The Navy has announced it will open the Navy SEALs to women and is looking to recruit more women to the service overall as the number of those who step up to serve drops from rates in earlier generations.

The Navy’s personnel boss, Vice Adm. Bill Moran, discussed these priorities during a wide-ranging interview on Dec. 16. Answers have been edited for brevity.

The Navy SEALs are opening their ranks to women in 2016. What kind of timetable do you see to opening the training pipeline?

We have our plan, as you know we have been leaning pretty far forward on this. We are ready to go but here is the only thing I can share with you. For young women that want to be in that community, we have got to give them time to get ready. So I am not in a rush to put the first one through and you know and get at it that way. We are less interested in headlines and a lot more interested in success. Young women or young men that want to be SEALs at the Naval Academy or EOD at the Naval Academy go through a year-long effort to get them ready physically, mentally. It would be wrong for us to say, ‘Hey okay we got approval so who wants to jump in without them having the benefit of that training and opportunity to get ready for this?’ You’ve got to be prepared mentally and physically for this.

Does that plan require a new standard?

No. So the standards were thoroughly reviewed by [U.S. Special Operations Command] and [Naval Special Warfare Command] for the Navy. Rear Adm. Brian Losey’s team fed that to SOCOM. SOCOM approved that the standards we have are the standards we need and if you meet the standard then you are able to become a SEAL or a [Special Warfare Combat Crewman]. Standards are going to stay the same.

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