Thoughts to excite, alarm or foil paradigms, senses of humor, and imagination although not always in that order.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
-Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988) Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics 1965.
Monday, January 21, 2008
First Female Submariner and Problem
Do you recall what first imparted your notion of female submariners? For most it dates back to 1966.
The political battle to assign another gender to military submarines still rages in the beltway as forceful as ever. What advocates of women (notice I did not say advocates of a strong military) cannot produce with facts, they fill in with blind attitudes and endless verbiage. Is there a shortage of male, submarine volunteers? Have standards been lowered too far?
We spend more than $300,000 for each service academy graduate, too many of whom have never really been military career minded. If we limited such expenditures to people who bid on the number of years they would serve, stopping this incredible tuition hemmorhage would help finance improved benefits for the submarine force.
Other navies (Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden) have had female submariners, some since the 1990s, but with key differences: the few females serve only on non-nuclear, short patrol subs. Does the USN have non-nuclear, short patrol subs? Are any planned? We are told none are even planned. Why? Unsuitable for missions actually served past, present, or future.
Are there sound reasons not to assign women for lengthy periods to nuclear submarines? Yes, unless we could keep them in a galley, it is medically risky for women (of childbearing age) to have exposure to heavy metals, radiation, and compounds expected aboard submarines, especially in upset conditions. Of course, not all informed women feel female servicepeople are being denied more than the submarine force would be denied by incorporating them. Submarines are one of 5 assignments currently restricted to males only.
The groundbreaking 1966 Sci-Fi movie Fantastic Voyage cast Raquel Welch as MS. Peterson. (Won 2 Oscars). This broached the popular, cinematic idea of females on subs. Even on a movie set, however, this would create a problem (see movie trivia): When first filming the scene where the other crew members remove attacking antibodies from Ms. Peterson, the male actors, avoided removing antibodies from Raquel Welch's breasts. The end result was described as a Las Vegas showgirl effect. The scene had to be redone.
Here's Raquel's antibody scene from Fantastic Voyage on YouTube:
Location: staten island, new york, U.S. Outlying Islands
Former submariner, later an investigator and audit manager. Currently, in an entrepreneurial mode. I have never missed a chance to vote (except local elections while at sea)and will continue to vote as an independent.