There Is "No Reason" Women Can't Become Navy SEALs, Top Official Says

Another glass ceiling is about to get shattered.

Soldier, Military camouflage, Arm, Military uniform, Military person, Camouflage, Green, Shoe, Pattern, Military organization,
(Image credit: Archives)

Just a day after the Army announced that women are graduating from its Ranger School for the first time, another branch of the armed forces is finally becoming coed. The Navy SEALs, one of the world's most elite fighting forces, is on track to admitting women who meet its tough standards.

Admiral Jon Greenert, the chief of naval operations, told the Navy Times that if women can pass the same grueling tests that men take, they should absolutely be allowed to fight.

"Why shouldn't anybody who can meet these [standards] be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason," he 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 announcement is part of a larger push to move all combat jobs to become open to women, which has been moving forward, if slowly. There's no timeline for allowing women into the SEAL forces just yet. Even the Marine Corps is considering letting women into its special operations forces, but that seems less likely at this point.

Want to become a SEAL? Start training now. Anyone who wants to join has to undergo six months of training, which includes eight weeks of conditioning known as "Hell Week." The AFP points out that two thirds of people quit during this portion. "Sheer fatigue and sleep deprivation will cause every candidate to question his core values, motivations, limits and everything he's made of and stands for," the group's website says. If anyone can get through that, regardless of gender, he or she deserves the title.

Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.