Navy to allow women to serve on submarines

La - posted on 04/30/2010 ( 69 moms have responded )

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Navy to allow women to serve on submarines
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100430/ap_o...

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, Ga. – The first U.S. women allowed to serve aboard submarines will be reporting for duty by 2012, the Navy said Thursday as the military ordered an end to one of its few remaining gender barriers.

The cramped quarters and scant privacy aboard submarines, combined with long tours of up to 90 days at sea, kept them off-limits to female sailors for 16 years after the Navy began allowing women to serve on all its surface ships in 1994.

There were some protests, particularly from wives of sub sailors, after the military began formulating a plan last fall. But it received no objections from Congress after Defense Secretary Robert Gates notified lawmakers in mid-February that the Navy intended to lift the ban. The deadline for Congress to intervene passed at midnight Wednesday.

Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, who led the Navy's task force on integrating women onto submarines, brushed aside questions from reporters about the potential for sexual misconduct or unexpected pregnancies among a coed crew.

"We're going to look back on this four or five years from now, shrug our shoulders and say, 'What was everybody worrying about?'" said Bruner, the top sub commander at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in coastal Georgia, where the announcement was made.

The first group of women will consist entirely of officers assigned to guided-missile attack submarines and ballistic-missile submarines, which have the most living space in the Navy's fleet. They'll be assigned to two subs based at Kings Bay on the East Coast, and two others at the West Coast naval hub of Bangor, Wash.

Limiting women to officer slots lets the Navy, for a time at least, sidestep the more vexing and cost-prohibitive problem of modifying subs to have separate bunks and bathrooms for enlisted men and women. Enlisted sailors make up about 90 percent of a sub's 160-sailor crew. No timeline was given for integrating enlisted women onto subs.

Bruner said 24 women will be able to begin training for submarine officers, which takes at least 15 months, this summer. They'll be divided up so that three women are assigned to each sub's two rotating crews.

That grouping will let all three women aboard a sub share a single stateroom for sleeping. The single bathroom shared by a sub's 15 officers will be equipped with a sign to show if it's occupied by men or women.

Otherwise, most changes will likely be behavioral shifts by male sailors who aren't used to having women aboard, said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Lombardo, executive officer of the submarine USS Alaska.

"The guys are probably used to walking to the restroom in their boxer shorts and stuff," Lombardo said. "But all in all, I think the adjustments for the crew are going to be minor."

One of the most difficult groups to win over on the concept of coed subs has been women themselves — at least those who are married to submarine sailors.

On blogs and online networking sites, wives of submariners have warned that close contact between the sexes at sea could lead to temptation and allegations of sexual harassment.

"There's a lot of Navy wives worried about their husbands cheating," said Petty Officer 1st Class Glenn Gray, a missile technician on the Alaska, who said his wife isn't crazy about the idea. "I've told her not to worry, because I'm married to her."

Bruner said that when his task force talked with the wives of submariners, the wives' primary concern wasn't that their husbands might cheat. Instead, most were concerned that unqualified women would be allowed onboard the subs to the detriment of the crew and potentially take jobs from their husbands.

Bruner said he found the opposite was true: If women are held to the same performance standards as men, as the Navy plans, allowing women aboard subs will ensure that each sub is staffed with the most capable staff possible.

The Navy declined several requests by The Associated Press to interview female sailors and cadets at U.S. bases about the policy change.

Women are currently allowed to serve on subs in a few countries, including Australia, Canada, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

About 52,446 women serve on active duty in the U.S. Navy, or about 15 percent of total personnel. Navy officials said women also make up about half the pool of potential recruits with educational degrees that qualify them for training as submarine officers.

"We literally could not run the Navy without women today," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement.

Sailors interviewed aboard the Alaska at Kings Bay on Thursday said they're not opposed to the change.

But Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Merceri predicted there will be "a little more anxiety" when female officers come aboard for the first time.

"Everybody's going to be really up on their P's and Q's, very formal and careful of what they do," Merceri said. "After that, everyone will be relaxed and comfortable. It'll be another day at work."
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Ok so I am all about gender equality in the workplace, but I object to including women on subs for safety and practicality reasons.

First off, I have experience on a sub....I went to a military college and as part of our summer training I had to spend a few days and nights on a sub. I was on a boomer (the bigger sub as opposed to a fast attack which is smaller). Even though I was on the "larger" sub it was still extremely crammed. Since there were so few bathroom/shower facilities on the sub we had to make a schedule of when females were allowed to use them to "avoid the men disturbing us." I can totally see this becoming a problem when women are out to sea for 3-6 months at a time and are menstruating for example. If I am bleeing and need to change my tampon I can't wait until my scheduled bathroom time. Plus showers are limited...you can't shower every day and when you do shower the amount of water is very limited. Can you imagine the smell of a female on the rag and a few days of not showering?!?!

And you better BELIEVE there will be consentual sex, sexual harrassment, and pregnancies. I was one of 3 girls in my unit on the sub and was given preferential treatment because of my gender. The men let me drive the sub, they took me up on the bridge when we surfaced to show me the dolphins that ran with the sub, they let me use equipment that I wasn't authorized to operate, etc. Basically, they went out of their way to accomodate me because they had already been out to sea for months without women at that point and many even came right out and admitted the sexual frustration they felt. If ever there was a time when I felt like a piece of meat this was it...another week on that sub and I swear I would have had guys making blatant passes at me. There were pictures ripped out of porn magazines hanging all over the sub and the men used VERY vulgar language (which didn't bother me personally, but I can see how some women would view this as sexual harrassment).

The consentual sex and pregnancies I don't even have to explain...these are problems that we already see on surface ships (which are MUCH larger, ARE equipped with facilities for women, and have a much larger proportion of women than a sub would have).

I know that if I was in the Navy I would NOT want to be one of the 3 women officers on a sub surrounded by 50-100 men. It is truly a bad idea. I experienced enough bad crap at the military school I went to (The Citadel) because I was severely out numbered as a woman, that I know better than to put myself in situations similar to that in the future. We had sexual harrassment, pregnancies, rapes, and abuse happen to us at a school on land let alone what could happen if you took those same scenarios and enclosed them in a metal capsule. Just because women are equally capable of doing the jobs that are on subs, that doesn't mean that we SHOULD do it just to prove a point.

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Iris - posted on 05/01/2010

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Bottom Line Up Front: The military has not lowered the standards for personnel in the military. However, standard have been lowered for personnel seeking to join the military. This lowering of standards for personnel seeking to become military recruits only effects the number of potential recruits the Services may consider potential candidates.

Background: When one talks of the military it is important to note that there are four primary branches (Navy, Air Force, Army and the Marines) and the Coast Guard and Maritime Marines make up the fifth and sixth branches. My information will focus on the four primary branches because they are the ones that fall under the Department of Defense.

1) The standards for the Air Force have not been lowered since 911. The Air Force remains one of the most difficult services to enter with the highest requirements for its members to meet. In the last few months basic training has been extended from 6 weeks to 8 1/2 weeks to teach new recruits the basics for survival in combat, hand to hand combat (Marine Corps style), weapons training, and a host of other survival skill that were never a part of Air Force training for the masses. I can say based on his personal experience of the Air Force and as a Training Instructor at boot camp (aka Drill Sgt) that the Air Force standards have all but gotten more stringent.

2) I do not have enough information about the Navy to say if their standards have lessened, but I do know that the 2 yr. enlistment programs the Navy had in the 90s no longer exist and most Navy enlisters serve a minimum of 4 yrs.

3) Standards for the Marines and the Army has changed for recruiting purposes. However their basic training programs remains difficult with recruits washing out because they fail to adapt to military life or inconsistencies were found on their application to join the military. Both branches now allow potential recruits to enter the service with more tattoos than were previously authorized and both services have at one time excepted recruits who have previous criminal records for drug use and or other non-violent crimes. The Army will not allow recruits to join the service if they have a child under their custody during initial training, and at one time the Marines denied all but special cases for enlistees to join who were married or had children.

Not one of the Service Components has lowered their testing standards, education standards, or the standards to qualify for certain jobs within their respective branches. Last October, the Army removed the open door for enlisted members to become officers without a bachelors degree. As you can tell, the Army has tightened standards in this area.

The rationale for the lowering of recruiting standards was to open the door for more potential recruits to qualify for military service, not to lower the standards for all people to qualify. For all members who enter the service, they still must live by the rules and regulations set forth in the Manuals for Court Martial written in the 1950s and revised in the 1980´s and 90; these are rules we live by. These standards exist across all military branches and are the code by which all enlisted and officers abide by. These are the standards the military hold all members too. The Manuals for Court Martial has not been degraded or made easier by looking the other way for annoying service member.

As for stress cards. I can say they are an urban legend. In 1995, the Air Force was accused of using a training method often used for toddlers called Time Out. This was not true. Having a stress card within any branch goes against one the primary goals the Services strive for. Each Service is looking to weed out persons who cannot cope with stress or those who are considered to be a detriment to themselves or others in stressful situations. We do not keep these personnel in the military when we find them. They are not dependable and could be a danger to themselves or others in the wrong situation.

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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It would be naive to think it doesn't happen , but its offensive to ban a whole sex simply because the shore wives have issues , all the other logistics have been sorted out long ago by countries already with serving women , these are adult , professionals not randy teens who run amok without supervision , office workers work with ......wait for it WOMEN OMG surely they must be banging them on the desk , what about supermarket clerks im sure the backroom has ample room for a fling , and god forbid anyone's husband CARPOOLS *gasp* please note the extreme sarcasm , a cheater will cheat regardless , the only person you have to worry about is your own husband and if you have little faith in him serving with women , well sorry but your relationship already has issues FAR beyond the fact their are women working with them .

ME - posted on 04/30/2010

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The old "limiting the rights of women because men are animals and cannot control themselves" argument...always been one of my favs...mostly because it's so easy to object to. If our military is full of sex-crazed lunatics who cannot control themselves around a woman who is also a collegue, then our military has some serious recruiting issues...where are they finding these sex-obsessed men who cannot be expected to maintain their composure? What are they "teaching" them in school? Why is pornography hanging on the walls in a submarine where women are required to train? OR...why is it hanging there at all? Is there a difference in the professionalism of people in the military as opposed to other jobs...there's no porno hanging in my philosophy dept. office, and that is a discipline dominated by men...

This is how they limit the rights of women in lots of countries around the world...Women can't go out in public alone because men cannot control themselves; Women have to wear head to toe coverings, because a glimps of an ankle or an eyebrow might send a man into an uncontrollable frenzy; Women cannot learn to read, because the men are too distracted by having them in class with them...this is just crap...If women want to serve on a sub, and they are capable of serving on a sub, and they are more capable than another person who happens to be male, then they deserve the job...and the MEN need to f-ing grow a pair and start acting like MEN and not giant babies who cannot control their attitudes, their mouths and their dicks!

Suzette - posted on 05/02/2010

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Christina, the same thing can be said to you then, and myself for that matter. Neither of our husbands are Navy. We're in completely different branches. We may know someone who is Navy but that is completely different than being IN that branch, you and I both know that. We may know the inner workings of the U.S. military from our perspective in that branch, but we don't know the inner workings of the Navy. And you and I both know how different it is for each branch, they don't have the same rules and regulations. My husband knows that as well.



So you can't necessarily say that you know, 100% for certain, how the U.S. Navy works unless you've been there and done that, and you can't say you know why it works that way either. (And you also know that having a family member in that branch is entirely different than being a wife in that branch. Because if it was all about having a family member in that branch, I'd know all there is to know about the AF too.) Therefore, you can't really say that this whole program won't work with the women being integrated. (Which is why I said that I don't know if it will work, I hope it does, but I'm iffy on it.)



I personally know very few Navy service men. What they believe on this whole integration is that they don't think it's going to work and it's not because they're women or the whole cheating thing. (Their wives, at least the ones I know, don't think that either.) It's because of the cramped space, privacy issues, good ole boys thing,etc... things I've already talked about. (Not to mention some of the less than desirable people that have been allowed to join the military - though I honestly think that's more in the Army than anywhere else, sadly.)



What your saying makes sense to a degree, but when it can be applied to you it's sort of a moot point.

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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Christina , Erin has family serving on a sub in Australia , we have had women serving for a while now and it has served as a very rewarding move on our country and Navies part , with women being a huge asset with very little issues regarding your worries ( yes there have been some but relatively minor amounts )

Using "what ifs " as an excuse is really an invalid argument in debate , there are a million what ifs , if that is the route your taking .

"It's about avoiding things that are going to get our military members either kicked out or demoted. And yes, they CAN get kicked out or demoted over something like that b/c they KNOW they are NOT supposed to do anything sexual w/ another crew member."

That is another huge assumption based on "what ifs " im not sure why you would think your Navy would be any less able to handle women on board than those who already do have women on subs if they are in fact so perfect it should be less of a problem right ?

You really have little faith in men and their ability to keep it in their pants and i don't think its a simple navy issue and worry for their careers considering you have used this argument in several threads on different topics all dealing with men and other women and the assumption that all men given the chance will cheat .

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Sharon - posted on 05/03/2010

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I suppose the military and other women have never heard of wet naps. I don't know about anyone else, but despite my ultra heavy, ultra painful period, I keep clean while I'm at work, shopping, the park, with a flushable wet nap. When I'm at home I have a squeeze bottle that I fill with warm water from the sink to rinse myself with and stay clean, it is NOT a douche, there is no insertion.

Kathy - posted on 05/03/2010

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geez, i've read through all the responses and i've gotta tell you...i am a bit worried about my military here in the usa. while initial standards may have been lowered during the past 8+ years due to the need to recruit more men and women than usual, i hope that after training, the various military branches still produce professional, capable soldiers. and those that can't meet the bar that demands, at minimum, respect for all, are quickly kicked out.

i applaud the women who continue to pioneer new paths in the military. they likely have to put up with a lot of crap and much (not all) of the time have to be better than their male counterparts. i do not envy them, but am certain they are paving the way to make it easier for the next generations.

as for the brave men who are also serving to protect our country, i thank them from the bottom of my heart for their service and sacrifices. as the military continues to evolve, the men have to change too, it is not 1940 anymore! from reading the original article, it sounds like the men personally involved are accepting of the new orders.

i cannot imagine how difficult it is for those deployed AND the family members left state-side when the deployment is for many many many months. however, i think we are not giving both the men and women who will be serving on the subs enough credit. will there be problems that will have to be dealt with...of course. that doesn't mean the changes are bad. the leadership believes it will make for a stronger military and i hope they are right.

and to all the women (and men) who are keeping the family together at home, stay strong and have faith in your spouses to do the right thing!

p.s. all the talk about menstrual cycles is pretty funny...do women serving in difficult situations really not take birth control...especially the kind that reduces her cycles from 12 per year down to 3 or 4 per year? if not, they might want to consider it. i know i would. =]

C. - posted on 05/02/2010

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That wasn't exactly my point.. But I'm tired of going back and forth. Your posts make perfect sense, that's just not what I mean, though.. Obviously I am not getting everything out as clear as I'd like to.

Suzette - posted on 05/02/2010

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Christina, as far as I'm aware the entire U.S. Military, as a whole, doesn't operate the same from branch to branch. That was the point I was making. Each branch has overall regulations, such as what Iris had said

"For all members who enter the service, they still must live by the rules and regulations set forth in the Manuals for Court Martial written in the 1950s and revised in the 1980´s and 90; these are rules we live by. These standards exist across all military branches and are the code by which all enlisted and officers abide by. These are the standards the military hold all members too."



However, each branch also has different regulations pertinent to that branch. I'm sure that the Navy and the Army are different in their regulations as they operate differently.



The point was that unless you have *personal* experience being a Navy wife or you were enlisted in the Navy, then what you're telling everyone else with the comment you made,

"Of course, if the majority of people posting on this thread actually new about the US Military and it's inner workings, most of you would get that. But it's clear that you don't, so you may never get it" could very well apply to you as well. (Not for the entire U.S. Military, but to the branch of the Navy.)



I willingly admit I do not know *everything* about the Navy, I know what I have been told, I am going off of that information and the views of my friends and their spouses who are enlisted in the Navy, whom I agree with.



Like I said, what you're saying makes sense to a degree, but when it can be applied to you it's sort of a moot point.

C. - posted on 05/02/2010

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Suzette, I am not talking about how just one branch operates, I am talking about the US Military as a whole.

C. - posted on 05/02/2010

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Well, Suzette.. I really don't think it's an unfair statement. If they knew how the US Military worked, they might see why they do things the way they do. And it's true. If you don't know how something works, how are you going to get WHY it works.. If that makes any sense.

Suzette - posted on 05/02/2010

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Christina,

"Of course, if the majority of people posting on this thread actually new about the US Military and it's inner workings, most of you would get that. But it's clear that you don't, so you may never get it."

I think that's an unfair statement. Just because they're from another country with a different type of military doesn't necessarily mean that they "don't get it." I think it means that their military may work differently than ours does, sure. I think it may mean that their service members are a little different than ours, okay. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't get it. I personally think our policy should change in regard to women on subs. Do I see it working out for the best? Ehhh... I'm not sure. I'm a little iffy on the whole thing honestly. I hope that it does work out for the best. I don't think it's fair, I don't think it's right. But life isn't fair most of the time either.

Like Sharon said, "There are just to many variables. Not only do you need people psychologically adjusted to living in small cramped quarters - think of it as a spaceshuttle mission. With a few more amenties. Shit happens on subs all the time because of maladjusted seamen. They're usually put ashore asap though."
I tend to agree with that statement.

@Iris,
Those who were allowed in with regard to criminal record, they were very select until recently from my understanding. Those were the standards I was referring to. Until recently when they needed more bodies, it was something that they were extremely stringent on. (I realize the tattoo thing was something they were also stringent on, until recently.)
I also don't agree with the "majority" opinion, but that's your opinion. (In regard to the who stays in and who doesn't about turning the head on certain soldiers. But it's your opinion, like I stated.)
About the stress card... we obviously don't agree, and that's fine too. I realize it's a topic of much debate. We're all entitled to our opinions. :)

C. - posted on 05/02/2010

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What are you even talking about, Sharon? I never said that just b/c a man and woman work together, they "hook up" with each other. I said IT DOES HAPPEN. I didn't say that it happens with EVERYONE. So YOU can enjoy your delusions.

And why in the heck are you talking about a sex addiction??

C. - posted on 05/02/2010

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You're right, Loureen. I have my reasons for feeling the way I do. And no, it's not that I have little faith in men at all.. Again, it's that I know what goes on in the military. It has absolutely nothing to do with having little faith in someone. You all can make your assumptions and take a guess at why you think it should be changed.. There are a few policies in the military that shouldn't be changed and this is one of them. Of course, if the majority of people posting on this thread actually new about the US Military and it's inner workings, most of you would get that. But it's clear that you don't, so you may never get it.



I like how you say "i just dont think it fair ( in regards to this particular thread ) to make decisions based on assumptions ."



Well what did you think you all were doing?..

Iris - posted on 05/02/2010

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Iris:

"Both branches now allow potential recruits to enter the service with more tattoos than were previously authorized and both services have at one time excepted recruits who have previous criminal records for drug use and or other non-violent crimes."

Suzette:

"The statement in regard to previous criminal records proves my point. (I could care less about tattoos.) Not to mention that they have service members in now that have affiliations (or back grounds) with gangs, whether they were ever arrested for any "violent" crime affiliated with those gangs or not."



Iris:

The previous criminal record is nothing new Suzette, it's been there since 1950's so that has nothing to do with the military lowering it's standard after 911. On the tattoo, that's where the standard has been lowered within the last few years.

Suzette:

“And who brought up children under their wing? I would personally think that would be less of a problem than allowing someone who has gang affiliations, as long as they have a family action plan. (Just my opinion.)”

Iris:

I'm just stating the facts on the standards required to get into the military, not my personal opinion.

Iris:

"For all members who enter the service, they still must live by the rules and regulations set forth in the Manuals for Court Martial written in the 1950s and revised in the 1980´s and 90; these are rules we live by."

Suzette:

“I honestly believe that this depends on where you're at, who you're dealing with, and who the command is. There are things that people get away with that shouldn't be happening. To say that it doesn't happen is like saying the grass is blue. The military does have the rules in place, that doesn't mean the service members are held to them in all cases”.

Iris:

Yes, you are probably right, it happens. But for the majority not so much.

Iris:

About the stress card. If there was such a thing as stress card and like the link says, you could only play it if you seriously wanted to get out. If you played that card it meant you were out of the military. It was played before you were fully military because you are not a fully fledged member of the military until you finish your basic training. And that was in 1997.

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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Iris,

"The rationale for the lowering of recruiting standards was to open the door for more potential recruits to qualify for military service, not to lower the standards for all people to qualify."

No where did I state that it was for ALL people to qualify. I did say that it was for more people to qualify.



"Both branches now allow potential recruits to enter the service with more tattoos than were previously authorized and both services have at one time excepted recruits who have previous criminal records for drug use and or other non-violent crimes."

The statement in regard to previous criminal records proves my point. (I could care less about tattoos.) Not to mention that they have service members in now that have affiliations (or back grounds) with gangs, whether they were ever arrested for any "violent" crime affiliated with those gangs or not.



And who brought up children under their wing? I would personally think that would be less of a problem than allowing someone who has gang affiliations, as long as they have a family action plan. (Just my opinion.)



"For all members who enter the service, they still must live by the rules and regulations set forth in the Manuals for Court Martial written in the 1950s and revised in the 1980´s and 90; these are rules we live by."

I honestly believe that this depends on where you're at, who you're dealing with, and who the command is. There are things that people get away with that shouldn't be happening. To say that it doesn't happen is like saying the grass is blue. The military does have the rules in place, that doesn't mean the service members are held to them in all cases.



As for the stress cards, that's interesting considering the number of people that have seen them. The Department of Defense actually talks about them on one of their websites... about eliminating them actually. Whether they were eliminated or not, I wouldn't be able to say for sure, I can say that as recently as a little over a year ago someone I know told me that he knows they're being used. (Now this is for the Navy, in 1997, and that doesn't mean that they haven't been integrated elsewhere. In fact, they've also been referred to as Ace Cards in the Army, from what another person said.)

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle....

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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I understand his reasoning, thank him for his prior service. I had family members that were the same way when they retired, always wanting to go back after a while. :) I think it's something that grows on you. lol

Kelly - posted on 05/01/2010

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For me, sex and fraternization are at the bottom of the list. I just think you have to be more familiar or "intimate" with the military to fully understand how it works, and why some things shouldn't be changed. (And of course I can only speak for the US Military) My hubby isn't active anymore, he made a decision to get out after the Mogadishu debacle, he still has nightmares and issues from that long day. Of course, now that he is "old" he would love to go back.......

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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Kelly, I thought I was misreading you but I wasn't sure... sorry about that! :)

I agree with you, I think it should stay that way, though I have a feeling at some point it'll change. Perhaps in the marines it's different than in the army, I'm not sure. I do know they allow them for support in the army though. I know they have them over there for things like searching the women, and I can understand that, but I don't think they should be in direct support either. I'm sure we've probably got the same reasons and I'm not going to go into it here. (Though I'll say for everyone's benefit it's got nothing to do with my husband and having no faith in him... or any other man for that matter. LOL!)

Thanks, and I didn't catch if yours was in or not, but if so, thank him for me. ;)

Kelly - posted on 05/01/2010

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Suzette, I guess I didn't expand enough.... I know women aren't allowed in infantry, sf, armor or field artillery, and that is the way it SHOULD be IMO.... but it was my understanding (maybe things have changed in the last few years) that they could not DIRECTLY support these types of units either if they had to live with them..... I know that line (support groups) has been somewhat hazy in the current conflicts. I am also sure that the Marines (only branch I know for sure) have been using women soldiers on patrols because men cannot search Iraqi or Afghan women for weapons, things like that.

I hear you on DADT, for me it isn't religious either, but like you said, it's one of those topics that you just can't debate with some. Thank you husband for his continued service :-)

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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Carol,



I know that women have been a part of our military for a while now, unfortunately it hasn't evened out. There are still quite a few problems that I've heard of going on. I feel extremely bad for those women and at some point I hope that it all evens out. It would be nice if it did. I'm thinking that, until it does, a new induction into another field for them would cause them more problems.

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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It's not about little faith in men, as I stated earlier when the war started after 2001 the military lowered standards, quite a few of them, they needed more people to enlist. There were things that were in place that have been changed. For instance, our boot camps which were pretty tough and designed to strip a service member down then build them back up... yeah not so much now. Now they have these "stress cards" and they're designed to get their instructors off their back if they feel that they've been pushed too hard. (yeah google it and snopes will say it's false, I have verification from military members that I've met - who've been there - that know otherwise.) I don't know if they're doing it today (as I haven't met any brand new people coming in) but I do know of one that's been in a little over a year who had them.

There are a lot of regulations that are out there, probably a lot different than other countries. So what may work for one country isn't likely to work for another. You can believe it or not, it doesn't matter. Until you've been in the shoes of the military from the other country, you wouldn't know.

As far as working in a civilian job and having your career put in jeopardy due to having sex with a coworker and this being the same as the military... there's a lot more that goes along with what happens to a military member if that happens. It's not just "bye, see ya later, here's the boot." If it were as simple as the civilian world, a lot of people probably wouldn't care as much as they do. (I'm not talking about the men and women who don't cheat, it's more the spouses who are actually peeved when their husband/wife does - besides for the obvious reasons.)

In regard to sexual harassment, the military is a lot more strict than the civilian world on that as well. A service member can be charged with rape, discharged (dishonorably if I recall correctly), if the other service member has had even one sip of alcohol. After that sip of alcohol it is deemed that the other person is impaired. Just one little sip of alcohol, doesn't matter if it's a beer or harder alcohol. (and that applies to male or female service members.) If they wake up the next day regretting their decision and say that they weren't 'coherent' or they'd been 'drinking' it doesn't matter how much they were drinking, that's a rape charge.

So what Christina is referring to isn't all about having little faith in men, it's that the laws that apply to the men and women that we are around daily are a lot more strict than what you (generally speaking) would think.

Johnny - posted on 05/01/2010

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Perhaps some of the men you know have joined the military on purpose so that they can get away from their wives.

I do agree with you somewhat though Suzette. When women were first becoming more actively involved in the Canadian military, there were quite a few problems. The old boy's attitude, the young horny punks, etc. caused some issues, along with women who entering the service who were not really prepared for the realities of military life. There was a few bumpy years, but by all reports it has evened it self out very well and most now believe that the inclusion of women in most aspects of military service has actually been very beneficial to our services. It was a challenge that resulted in a stronger armed forces and one that is actually far more respected by the general population than it was back in the time of the good ole boys and all the problems they caused.

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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first off your last post is a complete contradiction always is when you put BUT after making a statement .Im not talking specifically about the military thread , its a combination of all threads around COM of yours i have read in regards to men and other women , its just an observation ive made , its the same argument over and over regardless of situation , from porn , to strippers , to women in bikinis and underwear ad's , The military thread is just a new way to exercise the same old argument , it is an observation from a culmination of threads that you don't trust men and you are threatened by women , you may not think so but its how you come off in your several posts on the topic .

Perhaps your experience in the military family unit is the reason you have these views because as you say "I have seen it with my own two eyes growing up on military bases " or perhaps its your own opinion that makes you view military men that way i dont know , i really don't want to delve into your psyche im sure you have your reasons for feeling the way you do and thats fine , i just dont think it fair ( in regards to this particular thread ) to make decisions based on assumptions .

C. - posted on 05/01/2010

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No, Loureen.. I don't have little faith in men. But I have been in a military family all my life and I have known military members and military families all my life. The fact is that A LOT OF MILITARY FAMILIES FALL APART DUE TO THE MILITARY MEMBER BEING UNFAITHFUL TO THEIR SPOUSE and it usually happens while on some kind of deployment. If you don't want to believe it, that's fine. But I have seen it with my own two eyes growing up on military bases and I KNOW I am not the only one.

LaCi - posted on 05/01/2010

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"And cheating aside.. What about is some women (maybe she's married, maybe she's not) decides to sleep with some guy, winds up accidentally pregnant and then blames the guy for raping her b/c she never intended on having a baby? Another thing our military is trying to avoid.. And yes, it DOES happen. Quite a bit more often than some of you realize. Not only can it ruin the man's career and reputation, but it can ruin the woman's career and reputation if she is ever found out. "


This is irrelevant to military. If I go to work, sleep with a coworker, get knocked up- it makes NO difference what job I'm working. If there are men around ANYWHERE its possible for me to screw them and possible for me to get knocked up, possible his or both of our careers are in jeopardy. There is no relevant reason for women to not serve on these subs if they want to. If we worried about these things being discussed we'd all still be locked in our homes bearing as many children as we could before we died. And by the logic of sexual harassment, every time a woman enters a new male dominated career there is going to be shit she's going to have to deal with until it is no longer unusual.

Ez - posted on 05/01/2010

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I think one thing is, the US Military strives for perfection, and to do so, we need to have specific rules set in place for a reason, as to not give our military members an excuse to do something detrimental to their military career (well, the ones that actually care about their military career).



So by this logic, you think having women on subs gives a man the excuse to cheat, or worse, to rape? Is it the military's responsibility to protect it's members from their own poor judgement?

C. - posted on 05/01/2010

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"Christina what about when they port while on deployment? I have hears such tales of debauchery that it makes my head spin. But you can't honestly think that this is a legitimate reason to prohibit female sailors from working on the subs :-s



Again, it IS about insecurity and jealousy!! The shore wives are frightened that women being on a sub will offer their husband the chance to cheat! This is NOT just cause to keep women segregated!! And also not the only opportunity a man has to make a bad decision. Honestly, I have no idea how such an important military policy can be reduced to sex."




No, Erin.. It really isn't. It's about avoiding things that are going to get our military members either kicked out or demoted. And yes, they CAN get kicked out or demoted over something like that b/c they KNOW they are NOT supposed to do anything sexual w/ another crew member.



Trust me, if it were as simple as Navy wives being insecure and/or jealous, they would have been rioting that no ship port while on deployment just so their spouse doesn't have a chance to cheat!



Just b/c you don't understand it doesn't mean it shouldn't be that way, Erin. Our policies are set for a reason. If you don't like it, don't ever move to the US and become a member of our military..





And cheating aside.. What about is some women (maybe she's married, maybe she's not) decides to sleep with some guy, winds up accidentally pregnant and then blames the guy for raping her b/c she never intended on having a baby? Another thing our military is trying to avoid.. And yes, it DOES happen. Quite a bit more often than some of you realize. Not only can it ruin the man's career and reputation, but it can ruin the woman's career and reputation if she is ever found out.



I think one thing is, the US Military strives for perfection, and to do so, we need to have specific rules set in place for a reason, as to not give our military members an excuse to do something detrimental to their military career (well, the ones that actually care about their military career).

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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I wouldn't doubt there are men finding comfort in the arms of other serving men either regardless of whether they are married , so again the cheating excuse is a poor one , as for the other logistics , privacy ect , i still cannot see why what has worked and worked well in other countries wouldn't work for the US Navy .
The women who choose to enter the Navy and serve on subs is their choice to do so , they know what they are in for and the possible "risks" , i know my friend has just entered the Australian Army as a sniper , something that wasnt available ten years ago to women , women are capable of making decisions and assessing their own capabilities and on all reports have made a huge positive impact on our services in areas that were otherwise deemed men only .

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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Amie,

Some of the military service members are adapting to change quite well, others not so much. There are a lot of things that happen (both men and women) that neither side approves of, nor do the wives approve of. Many things I've already posted on, for instance, men and women that purposely get hurt so that they don't have to do certain things... women that get pregnant so they don't have to do things... women that 'fake hurt' so they don't have to lift a certain weight limit... women that get special treatment and men that are TOLD to watch out for them... the list goes on and on. I'm not saying that there aren't men that do not do their fair share of belly aching or attempting to get out of things, I know there are. (And they should be - and are - punished for it when they are caught doing so.) I am saying that when you put men and women together in a confined space with tensions that are high (such as Kelly pointed out) and with the differences that they have, especially with some of the older military with the good ole boy mentality, it can be dangerous for both parties.



Great, I'm glad it's worked in other countries... I'm not sure what issues they've had in their history between men and women... but I know what the U.S. has had. Segregation is just a better idea all around, and if someone (generally speaking) wants to state that it's because I'm a military wife - well they don't know me well. (Personally, that's laughable to me. lol.) It's more about safety than anything else. I think it would definitely cut down on tensions, it wouldn't make them disappear, but it would cut them down.



@Kelly,

As far as I'm aware women aren't in Infantry units, they are able to deploy but they don't deploy in Infantry units, they do so as Infantry division but not the unit itself. They're also not allowed in Special Forces or Armor, but they are in Support Batallion for special forces, it's two different things as far as I'm aware. (I also agree that they should stay segregated, but that's neither here nor there.. of course it's all a different reason for why they're segregated depending on who you ask.)

And I'm also with you on the whole DADT thing, and I won't get into it again, people didn't want to debate it, it turned into a religious mud fling. (And I'm not religious so I won't even talk about it with someone unless it's merely the politics about it, maybe that's unfair. Oh well. lol.)

Kelly - posted on 05/01/2010

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I don't know anyone that has ever served on a sub, but I can see where this could be a problem. While I don't think that these men are "crazed sex fiends" that can't control themselves, I just don't see why it would be necessary to integrate subs. Stress levels are quite high, you are trapped in a VERY small space for months, and you should be able to have porn, tell off color jokes, or do whatever you feel you need to to remove some of the tension without having to worry about offending someone's sensibilities. ESPECIALLY now that they have banned cigarettes. Like that won't cause stress to shoot through the roof? :-)

While I think women are capable of doing a lot of things that men do, I just think in the military some things should not be allowed. There are instances where women have been quietly put in positions that they technically shouldn't be in, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. And maybe that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But things like Special Forces, Armor, and Infantry should stay segregated IMO. Then again, I also don't agree with repealing DADT, but I guess that would be another thread......

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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LOL, I'm not a shore wife, of course my husband isn't Navy either. Even if he were, that wouldn't be my reasoning. If it were, then I'd be ticked about females in the military being deployed overseas. My reasoning is that they should have separate quarters, not because of the entire "cheating" aspect or the close proximity. I know that it happens overseas too, whether the men are married, single, or otherwise attached. I completely trust my husband not to do something that retarded. (If I didn't, I'd be damned worried about the women he works with on a daily basis already.) For me it's a matter of their own privacy, on both counts. If they're building subs with separate quarters and showers, I'd be interested to see how it's going to work for them. My main concern is how they'll integrate with their differences in such a confined space. (Gender differences - not about sex and who's going to hump who, or who isn't.)

Johnny - posted on 05/01/2010

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My college roommate must have slept with at least 10 different sailors (the navy put into port in Victoria quite frequently). In fact, it was so out of control that I eventually banned strange men from the apartment because I never knew who I was going to wake up to. Was it navy or the marines this week! (There were issues there, as you can imagine) But I have no doubt that quite a few of these men were in relationships or married. She didn't need to be on the boat with them to help them cheat. In fact, since she only slept with guys she didn't know, the wives would have been safer if she'd actually been serving with them, lol. If someone is going to sleep around, they'll always find a way. I have a hard time imagining it being all that easy to find a private place for a liason on a submarine. And really, should military policy be based on the fears of wives? In that case, I think never sending soldiers into battle would become the policy.

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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I agree Erin there is the old saying " he has a woman in every port" .

You cant ban the female population from coastal towns too !

Ez - posted on 05/01/2010

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"And while you may think a sailor has ample opportunity to have an affair while at port, that's not always the case. Many of the sailors have families that take up most of their time.. Having an affair aboard a sub would be the perfect plan to some b/c it would be much easier to keep it quiet and b/c they cannot communicate often, their wives most likely won't be questioning why they haven't called. "




Christina what about when they port while on deployment? I have hears such tales of debauchery that it makes my head spin. But you can't honestly think that this is a legitimate reason to prohibit female sailors from working on the subs :-s



Again, it IS about insecurity and jealousy!! The shore wives are frightened that women being on a sub will offer their husband the chance to cheat! This is NOT just cause to keep women segregated!! And also not the only opportunity a man has to make a bad decision. Honestly, I have no idea how such an important military policy can be reduced to sex.

LaCi - posted on 05/01/2010

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Segregation is ALWAYS a good idea. Thats how we keep the playing field level. God forbid people slip up and have sex rather than sneaking in porn to jerk off, or saving up all that sexual energy for wherever they may port.

As for any sexual harassment/ rape argument, the women would be volunteering to go and then testing for a job they WANT. They aren't assigned to subs, they have to volunteer and make the cut.

Amie - posted on 05/01/2010

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Where there's a will, there's a way. Is there not? You don't have to resort to cheating, it's just the easy way out.

I'll be back later.. my parents just walked in the door. My girl is a Navy cadet and we're going to watch her perform. =)

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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Amie,

"But hey, we also know how to masturbate to ease tension. *eye roll* I really get tired of people giving cheaters the "ok." because it's not their fault, they were tempted! How about they learn self control and respect for their partner?"

I couldn't agree more. I don't think it's okay to cheat regardless of the circumstances, I just believe that putting them in that close of proximity would increase the temptation for some. That's not to say that they shouldn't have self control and relieve themselves with masturbation. Though, if they don't have the privacy to do so, how are they going to do that?

Amie - posted on 05/01/2010

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I don't see the big deal. It works fine here. Ours are deployed for months at a time. When instances happen they are reported. Doesn't matter if it's on home soil, on board or in another port. It's reported and investigated.

I think the point Erin was trying to make too is that if a person is going to cheat, they will regardless of where they are. Thinking that it's just because they have the opportunity to is a weak argument. My husband is gone half the time. I have ample opportunity to cheat on him if I so chose too. My FIL was gone for months at a time for work, my MIL could have cheated if she so chose too. But hey, we also know how to masturbate to ease tension. *eye roll* I really get tired of people giving cheaters the "ok." because it's not their fault, they were tempted! How about they learn self control and respect for their partner?

C. - posted on 05/01/2010

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@Erin..



"...It seems to me that the issues the wives are raising come more from jealousy and insecurity than any real concern about the functioning of the submarine. I can assure you, if a sailor is going to seek sex outside his relationship while deployed, he will have ample opportunity to do so while at port."



Oh good grief.. TAH!! WHERE ARE YOU?!?! (She is a navy wife, after all..)



No, my dear Erin, it is not from jealousy nor insecurity. My husband is in the ARMY and I STILL think it's a bad idea!



It's not that we don't have faith in our military men and women that serve our country. It's that we know what goes on. Whether your country will report anything, admit to anything or not.. I highly doubt that for several months at a time (6 months, but I believe that sometimes it's longer. Correct me if I'm wrong) even your service men and women wouldn't be able to control themselves to keep absolutely anything from happening! I met my husband at work when we were still teenagers (just a few short years ago) and many others have done the same (meeting spouses at work). Whether it's military or an office job or something of the sort.. You are going to find someone that you're attracted to at work and if things are bad at home, some people seek the easy way out (or as I like to call it, the coward's way out).. You spend 8+ hours a day there. Are you telling me that it's NEVER happened in Australia? Very doubtful. Sounds to me they just don't want a blotch on their record..



And while you may think a sailor has ample opportunity to have an affair while at port, that's not always the case. Many of the sailors have families that take up most of their time.. Having an affair aboard a sub would be the perfect plan to some b/c it would be much easier to keep it quiet and b/c they cannot communicate often, their wives most likely won't be questioning why they haven't called.



I'll write more later.. Have to go get ready to drop off some cookies at our church. Our Pastor's father passed away the other day..



(EDITED. Had to fix a couple grammatical errors and elaborate on one point..)

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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@Iris,
Most of these women are new to the military, they've just joined up and they believe that they can get away with these things. At least that's been my experience. I've seen the same from the male service members. I'm not hostile towards any of them, I just think it's wrong and I know someday they'll get caught.

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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Its worked well in Australia i have a close friend who serves on a sub she loves it and by all reports it has done so for other countries that have women serving on subs , not sure why its so drastically different in the US , i think people just dont like change .

Iris - posted on 05/01/2010

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@ Suzette

The first time I ever heard anything about that was on another forum here. My experience with my husbands co workers has been nothing but respect both ways for the last 11 years and in four different places and I've gained some good friends in the process. I was very surprised to see all the hostility.



Anyway back to topic. They have new submarines already built or in the finishing state, one being U.S.S. Hawaii. They have separated quarters for men and women. To my knowledge the women will be serving on the new submarines.

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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No problem Erin. :) I realize that a lot of military wives (no offense to any here!) can come off sounding jaded for whatever experiences they may have had with female service members. I think it's really sad that female service members are judged based upon experiences that some have had with a few service members (whether male or female) in their time as a military wife. I try to be one that bases my opinions on the person, not the group. =)

Ez - posted on 04/30/2010

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Sorry Suzette, I didn't mean the wives in this thread! I meant the wives in the article :)

Suzette - posted on 04/30/2010

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Erin,

"It seems to me that the issues the wives are raising come more from jealousy and insecurity than any real concern about the functioning of the submarine. I can assure you, if a sailor is going to seek sex outside his relationship while deployed, he will have ample opportunity to do so while at port."

My husband is actually AD Army, there's a lot of different issues for each branch and I have no problems whatsoever with the women he serves with. (Sorry for the misinterpretation of what I was saying. Nothing about insecurity, jealousy, or anything of the like.)

It is about concern for the women and the men alike, as well as the job getting done. I honestly believe that our military is completely different than other countries when it comes to how our men and women act. I do not believe that they're all a bunch of "immature little 15 year olds" nor do I believe that they all act that way.

However, I believe that our military has had to lower their standards (across the board), since the beginning of this war in order to get more and more people to join. When you lower your standards for anything, you get people who don't exactly believe in certain things. You also have to realize that there are quite a few of those that have been in the military for quite some time and change isn't something they adapt to very well. There's a lot of changes that have gone on in our military in the past few years, things that are likely not happening in other countries militaries. Comparing the two is a lot like apples and oranges.

Jodi - posted on 04/30/2010

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One of my closest friends was in the Navy and was deployed frequently. She is no longer (3 kids later, she's a stay at home mum now), but I don't see the issue. She said she never had a problem.

Ez - posted on 04/30/2010

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My cousin is a Lieutenant on the Submarines and the Australian Navy has allowed women sailors aboard since the late 90s (around the same time he finished his training) and the transition went smoothly here.



Yes, they will be living in close proximity to one another. And yes, the facilities on a sub are shared. But these are military-trained professionals, not immature horny 15 year olds. I'm sure periods of abstinence are difficult at times, but everyone entering the military is aware of these expectations. Why do some of you expect so little of your serving men, and why should women sailors pay the price?



It seems to me that the issues the wives are raising come more from jealousy and insecurity than any real concern about the functioning of the submarine. I can assure you, if a sailor is going to seek sex outside his relationship while deployed, he will have ample opportunity to do so while at port.

Johnny - posted on 04/30/2010

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I suppose it depends on the level of training and professionalism in your armed forces. This is from a paper on Canada's experiences with integration:

"In April 1998, Canada announced the acquisition of four UPHOLDER-class submarines from the Royal Navy, subsequently renamed the VICTORIA-class submarines. The VISION 2010 Submarine Service Review project began in May 1998 to examine the feasibility of mixed gender crewing of the new submarines, and to consider potential implementations factors, since the presumed risk to operational effectiveness by employing women in the submarine service in the Canadian Navy was no longer a valid assumption. Although a number of important factors such as crewing and bunk management, privacy, health and medical care issues, and the psychological aspects of mixed gender crews needed to be carefully addressed during a transition period, the study concluded that there was no longer sufficient reason to exclude women from submarine service.
Since it may take up to two years to qualify a submariner beyond basic occupation qualification because of the time required for the medical and administrative screening process, the scheduling of the BSQ course, and the limited number of training billets on board operational submarines, it was some time before the first trained female submariners were assigned to an operational unit. In 2003, a sonar operator and NCI-operator became the first two women to serve as trained submariners aboard HMCS WINDSOR. Today there are four female submariners serving aboard VICTORIA-class submarines and others undergoing training; all are non-commissioned members (NCMs). Although one female Maritime Officer did complete the Basic Submarine Qualification course, she did not complete the sea phase of training in order to receive her dolphins. Interviews with female submariners about their experience serving in submarines reveals common themes: all are mature, experienced sailors who simply wish to be considered one of the crew, and do not want to be singled out because they are women. They are very professional and dedicated to their careers, and work hard to gain the respect of their male peers for their skills as submariners, not specifically as female submariners. Mature, experienced sailors."

I suggest that rather than assuming that human beings are incapable of being professional and excelling at their chosen field, that we expect nothing but the best and prepare our young people to conduct themselves properly, even in situations like submarine service. If we expect men to be pigs and women to act like sluts, then that's probably what we will get.

ME - posted on 04/30/2010

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I didn't say I was an expert, I said I knew enough to have a conversation on CoM (which, it was suggested, I did not)...My problem with all of this is that we are excusing this behavior and calling it unavoidable, when clearly, it is not. I said nothing about sharing facilities...I don't know how it would work...some people are not as modest as others...I would suggest that if they know what they are getting into, then sharing quarters shouldn't be a problem...this isn't, after all, a reality show, it's our nations military...if soldiers are misbehaving or breaking rules and regulations, and unable to handle what they've signed up for, maybe they should find a different job...

Suzette - posted on 04/30/2010

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As far as women in the military, there are good and bad just like the men. There are the sex crazed women, the trouble causing women, the ones who are only in for themselves, etc. And there are the men who are exactly the same.

I've met men and women alike who do things to get out of deployments, stupid things. Either making up excuses about medical reasons, family plans, etc. or women who go to the extreme and get pregnant before deployments are scheduled or get pregnant while on deployment to get sent home early. I've known men who get hurt just to get sent home early. (And the same for women.) And there are those who think they have a good reason (like getting hurt) that will get them sent home but it winds up not being done. (Or getting them to stay here before a deployment and they get sent anyway.)

As far as a percentage ratio, I couldn't tell you based on my personal experience, I don't have statistics. But I can say that there would be a lot of problems with women on subs, when you have these problems of people who do these things in areas that are overseas, in the open, think of a completely confined space and it would likely increase.

Group showers would likely be uncomfortable for both parties, group sleeping quarters, etc. Segregation would be demanded by both, most likely. How many men do you know that like dealing with their wife's, gf's, etc. monthly cycle (seeing the evidence of it), and how many women do you know that actually like having it all out in the open for their men to see, and then put that out there for men that they work with. In office areas this isn't the case. A military lifestyle is entirely different, a sub is much smaller, they would have to make them larger just for these reasons.

Suzette - posted on 04/30/2010

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@Mary, I thought I knew a lot about the military life too, considering I have family members and friends in the military. I found out once I was married into it that I didn't know half of what I thought I knew. Being married to a military service member is entirely different than hearing experiences, good or bad, about the military.

There is no good analogy for it, but it is kind of like trying a food for the first time that everyone is raving about. You try it, find that while everyone else thinks it's delicious (or disgusting) you may find the complete opposite.

I have heard my share of horror stories about the military. Most of them are half truths compared to what I've experienced.

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