Warning: Service in the Navy causes unintended pregnancy

| January 8, 2013

The Stars & Stripes reports that nearly 3/4 of pregnancies in the Navy are unintended. I don’t understand that. Don’t people in the Navy understand that sex leads to pregnancy? I mean seriously.

Facing a staggering 74 percent unintended pregnancy rate, the Navy has launched a family planning awareness and information campaign.

The Navy’s peer-mentoring program Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions is holding informational sessions on family planning throughout January covering topics that include parental leave, operational deferment and the best forms of birth control.

Unintended pregnancy is a significant problem across the general population, but the Navy’s rate is higher.

Do we need to have the “birds and the bees” talk? I’m glad that the Navy thinks it can handle the problem with more slide shows – it’s still the same military that I left behind.

Category: Navy

Comments (51)

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  1. NHSparky says:

    *cough* bullshit *cough*

  2. NR Pax says:

    Somewhere in the depths of the Pentagon is a Navy Admin type who just realized that his skills in PowerPoint are about to be used.

  3. 2549 says:

    What’s missing from the article is the relationship of pregnancy dates with deployment dates.

  4. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    I didn’t realize there were so many heterosexuals in the Navy.

  5. NHSparky says:

    2549–Gee, ya think? Even when I was on the tender I ran into far too many of those types, and a “deployment” on a tender usually consisted of a 45-60 day liberty port run to Australia, PI, Hong Kong, or Singapore.

    Now to be fair, there were enough guys on the boat who tried to pull the, “My wife she, my kids they, my dog it” bullshit, but for the most part the goat locker and command curb-stomped that shit pretty quick. Only ever saw one guy get a hardship discharge, and while I can’t prove it, I’m pretty sure he was scamming the system by claiming his wife left him and he had to take care of his kids.

    Even if legit, it was still bullshit pulling that.

  6. Claymore says:

    I think calling them “unplanned” might be a bit generous. Perhaps they should be renamed “light duty” or “good excuse to get out of a deploy”…or in the case of someone I know of, “my enlistment will run out before the baby is born, so this is a good opportunity for some downtime while I’m short”. Or in other words, “unplanned”.

  7. 2549 says:

    My last command, the girls were brazen about it. They didn’t hide that the pregnancy was specifically to avoid orders back to the fleet.

  8. fm2176 says:

    I never realized how many pregnant Soldiers there were until I reported to Fort Stewart. As for unplanned pregnancies, I’m reminded of the former Marine I ran into at the VFW one night. She started telling me about how embarrassed she was when some of the others introduced her as LCpl, because she was unable to qualify with her rifle (the only thing between her and Cpl). The reason? She’d gotten knocked up by a Sailor, and was not medically cleared to fire from the prone position. She left the Corps as an E-3 and a single mother.

  9. BooRadley says:

    no shit, jonn? ya think?
    The only thing the Navy can to curb pregnancy in the Navy is to order a shot of Depo in the ass of every chick at Pass in Review.
    You take a bunch of horny teenagers, add alcohol and the navy’s rep for hard living, add a do-anything culture and put them in mixed barracks–guess what? They’re gonna screw.

    Light duty? seriously? chicks get pregnant because they’re stupid, they want to believe they can be like the guys, or they believe he loves her. They get pregnant for the same reason guys get a chick pregnant. The wanted to have sex. Not anything more. It’s not wiley. It’s pure unadulterated oh my god i cant wait do it now please please please sex. period.

    light duty. only a guy would think being pregnant and having a kid is light duty. I’m still taking care of that light duty 23 years later, thank you. Maybe I can get a chit.

  10. BooRadley says:

    fm2176 nailed it. it’s a horrifying, humiliating, left on your own, career killer.

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    What Boo said. In spades.

  12. Twist says:

    *insert Navy ghey joke here*

  13. NHSparky says:

    Twist–they’re not jokes if they’re true.

    You can’t smoke a Marlboro but you can smoke a pole. So glad I’m out.

  14. NSOM says:

    Gee Chief, I can’t go on that float, I accidently got knocked up. Again.

  15. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @12. Twist: I did my part. Where’s yous?

  16. AndyFMF says:

    The study had some other interesting things to say:

    “Nearly 8 percent of Sailors with children are single parents, according to the Navy. Of those, 12,000 are men and 6,000 are women.”

    So more than 92% of Sailors with children are married and 70% of the pregnancies were mil-to-mil. Sounds pretty responsible to me. I don’t see the problem…..unless the social engineers want us to start looking like society.

  17. Former3c0 says:

    Do other services fire when they’re pregnant? My wife had to get a profile from BioMed when she got pregnant which specifically prevented her from firing or even cleaning her weapon because of the CLP oil. I had to clean her weapon for her during our regular cleanings but they didn’t let me fire for her :(.

  18. Stryker's bud says:

    Gonna sound positively Victorian with this comment, but it is what it is. Unless a women becomes pregnant from a rape, any pregnancy is “intended” simply because having sex under any circumstances which could, even remotely, result in pregnancy is a decision one makes.

    Yes, that is simplistic. Yep, it certainly is, and so is the solution. If you become pregnant either prove you were raped or get out of the military. It is simply too easy to prove who the father is these days to saddle the rest of us with paying for the result of your choice to become, or at least to risk becoming, pregnant.

    I am getting more than a little tired of hearing that horny folks just will not take the time to avoid pregnancy, or that they really didn’t intend to have sex that night. So, what were you planning with the four hours spent doing the hair, make-up, and choosing just the right outfit?

  19. OWB says:

    Or maybe that was really OWB??

  20. ChopIT says:

    I knew an E-3/E-4 Yeoman that had been pregnant one after the other for over 3.5 years – it kept her from doing the Physical Fitness Assement and deployments. She’d have a kid and when she was getting short on time (a month or so before she would clear for the PHA) she’d end up pregnant again. Of course she was low class, barely a class 3 dental, and husband didn’t hold a steady job…
    She finally got handed her walking papers on HYT.

  21. Claymore says:

    Didn’t see the numbers and maybe I missed them, but how many of these unintended pregnancies actually end up being carried to term? If it’s as permissive as some have said, I’m guessing that going and having your uterus vacuumed out isn’t a big deal either…waving goodbye as the rest of the crew is leaving port.

  22. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @18. “So, what were you planning with the four hours spent doing the hair, make-up, and choosing just the right outfit?”

    Absolutely! And if you put that effort to allure with the time and effort the females are making, one can readily see the problem here.

  23. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Okay, that’s two for me, Twist. Still awaiting yours.

  24. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Two Things:

    1. This is funny: 42-17 Air Cav Says:
    January 8th, 2013 at 8:40 am
    I didn’t realize there were so many heterosexuals in the Navy.

    2. This preger thing started almost 30 years ago when they let females onboard AUX ships, tenders, and the like … it has not stopped since. I prefer the BOOT IN THE ASS PROGRAM (BITAP). Sign contract … if you get pregnated (as I refer to it as) … you get BITAP’d!

    Nothing more to say … I am disgusted …

  25. MRV says:

    If they’re doing it to get out of deployments that’s pretty despicable. When I was in, and I’m a female, I knew girls who got pregnant but I didn’t know any who got pregnant to purposefully get out of deployments, etc. But I wasn’t in the Navy, I was in the AF. My career field had plenty of deployments and females who deployed and some were married. I felt bad for the girls who got pregnant when they were single, and, personally, if I’d of gotten pregnant while single in the military I’d be busting my butt to prove that I could stay in the military to support my baby, and that’s what I saw most of them doing. There was the odd one or two who used it to get out but not most, single moms need job security.

    The thing that disgusted me about it all, and this seems to be all branches since my tech schools, ATIs or whatever your branch calls them were all with all branches together, was that so many of them all bed hopped. I agree with BooRad about the mixed barracks and easy access to alcohol contributing to this somewhat but it’s also just bad decision making, pull on your big girl/boy panties and take responsibility, you’re adults. I’m not just talking about the girls either, guys were much worse, it’s easy to say it’s all the female’s fault for getting knocked up but there are two people there and I know plenty of guys who got caught in the baby trap, as they called it, because they couldn’t bother to take care of BC themselves. I’m sorry but I wouldn’t trust anyone as far as I could throw them in that culture. If I were a guy I’d be wearing something no matter what state her supposed BC usage is in, when you’re sleeping around like that you don’t know them well enough to trust them and you could get the gonosyphaherpalaids if you aren’t careful.

  26. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Geez, I left the military way too early…bed hopping? I’m kind of thinking if your medical condition prevents you from doing the job you need to be released….problem solved.

    The only way to see military females 30+ years ago was with binoculars at a lot of places….of course the local towns had plenty of women looking to treat a young, in great shape, and healthy male rather nicely…but I digress…

  27. CAs6 says:

    I can’t wait until females start getting pregnant to get out of Ranger School.

    And by that, I mean women shouldn’t EVER be in Army combat arms. The Navy has done all the social engineering tests needed to convince me that politicians should quit screwing with the military in the name of false equality.

  28. Susan says:

    Ok guys, just want to play the devil’s advocate.

    If women should get the boot from the military for getting pregnant, should men get the boot for getting someone pregnant? According to your arguments, only male service personnel should be allowed to have families.

    Just saying.

  29. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @28. Like a single guy actually has some say-so when an attractive woman offers herself to him!

  30. Twist says:

    @23, Who needs to make a joke when I can just post this link?

  31. BooRadley says:

    Everyone knows this one girl. Just like I knew some really stupid infantryman. Just like I knew a bunch of marines who beat their wives. Just like I know some other guys w a kid in half a dozen states. Does that represent all if you because I know this one guy? Seriously?

    And women try to look nice to get laid? Maybe the women in your family. Wow

  32. NHSparky says:

    If they’re incapable of providing for them financially, damn skippy they should, Susan.

    However, to topspin that discussion back your way, who overwhelmingly gets custody of the kids when parents divorce (or determining child support?)

    And yes, I have even seen cases where a woman with a higher income paid next to nothing in child support to a custodial father. Try getting away with that when the woman has custody.

  33. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @30. Excellent response! Hey, I never watched the extras before. Check them out at about the 57 second mark. They are not acting!

  34. Hondo says:

    MRV: “gonosyphaherpalaids” – LMAO! I am appropriating that term for future use.

    Susan: while the responsibility is shared, the effect is not. Being an expectant father doesn’t render a male soldier physically unable to perform any form of military duty (mentally may be another matter). Being an expectant mother does indeed make it unwise or impossible for a female to perform many routine military duties.

    And unless my memory is incorrect, a male single parent without an adequate Family Care Plan can indeed be disciplined and/or administratively discharged.

    Let me be clear: I am not absolving males of responsibility, nor am I arguing that female military personnel should not have families. But the effect on individual military readiness due to pregnancy is different based on gender; basic biology mandates that.

    Lastly, males cannot in general avoid deployment because their spouse is expecting. For obvious reasons, pregnant females virtually always are forbidden to deploy.

  35. Stacy0311 says:

    “The Love Boat, soon will be making another run. The Love Boat…………”
    just had to get that out of my system.
    But seriously. Unplanned is a misnomer. The TMC on Victory had a basket full of condoms on the check-in counter. And the rumor was females could get the Plan B pill no questions asked. So it’s not an “unplanned pregnancy” it a lack of pre-sexual activity planning.

  36. MRV says:

    Until recently men could get away with that too Sparky, not that I’m saying it’s right mind you, because I’m not, I firmly believe women who don’t have custody should pay just as much a men, but my dad paid $40 a week for child support the entire time I was growing up. I ate more food than $40 a week could provide.

    Hondo: I learned that term while in the military. 😀 A female soldier is not permanently physically unable, so shouldn’t she be allowed to have the baby and then be reassessed as they currently do it? I’m not saying they should have unlimited time to get back in shape, because that’s ridiculous but I think they should be given the chance. And there are plenty of duties women can do if everyone would stop treating it like an illness. They are capable of plenty of physical activity. I have a friend who ran marathons up until delivery. I’ve had 6 kids I(after I discharged) and I remain physically active throughout my pregnancies, you should have seen me at 37 weeks pregnant with twins jumping up and down with a shoe in my hand during my first experience with a Texas flying cockroach.

  37. Twist says:

    @32, I am one of the rare occurances where the man recieved full custody of the child. The judge ordered my ex-wife to pay a whopping $40 a month. In 10 years I have yet to recieve a dime for my daughter.

    @34, When I reported to Ft Wainwright I was a brand new single father with a 5 month old daughter. I was given 30 days to get a family care plan in place or I would be honorably discharged. Ever see a bunch of grunts trying to figure out how to make one of those? It was kinda strange being the only single male on post living in post housing.

  38. rb325th says:

    Jesus… you would think with all the damned planned parenthood classes taught in schools today that our youth would be aware of the copious amount of free birth control they can pick up at their Units Medical Facilities, or even downtown at some “free clinic”…
    Guys are equally to blame here, as they play their role in creating that “unplanned pregnancy”. When it gets to the point where you have 2/3rds of all pregnancies being unplanned, and it having a negative effect on unit readiness you have already waited too long to talk about it.
    I do not doubt for one second either that many of these are ways out of a deployment. Heard it happening too many times to think it doesn’t happen.
    As to who should be tossed for it… well tossing a male Sailor for getting someone pregnant is well…. They will not lose time, the unit will not be shorthanded on a deployment… the female sailor/soldier/airman/marine…. they are unable to deploy, their unit gets screwed, and last time I checked we are at War still, regardless of the lack of reporting on it.
    I am not for tossing male or female, but if you have numbers that large occurring it is demonstrating a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and yesterday was too late.

  39. Hondo says:

    MRV: must have been AF slang. I’m still stealing it. (smile)

    Agreed that women are not permanently disabled by pregnancy, and can almost certainly handle far more physically while pregnant than regs currently allow. But unless I’m mistaken, service regulations are generally what severely restrict what military duties a pregnant female member of the military can perform while expecting.

    The reality is that – rightly or wrongly – the military treats pregnancy and the postpartum period essentially as a 1-year temporary physical disability having severe physical limitations. In most garrison office environments, that’s a manageable issue. In a line or support unit, however, that can be a huge problem – particularly in combat support and combat service support units, which tend to have proportionally more female troops.

    Right or not, that’s the way things are. And I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

  40. Anonymous says:


    You hit it right on the head.

    I could write a paper on what I have seen and how pregnancy can be used as a tool, followed by abortion, to duck deploying, but I wont.

  41. Green Thumb says:

    @40 was me.

  42. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 30 Twist:

    A bit of “Village People” history!

    USS REASONER (FF-1063): Frank Stanley Reasoner was born 16 September 1937 in Spokane, Washington. Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1955, he reached the rank of sergeant prior to entering the United States Military Academy in 1958. At West Point, he won four consecutive brigade boxing championships. Graduated in June 1962, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

    Arriving in Vietnam in April 1965, 1st Lt. Frank Reasoner died in action near Danang, Vietnam, 12 July, when he led a five-man reconnaissance patrol into enemy-controlled territory. He killed two enemy soldiers, and destroyed an automatic weapons position, but died while aiding a wounded Marine. For his bravery in battle and his concern for the wounded, Frank Reasoner was awarded the Medal of Honor.

    The ship USS REASONER (FF-1063) was featured in the music video for The Village People single “In the Navy”.

  43. MRV says:

    I agree Hondo, it’s the regs that need changed and it’s part of the reason women shouldn’t or can’t do some jobs in the military. I’m all for women’s lib but let’s keep it within reason. I hate the feminazis screaming we can do it all. Um, no we can’t, sorry but facts are facts and facts are, we cannot physically match most men and there are certain factors that should and do affect job placement. It’s just common sense people.

  44. RandomNCO says:

    I haven’t had the time to read all the comments….has anyone made a Seamen joke yet?

  45. NHSparky says:

    No, and I’m not going to tell you how to tell if your bunkmate is gay, either.

  46. FatCircles0311 says:

    I can hear Code Pink’s newest slogan already: More condoms than oil!

    lol @ the world’s strongest Navy performing duties such as “family planning”.

  47. Reaperman says:

    They’re self-reported as being ‘unplanned,’ but is there a thought that ‘fully planned but poorly timed’ pregnancies might get some command pushback? Maybe it’s better to ‘accidently’ get pregnant instead of deliberately failing to route a pregnancy chit (lol). Of course the only logical ‘solution’ to this will be to send all e4 and below to a week long pregnancy planning course and have them refresh once a year with some kind of annoying online slideshow.

  48. Casey says:

    How’s this: treat such pregnancies as a self-inflicted wound. Since it’s not difficult to use DNA to determine the father, cite him as an accomplice.

  49. DaveO says:

    Let me guess, the ban against abortions at military medical facilities is still in effect.

    Yep, it’s more important to America’s women to get their condoms and abortions for free, any where, any time, and especially where Xtians gather.

  50. GMDoll says:

    #2)2549 hit the nail on the head. A bunch of females always turn up pregnant right before or right after deployment commences.