Second Honorable Mention, Enlisted Essay Contest
Women are entering the fleet in increasing numbers—and now are commanding combatants. If the men and women of the Navy are expected to fight together, then they must continue to train together.
The Navy has moved a long way toward the integration of women since their first assignments to non-combatants in 1978, but there has been renewed concern in the halls of government over sexual harassment cases at several military training sites, in particular the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground. This has led critics to question the Army, Navy, and Air Force practices of integrating basic training, and has caused former Secretary of Defense William Perry to ask "whether we should integrate at the training level" (see Proceedings, May 1997, p. 32). But the answer for the Navy, when the majority of men and women work together side by side, is that they should be trained side by side, as well.