Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 outlook: SEALs to unveil decision on women's roles

2015 outlook: SEALs to unveil decision on women's roles: Special warfare is the only Navy branch closed to women, but 2015 is the year in which officials hammer out whether they'll integrate female sailors into the elite SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant Crewman communities.

U.S. Special Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare each completed integration studies in mid-2014, then met with the Defense Department in the fall to compare notes.

The Defense Department is on track to announce whether officials will open the SEAL and SWCC ranks to women — and if so, to what degree — in Jan. 2016, DoD spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen confirmed to Navy Times.

"Each service and SOCOM has identified decision points by which they will make final recommendations to the secretary of defense to open positions or to request an exception to policy to keep positions or occupations closed," Christensen said. "Exceptions to policy must be personally approved first by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then by the secretary of defense."

If DoD decides to open NSW to women, the Navy's plan is to notify Congress by July 1. Congress would then have 30 working days to respond with any concerns.