National

Navy SEALs ready to open doors to women

FILE - In this July 9, 2015, file photo, then-Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., testifies during his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Marine Corps is expected to ask that women not be allowed to compete for several front-line combat jobs, inflaming tensions between Navy and Marine leaders, U.S. officials say. The tentative decision has ignited a debate over whether Navy Secretary Ray Mabus can veto any Marine Corps proposal to prohibit women from serving in certain infantry and reconnaissance positions. And it puts Dunford, the Marine Corps commandant who takes over soon as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at odds with the other three military services, who are expected to open all of their combat jobs to women. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

FILE – In this July 9, 2015, file photo, then-Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., testifies during his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Marine Corps is expected to ask that women not be allowed to compete for several front-line combat jobs, inflaming tensions between Navy and Marine leaders, U.S. officials say. The tentative decision has ignited a debate over whether Navy Secretary Ray Mabus can veto any Marine Corps proposal to prohibit women from serving in certain infantry and reconnaissance positions. And it puts Dunford, the Marine Corps commandant who takes over soon as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at odds with the other three military services, who are expected to open all of their combat jobs to women. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The commander of the Navy SEALs is recommending that the naval special warfare units be opened to women, but warns that women will have greater risks of injury and the service will be pressured to adjust or lower standards for the jobs.

Rear Adm. Brian Losey says “there are no insurmountable obstacles” to opening the SEALs to women, but there are “foreseeable impacts” to including them in ground combat units.

Losey says allowing women to compete for the commando jobs is the right thing to do. But he outlines a number of risks and warns that the high standards for joining a special warfare unit should not be lowered.

Losey’s letter to U.S. Special Operations Command was obtained by The Associated Press.

 

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