On June 22, 2015, the Navy announced the selections of the first enlisted female submariners. The integration of female Sailors into the Submarine Force opens positions to a wider pool of skilled military personnel and provides commanders flexibility for multiple future combat scenarios. High caliber female Sailors from all communities and ratings are afforded the opportunity to make history and be among the first to join the Submarine Service.
Becoming a Submariner
Applying for EWIS
For Sailors E-6 and junior, the following submarine career fields are open for conversion:
- Service Support Career Field; includes ratings:
- Yeoman Submarines (YNS)
- Culinary Specialist Submarines (CSS)
- Logistics Specialist Submarines (LSS)
- Submarine Electronics Career Field; includes ratings:\
- Sonar Technician Submarines (STS)
- Fire Control Technician (FT)
- Electronics Technician – Navigation (ETV)
- Electronics Technician – Communications (ETR)
- Information Systems Technician Submarines (ITS)
- Mechanical Career Field; includes ratings:
- Machinists Mate – Weapons (MMW)
- Machinists Mate – Auxiliary (MMA)
Available rates/NOS codes for conversion (E7-E8):
For Sailors E-7/8, applications will be accepted from the following ratings:
- Information Systems Technician (ITS)
- Logistics Specialist (LS)
- Culinary Specialist (CS)
- Yeoman (YN)*
Sailors interested in serving as an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) should contact Force IDCs for additional information regarding volunteering for this program.
* Personnel Specialists are encouraged to apply. Each application will be assessed to ensure the CPO has the experience and expertise to manage and oversee all administrative and personnel actions to support the crew in the role of leading YNS aboard a submarine.
Based on an evaluation of community health, Sailors in surface nuclear ratings already in the fleet are not eligible for conversion. The Submarine Force will be accepting nuclear trained female Sailors out of the nuclear training pipeline or Junior Staff Instructors. Nuclear trained rates will be selected via a separate application process a few months prior to each crew integration. Contact your nuclear enlisted community manager (ECM) for more information.
All Sailors, regardless of rating or rank, must meet the following minimum criteria to be eligible for conversion:
- Be a U.S. citizen already in possession of, or capable of receiving, a secret security clearance.
- Meet Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) requirements for the desired rating(s) as outlined in reference (a).
- Have no non-judicial punishments or convictions in civilian or military courts within the past 24 months.
- Be medically screened and suitable for duty aboard a submarine per reference
While future cycles are planned as part of SUBFOR’s integration process (detailed in associated NAVADMINs) all future applications will be considered in support of manning on already integrated crews. To be considered for submarine duty, submit the following to the submarine enlisted community manager:
The following is required for the applications:
- Enlisted Personnel Action Request (NAVPERS 1306/7) signed by the Sailor and the Sailor’s Commanding Officer that clearly states the following:
- Recommended earliest and latest release dates from the current command.
- Sailor’s submarine career field choices in order of preference.
- Homeport preference for either Kings Bay, GA or Bangor, WA.
- Last three performance evaluations. Sailors with minimal service and less than there evaluations are still eligible and should submit all evaluations on record.
- Physical readiness information maintenance system (PRIMS) data covering the last 4 years of physical fitness assessment information, as available.
- ASVAB scores (E-6 and junior only)
- Official statement volunteering for submarine service
- CO recommendation letter (optional)
- Completed submarine duty physical (not required for application to be processed). However, candidates must have a current submarine duty physical approved by an Undersea Medical Officer (UMO) within 30 days of application submission. Due to the nature of submarine service, medical fitness for duty standards are stringent. Therefore, interested candidates are encouraged to start this process as soon as possible.
Please refer to the Enlisted Women In Submarines Rating Conversation Process NAVADMIN 091/18 for full details of the application process. A sample EWIS package is available as well as guidance on medical screening.
For specific questions, please check the EWIS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or contact an appropriate point of contact listed below.
Submarine Enlisted Community Managers
- LCDR Jared Smith
Submarine Non-Nuclear ECM
- LT Ryan Rhea
Asst. Submarine Non-Nuclear ECM
- STSCS(SS) John Cambis
Submarine Non-Nuclear ECM Technical Advisor
- YNC(SS) Aaron Norton
Submarine Non-Nuclear ECM Technical Advisor
- LCDR Lacy Lodmell
Submarine Nuclear ECM
- ETNCM Jeremiah Ledda
Women in Submarines Coordinator
- LT Laura Towle
For questions regarding medical fitness for submarine duty:
- COMSUBLANT FORCE IDC (Norfolk, VA):
- COMSUBPAC FORCE IDC (Pearl Harbor, HI):
Contact numbers and locations of Submarine Force Homeport Medical Departments:
- Naval Submarine Support Center New London (Groton, CT):
- Commander Submarine Squadron 6 (Norfolk, VA):
- Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay (Kings Bay, GA):
- Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor, WA (Bangor, WA):
- Commander Submarine Squadron 11 (San Diego, CA):
- Naval Submarine Support Center Pearl Harbor (Pearl Harbor, HI):
- Commander Submarine Squadron 15 (Guam):
History of Women in Submarines
In January 2013, the Secretary of Defense rescinded the 1994 Direct Combat Exclusion act which restricted women from serving onboard submarines. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the armed forces to integrate women into occupational fields to the maximum extent possible and without sacrificing our warfighting capability or the trust of the American people.
Female officers began serving aboard United States submarines in 2011. Today, there are 19 crews integrated with female officers across five homeports. In early 2016, the first female enlisted arrived on USS Michigan homeported in Bangor, Washington. In 2017, USS Florida homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia was the second submarine to receive enlisted women. Enlisted integration of the USS Georgia will begin in 2019.
Enlisted Women in Submarines Milestones
- June 2014: Enlisted Integration plan approved by SECNAV/CNO
- December 2014: Congressional notification of plan to integrate enlisted women on submarines complete
- January 2015: All submarine ratings/NECs opened to women
- January 2016: First female enlisted arrives on USS Michigan
- May 2016: Second female enlisted cohort announced for integration on USS Florida
- August 2016: First female enlisted qualified in submarines
- April 2018: First female enlisted arrives on USS Ohio
- June 2018: Four submarine crews integrated with female enlisted Sailors