help me because I cant do my job and its your fault. I wont even get into damage control or rescue, what a pathedic joke that is. Men don’t belong in girls sports and girls don’t belong in a man’s sport. Deal with the truth and undisputed fact.

    • Douglas Martin LaRock

      I bet most of the women serving in the navy today have a much better command of the english language and can spell and punctuate better than you can.By the way,no standards are lowered so women can serve you knuckle dragger.

      • dan

        Oh, oK– IGUEss thats” it tHeN, Dougeeee. I would like to mention to you Dougeeee, you didn’t actually disagree with most of the ovious fact’s. If you served 20 year’s like me you may have seen drastic changes like I did, Douglas. And also, you are wronge about the standards side of your argument, when is 200lbs not 200lbs anymore? Answer- when a women needs to lift it.

    • NukeWaste

      We failed firefighting 3 times in a row because the females couldn’t put a ‘z’ bend in a run away hose. I got stuck being punished with them. I filed a chit requesting that I be removed from their team. (It was turned down because they had to have one experienced male with them!) I never asked for them, didn’t want to work with constant whiners, nor, was I going to buy us lunch! I didn’t care how many officers that they were friendly with. I egged them on until they blurted out the names of their zero boyfriends. That list was delivered to the CO along with his dinner. I hope that they got busted! I walked in and found that I got signed off. Good, but I missed the rest of the fun.

      • dan

        I get it and I miss it too.

  • NavySubNuke

    Should be interesting. We can’t even get officers to stop fraternizing — I heard from a friend that Kings Bay just lost an Eng and female JO who were hooking up — how do we expect things to get any better by adding enlisted?
    I suppose it is just the cost of making the politicians happy – attrition and unplanned losses will rise but the force will complete the mission.

    • dan

      Have an all women crew, that should shut them up.

      • NavySubNuke

        Sure – turn the ship over to a new CO and crew who have never operated it for even a single hour and then send them to sea for the first time —- what could possibly go wrong.

        • dan

          Now, did I say that? Give them all the training they require but not more than any male would receive in all aspects of the warship and send them out, it should be more than enough since it has been for decades. Then an only then you can compare an apple to a apple instead of finger pointing and the lets use the gender card.

          • NavySubNuke

            That works for new folks – but what about your senior enlisted and officers who have had over a decade of experience in how to drive submarines? You can’t just take someone who is about to CO of a surface ship give them a few months of training and then make them CO of a submarine – totally different animal. The only way you can get to an all female crew is if you spend the next 18 years growing it through all the levels of the ranks/experience.

          • dan

            Well, I get the difference between animals as you put it, there is a reason why men run ships and women don’t, why are you so against me on this, if the training is good enough for men then it should be good enough for women or should that to be modified to there liking as well like everything else has to be, look-you don’t agree with me, fine, when you lower standards to let women pass they most certainly are not equal, they are less than standard and they should not be treated equally because they are not.

          • NavySubNuke

            I’m not saying to lower the standards – I just want them to be kept the same.
            I don’t have a problem with women in the military as long as we actually hold them to the same standards. The trouble is right now we don’t. We also like to pretend it won’t cause problems – which it does. What we really need to do is decide if we are going to do this (have women in the military) or not and then actually do it instead of doing it halfway. But just turning a submarine over to a green all female crew isn’t the answer either.

          • NukeWaste

            Yes, you can! You have been out a long time. The entire sub can be made up of females. There are enough fake female bubbleheads. How do they get around the need for them to be Rx qualified. That is almost certain Uterine Cancer. Even at the low radiation levels acceptable on a boat. This is nothing but another social engineering exercise. The imbiciles running the military now aren’t concerned with military readiness, only providing personel for Gap Pride Parades, attendance mandatory!

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  • draeger24

    yes…brilliant…we will put 4 women on-board with SEALs and divers…that’s really smart. The inmate SECNAV is running the asylum.

  • Jason

    I guarantee standards will be lowered. Going through BESS almost 20 years ago in 1998 wasn’t easy. I was nearly in shape to try out for BUDs. Sub School was no joke. We were physically beat down every day. Trying this with women officers already was nearly a disaster. 150 Horthy seamen and 1 or 2 women. Why on earth would any woman want that job. Equality is fine and dandy. But this is ridiculous. When are they going to BUDs, and what will they change to make sure it is up to privacy standards and that they have their safe space.