Navy Secret: First Women Readying for Sub Assignments

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Last Friday marked the graduation from submariners’ school of the first women slated to board U.S. Navy submarines as official, full-time. members of their crews. They’ll start reporting to their subs as early as this week. Thank God we had the New London Day to tell us about it:

The women who are about to break through a longstanding gender barrier by joining the crews of U.S. Navy submarines finished their training Friday in a historic ceremony at the Naval Submarine School. Nineteen women and 73 men completed the 10-week officer basic course, the last step after more than a year of training.

If all you had to go on was the school’s press release, you’d never learn it was such an auspicious day. You’d think it was completely normal that two of the three awards won by class members – one for the top academic performer, and a second for excellence in knowledge of sub systems — went to women. A Navy spokeswoman says the low-key press release was because these were not the first women to graduate from the school. But the earlier female graduates have additional training to undergo, delaying their assignment to submarines, making Friday’s class the first to head under the waves.