14 January 2009

Bikinied recruiters?

ZUI this article from the Daily Telegraph:
A newly-appointed Australian Navy submarine commander is in hot water for suggesting that women sailors wearing bikinis might help to boost recruitment.

Commander Tom Phillips, appointed to the helm of Collins class submarine HMAS Farncomb last year, also said the submarine equivalent of the "mile-high club" is the "going down club".

In an interview with men's magazine Ralph he revealed the naval uniform works to "either pull a chick or get in a fight".

Asked by the magazine "if female sailors all had to be hot and had to wear bikinis, would that help recruitment?", Commander Phillips is quoted as responding: "It would certainly get the right demographic of young men in. I'm not sure how feasible it is, however."

ZUI also this article from News.com.au:
Despite bipartisan attempts to improve the recruitment and retention of women in the defence forces, Liberal MP Bob Baldwin said Cdr Phillips' remarks were "totally inappropriate and absolutely offensive."

"If these comments are to be attributed to this newly appointed commander, I think it will go down as one of the shortest careers in naval history," Mr Baldwin, the Opposition Defence Personnel spokesman, said.

"From a commanding officer of the Royal Australian Navy one would expect a bit more maturity and a respectful attitude to his fellow men and women in the services. He owes them an apology."


Real Admiral Davyd Thomas defended the submarine captain, claiming the article does "not accurately portray Navy's culture."

The deputy chief of Navy said the offending comments made to freelance journalist John Bastik were a response to a "flippant question and the commanding officer's response was not intended to be serious."

HMAS Farncomb (SSG 74), named for Rear Admiral Harold B Farncomb CB DSO MVO, RAN, was launched on 15 Dec 1995 and commissioned on 31 Jan 1998. On 14 Jun 1999 Farncomb took part in an exercise off the Western Australian coast, successfully firing a Mark 48 torpedo at the decommissioned HMAS Torrens (DE 53).

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