This controversal topic is bound to come up time and time again before and after the hand-picked JO’s arrive at their assigned boats. So why don’t I just join in on the multitude of blog posts now on the subject.
Last night I attended an All hands, base wide, last-minute, super secret (ok not really), discussion about this very topic. And when I say last-minute I mean it, Ross came home from work and said… ‘oh, by the way there’s an all hands meeting tonight.’ and I got the email from my command ombudsman as I was walking in the doors of the meeting.
So basically the discussion last night reviewed the following:
-The boats will be the USS Maine (SSBN out of Bangor, WA), USS Ohio (SSGN out of Bangor, WA), USS Wyoming (SSBN out of Kingsbay, GA), and the USS Georgia (SSGN out of Kingsbay, GA); SSBN (Submersible Ship Ballistic Nuclear) and SSGN (Submersible Ship Guided Missile Nuclear). The boats were chosen for their available space (no conversions needed), their missions (the SSBN has a deterrent based mission and the SSGN has a multi-mission/special operations mission), and their schedules.
-There will be 3 female officers per crew on each sub picked (2 crews per sub). They are hand-picked, and will go through the exact same training as their male counterparts.
-There will be a senior female officer, the supply officer that will be in a department head position. The need for this position is so that the JO’s have a senior person to turn to of the same-sex if they choose/need to.
-The other two female officers per boat will be JO’s (Junior Officers), the reason for JO’s is so that the females can start from the bottom like their male counterparts and have the ability to work their way up to CO with no special considerations/treatment.
-The females will be bunked together in a 3 man bunkroom so they will have privacy and they will share the officer head with a sign that can be flipped with male on one side and female on the other (this is how the surface Navy has done it for years). If by chance one female is removed from the crew for any reason the other two female officers could be moved to a 2 man bunkroom so that the extra bunk is not wasted space.
-The female officers will arrive at their boats between December 2011 and March 2012, they will all arrive as close in time to each other as possible and are expected to be ready to go to sea as soon as their boat’s schedule calls for.
-From this point forward the Navy will have a constant flow of women going through the pipeline to increase the amount of women per submarine per year slightly.
Um…. that’s all I can think of currently but if I remember anything else I’ll add it here.
My husband is on one of the boats gaining women and I know this is going to be an interesting transition. I’m on the fence about women entering the subforce, I was opposed to it early on but always knew that if it happened nothing I said or did would affect it so I’d just have to suck it up. lol But now I’m on the fence, I can see some benefits but still have this gut feeling that this is going to be a mess at some point. I guess we will see what happens, now that the count down can begun.