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

 Firefighting in Basic Enlisted Submarine School
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In January 2013, the Secretary of Defense rescinded the 1994 Direct Combat Exclusion act which restricted women from serving onboard submarines.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.