History of Women in Submarines
Female Officers began serving aboard United States Submarines in 2011. Today there are 18 crews integrated with female officers across four homeports. More than 40 female officers have qualified in submarines and earned their dolphins. In early 2016, the first female enlisted arrived on USS MICHIGAN homeported in Bangor, WA. In 2017, USS FLORIDA homeported in Kings Bay, GA will be the second submarine to receive enlisted women.
Officer Women in Submarines Milestones
CY09: Women in Submarines (WIS) Task Force formed
November 2011: First female officers arrived on submarines
December 2012: First female Submarine Officer qualified in submarines
November 2013: First female Submarine Officer qualified as Nuclear Engineer Officer (PNEO)
April 2016: Seven female officers have signed department head contracts
May 2016: Eleventh submarine and fourth Virginia Class (VACL) USS TEXAS integrated with female officers
Enlisted Women in Submarines Milestones
May 2013: Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force formed
June 2014: Enlisted Integration plan approved by SECNAV/CNO
December 2014: Congressional notification of plan to integrate enlisted women on submarines complete
January 2015: All Submarine ratings/NECs opened to Women
January 2016: First female enlisted arrives on USS MICHIGAN
May 2016: Second female enlisted cohort announced for integration on USS FLORIDA
August 2016: First female enlisted qualified in submarines
Why are we integrating now?
In January 2013, the Secretary of Defense rescinded the 1994 Direct Combat Exclusion act which restricted women from serving onboard submarines. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the armed forces to integrate women into occupational fields to the maximum extent possibly and without sacrificing our warfighting capability or the trust of the American people.