Opinion | Hamilton: The non-deployables: Is there a fix?
Bill Hamilton / Central View
Facts. According to U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, an average of 20,000 of the 2.1 million personnel on active duty are pregnant and, therefore, non-deployable. Pregnant sailors, however, may remain on board warships until the 20th week of pregnancy at which time they must be put ashore.
Currently, about 15-percent of U.S. warship crews are pregnant; however, under emergency or war-alert situations, all pregnant sailors must be put ashore immediately. The duties of the pregnant sailors must be assumed by the 85-percent who remain on board.
Satire. To remedy the loss of pregnant personnel in emergency or war-like-situations, the Navy studied the conjugal visits permitted in California, New York, Connecticut, and Washington state prisons.
Conflating the meaning of “conjugal” to include unmarried personnel, the Navy, established the Conjugal Space Program (CSP) for all of its surface ships and submarines at sea. The objective of the CSP is to reduce the number of pregnant, non-deployable sailors. Male and female shipmates, who volunteer to do so, are allowed to conduct shipboard sexual activities in CSP spaces that are stocked with birth-control pills and condoms which are also provided for free when CSP volunteers are on shore leave.
Of course, the CSP is only available to volunteers with good performance, behavior, and health records. The Navy deems the CSP a low-cost way to reduce the number of non-deployable female sailors while, at the same time, enhancing overall combat readiness. The volunteers provide all the labor. So far, no shortage of volunteers.
The Navy, in its wisdom, anticipated there would be problems in deciding who gets to haveCSP visits with whom. Some female sailors might welcome sexual activity with one or more sailors, but reject sexual activity with certain other sailors. That could lead to a great deal of jealous unhappiness, and even shipboard violence.
Consequently, each vessel will assign, as a collateral duty, a CSP Officer and a CSP Chief Petty Officer to maintain a roster of the CSP volunteers, schedule the use of the CSP space or spaces, make sure the CSP spaces are stocked with the necessary birth-control medications and devices, and also act as cage-fight referees when disputes arise between the male or even female volunteers. (For reasons of safety, the CSP Officer and the CSP Petty Officer will be trained by the International Sports Combat Federation for the Mixed Martial Arts.)
Air Force fighter-bombers cannot accommodate the CSP. The Army and the Marines are grappling with the problem of how to apply the CSP to their often transparent foxhole environments.
Opponents of the CSP concept argue that it would be less expensive, safer, and less disruptive to simply return to the pre-Obama era when females were not allowed to serve on surface ships, submarines, or in infantry foxholes.
The current Administration’s response to both sides of the CSP debate is to ask that Congress appropriate funding to build barriers between males and females on ships, submarines, and in foxholes.
Even without congressional funding, the President says he will declare a national-security emergency to reprogram money to build the needed barriers between the sexes. Planned Parenthood says it will offer a plan to terminate the entire problem. Stay tuned…
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Dr. Hamilton is the author of The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill, Pegasus Imprimis Press (2017). “Central View,” can also be seen at:http://www.central-view.com.
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