Thursday, June 15, 2017

Junior Submarine Officers Press Conference

Originally Published May 25, 2012; Last Updated April 09, 2017; Last Republished April 09, 2017:

Yesterday, a wonderfully diverse2 group of junior submarine officers held a press conference at the Naval Heritage Center, Presidents Room in Washington, DC—just back from their first long deployment!

The group, including the women submariners seems enthusiastic about their new submarine assignment—one is even looking forward to those "really awesome" fast attack missions:
“All of the history and lore of the submarine community really comes back to those really awesome missions that fast attacks do. If it were to be opened, I think there are some of us who probably would be willing to serve on them despite the tight quarters,”--Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Esch--
Lone Sailor
Junior Submarine Officers' Press Conference1

UPDATED 03/25/2017 UTubeNavyDetailers, PERS 42 Submarine Community Screening Board Video (also, peruse the numerous "how to write" a fitrep for LDOs and URLs; it's an art!)

UPDATED 07/10/2015 NIH, Ionizing Radiation in Pregnant Women: A Review of the Safety and Guidelines

Limited sample size focused only on man-made diagnostic and therapeutic x-rays (i.e. not more energetic gamma rays of nuclei)6.


UPDATED 06/15/2017
Navy, On Our Depth One-Six-Zero Feet

UPDATED 04/09/2017 BB, Sea-Air-Space Exposition 2017: Cyber Operations in Sea Services

UPDATED 02/07/2017 Navy, TSC Female Sailors Sought for Submarine Service
UPDATED 10/29/2016 NavyLive, Commissioning USS Illinois (SSN 786) The well-done and official "Silent Service" promo video accompanying this page needs to prominently feature female submariners, too (also, Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Shows Hit Fleet Concentration Areas).


and UPI, First lady Michelle Obama welcomes U.S. Navy's most advance submarine USS Illinois

UPDATED 05/18/2016 NPC, Enlisted Women in Submarines

Fast Attack Submarine Segment Begins ~3:30

UPDATED  03/20/2016 SFT, Navy taps first black woman from ROTC for submarine service
UPDATED 01/14/2015 Riverhead, Making history: Riverhead grad will be one of the first female officers to serve in Navy submarine force

Past social dogma and stereotypes lack any positive or neutral buoyancy in today's modern and extraordinarily challenging submarine environments. Unlike, say an idea for new materials, which are capable of performing in the equally challenging environment of a submarine's nuclear reactor compartment while significantly lessening its overall density7.

Stated differently past dogma and stereotypes in a submarine's environment will sink to collapse depth in a positively reinforced loop of greater density (i.e. greater mass in a smaller volume). Professional submariners work in dedicated teams to ensure their submarine never experiences this singularity.

UPDATED 12/03/2015 NYT, Pentagon Will Open All Combat Roles to Women and NPR, Pentagon Says Women Can Now Serve In Front-Line Ground Combat Positions

UPDATED 10/03/2015 KitsapSun,  Shipyard converting USS Michigan for enlisted women

Article includes rough time frame for integrating noncommissioned women into both Ohio and Virginia class submarine platforms.

UPDATED 07/10/2015 NavyLive, Enlisted Women in Submarines Application Package Milestone Achieved

UPDATED 12/07/2014 UPI, Navy: Submarine women were secretly filmed in shower (UPDATED 10/03/2015 NavyTimes, Tofalo takes reins of submarine fleet and UPDATED 11/17/2015 NavyTimes, 10th sailor disciplined in submarine shower video case)

There's a big difference between submariners viewing the adolescent movie "Porky's" and secretly producing or distributing a "Porky's" starring submariners5.

Surely, all "Porky's" producer(s) or distributor(s) have exited our submarine service and unreproving viewers identified and counseled or reprimanded, at a minimum?

Adolescent shenanigans should not deter or impede our nation and submariners from building a strong world-class 21st century professional submarine service that includes coeds.

UPDATED 05/23/2014 Navy, Six Female Officers to Integrate into Fast Attack Submarines (Atlantic first followed by Pacific around first quarter 2015)

UPDATED 05/24/2013 NavyMil, Naval Academy Graduates Class of 2013 Includes 13 females selected for submarines.
UPDATED 04/11/2013 NavyTimes, Exclusive: Sub boss on op tempo, plans to integrate women
UPDATED 01/25/2013 NavyTimes, Mabus: First women selected for attack subs

Kudos to our SecDef, SecNav, CNO and submariners on speedily moving to a gender neutral professional submarine force!

Responding to the seemingly perpetual "close quarters" argument is as simple as specifying minimum attire4 and encouraging all submariners (male and female) expressing such "contact concerns" to seek career enhancing gender identity training or just incorporate such training into the basic submarine school curricula.

It's bizarre logic that explicitly or implicitly argues that our highly trained and professional submariners must constrain their sexuality with physical barriers—those (male or female) requiring such constraint must not be permitted to become or remain submariners.

UPDATED 12/09/2012 NavyNews, Female Sailors Receive Submarine 'Dolphins'

UPDATED 12/07/2012 NavyNews, First Qualified Female Submarine Officers Receive Dolphins

UPDATED 10/04/2012 Time, More Navy Women Joining the Silent Service

Kudos to the CNO for speedily integrating our female submariners into all submarine platforms and billets—our female submariners will professionally contribute to the success of submarine missions while improving the overall readiness of our submarine force.

UPDATED 08/23/2012 Day, Admiral says USS Miami will be repaired; hints at timing for women submariners at base Article based on recent CNO All Hands Talk at Sub Base, Groton (below):

UPDATED 06/18/2012 KitsapSun, First female submariners find few obstacles

Any submariner qualified to stand your watch while underway does not represent an obstacle, but a sleep potential.

UPDATED 05/31/2012 WH, Women Chart a New Course Onboard U.S. Navy Submarines President, First Lady, SECNAV, SECDEF, VCNO and female junior submariner officers visit at White House.

Female Junior Submariner Officers at White House
UPDATED 05/31/2012 NavyTimes, Women on subs talk mission, working with men

U-T San Diego, Women on Subs Very Successful The article states that Vice Admiral John M. Richardson, Commander, Submarine Forces is close to a decision on whether all submarines will be open to women.

It will be most unfortunate if the a silly3 "close quarters" argument is permitted to impede or delay women's speedy integration into all submarine billets and submarine classes platforms for which they are qualified.

Of more concern is the tall submarine sonar officer (pictured center) who may find very few places on a fast attack submarine (especially Los Angeles-class) to stand up straight!


1. President Theodore Roosevelt is pictured behind the submarine officers.

2. Kudos to our Navy, which is continuing significant efforts to build a fantastically diverse, strong and well trained 21st century submarine force in today's challenging budgetary environment.

3. It's as silly as arguing that women should ride in the back of a spacious pick-up truck, but not its close quarter cab.

In fairness to those whose traditions have routinely excluded women, these are fast evolving and dramatic changes to our submarine force. Shocking customary sensibilities can be destabilizing, particularly if you're an older and aging white congressman.

However, a professional submariner is nothing if not skilled at shocking customary sensibilities and responding to same—in fact the ability to routinely shock customary sensibilities and respond to same is a very good definition of "tactical advantage" that is so vital to success in submarine warfare.

4. For example skivvies and a T-shirt, although some submariners (male and female) may prefer to wear more and privacy barriers (e.g. curtain).

5. It's not like there's a dearth of existing pornography to match any submariner's preferences.

6. Navy policy is to assign or transfer pregnant women to shore duty (Navy Pregnancy FAQ) and (HPS, Factsheet, Radiation Exposure and Pregnancy).

Additional general information on Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects.

Deep divers on the effects of low-level ionizing radiation will eventually peruse: Health Effects of Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR V (1990) and Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2 (2006) and Medline, Radiation Exposure and UNSCEAR, Biological Mechanisms of Radiation Actions at Low Doses (pdf) and EPA Radiation and Risk Assessment.

UPDATED 09/12/2016 NatureCommunications, Mutational signatures of ionizing radiation in second malignancies

7. It's not uncommon for professional submariners to estimate the percentage of total weight and volume allocated to fast-attack submarine propulsion at thirty-five and fifty, respectively.

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