A “rape list” was discovered aboard the second US Navy nuclear sub to integrate women, raising questions about the silent service.
The Georgia-based guided missile submarine USS Florida became the setting of controversy after two lists were discovered- one ranking the female crew by attractiveness and the other listing sexual acts that the crew wanted to perform with the females.
Discovered by the sub’s senior enlisted man on June 16, 2018, the lists were brought to the attention of then-sub commander Capt. Gregory Kercher. While Kercher did conduct a search to identify those responsible, he never actually punished anyone.
“Although he took some action in response to the list, there is no question that those minimal actions fell far short of expected standards and norms for an event of this magnitude,” former commander of Submarine Group 10 Rear Admiral Jeff Jablon wrote to his superiors on the matter.
Needless to say, Kercher was fired a few months later.
According to Military.com, the list was distributed amongst one if the Florida’s two rotating crews, identified as “Gold Crew.” At the time of the list, were 32 women on the 173-person crew, including five officers, two chief petty officers and 25 Sailors ranked E-6 and below.
The Navy has done considerable damage control following the incident, particularly since the submarine fleet has had numerous incidents regarding difficulties with male crew and the newly-integrated females.
“While I cannot guarantee that an incident such as this will never happen again, I can guarantee that we will continue to enforce our high standards of conduct and character in the Force,” said Vice Admiral Chas Richard, commander of U.S. Submarine Forces. “I expect every submariner to treat one another with dignity and respect, and will hold our personnel accountable if they fall short of our standard.”
The inaction by the submarine’s skipper reportedly caused distrust between male and female members of the crew, who had previously complained of preexisting low morale, with issues ranging from lack of rest to poor leadership.
At least two sailors assigned to the submarine have been separated from the Navy, and several others have been subjected to administrative punishment.
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