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Letters to the editor: Marines and mistakes

May. 29, 2013 - 06:53PM   |  
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MARINES WORTH EMULATING

This is in reply to a letter from retired Chief Aerographer’s Mate Robert Cola [“Stop mimicking Marines,” May 20]:

Chief, since your retirement from service, the Navy has progressed into the 21st century with “subtle and not-so-subtle” changes, as you call them. As a corpsman, I am proud to say that adopting the Marine Corps’ way, along with what I’ve already learned from the Navy, has only made me a better sailor.

Expeditionary and forward-deployed sailors have always worn camouflage. The khaki uniform is better than what we used to wear — working whites that were impossible to keep clean, or hot working blues that made you itch. And the Navy doesn’t have an official motto like the Marines, but I’m pretty sure the big guys in Washington will come up with something. In the meantime, I don’t see anything wrong with “Honor, courage and commitment.”

I’ve served with the Marine Corps, and the job of “kicking doors and pulling triggers,” as you called it, was actually pretty fun!

The services will always be tied together, and I don’t see a problem mimicking a service whose tradition is just as proud as the Navy’s.

HM2 (FMF) Lindell M. Nillo

Pensacola, Fla.

Right fight, right time

Regarding your editorial “Wrong fight, wrong time” in the May 13 issue: I was dismayed to see Navy Times dismissing the MARCH for Military Women Act as “a solution in search of a problem” and “a political football.” This is a misleading and unfair characterization that contributes to and is a part of a military culture in great need of close examination.

My long history of work protecting members of our military speaks for itself, from my successful fight to recall 16,000 pieces of faulty body armor from Iraq that left our soldiers vulnerable to injury and death, to my advocacy in preventing sexual assault in the ranks, most notably the provisions of my Force Readiness Protection Act which became law in 2012, giving women in the military who are sexually assaulted access to a proper support network and the right to an expedited base transfer.

The MARCH for Military Women Act of 2013 would simply extend to women in the military the same rights civilian women have when it comes to their reproductive health.

When women tasked with defending our Constitution are having their constitutional rights restricted, that is a problem in search of a solution, not the other way around. Just last year, women in the military were granted the right to insurance coverage for an abortion in the case of rape or incest, thanks to provisions drawn from a previous version of this legislation.

It is unfathomable that it took until 2012 to treat our servicewomen in these circumstances fairly, especially since it is estimated that 300 military women become pregnant as a result of rape each year.

The MARCH for Military Women Act of 2013 will be an important step toward treating our servicewomen equitably by allowing them fair access to their constitutionally protected choice to use their own financial resources in seeking reproductive health care.

I refuse to apologize for fighting for the equal and fair treatment of the women and men who so honorably serve our nation.

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y.

Washington

Mistakes onboard porter

Regarding “Audio recording details run-up to Porter collision” [May 20]:

The captain should have listened to his officer of the deck who recommended coming right to avoid the oncoming supertanker. Rules-of-the-road procedures were not followed — at all times, you should not cross the bow of an oncoming ship.

This could have been avoided had the captain let his officer of the deck do his job. The question remains as to why the command information center was not passing to the OOD all current information on incoming vessels — their bearing and range, course and speed, and recommendations to avoid a collision.

The OOD has an assistant: This person should have had his face buried in a surface radar to see the big picture. The conning officer should have had his binoculars on and been looking out for any and all surface contacts. The Porter should have had (or maybe they did have) their most experienced bridge watchstanders standing watch while transiting the Strait of Hormuz.

It is easy to Monday-morning quarterback ... [but] the commanding officer should not have left the bridge to take care of routine business. He and he alone has the complete responsibility of everyone onboard and the ship’s safety.

QMC (SW) William W. Hinds (ret.)

Louisburg, N.C.

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