Naval Academy head says school could produce women SEALs

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Female US Navy Seals can be trained if military changes policy, says academy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The superintendent of the U.S. In a five-page report to the US Special Operations Command, the head of the Navy’s special warfare units recommends that the SEALs and combat crew jobs should be open to women. Naval Academy says he’s confident that women who graduate from the school will go on to become Navy SEALs if the military changes its policy to allow them to serve in that special operations role. Male graduates who go into that service assignment are the most successful of any group of men that go into special operations across the country and that shows the academy has a formula that works, Vice Admiral Walter “Ted” Carter said Monday.

Enabling anyone who steps up to the arduous physical and mental challenges and requirements of the job is “ultimately the right thing to do and is clearly consistent with the struggle over centuries to fully represent our nation’s values of fairness and equal opportunity,” his memo opens. Rear Admiral Brian Losey noted there are “no insurmountable obstacles” to opening the jobs to women, but he warned there are “foreseeable impacts” to integrating them into ground combat units. This announcement comes at the heels of of the Marine Corps’ decision to also take part in a wide integration effort among the military branches, despite a $36 million study on integrated combat units that cautioned that women demonstrated poorer aim and were injured more frequently.

Jon Greenert, indicated that SEALs were already on track to accept women, emphasizing the importance of gender-neutral standards during the six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training that 70 percent of men fail. A month later, the US marine corps released a study that showed all-male combat units broadly outperformed mixed-gender units on everything from reaching targets quickly to firing accurately with heavier weapons. But navy secretary Ray Mabus was quick to criticize the study, telling National Public Radio he thought it was flawed, in part because of the mind-set of the volunteers who participated. “It started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea and women will never be able to do this.

The gender integration of the unit will go as far as diverting “focus and energy away from core combat readiness and effectiveness efforts,” he writes. Mabus, an advocate for opening combat roles to women, told NPR that outside analysis had shown there were ways to ensure that women and men meet the same rigorous standards, pointing to one study by the Center for Naval Analyses. In August, two women for the first time in history passed the Army Ranger School, one of the military’s most physically and mentally strenuous courses.

But their Ranger tabs hold great prestige, as only 3 percent of all Army troops have acquired one. “With the recent female graduates from the Ranger course, there may be an expectation that there will soon be female graduates from BUD/S,” Losey said. Every US military branch will be required to either remove the exclusion on women, or extend it based on having conducted scientific research that shows why women shouldn’t be on the front lines.

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