The Navy's chief operations officer has revealed that the United States Navy is planning to admit women into its elite SEAL teams.
"Why shouldn't anybody who can meet these (standards) be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason," Adm. Jon Greenert said. "So we're on a track to say, 'Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL,’” he added.
According to Greenert, if female applicants can pass the SEAL’s tough training requirements, they will be allowed to join the elite unit. The military chiefs did not specify when they intend to allow women to participate in the competition for the highly coveted spots.
Speaking to CNN, Commander William Marks with Navy Public affairs confirmed Greenert’s statement, which was made earlier to Defense News.
The statement by the Navy comes ahead of Friday’s Ranger graduation, which will see two women pass the Army's Ranger School and becoming the first females to hold the highly coveted positions.
The Pentagon describes the Army’s Ranger School as "the Army's premier combat leadership course, teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead Soldiers during small unit combat operations."
The present class began in April with 19 women and 381 men. The trainees were forced to learn under tough conditions with little sleep and minimal food and had to gain knowledge of how to maneuver in swamplands, woods and mountains.
The trainees also had to undertake a physical fitness test that included 59 sit-ups, a 5-mile run completed in 40 minutes, 49 pushups, six chin-ups, a 12-mile foot march completed in three hours, a land navigation test, many obstacle courses, three parachute jumps, four days of military mountaineering, four air assaults on military helicopters, a swim test, and mock combat patrols completed in 27 days.
After the training, which lasted 62 days, only two women and 94 men met the military’s requirements.