Gender-Norming Update Walter E. Williams, April 4, 1997

In October 1994, Lt. Kara Hultgreen was killed during an attempted landing of her F-14 on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Femfeared (fear of feminists) Navy officials first re ported that engine failure caused the death of the Navy's first female F-14 pilot. That was a deliberate lie and coverup as later revealed in a leaked Mishap Investigation Report and the Navy's Judge Advocate General's report. After three requests, under the Freedom of Information Act, the Center for Military Readiness recently obtained a 1995 report written by Admiral Lyle G. Bien. The report confirms special treatment for female F-14 pilots. It also confirms that Lt. Hultgren was retained in the F-14 training program and graduated to the fleet despite low scores and four major errors (Downs), two of which were similar to those made the day she died. Just one or two major Downs have been enough to send men packing.

Then there's Lt. Carey Lohrenz, who was washed out of the F-14 program, who's brought suit against Elaine Donnelly, Director of the Center for Military Readiness and several newspapers. Lt. Lohrenz claims public release of her training records violated her privacy. Claiming sex discrimination, she's demanding reinstatement. Her training records are reported as being "the lowest night grades in the history of the FRS [Pacific F-14 Fleet Replacement Squadron] . . . no pilot in the history of the FRS was allowed to attempt requalification with grades as low as hers."

Aircraft carrier maneuvers are error unforgiving. Pilot incompetency not only jeopardizes the life of the pilot but crew members and the ship's mission as well. Case in point: during refueling, Lt. Lohrenz failed to secure the F-14's right engine so as not to suck approaching crew members into a turning engine. Since there is so much noise on deck, crew members can't tell whether an engine is off; it's the pilot's responsibility. Because of the alertness of the flight instructor a catastrophe was averted. Lt. Lohrenz was given the minor demerit, Signal of Difficulty (SOD), instead of a more serious Down. Other concessions included no Downs for serious violations such as not engaging automatic maneuvering devices in air combat maneuvering engagements. Officers who insist that females be held accountable to the same high standards as males are seen by higher brass as obstructionist and risk their careers.

Double standards to accommodate women have compromised military effectiveness. Women are three to four times as non-deployable as men as we learned during Desert Storm. Despite relentless sex education and condom distribution, pregnancy rates average 8 to 10 percent, and are much higher in some enlisted units. Fighting ships compromise their missions to insure the safety of pregnant females. Training standards have been lowered to accommodate lower strength and stamina of women.

The General Office of Accounting (GAO) reports that annual surveys done at service academies since 1992 show that complaints about double standards have been identified as the first or second most common form of verbal sexual harassment. Male resentment against double standards is sometimes expressed in inappropriate ways that have been featured in recent news stories of sexual, harassment, intimidation and rape at military posts.

There are physical differences between the sexes that affect combat readiness, but those differences do not deny a role for women in the nation's defense. Women were indispensable and served honorably in WWII. The femfeared military leadership does not have the guts to recognize sex differences and are willing to risk national security to appease radical feminists.

Walter E. Williams


April 4, 1997