1st Enlisted Female Sub Sailors Start Training in Groton

1st Enlisted Female Sub Sailors Start Training in Groton

0

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The first four of the female enlisted sailors selected for the Navy’s “silent service” began training this week at submarine school in Groton, the latest milestone in the elimination of one of the U.S. military’s few remaining gender barriers.

The barracks at the Navy base have been reconfigured for privacy, but officials say the first co-ed class of enlisted recruits is not being received differently from any others.

The commander of the Naval Submarine School, Capt. Andrew Jarrett, said he communicated to his staff that it will be business as usual. The only adjustment made in anticipation of the women’s arrival, he said, was the addition of a few senior enlisted female sailors to the school’s staff.

“We wanted to have some senior enlisted female representatives on staff who could mentor the young ladies as they move through their training,” Jarrett said in an interview. “We wanted the young female enlisted sailors to look around and see senior enlisted female sailors, so they could sort of see where they might be several years from now.”

081117-N-4995K-089 PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Nov. 17, 2008) Sailors man the rails aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) while pulling into Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor is the final port visit of the deployment for Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is on a scheduled deployment operating in the U.S. 7th fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Kennedy/Released)
DoD Photo Released

The Navy ended a ban on women serving aboard submarines in 2010. It began integrating crews by introducing female officers, who already have been assigned to ballistic-missile and fast-attack submarines.

The Navy and its contractors are still working out design changes needed to accommodate mixed-gender crews on submarines, where privacy is scarce for all, but especially the enlisted sailors. While many volunteers say they are drawn to the camaraderie, sailors on the roomiest subs sleep nine to a bunk room, with four showers and seven toilets for the roughly 140 enlisted men. And passageways are so narrow that crew members can barely pass one another without touching.

As the Navy was assessing how quickly to integrate the enlisted crews last spring it issued a survey to more than 50,000 enlisted female sailors that found significant but not overwhelming interest in submarine duty. Of the 12,700 sailors who participated, 28.5 percent indicated they would be open to volunteering for submarine service, according to Lt. Cmdr. Tommy Crosby, a Virginia-based spokesman for the submarine force.

uogcod4akgs72eio57qe
DoD Photo Released

The military has been spreading word of new opportunities in the undersea force. A “road show” led by a special task force toured Navy bases earlier this year to answer questions from enlisted women about life on submarines.

The four women who began their training Tuesday at Naval Submarine Base New London are among the 38 female sailors named in June as the first selected for submarine duty. They are part of a class of 79 sailors who are in for eight weeks of training at Basic Enlisted Submarine School. The female sailors, who are in the Submarine Electronics Communications Field training pipeline, will then receive 18 weeks of specialized training in submarine electronics.

Jarrett said the women will have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

“It will be good for the Navy, it will be good for the young ladies, it will be good for the submarine force,” he said.

 

This article was written by Michael Melia from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Comments

comments

Learn From The Leader

American Military University (AMU) is proud to be the #1 provider of higher education to the U.S. military, based on FY 2018 DoD tuition assistance data, as reported by Military Times, 2019. At AMU, you’ll find instructors who are former leaders in the military, national security, and the public sector who bring their field-tested skills and strategies into the online classroom. And we work to keep our curriculum and content relevant to help you stay ahead of industry trends. Join the 64,000 U.S. military men and women earning degrees at American Military University.

Request Information

Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. All fields except phone are required.

Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Ready to apply? Start your application today.

We value your privacy.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details.