Posted by Liz @ 3:48 pm on February 24th 2010

Go Navy! (Beat Army!)

I guess once the Pentagon decides they are tackling sexual issues, they go all the way. In addition to the (slow) movement toward repealing DADT, Gates sent a letter to Congress on Friday expressing the intent to repeal the ban on women serving in submarines.

Women have been serving on US Navy ships since 1993, but close quarters and fear of pesky feminine wiles* prevented them from serving on subs. Now the navy is moving to retrofit the subs (boomers first because they are the biggest) to accommodate women as well. The plan is officers first and at least two women per crew in an integrated ship and it may take up to a year to allow for training.

So hey – Admiral Mullen for the repeal of DADT, SECNAV and CNO for women on subs – this is almost progressive of them. Congress can still potentially pass legislation to continue the sub ban, but there’s a political perception difference between passing exclusionary legislation and dithering on repealing exclusionary legislation.

And this leads right into a correlating point about integration: Women are not on submariens, yet the Navy can integrate, including platform retrofitting and training, in a year, but General Casey and company are worried about the integration of people who are already serving in every aspect of the armed services, who require no retrofitting and no extra training. I don’t want to cry homophobia, but I cannot for the life of me understand this thinking. Admittedly, the Navy is no where near as involved in Iraq and Afghanistan as the Army is and may have more of a luxury in time when it comes to implementing new policy, but, short of a serious lack of confidence in the members of the United States Army to act like professionals, what’s the problem? Gates is now talking about two years of studying the effects of a DADT repeal. This is mind boggling.

*I may have ad-libbed the feminine wiles part.

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