Women may soon be allowed to join the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, the second highest-ranking official in the Navy said Monday.
During a visit to Naval Base San Diego, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jon Greenert told 750 sailors in the room that he believed if women could pass the strenuous physical training, they should be allowed to join the SEALs.
“Meet the standard and you are in,” Greenert said. “Frankly, that is the path we are headed down.”
To become a SEAL, sailors must go through a six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training prior to gaining admission to the SEAL program. SEALs are highly specialized and trained to handle challenging warfare capabilities, including direct action warfare.
In 2016, all occupations will be open to women, the Navy has said. However, this is the first time a high-ranking official has indicated the SEALs, a traditionally male-only section of the Navy, may begin accepting female candidates.
For the first time ever, two women successfully completed the Army’s elite Ranger school and will graduate Friday from one of the most difficult combat training courses in the world, NBC News reported.
The Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command has also begun a review of its standards to see if they may include women in the future, the Navy Times reported.