SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Enlisted Women in Submarines (EWIS) Task Force finished its road show with a visit to military bases in the San Diego area Nov 5.
The mission of the road show was to provide Sailors with information about submarine force and life, steps to apply for EWIS and answer any questions female Sailors may have.
Since the submarine force opened its doors to enlisted women, the EWIS task force has received great interest, making this second application window a competitive one.
In the previous cycle, more than 100 women in the Navy submitted applications and 38 were selected. The applicants not selected will still have a chance in getting through in the upcoming window along with those who apply this cycle.
With females now given the opportunity to serve on submarines, Lt. Jennifer Carroll, the Women in Submarines coordinator and a main speaker at the EWIS brief, commented on why she feels integrated submarine crews will make the Navy stronger.
"Up until this point, we were trying to bring in talented Sailors, but we were only pulling from half of the talent pool," said Carroll. "Now that females are included, we are only going to be that much better. There is absolutely nothing that serving on a submarine that a woman cannot do. Diversity makes us better in that the more people we can bring in from different backgrounds, perspectives, ways of communicating and thinking, the better we are going to be as a force. It's a good thing for the men, it's a really good thing for the women and it's a great thing for the submarine force"
Enlisted females who complete a non-nuclear rating conversion will attend Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) in Groton, Connecticut, prior to arriving aboard their ship. BESS provides screening of future submariners in adaptability and reliability and prepares Sailors to pursue submarine qualifications aboard an operational submarine.
More than 100 female officers are currently serving throughout the Navy's 76 submarines. They serve aboard guided-missile nuclear submarines (SSGN) and ballistic-missile nuclear submarines (SSBN). Female Sailors are also slated to be integrated aboard Virginia-class fast attack submarines (SSN). At the end of 2016, 18 crews will be integrated across four homeports.
Being that Carroll was one of the first female officers to serve aboard a submarine, she offered some advice to females pursuing the submarine force.
"I think the biggest thing is, understand that going through the qualification process, getting your dolphins and your first year on board, is hard, it's challenging," said Carroll. "But keep your head down and work through it. The crew responds to you working hard. So if you demonstrate to them that you really care and you want to qualify, people are really helpful."
Among Carroll was Force Master Chief Wes Koshoffer, commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT).
"We're a small force, highly trained and we're really excited about this," he said. "I think it's fantastic. Every day that goes by I get a little more excited. The people that we're meeting out here during the briefs are really excited and I can't wait."
Phase one of female enlisted integration will begin with the SSGN and SSBN crews in Kings Bay, Georgia, and Bangor, Washington, starting in 2016 and continuing through 2021. Phase two of the integration will begin with the Virginia-class attack submarines in 2020.
The deadline for female Sailors to apply for the EIWS program is Dec. 15.
For more information, visit the EWIS website at http://www.public.navy.mil/subfor/ewis.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Southwest, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cnrsw/.