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**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  


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**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer required.


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Release Date: 10/7/2009 9:12:00 PM
By John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Oct. 6 women soon will serve on submarines, suggesting a reversal of the long-standing ban by the Navy.

Appearing on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Mabus signaled that the Navy is moving closer to allowing coed personnel on submarines.

"It will take a little while because you've got to interview people and you've got to be nuclear trained," he said, referring to prerequisite steps before a Sailor is assigned to a submarine.

Officials previously have cited a lack of privacy and the cost of reconfiguring subs as obstacles to allowing female crew members to serve aboard the vessels.

But Mabus is one of several top Navy officials recently to call for an end to the policy. The Navy secretary's comments yesterday amplify his previous endorsement of ending the ban.

"This is something the [chief of naval operations] and I have been working on since I came into office," Mabus, who was confirmed as Navy secretary in May, said last week. "We are moving out aggressively on this.

"I believe women should have every opportunity to serve at sea, and that includes aboard submarines," he told reporters following a tour of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Newport News shipyard.

Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, acknowledged that special accommodations would be a factor in the decision, but one that's not insurmountable.

"Having commanded a mixed-gender surface combatant, I am very comfortable addressing integrating women into the submarine force," he said in a statement last month. "I am familiar with the issues as well as the value of diverse crews."

Roughead said he has been personally engaged through the years in the Navy's debate of the feasibility of assigning women to submarines.

"There are some particular issues with integrating women into the submarine force -- issues we must work through in order to achieve what is best for the Navy and our submarine force," he said. "This has had and will continue to have my personal attention as we work toward increasing the diversity of our Navy afloat and ashore."

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the issue with the Senate Armed Services Committee last month.

"I believe we should continue to broaden opportunities for women," Mullen is quoted as saying in response to written questions posed by the Senate Armed Services Committee. "One policy I would like to see changed is the one barring their service aboard submarines."

Mullen, a champion of diversifying the services, said this month that having a military that reflects the demographics of the United States is "a
strategic imperative for the security of our country."

For more news from the Secretary of the Navy, visit

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I have a son who is MA and he is not station yet in sub. I have to agree with you that women should not allow in sub. Most men out in sea who had not had women companion, the hormone level goes wacko and tempting is too great. Navy could have all women's submarine, I like that.
I almost hesitate to comment on this controversial topic, but I'm puzzled by something. First, let me say that my daughter is NSWO....and as far as I know (and hope) will serve on a Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier. I'm not a big fan of her being in a sub. However, I have a question about the comments regarding strength/ would this hinder a woman's ability to serve on a sub 'any more than' being on a ship? Again, I'm not being argumentive...I seriously don't understand the difference. As for comments about subs having to change the atmosphere (language, jokes, etc); I don't think the presence of females has eliminated this in any other department of the Navy.

I've also heard in the past that an all female crew might be the answer to some of the issues; but not one would have the 'years' of experience behind them and I don't think that's a good idea.
When I was in the navy, women were not allowed on combat ships as they are now. EVERY argument was the same: pregnancy, privacy, cleaning up the language, strength, filling the void. It was all B-S!!! Women are aboard ships now, they do their jobs. There is little reason to think they could not serve aboard subs. The men respect professionals of any gender, being professionals themselves. If they are not, perhaps it is those men who should not be serving on the sub! Heck, women were not sent to Diego Garcia originally, but that changed, I was stationed there. I did just fine, thank you.

Pregnancy? Not all that much of an issue in the first months, and I say this as a woman who nearly died of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Had I been on a sub, I may well have bled to death internally. However, that's a slim chance percentage-wise. What if a man has a ruptured appendix? Same thing. Emergency evac is available, that's what other Navy ships and the Coast Guard excel at. That's where the training comes in. As for men filling the void, same as if a male sailor were ill or injured. well, NO, not the same, pregnant females must return to their sea rotation after their one year deferment, unlike ill or injured males.

Sub sailors undergo evaluations and exams to ensure their fitness for such duty. Female sailors would undergo similar/the same tests. They wouldn't put a "hysterical" female aboard a sub anymore than a man who had problems.

Women are far tougher and more capable than we're being given credit for.
Yes, I whole-heartedly agree......women ARE tough, women ARE strong. Let's face it.......if men had to go through childbirth, there would be a whole lot of one-child families out there!! LOL We do go through alot and I even believe that a woman can be president one day and will do one hell of a job!!! I just don't believe that some jobs are good for women. I'm not trying to woman-bash.....I'm just worried about everyone's safety. It just doesn't seem like a good idea.

And truthfully, all our disagreements on here won't do any good anyway. They will do what they want to do, right? But it is good to read everyone's opinions on the subject.
I’m just curious about the subject of pregnancy, what is the average percentage of women sailors who come back from deployment pregnant? Personally, I was so sick my first 4 months I couldn’t have survived being on a sub. I have mixed feelings about the subject. I do agree that there should be no difference when it comes to ability; if a woman wants to do the same job as a man then she must pass the exact same tests.
I've heard several figures for the pregnancy rate, but it is higher than the Navy would like. They really push sex ed and personal responsibility, but people are people and things happen. I can try and find the official number for you, but I very much doubt it is readily available.

I can understand the apprehensions people have, but I do think the job can be done by females. On the plus side, women are physically smaller and won't have to duck through the hatches, enabling them to respond faster to emergency situations! I wouldn't support the idea of women on subs if I didn't truly think it could work. I've known many kick ass women in the military!
As a mom of two sailors (one of whom is on a sub) and as a woman, I am opposed to having women serve on subs, for many of the reasons already noted in other people's comments. I noticed a couple of commenters noting that women will be tested, just like the men, to see if they're fit for the duty, but the problem is the women are NOT tested "just like the men." Women are held to a lower standard when it comes to upper body strength, speed, etc. I have a problem with this double standard in ANY context (surface ships, firefighters, police officers, anywhere), but I believe it's especially problematic in the context of submarine service, where the crew is smaller to begin with. EVERY person on that boat needs to be able to "do the job"; every person who can't is a weak link in a short chain, and that puts everyone on the boat at greater risk. Add to that issue the hormonal/sexual issues that will be exacerbated by the close quarters, and it's just asking for trouble.

I'm proud to be a woman and proud of all I can accomplish, but why can't we just admit that there are significant and material differences between men and women, and stop trying to be so politically correct, at the risk of safety, morale, and effectiveness?
Upper body strength on a submarine isn't much of an issue. My husband, a former submariner, says the most challenging upper body issue on a sub is swinging into an upper rack. Even a small woman can "do the job" on a sub at the same level as a man. This isn't firefighting, where they have to lift and drag men around (heh, that's what I did in the Navy, but then I'm a 5'10" woman). If it got that bad it's unlikely the sub would survive the accident, or their compartment would be sealed and they'd die.

The best submarine movie for getting a real sense of what being on a submarine is like is Crimson Tide.

Get a clue, this is the exact same arguement they made for women being on ships in the first place. It's all fear of change. And each time, women have proven themselves.
Arwen, that's very informative. I was wondering if all jobs required inordinate strength on a sub. I think I'm gathering from some of the discussion here, that some still haven't adapted to women on ships, let alone subs. I totally agree with what some have said about not giving jobs to women that require physical body strength. However, if people have different jobs and expertise to contribute work as a team on a ship/sub - this would not in any way hinder the safety of his/her shipmates. For example if a woman is "tested like a man" in nuclear engineering and excels "like a man" - this would only benefit the ship/sub as a whole and in no way compromise anyone's safety.
Amen Laura!!! You've summed up exactly what I was trying to say. You did it wayyyyy better though! LOL
As far as women being held to a different standard ... I seem to recall in boot camp my son telling me that the older guys had lower PT standards than the younger guys. I don't think it's just women who are held to a lower physical fitness standard.
I, like a few others who have posted, was also a little hesitant to respond to this controverial issue. I am not a great supporter of women on subs, that is just my personal opinion, actually I am a little claustrophobic so the thought of anyone on a sub doesn't really appeal to me- - however, having said that-- I do not think that physical strength or the lack of privacy is any more of an issue for a female on a sub than it is on a ship - heck they had pretty close quarters in boot camp for that matter and little to no privacy. Also, I believe that all sailors, men and women alike, get an opportunity when enlisting, to select their job or rate. I don't think that the Navy is going to pick a group of women and tell them that they have to be on a sub. The women would be sailors who requested that assignment and they would know in advance what they were getting into and be prepared for their service on a sub. The Navy is very thorough with their training of sailors and would not put any sailor on a ship or a sub that was not qualified and properly trained to do the job they were assigned to do. Yes, there are going to be logistical problems if the Navy puts women on subs, but those will eventually be worked out. If my daughter were in the Navy, would I want her on a sub? NO WAY, but then again, it would not be my decision, it would be hers. Young men and women today have the ability to make the decision about their future and career field in the Navy because of all those who came before them, who have served our country and protected our freedoms. Today is the 234th birthday of the Navy. Is the Navy the same today as it was 234 years ago? Or the same as it was 100 years ago? No, there have been a plethora of changes, and sometimes change can be difficult. We all know that the Navy works on Navy time and that we have had to "Hurry up and Wait" many times during our sailor's tenure with the Navy, However, I am confident that if women are to be on subs, that this was not a decision that the Navy made lightly or quickly. I am sure that they have thought about all that has been posted here and probably more that we have not even thought about prior to making their decision. I am not saying that I support women being on subs, just trying to look at both sides of the issue.


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