US Navy Sailors Circulated ‘Rape List’ on 2nd Submarine to Integrate Women
“The sexually explicit list describes various USS Florida females by appearances, characteristics and various sexual acts the creators of the list wish to perform with them.”
Sailors aboard the Florida, the second U.S. Navy submarine to integrate women, circulated a “rape list” targeting female crewmembers which contained descriptions of female sailors alongside sexual comments and jokes.
News of the list comes from Military.com which received 74-pages of an investigation into the misconduct via a Freedom Of Information Act request.
“The sexually explicit list describes various USS Florida females by appearances, characteristics and various sexual acts the creators of the list wish to perform with them,” the investigation stated. “The list describes aggressive sexual activity, but does not reference non-consensual acts.”
The Florida is the second submarine to enlist female sailors, with the first female to enlist on the Florida in 2016. The U.S. Navy first lifted its ban on female sailors serving on submarines in 2010.
According to Military.com, at the time of the rape list’s circulation, there were 32 women in the Florida’s Gold 173-person crew, including five officers, two chief petty officers and 25 sailors at the rank of E-6 and below. Two crews, a blue and gold crew, alternate managing the submarine.
Due to the incident, the Florida’s captain, Capt. Gregory Kercher, was fired in August of 2018, a year after he took command in September of 2017.
Kercher was first notified of the existence of the rape list on June 16, 2018, according to the documents reviewed by Military.com. Two lists were actually discovered, one ranked female sailors using a star system, while a second contained lewd sexual comments next to female sailors names.
“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,” Rear Adm. Jeff Jablon, then-commander of Submarine Group 10, wrote to his superior days before Kercher’s relief. “Very few knew what limited action was being taken by the [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 wrote. Reached for comment, Kercher did not provide a statement about the investigation or his relief to Military.com by press time.
“Junior sailors do not feel safe knowing that the command has done ‘nothing’ to try to actively find out who has written or added to the list,” the report states. According to Military.com, at least one woman told investigators she thought the command ‘had forgotten about the list a long time ago.'”
Four years earlier, in 2014, female sailors on the Wyoming, a ballistic missile submarine, were recorded over a one year period while showering.
In a statement to Military.com, Vice Adm. Chas Richard, commander of U.S. Submarine Forces, said in response to the rape list, “While I cannot guarantee that an incident such as this will never happen again, I can guarantee that we will continue to enforce our high standards of conduct and character in the Force. I expect every submariner to treat one another with dignity and respect, and will hold our personnel accountable if they fall short of our standard.”