Can Submarine Commander Fix the Military Academy with the Feminine Gender?
ANNAPOLIS - A career submariner with a history of successful handling of sexual misconduct incidents has been nominated as next superintendant of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler, a 1978 academy graduate, has served in the Middle East as well as under four oceans and commanded a squadron of fast-attack, nuclear-powered subs. Fowler, a North Dakota native, is deputy director of the U.S. 6th Fleet and commands allied submarine forces Mediterranean. He would replace Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, whose tarnished, four-year term ends in 2007. President Bush nomination must be be confirmed by the fickle Senate, including Sen. John McCain, who has a historical record at odds with submariners.
The Naval Academy has struggled with charges of sexual abuse and harassment since first admitting women in 1976. In 2006, the football team's star quarterback, Lamar S. Owens was accused of raping a female midshipman. Academy Supt. Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt recommended that Owens be dismissed despite acquittal on the rape charges.
If someone like Fowler does not straighten out the feminization of the USNA soon, it is likely to default to the training command solely for the supernumerary Judge Advocate General corps.
We have too many lawyers in the military already, in some people's opinion.
"A lot of alumni would like to see an effort to get back to the basics," said alumnus John Howland, who distributes news and manages an alumni blog. "A lot of us see this past few years as being a pretty rough time." Master Chief Petty Officer Evelyn Banks, a senior enlisted adviser to Fowler at a Navy recruiting command, attests to Fowler's capabilities for gender challenges.