Change, it is a’coming

In the form of women on submarines….

not yet, mind you, but it is inevitable I think.


Lt. Cmdr. Marilisa Elrod, shown here in Hawaii recently, has a rare distinction: as a doctor and undersea medical officer, she has become submarine qualified in a service that excludes women as crewmembers. Elrod says it would take effort and changes but believes women can successfully serve on submarines.

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19 Responses to Change, it is a’coming

  1. Jeff Lee says:

    Yup, change is coming. And it’s about time, in my opinion. Females have already done week-long underways in support of exercises, and the world did not grind to a halt on any occasion. During the latest female embarkation I know of, two females were berthed in the officers’ study, and no one got kicked out of their stateroom. It’s a logistical problem, for sure, but it’s something that was simply worked around. Basically a non-issue.

    As far as off-color submarine humor, we’ll just have to adapt. I mean, if the Aussies can do it, so can we. Who has a sense of humor more off-color than those guys?

  2. fastnav says:

    All true statements, Jeff.

    and I’ve always said, if it was going to happen, it’ll happen on boomers first. Just because it’s easier with all the separate nine-man berthing rooms. Head control issues will be something else entirely…

    • Elena says:

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  3. Niall says:

    Jeff –

    Perhaps you are right. The Australian Navey does seem to have this man/woman thing completely under control…

  4. glenn says:

    I suspect that those are Med Corps Dolphins, sorta like Supply Corps? I’ve been out for many a year, but I still remember there were different types. So, no real reasons for us to get all spun up now is there?

    • Solanki says:

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  5. fastnav says:

    You are correct, Glenn. Those are Medical Officer fish.

    They have to ride a few times here and there and go through a board to get qualified. Kind of like when the Chop gets his fish. Yeah, they’re gold, but they’re not full-on Submarine Officer Dolphins and there’s quite a bit of difference in the qual cards.

  6. Joe Turner says:

    Say, she’s kinda hot. I’ll hot rack with her anytime.

  7. Jeff Lee says:

    You’re right, Niall. On second thought, we should just revert back to an all-male military. It would make things easier, right?

  8. Niall says:

    Jeff –

    Actually, I think the Australians have the right idea.

  9. Gerry says:

    If you look at LCDR Elrod’s dolphins, you’ll see that they’re Medical Officer dolphins, not the line officer dolphins that denote actual at-sea qualification in operating and fighting the boat.

    So far as I know, there are no women in the USN who are qualified in submarines in the same sense that the operating crew is. For an officer, this would require twelve months of nuclear power training, six months of submarine school, and at least a year on board an operating boat to qualify as Diving Officer, EOOW and OOD, not to mention all the systems that have to be mastered.

  10. BoiseBubba says:

    Agree with all except the comparison of medical fish to the chop’s fish. The chop is part of the wardroom, and while his dolphins are not the same as those of a line officer they represent actual submarine knowledge.

    Nope… I am not a chop, but served with a couple that knew more than enough about the boat to shame some line officers, and they both stood a damn fine DOOW.

  11. Bill says:

    The DC and ship systems are very similar to the enlisted card. The ship fighting and OOD signatures are not there…of course. However, her qual card required her to get a paper published in a medical journal. Would you like to write a thesis?…again in her case since in addition to her MD…she also has a PhD.

    • fastnav says:

      Bill, no one’s saying her card wasn’t difficult. Just that it’s not “real” submarine dolphins.

      We didn’t say we were doctors. We just said she’s not a full fledged submariner.

    • Syifa says:

      The show you are tnnkiihg of is Whale Wars (Friday night on Animal Planet). The thing you’re tnnkiihg of is called LRAD (Long range acoustic device). It is meant to be aimed at (in this case) the crews on the ships. It emits a very high pitched noise with A LOT of power. It’s meant to be very irritating (and sometimes painful). If you stood right in front of the LRAD, you’re ear drums would rupture and start to bleed. They (the Japanese) use it in an effort to deter the chasing Pirates. I love this show!

  12. George Navarre says:

    Women on submarines is difficult to swallow for us guys who “Been there, done that, and got the jewelry to prove it”. But, I can’t fly an F-18 off a carrier, or land it there, or fly a chopper into a hot LZ. So I guess it is time for women to “ride” submarines. When will they qualify, who knows? On our boat, if you were there you had a job, or you were a nub using up good air, and not really contributing. Guys, we had a good run, we held them at bay longer than any other military group.
    Maybe females onboard will make the boats smell better, crew will pass gas less, wash clothes a little more often, and probably act childess less often. Then again, boys will be boys. Passing the ladies in tight passageways will prove interesting, there will be rubs, and inadvertent touches, and the women will have to be tough, but I expect they will get a lot more leeway in their qual checks than we ever did. Tears will not be tolerated, I hope.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Do they make a depth finder that muntos inside the hull of a metal boat?Im looking for a depth finder and fish finder that will mount to the inside of the hull of my metal boat. Do they make one that will be able to go threw the metal of the boat?

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