Home | Science-Tech | 12 sailors implicated in submarine shower scandal
Navy investigators suspect 12 sailors of having seen and not reported the undressing videos secretly taped aboard ballistic missile sub Wyoming with a crewmember's cell phone.(Photo: MC1 Rex Nelson/U.S. Navy)

12 sailors implicated in submarine shower scandal

Up to a dozen sailors are suspected of viewing secretly recorded videos of their female shipmates undressing in a submarine shower over a period of 10 months, according to a new investigative report obtained by Navy Times. The scandal has marred the Navy’s gender integration effort begun four years ago. While it appears only one sailor has been implicated in the videos’ production and distribution, 11 are suspected of watching them and failing to report the matter to their commanders. It’s unclear precisely how many women were recorded. Navy officials said they believe it’s either three or four. All are assigned to the ballistic-missile submarine Wyoming, which is based in Kings Bay, Ga., and are among the first female sailors to serve in the submarine force. Navy Times first exposed the scandal Dec. 3, just one day before the Pentagon released its annual report on sexual assault within the military. The recent, unclassified incident report informed the chain of command, including top Navy leaders, that the command investigation has wrapped up. According to the second incident report, 12 male sailors are suspected of viewing the videos taken from August to November 2013 and March to June 2014. The videos were first reported to the command in mid-November. Submarine Force Atlantic confirmed the second incident report, but a spokesman declined to elaborate about the command report’s findings. All of those implicated are petty officers, most of whom had seen or known about the videos but did not report it, said a senior Navy official familiar with the investigation. The official emphasized that only one sailor, a second class petty officer, is believed to have recorded and distributed them using a smart phone. “This was not 11 guys, each with different” cameras, said the source. “It was really one guy doing the videography piece and then sharing it with other people.” “We think the seven videos were shot with a cellphone,” he added. Naval Criminal Investigative Service continues to investigate the potential legal violations in the filming and distribution, the Submarine Force Atlantic spokesman said. The report will be forwarded up the boat’s chain of command for endorsement before any punishment or adjudication is handed down. The scandal is a major blight for a community that has touted an otherwise smooth effort to integrate women onto submarines, beginning four years ago with the first female supply and sub officers. Women first reported to the Wyoming in late 2011. In a letter to submarine leadership, the fleet’s top submariner insisted that the filming doesn’t take away from the community’s integration successes, noting that 59 female officers are assigned to three ballistic-missile submarines and four guided-missile submarines in Kings Bay and Bangor, Wash. “The performance of these women and the crews to which they are assigned have been overwhelmingly successful,” Vice Adm. Michael Connor said. Female officers are due to join fast-attack submarines next year, with enlisted women joining crews in the following years. A ballistic missile sub typically has 15 officers and 140 enlisted on board, with unisex showers in “officer country.” When a woman is using the shower, for example, she puts up a sign to indicate it is in use by a female officer and men must wait to enter until it’s unoccupied. It’s possible that the cameras caught both men and women showering, but the final incident report only cites women as victims.

USA Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: