Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ACLU, military women's group sue Defense Department for Naval Academy records on female midshipmen, reports The Baltimore Sun...

Advocates for military women are suing the Department of Defense for information about how the Naval Academy and the other military service academies recruit female students — part of a campaign, they say, to expose ongoing gender bias at the elite training grounds for the nation's officer corps.

The Naval Academy "directs no specific recruiting efforts toward women and has failed to admit women in numbers even closely equivalent to those of men," the American Civil Liberties Union and Service Women's Action Network allege in the suit, filed Tuesday morning in federal district court.

The groups argue that the limited numbers of women admitted to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, contribute to discrimination and sexual harassment at the institutions.

The groups filed the lawsuit after receiving what they say was an insufficient response to federal Freedom of Information Act requests in November.

In those requests, they sought detailed records about the recruitment and admission of female students, information about any quotas on female students, and how the academies handle reports of sexual assault and harassment.

Full article:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/federal-workplace/bs-md-naval-academy-foia-20150203-story.html

Food for thought:  I spent 20 years of Naval service being subjected to sexism and racism all throughout my career.  Fighting for equality was an everyday occurrence.   One of my most challenging assignments was when I served aboard the USS STOUT and USS GONZALEZ, as the only female for an entire year.  

During this time, nearly the entire wardroom was majority Naval Academy graduates and they loathed the very sight of me being there.  Especially the Combat Systems officer and his senior enlisted Chief Petty Officers.  I was constantly harassed by them.  They called me the “N-word”, “B-word” and even directed their discriminatory insults towards my African American Supply Department personnel. 

Luckily, the commanding officer upheld the military’s Equal Employment Opportunities policies, and it was back to work as usual.  I didn’t have time to allow their ignorance to impede the ship’s mission!!   It was 2005, and I thought the Navy had long since recovered from the Tailhook scandal.  

Throughout the pages of my memoir, “Broken Silence” (which is set to be released this Spring), I give the reader an in-depth look inside the steel walls of our Navy, from a Black female officer’s traumatic, yet triumphant experience.  I also disclose key evidence to a string of corruption leading to the Navy’s highest office in the Pentagon.  These allegations were substantiated during a DoD Inspector General investigation, and were later reported to the Dept. of Justice Anti-Trust Division, and are a matter of public record.

Because the DOJ would rather defend military criminals, vice uphold Equal and Civil Rights Protection of military whistleblowers, my case met no resolve.  But, I’m thankful to God for the experience so I can now be of assistance to help steer and navigate other aspiring female officers through the treacherous seas of our (white) male dominant Navy.

The book will be available online and at local participating book stores. 

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