Because it’s U.S. Navy policy, and not law, that currently prohibits any female sailors from serving on submarines.
There was a law — Title 10, Section 6015 — that Congress repealed in 1994, but the Pentagon maintained the practice. The policy was kept based on a “prohibitive cost basis (and no other reason of record),”, relays the Alliance for National Defense. But all that’s about to change with Defense Sec. Robert Gates writing Congress a letter Friday explaining the Navy is lifting the ban; Congress has 30 days to weigh in (such as requiring testimony before permitting the policy be repealed). AP: “[C]adets who graduate from the Naval Academy this year could be among the first Navy women to take submarine posts.” In 2005, AND argued “former ballistic missile vessels are being converted to cruise missile vessels. The ships are large enough to create appropriately private berthing for female and male crew members and the renovations can be done while converting the ship’s configuration.”
And down periscope we go.