Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"May the Force be with you." - Hans Solo, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, 1977

Has there really been a chronic shortage of male, nuclear-officer, volunteers for subs?
Follow this time line to its 17MAY2010 conclusion and decide for yourself:
27OCT 2009 - NAVYTIMES - Academy falls short of sub volunteers -

Too few Naval Academy seniors opted to become nuclear-qualified submarine officers this fall, so the school’s administration has asked more students to make that their career path and, if necessary, will force them. [bold, italic and color emphases are added]

... Although the Navy’s top leaders have said they want women to serve on subs, female midshipmen aren’t yet permitted to choose the submarine career path.

. Three and a half months later
19 FEB 2010 - KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) - - From Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

"On February 19, 2010, the Secretary of Defense signed letters notifying Congress of the Navy's intention to change the policy regarding the assignment of women to submarines," said [Rear Adm. Barry] Bruner, the lead for the Navy's Women in Submarines Task Force. "The law required both houses of Congress to be in session for 30 days prior to the change in policy taking effect. Those 30 days have now passed and the Navy intends to proceed with the plan to integrate women into submarines."

Implementing the policy change will begin by assigning 24 female officer to the submarine force. Eight different crews of guided-missile attack (SSGNs) and ballistic-missile (SSBNs) submarines will be integrated with three female officers.

two month later
9 APR 2010 - - Navy Extends No Smoking to Submarines -

Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) on April 8 announced the extension of the no smoking ban to below decks aboard all U.S. Navy submarines. The smoking ban will become effective no later than Dec. 31, 2010.

...Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly, COMSUBFOR said, “Our Sailors are our most important asset to accomplishing our missions. Recent testing has proven that, despite our atmosphere purification technology, there are unacceptable levels of secondhand smoke in the atmosphere of a submerged submarine. The only way to eliminate risk to our non smoking Sailors is to stop smoking aboard our submarines."
twenty days later
29 APR 2010 - NORFOLK, Va (NNS)- - Navy Policy Will Allow Women To Serve Aboard Submarines -

The Department of the Navy has announced a policy change that will allow women to serve on submarines. The change was considered by Congress after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates formally presented a letter to congressional leaders Feb. 19, 2010 notifying them of the Department of Navy's desire to reverse current policy of prohibiting submarine service to women.
eleven days later
10 MAY 2010 - ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) - - Midshipmen Selected for Submarine Service

Eleven female midshipmen from the Naval Academy's Class of 2010 have been selected for submarine service upon graduation, following the Department of the Navy's announcement two weeks ago that female officers now have the option to serve on board subs.

... Many of the selected midshipmen first became interested in submarine warfare after spending 24 hours on board a submarine, something all midshipmen have the opportunity to experience as part of their summer training.
one week later
17 MAY 2010 - NUPOC Program Information - Wanted: SWO(N)'s and NR Engineers -

Navy Recruiting is looking is looking for NUPOC submarine volunteers who will be graduating this year to switch to SWO(N). Let your recruiter know if you are interested and tell your recruiter to forward your request to the NUPOC Program Manager.
What about the announced shortage of sub volunteers (27 OCT 2009)? Was it just a small refinement of capricious numbers, or was the NUPOC announcement an unfortunate weakness in some armor-plated, but bogus rationale? The Naval Academy provided 119 submarine ensigns in its 2009 graduating class, 2 more than in 2008's, and 31 more than 2006's.
May the Force not be wielded on or against committed male submariners to accomodate uncommitted, unsuitable, or biologically-conflicted female submarine recruits. - M.E. 2010.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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