Friday, December 28, 2018

The Pregnant Sailor Problem

It’s an old story, in two senses of the term. The story dates to March, 2017. No one has paid it much attention, thus, it’s worth publicizing. And yet, the problem dates to the first Gulf War. If I recall correctly, female sailors deployed to the war zone were getting themselves removed from duty by becoming pregnant. A sign of true courage under fire… I am sure you agree. Also a warning flare, telling us that our co-edification of the military creates unnecessary problems.

In truth, no one seems to care… such is the power of the feminist lobby. And military officers have learned not to upset this ideologically driven madness, lest they compromise their prospects for career advancement. Strange thing, these senior officers have adopted the tenets of political correctness… even when they undermine troop readiness.

Richard Pollock reports on it for The Stream:

A record 16 out of 100 Navy women are reassigned from ships to shore duty due to pregnancy, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.

That number is up 2 percent from 2015, representing hundreds more who have to cut their deployments short, taxing both their unit’s manpower, military budgets and combat readiness. Further, such increases cast a shadow over the lofty gender integration goals set by former President Barack Obama.

Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50 percent more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy. The statistics were compiled by the Navy Personnel Command at the request of TheDCNF, covering the period from January 2015 to September 2016.

The evacuation of pregnant women is costly for the Navy. Jude Eden, a nationally known author about women in the military who served in 2004 as a Marine deployed to Iraq, said a single transfer can cost the Navy up to $30,000 for each woman trained for a specific task, then evacuated from an active duty ship and sent to land. That figure translates into $115 million in expenses for 2016 alone.

“This is an avoidable cost and expense, leaving a gap for other people to pick up the work slack,” Eden said.

Redeploying pregnant female sailors compromises morale, compromises readiness and adds to cost. What's to like?

“A pregnancy takes you out of action for about two years. And there’s no replacement,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonpartisan public policy organization. “So everybody else has to work all that harder,” adding that on small ships and on submarines, “you really have a potential crew disaster.”

Credit for this absurdity goes to the Obama administration. Its more gender neutral policies caused an increase in the number of pregnant sailors. One feels compelled to note the obvious: you can shout about gender neuterdom all you want… but only women get pregnant. I hope that this does not come as news:

In January 2015, 3,335 women were pregnant aboard military vessels, representing about 14 percent of the 23,735 women then serving such duty, according to the data.
But by August 2016 that number reached nearly 16 percent, an all-time high. The Navy reported that 3,840 of the 24,259 women sailors who were aboard Navy ships were pregnant.

The Obama administration understated the pregnancy problem throughout its eight years and even suppressed some data about the impact of its “gender-neutral” policies on the Navy.

We are not surprised to learn that the Obama administration lied about the problem. And we are not surprised to see that women did not manifest the same level of courage as men under fire:

“We all know that happens. Women do it to avoid deployment,” Eden told TheDCNF.
“There do seem to be coincidences,” said Donnelly. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence.”

“This information is considered so sensitive. You just don’t talk about it. And you don’t ask. It’s just something that everybody knows occurs. Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Donnelly said. She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.

The sudden departure of pregnant women aboard military vessels severely hurts military readiness and morale for those left behind and who must pick up the slack. The expecting sailors must be transferred from a ship after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Fortunately, the Obama administration and prior administrations have not much cared about military readiness or morale… because what matters is the extent to which the military can pretend that gender does not exist:

In May 2015, Admiral Michelle Howard announced a quota of 25 percent of women on all ships. “We’re going back and looking at the ships — all of them — and what percentage of women are on the ships. Over time, we’ll modernize them to make sure we get to about 25 percent on each ship,” she said.

Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in September 2015 pushed the new policy, stating that the Navy SEALs and all other combat jobs in the Navy should be open to women, with no exemptions as part of the Pentagon’s new “gender-neutral” employment policy.

Eden believes the policy of increasing women on ships results in failure. “It’s bad policy when you think of ships that have to be battle-ready and then have to transfer women off for pregnancy — something that has to do with controlled behavior or voluntary behavior,” she said.

So, the Obama administration had a quota system… the better to undermine combat readiness. Pollock asks what Defense Secretary Mattis was going to do about it, but he was not optimistic. Mattis had said that he supports a role for women in combat.


Dan Patterson said...

Here we are with a serious problem on our hands, and it is muted by the screeches from female empowerment organizations. Military readiness is not measured by how diverse or inclusive the Marine Corps is, nor by how many female fighter pilots there are in the Air Force, or whether females, transgenders, and LGB-ABCDs are on a career track with the Navy. Those are the plot elements in a Lifetime movie. Military readiness is measured by how a force can either counter a threat or move against a threat preemptively; how likely is the enemy to succeed versus how likely our forces are to prevail. The present state of readiness is unknown to civilians like me; men with an interest in the military but with no experience in it. But the intuitive understanding is that we are sitting damned ducks not unlike we were in 1941.
Social pressure to change the military from one of national protection into a site for career advancement for "supergrlls" and the otherwise disenfranchised is the stuff of fiction. Reality is going to be a bloody and disheartening experience that "no one saw coming".

Anonymous said...

I find no fault with women in the military however when a female uses her sexuality as an excuse to transfer from duty because she finds she does not like duty on a ship etc is a good reason for dishonorable discharge.

As for men in the military who pay, receive sex for favors etc. should also be dishonorable discharged from service. Without respect to the job you signed up for all one is doing is putting the entire organization in a position of embarrassment and disrespect.

Anonymous said...

When I was in the Army some 50 year ago female members had a song with these lyrics. "If you're nervous in the service and you want to get out, have a baby." I suspect this is similar.

trigger warning said...

Getting knocked up in the military is actually a pretty good deal.

The larger problem, it seems to me, is that Naval vessels now have trouble avoiding collisions with other ships - despite GPS and radar. Self-sinking USN ships should make the Chinese nervous, having spent so much on ship-killer ordinance.

Sam L. said...

"co-edification": an EXCELLENT and accurate term.

Co-ed missile crews, two persons locked in the launch control center for 24 hours, would seem to have similar results as the Navy's, though I have not heard of any.

Anonymous said...

If an unmarried female in the armed services is foind pregnant during deployment or in proximity to deployment orders, her progeny should be tested for DNA. If the father is a service member of superior rank — particularly with direct responsibility for her under his command — he should be prosecuted for fraternization.

Sam L. said...

I forgot to mention that there is a cot in the launch control center.

Fredrick said...

This is an old, old story. The same thing was happening when I was on active duty in the '80s.

ASM826 said...

If they only let transgendered women serve on ships, they can have diversity without pregnancy.