The Navy is finally integrating submarines. Recruiting for an initial 19 female officers is underway and starting in late next year or early 2012, women will be serving alongside men. One Navy rep admitted the change was "probably overdue" and downplayed concerns over having women aboard. "The change to the culture on the submarines is going to be pretty minimal," he tells the Christian Science Monitor.
Adding female officers first avoids more complicated problems of separating bunks and bathrooms for enlisted men and women, who make up 90% of a sub's crew, the AP points out, adding that the most vocal opposition comes from military wives. "There's a lot of Navy wives worried about their husbands cheating," one submariner tells the AP. "I've told her not to worry." (Read more submarine stories.)