Opinion: U.S. Navy OKs women -- in pairs -- on nuclear subs

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Women have served dutifully and valiantly on U.S. naval surface warships for the last 17 years.

But now the Navy has decided to take gender-mixing to a new underwater low -- assigning women to submarines for the first time.

Subs, as you might imagine, have somewhat confined quarters and have remained one of the dwindling number of assignments excluded to females, who are able to have separate living quarters on surface ships.

According to ABC News, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus thinks women on subs ‘is a great idea and the right thing to do.’


It takes about 18 months to train a sub officer, so women won’t be shipping out there anytime soon. But in 18 years or so, the Navy figures, an American sub could have a female commander. Meanwhile, the service will start small, assigning only female officers to submarines at first -- and only in pairs, of course.

Now that the Navy has made its command military decision to broaden seaborne career opportunities for females, land-based Congress, which itself has woefully few career women, has 30 days -- no, make that 28 now -- to interfere. After all, cramming 118 young male sailors in a long metal tube driven by nuclear fission armed with warheads that could end humanity and submerging all that in 400 feet of deep ocean for 90 straight days with two women, what could possibly go wrong there? They’re professionals first.
-- Andrew Malcolm

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