PC and the military

A notable expert on this subject:
Elaine Donnelly (of the Center for Military Readiness.)
(That gives away my bias :-)

Note: This, together with the post on “Homosexuals in the Military”,
was buried down among the other posts.
However it is my understanding that Congress could, by rapid action,
block the placement of women in submarines,
and of course has the option to repeal or not repeal “DADT”.
Because of the current relevance,
I have (temporarily) moved these two posts to the top position in this blog.

(Technically, the “deadline” for Congress to veto women on subs has passed.
But as the first women will not actually go on the subs until sometime in 2012,
I am quite sure that,
if Congress would tell the Navy to drop that idea,
there is still plenty of time for the Navy to abort (how’s that for the right word?!)
that plan.)

I have no doubt that some people
rabidly oppose the point of view expressed herein.
But the arguments for this point of view are not often expressed in detail.
I hope my attempts at making those argument are not too feeble.

Homosexuals in the U.S. Military

A considerable amount of material on this subject
was moved on 2010-03-29 to a dedicated post:
Homosexuals in the Military.”

Miscellaneous Articles


By Merideth A. Bucher, Major, U.S. Army
Air Command and Staff College, Air University, 1999


G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier
New York Times, 2009-08-16

A Peril in War Zones: Sexual Abuse by Fellow G.I.’s
New York Times, 2009-12-28


For soldiers, single motherhood becomes another battlefield
By Mary Eberstadt
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2010-02-26

Bligh, Queeg and Graf
by Patrick Lang
Sic Semper Tyrannis, 2010-03-06

[About Navy Captain Holly Graf.]

Sex Assault Reports Rise in Military
New York Times, 2010-03-17

The Department of Defense released an annual report on Tuesday showing
an 11 percent increase
in reports of sexual assault in the military over the past year,
including a 16 percent increase
in reported assaults occurring in combat areas, principally Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report said there were
3,230 reports of sexual assault filed
involving service members as either victims or assailants
in the fiscal year that ended in September.


“One sexual assault is too many,” Kaye Whitley,
the director of the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention and response office,
said in a telephone interview.

The 2009 report, like previous reports, included sexual assaults
by civilians on service members and
by service members on civilians.
But Ms. Whitley said a majority, 53 percent,
were assaults by service members on other service members.

Of all the assaults, Ms. Whitley said,
a vast majority, 87 percent, were male on female,
while 7 percent were male on male.
The typical case, she said, was
an assault by an 18- to 25-year-old junior enlisted male service member
on a woman, with alcohol involved.

In the report, sexual assault was defined as
rape, sodomy and other unwanted sexual contact,
including touching of private body parts.
It did not include sexual harassment,
which is handled by another office in the military.

Ms. Whitley said that most sexual assault in the military went unreported,
as it did in the general population,
and that she did not believe that there was
more sexual assault in the military than in the population at large.
“We are recruiting from the society we serve,” she said.

The report said that
sexual assault was devastating to individual service members
because it “destroys the human spirit,”
but that it also took a serious toll on the military.
“Sexual assault reverberates throughout a unit and beyond,” it said.

On gay issue, military’s history will repeat itself
By Bruce Fleming
Baltimore Sun Opinion, 2010-04-19

The lifting of the military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,”
the ban on “out” gays serving, is now all but certain.
All but certain, too, is that the military will make
the same morale-busting mistakes
with the integration of openly gay service members
that it has made with the integration of women.
This will make an already difficult situation far worse.

The military is staffed by “alpha” types
who think more force means greater success.
That means it frequently over-reaches and has to be called back.
The military also tends to go into a counterproductive “enforcer” mode
with its own people,
even when what is being crammed down their throats
is a policy the military itself resolutely opposed —
until the day it didn’t.
The integration of “out” gays into the military is such a policy.

The integration of women into the armed forces
is an earlier — and still current — example of
this sort of destructive “do it or else” change of policies within ranks.
The recent firing of Capt. Holly Graf of the USS Cowpens
for incidences of what were alleged to be abusive behavior
was explained by a source quoted in the Navy Times:

“The Navy has a vested interest in pushing women up. …
We will do anything to please these senior women.
Effectively, they can hold the Navy hostage.”

Plans to allow women and gays, ban smoking
shake world of Navy submarines

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post, 2010-04-22

[I have no Navy experience, nor do I know anyone who does.
None the less, I have thought a little about the submarine service
and what it would be like to be part of a submarine crew on multi-month deployments,
away from any contact with the world outside your small, crowded vessel
and the close contact you must have with your fellow crew.

First, I think all should be somewhat in awe of
how successful the “Silent Service” has been
at conducting their missions without accidents or losses.
They have been operating nuclear submarines since the Nautilus went to sea in 1954.
That’s over half a century!
Nuclear submarines are a high-tech marvel,
packed not only with a nuclear reactor
but also a wide variety of munitions, ranging from torpedoes
to all sorts of missiles (cruise, ballistic, you name it)
armed with a wide variety of very deadly warheads
and fueled by highly explosive propellants just waiting to be ignited.
They operate underwater,
where an accident can easily lead to the entire boat being lost.
Yet, so far as I know, in that half-century only two boats have been lost:
the Thresher and the Scorpion, both in the 1960s.
I, for one, salute those men of the Silent Service
who have carried out those operations so successfully.

Now, there’s an old expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The Silent Service “ain’t broke.”
There is absolutely no need for it to introduce women and homosexuals.
The only drive for that is from the politicians,
who in turn are pushed by feminists and the homosexual lobby
and the feminists and homosexuals who influence the politicians,
through their votes, their money, and their advocacy in the media and elsewhere.

What can go wrong by introducing women and homosexuals?
Well, here’s what I would worry about:
The effect that will have on the ability of the sailors
to maintain the concentration that is so necessary.

To better understand the problem,
let’s take a closer look at the operational and technical environment
that the PC class intends to perturb.

The backbone of the U.S. submarine force consists of
about fifty Los Angeles class fast attack submarines
each about 350 feet long, carrying a crew of 130,
with a unit cost of about $1.5G in 2010 dollars.
Its successor, the Virginia class, has unit cost of about $2G in 2010 dollars.
The high expense is largely due to
the sophistication of the systems packed in each boat, especially
the propulsion, sensor, offensive-weapons, and life-support systems.

Each of these systems must be monitored, operated, and maintained scrupulously.
A problem with any one of them can easily lead to the loss of the entire vessel:
a leak or explosion from the reactor or the high-pressure steam used for propulsion,
an accidental weapons explosion (Iowa),
problems with the propulsion systems for those torpedoes and missiles,
(Scorpion, Kursk)
a problem with the oxygen system or hull integrity (Thresher).

Situational awareness reports need to be collected, collated, analyzed,
compared to procedures and plans;
decisions need to be made and communicated to the relevant crew.
In some cases, time will indeed be of the essence.
In some cases, there will no margin for error,
and there will not be time for cross-checking or review of decisions made.
There is no opportunity for a mulligan, “do-over”, or next-day editorial correction.
The first decision must be the right one, or else.

Now let us suppose we do as the PC class,
all those Democratic politicians,
the homosexuals who are so critical to their electoral success,
the Jew-heavy Ivy League universities
(you know, those places that have banned ROTC for the past forty years),
and those bastions of political correctness, the media
want us to do,
and force the sub crews to include women and homosexuals.
Take a look at the recent New York Times article
When Cupid Strikes at the Cubicle”,
which informs us that
[W]orking together can itself be a kind of aphrodisiac.
In a phenomenon known as the “mere exposure effect,”
people who see each other continuously tend to like each other more,
said Terri L. Orbuch, a psychologist, relationship therapist and research professor
at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Workplace romances are exciting
because they usually start in secrecy,

Dr. Orbuch said.
“The secretiveness is actually arousal-producing,” she said,
[I’m sure Navy spouses are going to love this.]
“so it is important to make sure you are attracted to the person
and not just the secrecy.”

So now we can look forward to
“When Cupid Strikes in the Torpedo Room, Sonar Room, Engine Room,
Missile Storage Area, Wardroom, Fire Control Center or Intel Center
(the facilities where intelligence information
is gathered, processed, analyzed, and reported)”
I can just see this (and I’m serious):
“Gee, sorry, captain,
I know we should have been processing that intel data
and putting out a CRITIC on it,
but we were too busy having a personal conversation and lost track of time.”
And if Admiral Mullen doesn’t think that those situations are going to happen,
regs or no regs, training or no training, he is a big fat idiot.
But at least Maureen Dowd writes him up favorably.

There will be those who say these fears are overblown,
that men and women in the military are far too professional and well-trained
to let mere personal relations distract them.
Those people are out of their minds (but what else is new among the PC crowd?).
For instance, see the above articles
For those who want a specific example, I have just two words: “Lisa Nowak.”

Note also how the media keeps well-separated
their articles on sexual harassment and sexual assaults
in the military and by Catholic priests
from their articles on how wonderful it would be
to introduce homosexuals in the military (and women on submarines).
Mustn’t connect those dots!]

The Center for Military Readiness also has some analyses on the subject of
women in submarines.
Note in particular the section “Socio-psychological Aspects” of
the 2000 letter from retired RADM Hugh P. Scott.

He wrote, in 2000, in part (emphasis is added):

Socio-psychological Aspects

Because there are no good mixed gender comparisons
when considering all of the unique mission and environmental conditions
of a submarine,
there is great uncertainty about
the effect that gender mixing will have on group dynamics
during normal submarine operations and combat conditions.
In no other institutions, including
schools, prisons, Antarctica, the space shuttle,
and other military operational units
are men and women forced to live isolated from the outside world,
in such unrelenting close contact with minimal privacy,
and in less than satisfactory accomodations,
for extended periods of time.

“The key variable in the effectiveness of a submarine
is not just technical abilities,
though a certain level of technical competence is necessary,
but the ability of the crew to maintain cohesiveness
under all possible conditions,
including ship casualties and combat situations.
Thus it is essential that every effort be made
to identify any factors that can adversely affect
unit cohesiveness and morale.”

On the other hand:
Navy Policy Will Allow Women To Serve Aboard Submarines
From Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs,

[Comments, in this color, by the author of this blog have been added.]


The Department of the Navy has announced a policy change that
will allow women to serve on submarines.
The change was considered by Congress
after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
formally presented a letter to congressional leaders Feb. 19, 2010
notifying them of the Department of Navy's desire
to reverse current policy of
prohibiting submarine service to women.

"There are extremely capable women in the Navy
who have the talent and desire to succeed in the submarine force,"
said the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy.
"Enabling them to serve in the submarine community
is best for the submarine force and our Navy.
We literally could not run the Navy without women today."
[What does that last have to do with women in subs? Nothing.]

On July 28, 1994, Congress was notified of policy changes
to expand the number of assignments available to women in the Navy.
At that time, opening assignments aboard submarines to women
was deemed cost prohibitive and assignments on submarines remained closed.
Currently, women make up 15 percent of the active duty Navy –
52,446 of 330,700.
Integrating women into the submarine force
increases the talent pool for officer accessions
and subsequently the force's overall readiness,
ensuring that the U.S. Submarine Force will remain the world's most capable
for ensuing decades.

"The young women that have come up to me
since we announced our intention to change the policy
have such great enthusiasm,"
said Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations.
"Knowing the great young women we have serving in the Navy,
as a former commanding officer of a ship that had a mixed gender crew,
to me it would be foolish to not take
the great talent, the great confidence and intellect
of the young women who serve in our Navy today
and bring that into our submarine force."

women earn about half of all science and engineering bachelor's degrees,"
said Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly, Commander, Naval Submarine Forces.
[Heavily weighted in the biological sciences.
It is frequently observed (evidently not by the Navy, though)
that women are vastly underrepresented in physics and electrical engineering.]

"There are capable women who have the interest, talent, and desire
to succeed in the submarine force.
Maintaining the best submarine force in the world
requires us to recruit from the largest possible talent pool."

Implementing the policy change will begin by
assigning three female officers in eight different crews
of guided-missile attack (SSGNs) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).
The assignments involve
two submarines on the East Coast and two on the West Coast,
each of which is supported by a Blue and Gold crew.
More living space is available aboard these platforms
which will require no modification,
permitting the Navy to move quickly on integrating female officers in submarines.

"We need to open up the aperture for submarine officer selection
to maintain our current selectivity,"
said Rear Adm. Barry L. Bruner, Commander, Submarine Group Ten
and leader of the Women in Submarines Task Force.
"The key to making this significant change happen successfully
will be correctly carrying out the plan
and also ensuring that we educate the force and their families."
[Right out of the PC playbook.
It’s all about education.
Education can solve everything.

SSGNs provide the Navy with
an unprecedented combination of strike and special operation mission capability
within a stealthy, clandestine platform,
while SSBNs are specifically designed for extended strategic deterrent patrols.
There are currently 14 SSBNs and four SSGNs in the Navy's inventory,
each with two crews assigned.

The female officers would be assigned
after completing the 15-month submarine officer training pipeline,
which consists of nuclear power school, prototype training,
and the Submarine Officer Basic Course.
The SSBNs are billeted for 15 officers and 140 enlisted,
while the SSGNs have a crew allotment of 15 officers and 144 enlisted.

"We have created a well-thought-out plan
to phase in the female officers
to the selected SSGN and SSBN submarine crews,"
added Donnelly.
"Enabling these bright and talented female officers to serve
will be a great asset to
our submarine force, our Navy, and the strength of our military."

Navy Welcomes Women To Serve In Submarines
Navy Welcomes Women To Serve In Submarines,

[Comments, in this color, by the author of this blog have been added.]

Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, Commander, Submarine Group Ten,
announced the Department of the Navy's plan
to allow women to serve on submarines,
during a press conference at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., April 29.


The commanding officer of USS Alaska, Cmdr. Kevin Byrne said
implementing the policy change will not pose a major challenge.

"Integrating women on board is nothing new to us.
Women have been getting underway on submarines
for overnight embarks and qualifications, familiarization,
and sea trials embarks for weeklong periods.
having women permanently established on board
is not a major adjustment for the crew."

I have zero Navy experience,
but I will take exception to the commander and state that
I find that hard to believe.

The Navy management, both civilian and military,
persists in claiming that, essentially,
“nothing significant will be changed
by replacing some male crewmembers by women.”
Well, some reasons why that surely is an invalid assumption
were given above, but now let me add this:

With an all heterosexual male crew,
the possibility of intra-crew sexual attraction is, by definition, zero.
Introduce women and homosexuals and you, again by definition,
introduce, not the possibility, but the certainty of
within-crew sexual attraction.
With that come the inevitable accompaniments of
lust, envy, jealousy, and passion.
These will come due to unchangeable, iron-clad laws of human nature.
Training and conditioning may, in the short-term, totally repeal those laws,
and in the long-term, reduce the effect of those laws.
But they will not eliminate all the effects of those laws.
And in the zero-tolerance-for-error situation
of a sub on a long-duration underwater cruise,
with human passions, no doubt,
building up as the time spent away from home and loved ones grows,
it is only a matter of time before
some human-passion-generated mishap causes the loss of a sub.
Does the Navy deny that?
Will some military reporter have the concern for the crews of those subs
to ask Admiral Roughead his answer to that question?]

Quiet Resistance to Women on Subs
New York Times, 2010-05-13

[Come on.
How many men, looking at that photo,
will be thinking about
what Midshipman Wilcox’s
professional qualifications are?
Admiral Roughead,
what example do you set for your men
if you deny that?
Shame on you for not making sure
the public is well informed about
the distractions women on submarines will cause.]


Captain Owen P. Honors, USN

Captain Honors @Wikipedia

The firing of Capt. Owen Honors
S.A. Lackey
Washington Post Letter to the Editor, 2011-01-06

Regarding the Jan. 5 news story
“Navy commander fired for making bawdy videos”:

Making Navy Capt. Owen P. Honors a scapegoat is ridiculous
and terribly damaging to the morale of U.S. military forces.
For those who have been on a float or in combat,
this kind of locker-room humor is the only safety valve we have.
It is all-encompassing and an equal-opportunity offender.
That kind of universal razzing promotes camaraderie.
To punish the then-executive officer of the USS Enterprise
for creating a climate of humor for men and women far from home,
performing dangerous and frequently repetitive duty
with no other outlet for entertainment,
is wrong.

To relieve the captain of his command over this
is sending the message to U.S. troops
that the swagger and insouciance
that make them the best fighting force in the world
now has to be hidden.
This is a poorly thought-out pandering to political elements
at the expense of a fine officer,
and it has already affected troop morale out here on the ground,
especially among elite units.

S.A. Lackey, Baghdad
The writer is a civilian contractor with the U.S. Army.

He was fired over his videos, but Capt. Owen Honors did the right thing
By Bruce Fleming
Washington Post, 2011-01-09


There are serious problems in today’s military that it did not create
but must address to the satisfaction of its civilian masters.
Human beings are created with a sex drive,
and the civilian world has demanded that first women, and now openly gay people,
be integrated into largely closed-quarters situations
that have historically operated by the rules of straight males.
It’s not Neanderthal to note that men and women socialize differently -
men by aggressing one another and
women by supporting one another
(see the work of Georgetown linguist Deborah Tannen).
It’s not homophobic to point out that most people
are more comfortable being naked around strangers
whom they think (perhaps wrongly) have no sexual interest in them.
That’s why we have single-sex bathrooms in public places.

It’s the tenor of our times to go ballistic
on anyone who notes these elemental facts.
But noting them is just what we should be doing,
as a way of defusing tensions and persuading people
to accept difficult situations.
I think Honors realized that
problems everybody talks about privately become worse
if the command structure pretends they don’t exist.
He’s like a parent who decided to make clear to his kids
that he knew they were thinking about sex and drugs,
and to take control of the topic.
He should get a medal for being proactive.

Among those problems:
the fact that on a tight-quarters ship,
masturbation (frowned upon in the 19th century but now generally accepted)
becomes difficult.
[It’s hard for me to imagine how that situation could work satisfactorily
when heteros and homos are bunking together.]

The fact that plenty of straight servicemen and women
fear showering with people of the same sex
but a different sexual orientation.
The fact that profanity is overused.
The executive officer frankly referenced those facts
with his insider videos on the ship’s closed-circuit TV.
They were meant for one audience; now they’re being seen by another.


No dirty videos, please - we're in the Navy
By Greg Jaffe
Washington Post, 2011-01-09


Here’s how Trump responded to a question about women and transgender individuals in the military
by Jenna Johnson
Washington Post, 2016-10-03

During a town hall-style event in Northern Virginia on Monday morning, a combat veteran asked Donald Trump what he would do about the "social engineering" that he says is happening in the military to allow women and transgender individuals to serve. The Republican presidential nominee agreed that the military has become too "politically correct" and said he would follow the recommendations of top military leaders.

Army Col. Don Bartholomew, who asked the question, accused the Obama administration of attacking the "warrior ethos" that has long been at the heart of the Army's success.

"The military has become an institution for social experiments
and, as a result,
the military has undergone a number of changes to regulations with regard to
women in combat, transgender rights and other issues,"
Bartholomew said.
"None of these P.C. actions were combat-effective or readiness-driven.
In fact, the opposite is happening.
Deployability, readiness and morale are all adversely affected.
So my question to you is:
What will you do about the social engineering and political correctness
that has been imposed upon our military?"

"Well, we're going to get away from political correctness, and we are going to have to do that,"
Trump told the audience at a Retired American Warriors event in Herndon.
He then compared political correctness in the military
to the outcry he faced when he praised profiling as a police and security tactic.

"You're right," Trump said.

"We have a politically correct military,
and it's getting more and more politically correct every day.
And a lot of the great people in this room
don't even understand how it's possible to do that.
And that's through intelligence, not through ignorance -- believe me --
because some of the things that they're asking you to do
and be politically correct about are ridiculous."

When it came to the examples Bartholomew provided, Trump said that he would leave such decisions to top military leaders.

"We'd get our military people to come back and make recommendations to me,
and I will follow those recommendations," Trump said. "I will follow them very strongly."

The military has made a number of policy changes in the last few years that have not always been popular with the rank-and-file.
[You notice the "Support the troops" crowd is AWOL on this issue.
To them, "supporting the troops" means fighting endless, fruitless, pointless wars designed to support Israel, not America nor its troops.]

In 2011, the Obama administration repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibited gay service members from serving openly.

Last December, the Pentagon announced it would open all jobs and units to women, as long as they could meet the rigorous requirements that go with them. Although a full integration is now underway, no woman has yet to become a Navy SEAL or a Marine Corps infantry officer.

And on July 1, the Department of Defense dropped its long-held ban on transgender people serving in the military and began to pay for medical treatment for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria. That decision was made after a long, belabored process during which the Pentagon missed a self-imposed deadline because of internal resistance.

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