Friday, August 21, 2015

Women as Navy SEALs: controversial plan presses ahead

Women as Navy SEALs: controversial plan presses ahead: The "Navy does not intend to request any exemptions" banning women from serving in special warfare positions, including as a SEAL commando, Cmdr. William Marks, a top Navy spokesman, told Navy Times Thursday.

His comments underscore those made by the Navy's most senior officer, Adm. Jon Greenert, who told Navy Times in an exclusive interview Tuesday that the service was "on a track to say, 'Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL.' "

The Navy and all the services must notify the Defense Department by Sept. 30 of any exemption they want from new Defense Department policy that would end long-time bans on women serving in numerous combat billets. Greenert's comments were the first reported statement on the Navy SEALs' intent not to seek that exemption.

If the Navy, as Marks said, does not seek an exemption, then for the first time in its history, the service will open all positions and assignments regardless of gender. That would include about 2,500 SEAL positions and 750 positions in the Special Warfare Combat Crewman community.