Starting in 2016, Women Can Be Navy SEALs

A member of the Navy parachute demonstration team jumps during the capabilities portion of the SEAL West Coast Reunion in 2012. A member of the Navy parachute demonstration team jumps during the capabilities portion of the SEAL West Coast Reunion in 2012. y Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro/ Navy file photo

As their January 1, 2016 mandate to open all combat positions to women approaches, different branches of the US military have to decide whether to wholly comply or ask for exemptions for certain positions.

According to an internal memo obtained by the Associated Press, the commander of the Navy’s special warfare units is advocating that women be allowed to test for all combat roles in the Navy Special Warfare Command—which means women could become SEALS, too.

The commander, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, acknowledged several potential drawbacks of gender integration, including the ones observed by a recent Marine Corps experiment, but said that “ultimately,” allowing qualified candidates of both genders to “test themselves” in consideration for special warfare positions “is the right thing to do.” And it “is clearly consistent with the struggle over centuries to fully represent our nation’s values of fairness and equal opportunity.”

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