Monday, March 15, 2010

Submarine Understatement of the Year by Civilian Undersecretary

In a statement provided for the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel, Juan Garcia, Navy assistant secretary for manpower said...

“As a measure of extra caution, the Navy will not reduce the number of male officers training and qualified for submarine duty until we have experience with successfully placing female officers in those roles.”

Mr. Garcia appears to be hedging its bets on whether women are going to work out as members of submarine crews, according to the NavyTimes article by Rick Maze.
Is Mr. Garcia's quote contradictory? A shortfall in male officers for the submarine service were claimed as compelling justification for female officers by The StrategyPage recently:

One compelling reason for allowing women to serve is a growing shortage of men willing to do so. Last September, the Naval Academy produced only 92 male officers for submarine duty that required 120.

Garcia himself added that ending the gender ban and also helps insulate us from the anticipated surge in hiring by the civilian nuclear power industry in the decades to come. While one might believe the latter when construction of new nuclear power plants in significant numbers is ever approved, it requires the suspension of disbelief now.
Garcia's comment tends to answer another question for men, although for the related answer to this question women are still A.W.O.L.
Training more women to compete with men at existing nuclear power plants will likely result in limiting the future salaries of both. As utility rate-payers we should probably applaud such insightful government planning. Hmmm!
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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