Thursday, September 7, 2017

Women in the Navy

I am reprinting a comment that Robert Alexander wrote for a prior post, the August 25 post about pregnancy among female Navy sailors. I reprint it in its entirety, for your interest:

Robert Alexander said...

BLUF: It is time to end the FAILED coed command policy and return to gender separate commands.

I served five years on board an East Coast aircraft carrier, with my time ending in the 2000s; during this time I deployed to the Mediterranean thrice. I was a deck seaman, and by the time of my departure I advanced to the rank of second class petty officer. While my service is substantially different from that of the Marine- I honestly take my hat off to him and cheer him- I can directly attest to the dire (and very real) impacts of social engineering on the military at the division level, meaning at highly localized levels.

By the time I arrived for duty, the policy of co-ed commands, especially with women serving with men aboard the “flat tops”, had been in effect since 1994. No doubt, the brass of our chain of command, both on board the ship and in Washington DC, lauded this program as a stunning success story of gender inclusion. However, this is what I directly observed:

* Sexual encounters on board the ship in berthings and other darkened spaces (both in port, out to sea, and on deployment). And, on the third deployment, the captain did NOT hold these sailors, both men and women, accountable. The Love Boat was tolerated and tacitly encouraged.

* Within a year of our second deployment, I personally knew over 30 female sailors who left our ship due to pregnancies. Over 30 SAILORS possessing a variety of skills that then had to be urgently replaced, right before a major deployment. Our division lost six (6) females within SIX MONTHS of the second deployment. Another left two days prior, and one was flown off the ship one (1) week later.

And the thing is, there are no repercussions for skipping out on deployments for these sailors. No Page 13s, nothing- they get to avoid sea duty for up to a year. Is that acceptable? Is that a Fleet we want and deserve as a nation?

* Unequal physical and body standards between men and women. Meaning, my lowest PT scores would amount to average, or even great, standards for most female Sailors.

* Females sailors are granted 18 weeks of maternity leave (now lowered to 12 weeks since I left), whereas men only have 10 days.

* Overall, I arrived to a Fleet where men and women are treated extraordinarily differently. In order to benefit women, men were given the short end of the stick. Some equality, eh! This is not a strong culture for the military. This modern military would not have survived one month during World War Two. Camaraderie is dead, except for the bastions of the Special Forces.

Let me be absolutely clear: I am NOT stating that women should be booted from the service and denied entry into the military henceforth. Women have served honorably for decades in this nation’s military. What I am saying is that men and women should NEVER serve together, especially not in forward deployed bases and sea going ships. The temptation for sexual fraternization, sexual encounters, flirting, favoritism, and all other absolutely inappropriate behavior far outweighs the need for military units to be morphed into Boys and Girls Clubs.

In order to restore good order and discipline, we need to return to gender separate commands. To detractors of this idea, I say that women have proven themselves completely capable of holding their own and leading their own commands. They don’t need men to succeed in this modern military.


Sam L. said...

He has a good argument. I'd wondered how I missed it, until I read that it was posted yesterday.

AesopFan said...

Why isn't the Navy mandating birth control for deployed women? That seems obvious to me.
There are plenty of methods, almost all of which are reliable enough for the purpose.
And presumably, any woman smart enough to serve in the fleet is smart enough to take a pill or find a doctor who can fit an IUD or whatever the current devices are.
The real forbidden subject is that many of them are getting pregnant on purpose.
Also unspoken is the fact that (for any combination of 2 reproducing human units) one or both of them may be married to someone else (very unlikely to be each other).
Didn't there used to be some rules about adultery in the Armed Forces (at least one celebrated case from the Eighties comes to mind.)