ADVERTISEMENT

US Navy Sailors Circulated ‘Rape Lists’ On Board Submarine: Report

A list containing sexually explicit content targeting female crew was reportedly shared by USS Florida’s Gold crew.

Published
World
2 min read
The Ohio-class cruise missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) arrived in Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, for a scheduled port visit, March 14, 2019. 
i

A commanding officer of the US Navy has been fired and several other punishments have been awarded after a "rape list" was reportedly circulated by members on board a guided-missile submarine, Military.com reported on 17 May.

A list containing sexually explicit content targeting female crewmembers was shared by the guided-missile submarine Florida's Gold crew, the report said, citing a 74-page long investigation report into the misconduct, a copy of which was acquired by Military.com by way of a Freedom of Information Act request.

As per investigators, the submarine’s top hierarchy failed to address the safety concerns of sailors as “lewd and sexist comments and jokes were tolerated, and trust up and down the chain of command was nonexistent.”

The USS Florida is the service's second submarine to integrate women, the report said, adding that Florida Gold crew's then commanding officer, Capt. Gregory Kercher, was sacked in August over his inability to lead.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition, two sailors have reportedly been asked to distance themselves from the military, and several others faced administrative punishment for their alleged connection to the list, the report said, citing Navy officials.

How It All Started

Kercher's senior advisor had reportedly cautioned him against the two lists that surfaced aboard the submarine in June last year.

One of the said lists had the names of female crewmembers ranked according to a star system. The second list, on the other hand, found the mention of sexually explicit comments next to those names, with each corresponding to those rankings, the investigation found.

“Rumors of a ‘rape list’ were promulgated throughout the crew, significant numbers of females became concerned for their safety, and male members who learned of the list were equally repulsed,” then-commander of Submarine Group 10, Rear Adm. Jeff Jablon, reportedly told his superior in writing, days before Kercher’s relief.

"Very few knew what limited action was being taken by the [command]," he had said.

According to the investigation cited by Military.com, Kercher had given directions for looking up the submarine's network in order to locate the list and also identify the ones who had access to it.

He, however, failed to launch a formal investigation into the matter and inform his command.

“Although he took some action in response to the list, there is no question that those minimal actions fell far short of expected standards and norms for an event of this magnitude.”
Jablon 

Kercher did not immediately respond to the request for comment by Military.com.

The probe raises serious concerns about the submarine community's ability to give due respect to its female colleagues. It is even more worrisome given that the incident took place nearly a decade after the Navy lifted its ban on women serving on board the vessels.

(With inputs from military.com)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

ADVERTISEMENT
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider
500
1800
5000

or more

PREMIUM

3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT