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Women Will Soon Be Allowed To Serve On Britain’s Royal Navy Submarines

For A More Civilized Age

Newly anointed British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond has just made history. In his first major speech he has made good on Royal Navy memos leaked this summer, saying, “In that spirit I can announce today that I have accepted the recommendation of the First Sea Lord that women should be allowed to serve in submarines in the future.” I’m not the only one who thought about Aquaman when he said “sea lord,” am I? 

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The Guardian reported that at the speech, at the Royal United Services Institute, Hammond said, “the armed forces shouldn’t be ‘slaves to tradition’ and had accepted proposals for change.”

The Royal Navy is the oldest service branch having formed in the 16th century and played a major part in establishing the British Empire as a dominant world power. The first time women became involved in the navy was in 1917 with the Women’s Royal Naval Service. They disbanded in 1993 with the decision to fully integrate women into the Royal Navy instead of maintaining a separate entity. For some reason, the government still held firm that women could not serve on submarines or with the Royal Marine Commandos.

Hammond said that female officers will start serving on the Vanguard submarines in late 2013, followed by ratings in 2015. “Women, officers and ratings, will also be able to serve on the Astute class submarines from about 2016,” he said.

(via Naval Open Source INTelligence)

Previously in Women on Submarines

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."

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