- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The brotherhood of the Navy’s all-male SEALs will no longer be quite so brotherly.

Adm. Jon Greenert, the chief of naval operations, told Defense News in an interview Tuesday that the Navy plans to admit women to its elite special-forces unit if they can pass the physically demanding criteria.

“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these [standards] be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason,” Adm. 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.’”

The admiral’s said those words also reflect the thinking of Rear Adm. Brian Losey, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, who oversaw a comprehensive review of the policy.

The interview came a day after the Army reported that two women had passed the physical tests of its Ranger School, although that number is from an initial class of 19 that started a program with about a 45 percent passing rate.

The Associated Press reported earlier Tuesday that the Army and Air Force expect to open all combat jobs to women though the Marine Corps may not, citing officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Navy Times reported that the number of female SEALs may be exceedingly small because there are so few women in units that have required skills.

“Out of an end strength of 1,153, there are only seven female Navy divers — just .61 percent of the force. And there are only 10 women in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community of the 1,094 total enlisted sailors. EOD officers fill billets at EOD and fleet diver commands — billets that have also been open to women for decades — but less than 3 percent of those billets are held by women,” Navy Times wrote.

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