Friday, October 5, 2018

Deploy Or Get Out

The Navy remains mystified why there is resentment towards women in the service.  Well, for those Navy leaders too stupid to figure it out, the answer is that the service habitually shows favoritism towards women and gives them special treatment.  Here’s the latest example.

The Navy has declared that non-deployable sailors will be evaluated for separation from the service. (1)  Hey, that makes sense and ComNavOps fully supports that.  After all, the Navy is a sea-going organization, at its core, and those who can’t deploy are a liability and a burden that has to be compensated for by those who can deploy. 

Of course, what exception was immediately carved out of the non-deployable policy?  You know, right?  Pregnant women, of course.

Now, pregnancy is not something you catch, like the common cold.  It’s not something that just happens, like an accident.  Pregnancy is a choice.  Pregnancy is a self-inflicted condition.  Correct me if I’m wrong about this but it’s a violation of the UCMJ (Article 115) to cause a self-inflicted injury that prevents a service member from carrying out their duty.  How is pregnancy any different? 

Pregnancy is different because it involves women.  Women are coddled, catered to, and favored via policy, both formal and informal, in the military.  Is it any wonder that there is so much resentment towards women?

Rather not ship out on your next deployment?

  • If you’re a man, tough luck.
  • If you’re a woman, get pregnant.

The military claims equality for women but every policy that’s implemented favors women and offers them special treatment. 


I Need Someone To Deploy For Me


If the Navy wants to be taken seriously with regards to women then women have to be treated equally.  Pregnancy should be grounds for court-martial and separation.




Fun fact:  Roughly 9% of the women in the military are pregnant. (4)

Fun fact:  The Military Health website states that 13.1% of Women Of Child Bearing Potential (WOCBP – yes, that’s an actual category) had a least one “pregnancy related event”. (5)



_____________________________________

(1)Navy Times website, “Navy warns sailors who can’t deploy that they will be reviewed for involuntary separation”, Mark Faram, 26-Sep-2018,

(2)Navy Times, “Go To Sea Or Go Home”, Mark Faram, 4-Oct-2018,


(4)Calculated:  Ref (3) cites 1.3M active duty personnel across all services with women making up around 17%.  Ref (2) cites 20,000 women pregnant in the services, currently.  Thus, around 221,000 women serving making the pregnancy rate around 9%.


41 comments:

  1. So now I understand, the LCS are pregnant once the baby Burkes are born, no more LCS.
    Note from HR, it is not a pregnancy, it is a Maintenance availability.

    Happy Friday.

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  2. I would disagree. But you might consider right now depending on the service (and including the Coast guard) something like 25% to over 30% of recruits are from families with a parent who was in military. So recruitment security.

    Anyway the larger problem that is typical of other parts of the government not just the military is buying stuff and not hiring people. Without the mantra of small crew size (and I dunno maybe more sailors overall) you could likely absorb women out of action for maternity. Or simply demand planed pregnancy. Allowing the service to plan for a expected absence.

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    Replies
    1. "I would disagree."

      With what?

      Delete
    2. "planed pregnancy. Allowing the service to plan for a expected absence."

      So, you want to create a special program to benefit only women? That was kind of the point of the post - that women demand equal rights without equal treatment and accountability.

      What if a man wants to take a year off to build his dream house where he can raise a family? How is that any different? Why shouldn't he get an exemption or a special program?

      Delete
    3. The US military is fast become a caste and isolated population out of the whole that does military service. I suspect if you look at career military officers and long serving NCOs the numbers I cited would be even more stark.

      Women deserve equal opportunity. I do not accept relaxing standards for that (or below for obesity or test scores either). To the extent that involves upper body strength that will limit women as it should. I have no issue with that. But honestly how many reps do you need to do to sit at a screen to analyze sonar data or radar inputs.

      But than again the military is good at relaxing standards look at the trend in clinical obesity.

      https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2016/10/09/and-the-fattest-u-s-military-service-is/

      or hey being a HS drop out with ridiculously low score on aptitude tests

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2005/10/the_dumbingdown_of_the_us_army.html
      https://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/11/politics/army-recruiting-more-high-school-dropouts-to-meet-goals.html

      Lets not forget gang enrollment

      https://www.thebalancecareers.com/gang-activity-in-the-u-s-military-3354199

      Yes BMI is blunt as the first link suggests but consider the last bit on how obese the general US population is. To the extent the Navy or any service can find qualified women who want serve it would be foolish I think not work out a way to deal with pregnancy.

      Look as far as I can see we are never bringing conscription back. The US military has an increasingly tiny pool of both healthy people and people who want to join the military to work with.

      So I really no alternative than to simply work out a personal solution to pregnancy in otherwise competent female recruits. And yes I would also include men in that. If we are committed to an all volunteer military (and one that is fighting the forever war) we cannot pretend it is made of male and female Templars. Build ships with sufficient crews. Have sufficient reservists. So that we can allow our tiny military caste to have families.

      So I disagree on the fact that I think risk of adding honest competant potentially pregnant women falls behind gangs, obesity and HS drop outs as issues for the Pentagon and it recruiting

      Delete
    4. "how many reps do you need to do to sit at a screen to analyze sonar data or radar inputs."

      Once you'er sitting down, not a lot! The problem is how did you get there? Did you have to hump a 100 lb ruck over a mountain? Did you have to build a HQ to house your cushy chair and screen? In the Navy what happens when your ship gets hit and now you have to leave your screen and conduct damage control or lift an unconscious 200 lb man up through a hatch? Suddenly, those reps do matter.

      Now, I've suggested in previous posts that we create a pseudo-military adjunct for people who won't be exposed to combat. They would be subject to military discipline and order but not deployed to or near combat. They would not hold rank, just job levels with commensurate pay.

      We had a Navy twice the size of the current one in the Reagan years and managed to crew our ships without a draft and without a significant female component. Our population has increased and our fleet size has drastically decreased. Can we really not attract enough qualified recruits?

      Here's a few thoughts on manning/recruitment:

      1. Stop the idiotic "up or out" requirement that kicks competent people out of the service.

      2. Stop advertising the Navy as a sea-going Peace Corps. Take a lesson from the Marines and advertise the Navy as a place where you can go to challenge yourself and the world - but we don't really want you because you're probably not good enough to be a sailor.

      3. Institute tough standards and apply them to everyone. If that eliminates most females, so be it. Make the Navy a place where the best of our people want to be. Make it something to take pride in. Do that and it will self-recruit. You'll have to turn people away.

      4. Eliminate all but around 20 Admirals and put their staffs (thousands of people) back onto ships.

      5. Eliminate the non-warfighting crap like sensitivity training, gender awareness, green energy, etc. What young, fit, gung-ho male wants to join up with that kind of organization?

      6. Let the Navy be an adventure. Stop regulating all the fun out of port calls. If sailors get drunk, let them have fun as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

      I can go on but these serve to illustrate how to deal with non-draft manning. We did it easily in the '80s and we can do it now.

      Delete
    5. "honest competant potentially pregnant women"

      Competency has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy in the Navy. The issue is deployability. Do you also advocate putting the women on unpaid leave while they do their baby thing? You know, since we're getting no service out of them, why should we pay them?

      Delete
    6. A comment was deleted. We are not going to discuss abortion.

      Delete
    7. Auto correct is evil. If you are non deployable, then that time should be tacked on to the end of your contract.

      Delete
    8. And you should not be paid while you are non-deployable.

      You make a key point. You signed a contract to do a job. If you get pregnant, you've violated that contract. The military has every right, at that point, to give you a dishonorable discharge and financial penalty, among other possible actions. Again, pregnancy is a choice you make and, in this case, a choice that knowingly violates your contract. If you do that in any other legal transaction you get sued. Why should this be different?

      Delete
    9. "4. Eliminate all but around 20 Admirals and put their staffs (thousands of people) back onto ships."

      A-freaking-men.

      Delete
  3. I'd argue that the part of the problem is this whole thimajig going on in American culture where the woman's body is her own and no one should intrude on her body, etc etc.

    If you regulated and made it mandatory for all female service members to be fitted with IUDs during their time in service, this issue would go away. But then you'd get various groups screaming about how the military is infringing upon women's rights to their bodies. But then, that's a political issue, fought outside the Pentagon and in the halls of Congress.

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    1. I would think that was fine for those doing a one stint up an out. But it fails to address career military types in an increasing tiny pool of applicants.

      Again if the Military wants to attract and retain the best people over the long term it needs to realize they might want to have families.

      Delete
    2. "increasing tiny pool of applicants."

      The potential pool of applicants is actually increasing since the population of the US is increasing. The problem is the way we recruit which I addressed in a comment above.

      Delete
    3. "If you regulated and made it mandatory for all female service members to be fitted with IUDs during their time in service, this issue would go away."

      While pregnancy, itself, is an issue for the military in terms of deployment and readiness, the point of the post was the immediate exemption granted pregnant women who can't deploy whereas men are required to deploy or be subject to termination from service. The issue of the post is the preferential treatment that is continually accorded women.

      Delete
    4. @ComNavOps: i'm looking at it from the prevention angle. You don't need to exempt pregnant women from deployment if they can't get pregnant in the first place.

      Delete
    5. Way that i see it: tours/assignments usually last a year or so. If you're in a combat rating or in a combat unit, in goes the IUD. If you're working a POG job with zero chance of being deployed, or on a shoreside staff tour/working a desk, i could maybe see relaxing the restrictions and the IUD comes out. It's not like a public affairs job is as critical to the war effort as a gunner's mate.

      Delete
  4. "Now, pregnancy is not something you catch, like the common cold. It’s not something that just happens, like an accident. Pregnancy is a choice. Pregnancy is a self-inflicted condition. Correct me if I’m wrong about this but it’s a violation of the UCMJ (Article 115) to cause a self-inflicted injury that prevents a service member from carrying out their duty. How is pregnancy any different?"

    Even with preventative measures, be them what they are, none of them are 100% effective. And, many a couples, despite their best efforts, have been blessed with an unplanned pregnancy.

    I'm not sure what the right policy is, but it's a little too much to court martial pregnant service members.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I'm not sure what the right policy is,"

      Then why are you commenting?

      Take a stand. Have the courage hold an opinion and say it.

      Delete
    2. I think your picking the wrong fight here. According to Military Times (February 5, 2018), "Approximately 11 percent, or 235,000, of the 2.1 million personnel serving on active duty, in the reserves or National Guard are currently non-deployable, according to Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford."

      Of those 235,000 that are non-deployable, about 116,000 are due to short- or long-term injuries, about 99,000 are due to administrative reasons, about 20,000 due to pregnancy. I'd work more on the first two issues than the last.

      But, if a servicewoman decides to make the military a career, then there ought to be some allowance for her to start a family. And, to address your concerns, maybe servicewomen are not allowed to become pregnant in their first 2-3 years of service.

      Delete
    3. "if a servicewoman decides to make the military a career, then there ought to be some allowance for her to start a family."

      Why?

      If a woman signs a contract to buy a house and make mortgage payments but then gets pregnant and can't work and earn money, should allowances be made for her to skip her mortgage payments?

      How, in your mind, has pregnancy taken on some kind of exalted, elevated status that exempts the woman from responsibilities and accountability?

      Delete
    4. To your earlier comment, if a woman becomes pregnant by a serviceman, is the serviceman guilty of violating the UCMJ?

      When people fall on hard times and can't pay the full monthly house payment, most mortgage companies will accept a lesser payment and allow the homeowner to make up the difference later. Maybe this is what should be done in the case of pregnant service members. In short, allow women to make up the time lost due to their pregnancy. But, if women are not allowed to become pregnant, then male service members should not be allowed to have children either.

      I mean no sleight by this and no insult is intended. But, a pregnant woman is one of the most beautiful creatures on God's green earth. And, if you ever witnessed the birth of a child, you'll know what I mean.

      Delete
    5. "if a woman becomes pregnant by a serviceman, is the serviceman guilty of violating the UCMJ?"

      If it falls under the fraternization regulations then yes, otherwise, no. You can only be guilty of violating regulations that actually exist. Is this a trick question?

      "In short, allow women to make up the time lost due to their pregnancy."

      And who makes up the undermanned deployments? Is it fair to ask a another person (male or female) to go on a deployment that was not theirs so that a woman can fail to fulfill the terms of her enlistment contract and the UCMJ and have a baby? How do you choose which other person to punish so that a woman can have a baby?

      "a pregnant woman is one of the most beautiful creatures on God's green earth."

      Who gives a rat's ass? This is about deployments and rampant favoritism towards women. Secondarily, it's about women's systematic tendency to fail in their military commitments. It is not the job of the military to propagate the species and produce offspring. Sunrises are beautiful, too, but they have nothing to do with deployemnts, either. If women want to be pregnant and the most beautiful creatures on God's green earth then they shouldn't join the military.

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    6. I'm not sure why you're singling out pregnant women when there are nearly 5 times that number non-deployable due to administrative issues, like not having all their immunizations or their required medical and dental exams. And, I'm sure more than a few get into some kind of judicial trouble or purposely injure themselves in order to avoid a deployment.

      Of all the ways to avoid going overseas, where does getting pregnant rank? Top 10? Top 20? If pregnancy ranks high as a reason, identify and address the root causes. If not, work the more important reasons.

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    7. "I'm not sure why you're singling out pregnant women when there are nearly 5 times that number non-deployable due to"

      Did you read the post? Obviously not. Here's the salient portion,

      "The Navy has declared that non-deployable sailors will be evaluated for separation from the service. ...

      Of course, what exception was immediately carved out of the non-deployable policy? You know, right? Pregnant women, of course."

      Now do you see why I'm singling out pregnant women? BECAUSE THEY'RE THE ONLY ONES GETTING AN EXEMPTION!!!! Everyone else is subject to termination.

      Read the post before you comment.

      Delete
    8. Short of sterilizing women or banning women from serving, the only practical solution is the current policy of exempting pregnant troops from deploying overseas.

      Delete
    9. "Short of sterilizing women or banning women from serving, the only practical solution is the current policy of exempting pregnant troops from deploying overseas."

      No, the solution is to do the same thing the military is going to do to every other non-deployable person - evaluate them for separation from service. That was the point of the post - to treat women identically to men.

      Further, the separation from service should be a dishonorable discharge.

      Delete
  5. Re: #2, Someone has to tell command authority that the Navy
    is not a police/peace corp/international rescue outfit.
    The Navy shouldn't be in the light infantry business either,the B&B types are chasing banditti in the dirt, not driving ships.

    "Join the Navy, fight Pirates & raise Hell"

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  6. The reason there is the double standard concerning pregnancy has everything to do with the Congress, specifically, the cackling hens who are in it. And you have females who know how to game the system and won't hesitate to whine to Congress about how bad they have it. My wife did 25 years in the Navy, and she hates those kinds of women something fierce. It's not a 'woman thing'. Being an opportunistic jerk is not relegated to females alone. But you do have to be a special kind of degenerate to bring a child into the world just to try to avoid a deployment..

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    Replies
    1. "But you do have to be a special kind of degenerate to bring a child into the world just to try to avoid a deployment.."

      I suspect that the vast majority of pregnancies are just simple family matters, no different than the rest of us. However, that begs the question, why did they sign up for the military? You simply can't fight and bear babies at the same time! You have to choose one or the other.

      Delete
  7. National Guardman Chris Hernandez (a combat veteran who did several tours in Afghanistan) wrote an interesting take on that subject a few years ago. I quote him :

    “I’m kind of surprised pregnancies are such a huge deal in your armed forces,” Mary says. [TP'S NOTE : Mary is the nickname of a female Danish vet that Hernandez interviewed for his article] “I don’t know if it’s because we only do six month deployments. I mean, you can only get so pregnant in six months. But honestly, I’ve never even heard of anyone in the Danish Army being shipped home due to pregnancy, or having to be replaced before a deployment.”

    Denmark’s army, which allows women in combat arms, apparently doesn’t have a pregnancy problem. The French army, which assigns some women to the infantry, didn’t seem to have a problem either. In the ten months I spent working with the French army in Afghanistan, I never heard of a female soldier being evacuated due to pregnancy. Yet my battalion sent home six.

    The US Army doesn’t allow women into combat arms, makes concerted efforts to keep males and females separate, and even banned sex for all deployed soldiers (married couples were later allowed to have sex, and the Army eventually gave grudging permission to single soldiers). Yet we still have a pregnancy problem. Why is pregnancy a problem for us, but not for Denmark or France? Probably because we don’t allow women in combat arms, make concerted efforts to keep males and females separate, and ban sex between soldiers.

    We Americans consistently refuse to acknowledge basic human needs and behavior, and stupidly think we can eliminate problems with prohibitions. Soldiers in war have always needed something to help take the edge off. Until the end of the Vietnam War, the military let soldiers blow off steam with alcohol and sex. Today, our military wants us to be chaste monks and nuns who abstain from anything that might offend someone. So we ban alcohol, sex and even pornography, force those activities underground, and pretend these bans actually accomplish something. We have senior leaders, echelons above reality, spewing ridiculous advice like “If you’re under stress you should find a productive way to relieve it, like by enrolling in an online college course” (yes, I actually heard a sergeant major say that). Yet we all know that some soldiers are drinking, having sex and watching porn.

    If you’re not supposed to have sex, are you going to have birth control available? Probably not. I never saw condoms on any American base overseas, although I’ve heard some clinics had them. The French, on the other hand, always had a bucket-o-condoms sitting on their clinic’s counter. A French military doctor told me, “Our only rule about sex is, ‘be smart’.” Other than that, sex wasn’t considered the military’s concern. Denmark sounds like it has the same attitude.

    “Our med center had morning after pills for the asking,” Mary said. “I was getting checked for athlete’s foot once, and there was just a freaking Tupperware box of it on a shelf. I asked, ‘Uh… do you guys need that a lot?’ The medic just shrugged and said, ‘It happens.’”

    Denmark understands stressed out soldiers at war might have sex, don’t consider it evil or punishable, and take intelligent measures to avoid pregnancy. Denmark doesn’t have a pregnancy problem. America maintains ridiculous puritanical standards, clamps down on sex between soldiers, then sticks its head in the sand and acts like clamping down works. America has a pregnancy problem. Should we learn anything from these two different approaches, with their drastically different results?

    Of course not. Stay the course, America. It’s been such a success so far."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your all the way over here and I think you'll find the point all the way over there.....

      Delete
    2. "Stay the course, America. It’s been such a success so far."

      While pregnancy, itself, is an issue for the military in terms of deployment and readiness, the point of the post was the immediate exemption granted pregnant women who can't deploy whereas men are required to deploy or be subject to termination from service. The issue of the post is the preferential treatment that is continually accorded women.

      Delete
  8. So mandatory paternity testing, and if the father is a service member, mandatory leave and equal punishment? Until that's on the table this is a farce.

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    Replies
    1. Like Tanguy, I believe you have missed the point, this nothing to do with soldiers have sex.

      The issue here is people who are unable to deploy, for any reason, are being involuntarily separated from the armed forces, except pregnant women, who get a free pass on deployment.
      An unsecured piece of equipment in stores could fall and break a mans arm, he would be none deployable and be at risk of separation.
      A woman could, with a bit of planning, get half way through her 20yrs, without ever deploying, without consequence, not even just separation through none deployability.

      Delete
  9. I remember the mass pregnancies. Before leaving on the 2001 deployment, over half of the females on the ship got pregnant. It appeared to be for the purpose of getting out deployment. We started calling it "the 18 year solution to a six month problem". A young female sailor would have some anxiety about the up coming six month cruise, so she gets out of it by conceiving a child who she will be responsible for the next 18 years. The condition is considered a temporary medical transfer, so she is not replaced on the ship and we deployed short handed.

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  10. This issue isn’t unique to the Navy. Readiness is in the toilet across all the services. The War in Terror has been relatively low intensity when it comes to men and material so a growing maw in readiness has been easy to paper over. Now that we are looking at confronting big, robust conventional threats again the gaps are readily apparent.

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  11. We had that problem when I was in the Army, it really pissed everyone off, even some of the woman that went were pissed off at the pregnant ones staying back. My "solution" would be ONE TIME GET OUT OF JAIL CARD for MEN AND WOMAN, ONE TIME you can say NO to a deployment. When asked to deploy the next time, if you get pregnant or too fat for men (seen that), you are automatically discharged. Not saying it's perfect but it's a start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, theoretically, you'd be in favor of being able to rob one bank? Or violate one contract? Or skip one mortgage payment?

      You signed a contract when you entered the military.

      What about the person who has to deploy to cover the Get Out Of Jail non-deployment? Do they get some kind of additional compensation or does someone else just have to bear the burden of another's unwillingness to do their duty? Wouldn't that just breed resentment?

      Not a perfect solution? I'd say it's a horrible one!

      Delete
  12. The problem is more general than just pregnant women or fat guys that can't pass their PT test. They are a symptom of the disease but not the disease. The disease is we aren't hiring and training warriors contrary to the warrior TV ads we see, we are hiring people that want education, some benefits like free dental, a job when the economy is bad, etc....the vast majority don't really want acknowledged that they signed up for WAR. As long as we don't change our recruiting and face reality, the problem will only get worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've essentially identified the core problem. We've forgotten that the function of the military is war. As a result, we're trying to make it into just another job, just another social organization, just another government agency, etc. It shows in the refusal to recognize that the military IS different from the rest of society. It CANNOT play by the same rules. It is not a social equality experiment. It is not a jobs program. It's not a career pension builder. It's about killing, pure and simple. We need to return to that mindset. Until we do, nothing will get fixed.

      Good recognition of the problem.

      Delete

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