On Thursday, the US Navy announced that women will start serving on US submarines in December 2011. Twenty-four female officers began training in July and will become the first women to serve on American submarines, according to CNN. Though women have served on the Navy’s non-combat surface ships since 1973 and its combat surface ships since 1993, they have never been allowed to serve on submarines. The Associated Press reports that women were previously barred from submarine duty due to the extended deployments and the close quarters required for submarine service. The female officers were chosen from US Naval Academy graduates, ROTC programs, and Officer Candidate School, reports CNN. The women will serve on four submarines, including the USS Wyoming and USS Georgia, which are based in Kings Bay, Georgia, and the USS Maine and USS Ohio, based in Bangor, Washington. The 560-foot submarines were chosen for their large size, which will allow the Navy to create accommodations for women onboard. The Associated Press reports that the Navy is currently allowing only female Officers to serve on submarines.