The Navy’s former top civilian has rocked the service in a military journal article by accusing officials of sinking the storied naval air branch into a sea of political correctness.
Former Navy Secretary John Lehman, himself a former carrier-based aviator, wrote that the swagger and daring of yesterday’s culture has given way to a focus on integrating women and, this year, gays.
.......Pilots constantly worry about anonymous complaints about salty language, while squadron commanders are awash in bureaucratic requirements for reports and statistics, he added.
“Those attributes of naval aviators — willingness to take intelligent calculated risk, self-confidence, even a certain swagger — that are invaluable in wartime are the very ones that make them particularly vulnerable in today’s zero-tolerance Navy,” said Mr. Lehman, who led the Navy in the Reagan administration.
“The political correctness thought police, like Inspector Javert in ‘Les Miserables,’ are out to get them and are relentless.”....Navy pilots have complained privately for years that a post-Tailhook Convention push to clean up conduct by aviators went too far......The 1991 Las Vegas convention has stood as a black mark for the Navy because some naval aviators engaged in lewd escapades and excessive drinking.