Women On Submarines

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

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Women on Submarines Women in this country have fought long and hard to attain the same rights and privileges as men. It is then no surprise that women desire the right to serve alongside men on submarines. Their argument is clearly well substantiated. In a test conducted by the Army, it was proven that 78% of women could be trained to the same physical level as men. Only a couple years ago the valedictorian of West Point was a woman. If women can be trained to the same level as men, why then is it not practical to take the next step toward equal rights and allow women to serve on submarines? The question is not whether women are capable of carrying out the task, but whether or not mixed crew submarines will sacrifice mission readiness and effectiveness for equality. (Gerber 9) Some might argue that a seemingly obvious solution to this problem would be to have crews consisting entirely of women.

This would allow women to serve on submarines as well as avoid the issues that arise from mixed crews. The problem lies in the experience of the crew. Currently, a submarine crew consists of members with varying experience levels. Some people have over 20 years of submarine experience that can be passed down to junior personnel or used in a casualty to make better-informed decisions. In other words, there is a big difference between someone saying, "I remember when I learned this in school"¦"� and "I remember when this happened before"¦"� In the early days of submarines, many lives were lost while the Navy struggled to gain the experience required to safely operate our submarines. Sending a crew to sea without this abundance of knowledge and experience would put them at a severe disadvantage, making women-only submarines an...