Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Navy Changes Course

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Navy Changes Course

Article excerpt

ONE of the saddest chapters in recent US naval history, the year-old Tailhook scandal, came closer to a positive conclusion last week. The Pentagon released a major report criticizing the Navy's botched investigation of the incident, which involved the sexual assault on at least 26 women at a convention of aviators. Two admirals who were cited for inept leadership will resign, and a third will be reassigned.

Although a second study is due in several months, this initial report comes as a welcome sign that the Navy, after months of denials and coverups, is acknowledging its errors and promising to change its ways. As acting Navy Secretary Sean O'Keefe told reporters, "I need to emphasize a very important message: We get it."

If that is true, the unfortunate incident and resulting housecleaning will have served an instructive purpose in helping to change a male-dominated naval culture that has for too long remained overtly hostile toward women. Women's place in the military - and in every other career field - is well-established, and along with equal opportunities must come equal respect. …

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