Women Submariners – Pioneers Facing Many Challenges

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Marquette Ried will train to be one of the first women to serve on submarines.

The US Navy announced recently that by January 2012 19 women will be assigned to four ballistic missile submarines.  The women officers will be facing challenges of logistics, operations and culture.

Women submariners: Trailblazers by timing, sub sailors by choice

Quiet Resistance to Women on Subs

The Navy announced last month that it would place women on submarine crews. By January 2012, after 15 months of training, a total of 19 women will be assigned to four ballistic missile submarines based in Bangor, Wash., and Kings Bay, Ga.

Aboard the ships, the women will share a bedroom so small that only one person can stand up at a time. When they want to use the bathroom — just two showers and two toilets for 15 officers — they will hang a sign on the door that says “women only.” To move from bedroom to bathroom, they will walk corridors so narrow that two sailors cannot pass without pressing against each other.

But while the decision opens a prestigious career path to women and increases the Navy’s recruiting pool for submarine postings, it has been met with quiet resistance within what has long been proudly called “the Silent Service,” according to active-duty and retired submariners.

The development comes amid other changes that threaten 110 years of tradition in the brotherhood, including a ban on smoking on submarines, effective Dec. 31, and the anticipated unwinding of the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” policy that bars openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military.

John Mason, a retired senior chief petty officer who served aboard four submarines and two surface ships from 1977 to 1994, began preparing an online petition opposing the integration of women this spring. So far, Mr. Mason has collected the signatures and comments of nearly 550 retired and active-duty military personnel, as well as their spouses — all of whom argue that submarines are no place for women.

Privately, many active-duty sailors said they believed that the decision was made for political reasons, not operational ones. A sailor who has served on a fast-attack submarine based in Pearl Harbor since 2005 said that pregnancy would undoubtedly end up disrupting missions and that the cramped ships could not accommodate women.

“The chief of the boat calls it a brotherhood of master mariners — not a brother and sisterhood,” said the sailor, who withheld his name because he was disagreeing with official Navy policy. “If all of a sudden they put females on my submarine, things would change so drastically, I don’t think we would be able to flow as well.”

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30 Responses to Women Submariners – Pioneers Facing Many Challenges

  1. First let me congratulate the female midshipmen selected for submarine training. It will be a path requiring great patience on their part. For the older Chiefs it is going to be a change and some will no doubt retire. This will solve in part some of the adjustment. Other navies have done it successfully and ours will too. However the incidents of women C/O’s losing control in surface vessels is disturbing. The Navy as a whole must address this in the coming months and incorporate it in both the training of the new intake of officers and the current Blue and Gold crews. A certain amount of debate, NOT arguments, will be good but concentrate on making it work.
    Good Watch.

  2. Rick says:

    Thank you for your comment. I agree that this will be a difficult time for the Navy, requiring considerable forbearance by all concerned. I am confident that they will find their way through.

  3. @Rick,
    I’m the John Mason referred to in the article above. Thank you for taking the time to post this issue on your blog. However, I am sorry that you’ve chosen to simply rehash the same media arguments and to not discuss the real issues at hand. Those of us opposed to this policy shift are working to make everyone knowledgeable about the concerns and facts at hand. The Navy, unfortunately, is in the position of having to ignore (or argue away) the facts in order to comply with ‘political correctness’. There is no room for appropriate ‘argument’ or ‘debate’ when the political establishment deems ‘thou shall be done’. There is too much as stake NOT to speak out against this policy shift.
    @Captain Boucher,
    I find your comment about ‘older Chiefs’ most condescending and not worthy of a statement made by a captain. The comparison to other navies is invalid for numerous reasons. For example, the Canadian submarine ‘force’ has only four enlisted women. There was one female officer but she left the force before qualifying for her dolphins. When comparing the US submarine force to Canada’s, and the other three nations which currently allow women to serve on board (Norway, Sweden, and Australia), keep in mind the following considerations, which I’ve abbreviate here:
    1) Atmosphere Contaminants Issue. Our submarines are all nuclear powered and can remain submerged for much greater lengths of time.
    2) US submarines generally deploy for longer periods of time and in more isolated environments.
    3) Differences between FBM missions vs. fast attack missions.
    4) The manning requirements of four submarines vs. our 75 are different and must be taken into consideration.
    5) Cultural differences between our society and those of Norway, Canada, Sweden, and Australia.
    I’d like to say something that I wrote in my first paper on this issue on February 24th, 2010:
    “I lived through many changes during my time in the service. It is inevitable and I am proud of my flexibility in ‘rolling with the punches’. I am, by nature, a very open individual, a consummate team-player, with an unflagging dedication to the fair treatment of everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or any other differential category. My performance evaluations are full of affirmations of these traits and my rapid advancement in the navy are proof that I was a valued team-player dedicated to my profession and to the navy. I also believe the mission comes first above and beyond anything. Everything else must be subjugated to ensure the mission is successful.”
    — and —
    “I have no doubt there will be some that will call me a dinosaur… a relic from the past. They will pick apart this document line-by-line and will surely find fault in every word. No matter. These are my thoughts and opinions and I have not conjured them out of thin air. Nor have I written them in any malicious manner intent on hurting anyone or any group of people. I am speaking from what I consider to be a very practical aspect.”
    — and —
    “Regardless of the ultimate decision that is made by both high level military personnel and our civilian leadership with respect to this policy shift or any other shift, they may be assured of my 100% support of that decision. While I cannot speak for my fellow sailors, based upon my experience, they will also support official policy whether they personally agree or disagree with the decision.”
    There are many reasons to be concerned about this policy shift. If you would really wish to know the true issues at hand, I’ve collected extensive documentation and provide links to papers, studies, and a petition/comments on my website. There are inputs from E-2 through O-7; from active to retired duty, family members, and concerned citizens. If you chose to read this information presented here, you will find that most within the submarine community (not just ‘Old Chiefs’) are opposed to this shift. http://tinyurl.com/25fm4ks
    Captain, it seems as if you have no submarine experience. That puts you in good company with the United States’ Commander In Chief, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, and CNO, all of whom have zero submarine experience. Lacking that experience, it would be advisable to consider the professional comments and concerns of those that do have the proper experience and that are unfettered by the chains of political correctness.
    With all due respect,
    John A. Mason ETCS(SS/SW), USN (Ret.)
    Comer, GA

  4. Rick says:

    Thank you for lengthy and well informed comments. I have been relatively quiet on this topic as I know how little I actually know about the submarine service.

    I will admit to a certain bias toward the view that the Navy will in the long term be better off if figures out how to integrate women into operations aboard their ships. I do realize that submarines present a range of very difficult issues not encountered on surface ships. So, should we listen to the admirals in Washington or the chiefs and officers serving aboard the subs? Both, probably, in turn. The current program involving four subs will be worth watching carefully.

    Again, thanks for your comments. Very interesting.

  5. Rick,
    Thanks for posting my comments. I appreciate your forthrightness in discussing this issue. I definitely agree that the navy will be better in the long term when/if it figures out how to incorporate women aboard ships more effectively. But how to get there? There must be honest, and frankly hard, debate and arguments to effectively solve the problems. As you mention, the issues are more difficult in the submarine environment for many reasons. Some of the most important being of a medical nature and others due to the unique operational requirements of our submarines. You raise a good question about ‘who’ should be listened too. As I mentioned in my first comment, our current civilian and navy leadership have no experience in submarines. The most senior submarine-qualified personnel in the navy (SUBFOR and MCPON) have chosen to remain quiet on the issue. The navy’s lead on the Women In Submarines Taskforce has been laid at the feet of a relatively new flag officer, RDML Bruner (COMSUBGRU 10). There has been quite a discussion over on his blogs. I provide links to those blogs on my website. The folks on the deck plate (I would define that as anyone O-5 and below for this issue) effectively have their ‘mouths’ closed due to navy policy. However, you will find many comments in our petition from active duty folks and a few have been anonymously interviewed in articles covering this issue. I’d like to make it clear that I do not want our submarine force to fail, nor the new women crewmembers. But success will not be assured without an honest review and acknowledgement of the serious facts at hand. I am worried because our navy is choosing to ignore those facts at this time.
    Thanks again, Rick. Your forum is most appreciated.
    John.

  6. Roger C. Dunham says:

    I Women, subs and nuclear radiation
    Women are due to start serving on nuclear subs in 2012. But have concerns about radiation exposure been adequately explored?

    Should women sailors be allowed on submarines? The United States is poised to repeal the ban, and the first women are scheduled to serve aboard subs by 2012. But we must ask some serious questions before changing the policy.

    During the Cold War, long before becoming a doctor, I served as a nuclear reactor operator aboard a fast-attack submarine. During that time, I often considered the thought of women as fellow crew members. There was never any question in my mind that women would be as capable as men. The issues of limited space and the need for separate quarters could be easily resolved by a visit to any of the unisex bathrooms found on our college campuses. Furthermore, U.S. submarines already have separate sleeping spaces for chief petty officers and for commissioned officers; partitioning another area for women would be easy. Finally, there is ample precedence for both sexes living together in prolonged isolation and close confinement — on the International Space Station, for example, and in Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica.

    So why would I see any problem with allowing women aboard submarines?

    It is the matter of exposure to radiation that is most unsettling to me. It is the genetically sensitive tissue in women that is intimately involved in the process of childbearing that needs to be addressed, researched and commented on by our Navy’s leaders before they change the policy.

    While sperm from men are frequently changing and thereby present a reduced vulnerability to radiation consequences, women have ovaries that contain radiation-sensitive tissue fixed for the life of the woman. Damage to the egg cells remains with the woman until that egg produces a baby. An even greater concern is that women who (by design or by accident) become pregnant would then possess the most radiation-sensitive tissue known: a developing fetus with a small number of cells that are rapidly dividing and thus vastly more sensitive to radiation.

    It is widely believed by many that advanced shielding systems can adequately protect personnel from radiation and minimize the risk to women. This may be the case, perhaps, for larger ships, where increased distance of personnel from reactors can be protective. But on submarines, the nuclear reactor is near the center of the vessel, and sailors need to pass by that radiation-emitting system to get to the engine room watch stations, often several times a day. If a female sailor must stand watch, she will have to pass near the reactor four to six times a day, resulting in exposing a potential fetus to increased neutron and gamma energy as many as 350 to 400 times during a two-month patrol.

    Of further significance is the kind of radiation the reactor is emitting; not just gamma energy, like chest X-rays or mammograms. A nuclear reactor generates gamma energy, slow neutron energy (creating five times more tissue damage than gamma energy) and fast neutron energy (creating 10 times more tissue damage), as well as other types of less consequence. My former engineering officer recently informed me that he had absorbed about 5,000 millirems during his time aboard our submarine.

    In civilian life, a pregnant woman must first don a lead shield to protect her unborn baby before she has a chest X-ray (delivering about 10 millirems of gamma energy) or for a mammogram (70 millirems of gamma energy). But lead shields on submarines do not entirely protect personnel from the far more damaging neutron energy. Although the neutron shield system used helps reduce exposure, it is impossible to eliminate all neutron energy from reaching crew members. If a female submariner became pregnant just before deployment, the first weeks at sea could expose a tiny, radiation-sensitive fetus to significant radiation during a time when the fetus is at highest risk and before the woman may even know she’s pregnant.

    How much radiation does it take to cause harm to fetal tissue? We really don’t know. Any radiation is harmful to dividing cells, but detectable damage is much harder to determine. We know that fetal doses between 1,000 millirems and 10,000 millirems create a “low” level of congenital malformations, mental retardation, uterine growth retardation or childhood cancer. Is “low” acceptable? Is “low” reassuring if a future baby is not perfect? Would “low” absolve the government and taxpayers from liability?

    I call on all those who are working to change this policy to publicly address these questions before introducing women into the nuclear submarine environment:

    •How much radiation would women be allowed to absorb before removing them from the nuclear environment?

    •How many back-up nuclear watch standers will need to be available to replace women who have received excessive radiation, and how will this action affect the mission in enemy territory?

    •What screening will be initiated on the day of departure to guarantee that the submarine is not heading out with a pregnant sailor aboard?

    •What plans need to be established to remove a female sailor from the submarine, should she become pregnant during the deployment?

    •What are the maximum levels of accumulated radiation acceptable to the ovaries of non-pregnant sailors who might be planning a family in the future, and at what point would a woman need to be removed if those levels were exceeded?

    The public deserves answers to these questions, and female sailors volunteering for service aboard a nuclear submarine must be better informed about their risk before it is too late for them, or for the children they hope to bear.

    Roger C. Dunham, a doctor of internal medicine, is the author of “Spy Sub: A Top-Secret Mission to the Bottom of the Pacific.”
    Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

    believe there are far more serious concerns than just the sexual, social, politically correct, and traditional items discussed widely on many forums across the United States. My biggest concern with this sweeping policy change is outlined in my Los Angeles Times editorial last week, following:

  7. Joseph K. Shook says:

    Ahoy, Rick!

    Wonderful website. BZ!

    A little history on myself first. I spent a little over ten years in Uncle Sam’s Navy, during which time was privileged to serve as the Leading Seaman on the USS Cubera, SS-347, helped put the USS John C. Calhoun, SSBN-630 Gold crew, were I later became Leading Missileman and Missile Compartment Supervisor, qualifying also to stand Sonar Supervisor, Chief of the Watch and Diving Officer watches, making 4 deterrent patrols on her. I later took the USS Sam Rayburn, SSBN-635 Blue, through Poseidon missile conversion and made 1 patrol on her. I grew up in a military family, my Dad being a USAF bomber pilot, who later retired as a Colonel, but most notable of my relatives was my idol and mentor, my 1st cousin, FADM Chester Nimitz, USN.

    As an avid supporter of our military, submarines and submariners in particular, I closely follow much of the news surrounding that community. This entire issue of Women in Submarines is basically yet another ill-thought out plan, supported and promulgated by some disingenuous people whose sole purpose is to actually undermine our military might and traditions.

    I, like Senior Chief Mason, have struggled to convince RDML Bruner and others of the folly of this endeavor, but they continue like much of Congress these days, to the will and voice of the submarine community and We, the People!

    God Bless America and I trust that all of us will survive this trying time in our wonderful nation’s history!

    Thanks again for creating is blog!

    Sincerely,

    Joe Shook, President & Webmaster
    USS John C. Calhoun Veterans Association

  8. Joseph K. Shook says:

    Please add “into commission” after “SSBN-630 Gold crew!

  9. Rick says:

    Welcome, Joe and thanks your comments and for the kind words about the blog.

    Dr. Dunham, thank you for your comments. After 56 years of operating nuclear submarines and roughly 80 nuclear ships now in service in the US Navy, I had thought that they had the issue of radiation exposure under control. Based on your comments, it looks like I may had been wrong in that assumption.

    And again, Chief Mason, thanks for your perspective. Interesting and valuable.

  10. P F McFarland says:

    Rick,
    Wow! Just the thought of some woman invading the unholy sactuary of a submarine really ticks some folks off, doesn’t it? After all this time of having female officers in command positions, you would think that sooner or later it would have to happen to the silent service. I say more power to the ladies! Any woman with the guts to go to sea on a ship designed to sink deserves the full respect of all those who went before them.

    And as for the enviromental arguments being postulated by Chief Mason and Dr. Dunham, where were they when I was at sea getting sprayed by radiation every day? I used to sleep in a bunk that was bolted to the torpedo racks, right above a SubRoc. When I was messcooking, we used to spend a lot of time in the forward port aux tank loading TDU’s while underway. Some guys used the reactor tunnel as a gym area. And now they want to argue that the submarine environment is no place for a lady? What about the men, is the Navy playing Russian Roullette with their lives?

    I was proud to go into the Navy, but like any military organization, it has it’s problems. When it comes to questioning the future qualifications of a female officer to lead or command, I would have to say I served under a few male officers that make the Dilbert cartoon characters look absolutely brilliant. Since there will be such a small group of these officers, any wash-out will greatly affect the percentages when it comes to monitoring their effectiveness. How many male officers get reprimanded, bypassed, and removed from command every year? With such a large pool, the numbers look insignificant to some, yet any depreciation in the integrity of the service could cause ireparable harm to the enlisted and officers of any command. Putting anyone in a command position is always a crapshoot. If it works, great. If not, then you start again, and hope for the best.

    I was proud to follow one of my uncles into the Navy, as were two of my brothers who went into the Army and Air Force. I can’t speak for them, but I do believe that the Navy is at least doing the right thing, allowing these women that wish to serve their country, by giving them the full range of possibillities that lie ahead. I hope it all works out for them, and wish them fair sailing.

    P F McFarland (farlymac)
    USS Spadefish exTMSN(SS)
    Keeping the bubble since 1972

  11. Anthony Gennaro Cipoletta II says:

    I say, “Fair Winds and Following Seas Ladies.” As one of the last sailors to qualify on a diesel boat, the USS DARTER (SS-576), I really don’t know how it could have been done on my first boat. Very tight quarters, 1 deck, 3 rain lockers, (1 in tubes forward and 2 in after battery where one was used as a locker for the drunk line and kapoks for maneuvering watch) and 4 heads. There was absolutely no privacy except maybe in the goat locker and officers berthing. We were forever hotbunking when ever we brought on riders for spec ops. It would have been insane. Showering, although not forbidden was frowned upon ‘cept for cooks and mess cranks…we only made 2000 gallons a day with two stills….and that is being liberal. Birdbaths were the norm…water buffalos were dealt with. Playing “GateGuard” for 40 days in the South China Sea; let’s just say a pigsty smelled better. The Glow Worm boats have all the room in the world. Especially the converted Ohio class boomers. More water that can be used thanks to Mr. Einstein’s theory and Admiral Rickover for making that theory a reality! The best techs I knew were on the tender USS Proteus (AS-19) in Guam. And they were FEMALE! If I were still active I would welcome them. Why not, they deserve to get their “Gold Fish” just like male officers. I would like to see enlisted females follow quickly behind. Those nukes have berthing compartments of several different sizes. I think it would work and be successful. It would have been nice to see and hear a female voice once in a while on patrol. Officer or not. That may seem chauvinistic in today’s Navy and world, but looking at guys for weeks at a time gets kind of old. One thing I would welcome is when females are around; the sophomoric fraternity atmosphere would go by the wayside. So would all the foul language. I knew female sailors that could make any salty old boatswain blush with their foul, vulgar language, but there is a time and a place for that. I see that ending as a plus! The thing I hated the most was hitting the beach in P.I. or Puson with some 40 year old senior chief acting like a drunken college freshman and then bragging about his shenanigans at Island Girls the night before at 0800 Muster. I hated that stuff then and I was the youngest crew member for two years on that boat. (18-19 years old)
    In closing, I would like to say The Sub Community is very different from the skimmer world. Crews are very much like an extended dysfunctional family, where officers and enlisted work and live very close. We used to refer to the Captain as “the old man”. It would be cool to refer to my Captain as “The Old Lady!”
    AG Cipoletta II exTM3(SS/DV)
    USS Darter (SS-576)
    SUBGRU 7
    Pax River, MD
    Pawtuxant River NAS
    exTM3(SS)

  12. bonnie says:

    I always wonder if I would have followed my father’s footsteps into the service if I’d been a boy. Always liked the boats, my dad’s stories about being on patrol, and the submarine community – but for a girl, that particular door just wasn’t open, only for boys.

    I can see that it’s not going to be an easy adaptation. I never questioned the no-women rules because it did make some sense to me, and I do wonder how the experiment is going to work out – but still, at some level, I think it’s wonderful that if a submariner’s little girl today admires what her father does, there’s at least a chance that she can actually think of growing up to do the same thing.

  13. Rick says:

    Hey Bonnie,

    Thanks for the comment. We do live in interesting times.

  14. bonnie says:

    Of course I’d say that I’m lacking in submariner potential in a few respects other than just gender – my sister apparently got ALL the rational, logical, chemical-engineer genes, there wasn’t a quarter of a teaspoonful left for me – I’m more a right-brain creative-mess type. I’d be a disaster on a submarine.

  15. bonnie says:

    Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. Yup.

  16. Rick says:

    I’d stick to that story ;)

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  19. I served aboard two submarines, A diesel and a nuke. Being an A-ganger it’s aways about logistics. I am all for Women in the Navy just not on submarines.My wife would have issues with this as well.

    After having repaired several @#!! pumps due to an olive pit or two imagine having to repair a pump at 03:00 due to a tampon or some other female hygene product. Not to mention the other female products that would affect the air quality and in some cases make it dangerous. I remember talk of women in submarines back in the 90′s.

    I believe when the logistical and economical aspects were evaluated to retrofit and or re-design submarines to facilitate integration of female personnel would cost billions of dollars. Do you want to pay for this? Not I that’s for sure.

  20. It seems that forever the zipperheads have been whittling away at “sacred traditions (many quite practical). It’s kind of what our leaders today seem to think that our “Constitution” is a “living”document and needs to be changed or done over. Leave the Subs alone. Obviously this is all political as these things usually are and have no real substantial purpose.

    This is no cause for the GI Jane’s of the world. Let’s send them a clear message as we did this past election. Just say “NO”. Let’s make these facts against this public which seem to me to out way any special interest groups utopian ideals.

  21. bonnie says:

    “other female products that would affect the air quality and in some cases make it dangerous”?

    huh?

  22. bonnie says:

    Maybe. And nail polish remover, maybe. Yep, maybe he’s right, no proper chick could live through a three-month patrol without her hairstyling and manicure products…

  23. bonnie says:

    and of course we’re all too dumb to know any better than to not put “foreign objects” down a marine head…

  24. bonnie says:

    yup, no girls in the submarine clubhouse ’cause girls are dumb and stinky. Quick, somebody tell the Navy.

  25. bonnie says:

    Seriously though — as I said earlier, “I can see that it’s not going to be an easy adaptation. I never questioned the no-women rules because it did make some sense to me, and I do wonder how the experiment is going to work out”.

    I just don’t buy toiletries, tampons, or the jealousy of wives as being valid arguments against women being able to serve on submarines.

  26. Rick says:

    It will be interesting to see how well the program is administered. It will not be easy under any circumstances. The Navy has had problems in the past. Let’s hope that they have learned from past mistakes.

    I think the banning of smoking, which coincides with the first women on subs, will be as great a challenge. Boomers being run by nicotine deprived sailors does worry me. I hope they don’t run out of patches.

  27. The story about the first woman submarine commander (Jodi Bennington) is avaialbe on the her web site.

  28. TM1(SS) C. Richards (USN-Ret) says:

    As one poster above clearly points out, the Hierarchy of the Command Ladder, the USCinC, SecDef, SecNav & CNO (all non-Submariners) most likely have never spent more than a day, if that, aboard a deployed US Navy SSN or SSBN. Thus, they really have no serious comprehension of the daily routines over an extended period of time that the crew of a Submarine go through and if they did, they would absolutely see that allowing women to serve on Submarines will cause much greater problems than the problems they have had since the early 1980s and still do to this day since allowing women to serve on Surface ships!
    Thus, as a wise old Navy Chief Petty Officer once told me, “If you have a complaint about something, then you better have a solution to it also!”. With that being said, here’s my solution:
    Have a Submarine with an all Female Crew!!! Let them run it around by themselves for about 2 years and then tell them that they will soon being receiving male crewmembers! See how that goes over, eh?

  29. Hank says:

    I am not providing my complete name since I am still supporting the USN and do not care to cause my company any trouble.

    I qualified on a diesel boat as an enlisted and as an officer and served on three diesels and numerous nuclear fast attacks and one FBM. I also spent some time on ADM Rickover staff. I have also been supporting navy surface combatants in the field for over 20 years. My wife and I have supported the USO and assisted the departure and return of service members to the war zones.
    My observations are that the military has not been transparent at all about problems with females in the military. Many females have been sent home from the war zones by themselves because of pregnancies (accidental as well as planned) leaving other deployed military to extend their deployments. Many male female relationships aboard ships have resulted in punishments that are most (or only) observable by the ever growing number of COs/XOs that are being relieved of duty for sexual improprieties.
    I know of incidents which were not reported like the two CPOs (male and female) found in the rack together on one ships commissioning day; and the female LT who was first in her academy class who was quietly transferred from one DDG because of her affair with an enlisted on board. Just consider the CO and XO of a mine sweep recently relieved for having an affair with each other. I submit that the problems men and women together in the military on combatants is considerable and actually is not conquerable. Hormones will prevail! It is not any more the women’s fault then it is the man’s.
    The problems are potentially very serious and could well result in the loss of a battle which, by the way, is why we are all out there-to win that is!
    I relate an interesting anecdote I observed on one new DDG which was in port in San Diego a few years back. I observed four sailors, three males and one very attractive female, having a close conversation on the mess deck. The males were obviously vying for her attention when the female said “I sure could go for a coke!”. The three males scattered all at once looking for a coke machine. I extend this action to a period at sea where this vying for attention might occur, with the expected jealousies, during a battle or even during a difficult navigational passage. These are the hormonal problems that no one can really overcome and that will decrease our readiness.
    On the subject of women on subs I submit that most subs will eventually have to be FRAMed in order to provide the privacy that is lacking for females and the the politically correct will demand. ( I served on a FRAMed old radar picket diesel which was very cheap to add a compartment on compared to a modern nuclear boat). One female poster on a blog out of a New London
    newspaper suggested that the women could very easily take the Chief;s quarters. I wondered if she was related to the CNO?

    I called my senator who is head of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the committee itself and asked that they ask the Admirals just how much it will cost in the long run to modify subs to accommodate women both new and old. I suggested that it would cost billions and that we can not afford it. No matter, the Senate Armed Forces Committee never called in the Navy and just let the time expire resulting in the navy being allowed to do what it wanted without review.

    WINNING THE BATTLE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME!!

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