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Five-years after enlisted women first joined the Submarine Force, the Navy has now taken the program to the next level.
Announced in NAVADMIN 233/21 on October 21, female Sailors in non-nuclear ratings and in pay grades E8 and below can apply for conversion into the Submarine Force at any time from now on.
Also, some Female Sailors in nuclear power ratings and training pipelines can apply through a separate approval process.
“The Navy and the Submarine Force are pleased to announce that applications for female Sailors in pay grades E1-E8 to convert to Submarine Force non-nuclear trained ratings are being accepted on a continuous basis,” said Rear Admiral James Waters III, Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy.
“Applications will be processed as they are received, and there is no specified due date.”
The Navy is actively seeking female Sailors to convert into the force to fill open billets on submarines with integrated crews, as well as billets in crews slated for integration.
Female officers have been going to sea in submarines since 2011. Three years later, the plan to incorporate enlisted women was announced, which took lessons from the past 40 years of integration of women into other Navy communities.
The first cadre of female submariners was built using a top-down approach, instead of from the bottom-up as in previous integrations. This resulted in female officers paving the way, followed by senior enlisted leaders to ensure junior enlisted females had solid support systems to rely on.
Between 2015 and 2018, the Navy made four separate calls for female Sailors to convert into submarine ratings. Currently, there are over 200 enlisted female Sailors serving as part of eight crews.
The long-term plan is that by 2030, 33 submarine crews will have female officers and 14 crews will have female enlisted Sailors. All classes of submarines will be integrated with female officers.
Only the current guided-missile submarines (SSGN) and two ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) have women on board. Going forward, all future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and all Virginia-class fast attack submarines, starting with the USS New Jersey (SSN 796), will have enlisted women in their crews.
A complete list of currently integrated submarines and their homeports is listed in the message.
Professional Apprentice Career Track (PACT) Sailors and junior rated Sailors are encouraged to apply, even with limited time in service, no warfare qualification or at-sea experience.
For E-6 and junior Sailors, the following submarine career fields are open for conversion:
E-7 and E-8 applications will be accepted in the Information Systems Technician Submarines (ITS-Electronic Warfare and Communications career paths Yeoman Submarines (YNS), Culinary Specialist Submarines (CSS) and Logistics Specialist Submarines (LSS).
Navy officials are hoping to entice female E-7 and E-8 Personnel Specialists to apply for conversion to the YNS rating as the needed skill sets are similar.
“Each application will be assessed to ensure the chief petty officer has the experience and expertise to manage and oversee all administrative and personnel actions to support the crew in the role of leading YNS aboard a submarine,” Waters said.
Conversion for E-6 and below nuclear-trained female Sailors is available for both initial training pipeline Sailors, as well as qualified Sailors currently serving as instructors at Nuclear Power Training Units (NPTU).
For these Sailors, requests are handled by the Nuclear Propulsion Programs Manager (OPNAV N133), in coordination with the NPTU command career counselor at the Sailor’s location.
Available quotas will be filled as applications are processed, so interested Sailors should submit applications as soon as possible.
Further details on the application process along with many points of contact are available in the NAVADMIN.
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