The U.S. Navy is preparing to allow women into the ranks of its SEAL teams, the Navy’s chief operations officer told Defense News on Tuesday.
Adm. Jon Greenert and head of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, believe that if women can pass the legendary six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, they should be allowed to serve, according to Navy Times.
“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these standards be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason,” said Greenert, on Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with Navy Times. “So we’re on a track to say, ‘Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL.'”
Greenert’s full interview is set to air Sunday morning on “Defense News with Vago Muradian.”
This assimilation was brought upon the day after news came about two women had passed the Army’s gruesome Ranger course.
Nineteen women began the course, which has about a 45 percent passing rate.
The Navy is on the lane to open all ratings to women by next year, according to the Navy Times.
This is, in fact, a huge step, a step that many people thought will never occur.
The SEALs would be the last of the male-oriented branches to open to women during Mabus’ tenure, according to Navy Times.
In 2011, the first female officers reported to ballistic missile submarines, and early this year several more reported to Virginia-class attack subs. Enlisted women are on track to join them next year and the service is already recruiting enlisted women off the streets to enter submarine ratings, according to Navy Times.
And in 2012, riverine training opened to women, making way for the go-ahead to assign them to billets and deploy them last year, according to Navy Times.
It’s unsure of the number of women who will attempt to join the SEALs when it opens to them. The percentage of women in expeditionary specialties, like Seabees and Navy divers, are awfully low.
“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these standards be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason,” said Adm. Jon Greenert to Navy Times. “So we’re on a track to say, ‘Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL.'”
If women can pass the unit’s major training requirements, they will be allowed into the SEALS. Officials did not reveal to Defense News when they plan to allow women to compete for a spot, according to Greenert.
Two women are soon to be the first female soldiers to graduate from the Army’s Ranger School on Friday, which led to the NAVYs announcement.
The Pentagon construes Ranger School as “the Army’s premier combat leadership course, teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead Soldiers during small unit combat operations,” according to Navy Times.
In April, the class started with 381 men and 19 women. The students were forced to train with minimal food and little sleep and had to learn how to operate in the woods, mountains and swamplands.
Students also had to experience a physical fitness test that included 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run in 40 minutes, six chin-ups, a swim test, a land navigation test, a 12-mile foot march in three hours, several obstacle courses, four days of military mountaineering, three parachute jumps, four air assaults on helicopters, and 27 days of mock combat patrols.
At the end of the 62-day course, only 94 men and two women met all the requirements.
Below is a video of the first week of Ranger School.