The chief of naval operations has said that the Navy is poised to let women become members of the elite SEAL teams if they meet the same non-gender-specific established training and entry standards, according to a news report.
"Why shouldn't anybody who can meet these [standards] be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason," Adm. Jon Greenert said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Navy Times and its sister publication Defense News.
"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.' "
Greenert added that the special warfare community conducted a rigorous objective analysis of the training and entry standards for the SEALs, finding that the standards were good. This then raises the question as to whether both men and women should be allowed to meet them, he added.
Navy officials told Military.com that a formal decision on whether to allow women to enter the SEALs is expected in the next several weeks.
"We did all the Navy specific work on this -- but that will have to be part of a larger joint discussion. The final decision will be part of a larger joint, special operations discussion. The decision will be made in the next several weeks," a Navy official told Military.com.
Citing the integration of women into the submarine force and explaining that 96 percent of jobs in the Navy are open to women, officials with the sea service have said that other services contemplating the integration of women for certain roles may look to the Navy as an example.
-- Kris Osborn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.