Navy SEALs ready to open jobs to women

Navy SEALs ready to open jobs to women
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The commander of the Navy's special warfare unit is recommending women be allowed to compete for jobs in the SEALs and combat crews, The Associated Press reports.

Rear Adm. Brian Losey, though, also warns that those women could have a greater risk of injury and that the service could be pressured to adjust job standards in a five-page memo to U.S. Special Operations Command.

The memo comes as the deadline for all military services to make recommendations on allowing women into combat roles approaches in a few days.

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The services have until the end of September to ask for exceptions from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who will review those requests and make final decisions by January.

The issue has become a flashpoint after the Marines recommended keeping some jobs closed. A controversial Marines study, a summary of which was released earlier this month, found that all-male ground combat units outperformed those with both genders.

In his memo, Losey outlines many of the same concerns as the Marines, according to The AP, but he concludes that all qualified individuals should be able to test themselves.

The memo says it "is ultimately the right thing to do and is clearly consistent with the struggle over centuries to fully represent our nation's values of fairness and equal opportunity," according to The AP.

The memo also says there may be a higher injury rate among women during training, but calls for more research on the issue.

While there may be some pressure to change standards to allow women to pass, Losey doesn’t believe that's likely to happen, according to the report. 

Losey also recommends that gender identity be removed from the application process so that the most qualified individuals are chosen regardless of gender, according to The AP.