The Navy is officially offering enlisted women submarine placements—that's what she said! OK, now that that joke's out of the way … the plan was formally approved in December, the same month a first petty officer was caught filming his fellow female first petty officers in the shower for over one year and selling the footage.
According to a Navy release, the branch has been working on integrating women into their ranks since 1994 and finally took steps in 2010 when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote a letter to Congress stating that the Navy wanted to leave the stone age and allow women to serve on submarines. From Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces via the release:
"We are the most capable submarine force in the world," said Connor. "While we have superb technology, the ultimate key to our success is our people. In order to continue to improve and adapt in a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that we continue to recruit and retain the most talented Sailors. Today, many of the people who have the technical and leadership skills to succeed in the Submarine Force are women. We will need them. Integrating female officers into the submarine force has increased our talent pool and subsequently the force's overall readiness, ensuring that we will remain the world's most capable force for ensuing decades. Following our successful and smooth integration of women officers into the Submarine Force, the Navy's plan to integrate female enlisted is a natural next step."
Earlier this month, the first women to serve aboard the USS Minnesota, a Navy fast-attack submarine, via the Navy Times, reported for duty. Two more will join her this month while three others will go aboard the USS Virginia by spring.
Meanwhile, there's little news on the first petty officer who was caught filming his female counterparts in their most intimate moments or what was done to stop that situation from recurring.
Image via Getty.