Navy Punishes 2 Sailors for Shipboard Sex
A male and a female sailor on the aircraft carrier Eisenhower were
disciplined last week after they videotaped themselves having sex aboard
the ship and were discovered after the man showed the tape to other
sailors, Navy officials said Saturday.
``The U.S. Navy has an unambiguous policy. Sexual misconduct will not be
tolerated,'' said Commander Kevin Wensing, a Navy spokesman in Norfolk,
Va., headquarters of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
The Eisenhower is the first combat carrier to integrate men and women. It
was recently reported that 14 crew members had become pregnant since the
vessel left on its current assignment in October, although Navy officials
said there is no indication that they became pregnant on board.
Wensing said the male seaman apprentice and the female seaman recruit, both
in their early 20s and married to other people, admitted in an informal
hearing last week that they had engaged in consensual sex in an isolated
part of the ship. The man videotaped the activity with his personal camera.
He was turned into authorities by an enlisted member of the crew who was at
the man's workstation when the video was played for his co- workers, said
Both pleaded guilty to willfully disobeying orders and adultery, said
Wensing. Both were restricted for 45 days and given another 45 days of
extra duty. The male was reduced in rank, and both forfeited the equivalent
of one month's pay, about $850.
A third crew member, a chief warrant officer who viewed part of the video,
also was disciplined for failing to report the incident, Wensing said. He
was restricted for 30 days and given a letter of reprimand.
Sexual relations are prohibited aboard ships, and dating, although not
prohibited, is discouraged. Crew members are given classes in conduct on a
mixed-sex ship and instructed to observe certain courtesies, such as
knocking first, yelling ``man on deck'' and then waiting five seconds
before entering women's quarters.
Although women have served on Navy ships for more than 15 years, the
Eisenhower is the first combat ship to send women to sea. There are 415
women and 4,552 men aboard, including nine female aviators, said Wensing.
The Eisenhower set sail October 20, is is now on a port visit in Rhodes,
Greece. It is scheduled to return to Norfolk on April 14.
There have been 38 pregnancies reported since the mixed-sex crew went
aboard in April, 14 of them after the Eisenhower set sail in October.
Wensing said there was no indication that any of the pregnancies were the
result of sex on board the ship. The Eisenhower has made several port
visits, and spouses have been able to visit crew members during them, he
The Navy permits women to remain on ship until the 20th week of a
pregnancy. About 5.5 percent of sailors assigned to sea duty are women. The
Navy is conducting a study of pregnancy among its female sailors.