I went in the Navy right out of high school back in 1983. In the first year, I went to boot camp and various schools for training. I was very proud and I couldn’t wait until I got stationed on a submarine. I had watched all the old war movies about being on a submarine and thought that is what it was it would be like. Summer of ’84 came and I received orders to my duty assignment. It was a Lafayette class (FBM) submarine, which had two crews. I was on the blue crew.
I had just completed a very long work day and finally was able to take a shower. I was in my rack when all of the sudden my curtains were pulled back very fast. I wondered if there was an emergency such as a fire. I saw three guys and I could smell the alcohol on them. I thought they would just mess with me and leave but before I could even react, one of them grabbed my arms and another grabbed my legs. I was yelling at them to stop. In an instant, the one male climbed on me and pinned me down. The vertical space between the racks was so little that I couldn’t move. One of the guys grabbed my underwear and ripped it from my waistband. I yelled even more. My attacker kept teasing me and I felt like he was going to penetrate me any second. Certainly, I thought, with all these other guys in the berthing area someone would help me. Now instead of yelling for help, I started begging “please don’t”, “please”. He didn’t penetrate me but was literally as close you can do it without penetration. I felt awful. He threatened me just before he left.
I got out of my rack and at first I pretended it didn’t happen. I looked down at my underwear with me being exposed and knew it did. I looked down at the rest of the berthing area to see if anybody was watching…no one was. All the curtains were shut and the lights were out. I thought “maybe they didn’t hear me yelling” but thought that was unlikely. I became hurt and angry. I felt betrayed. I put on a clean pair of underwear and threw the old ripped one in the trash.
The next morning I was hoping that no one on the boat knew what happened that night. A couple hours later the supervisor of the three men asked me to tell him what happened. I now realized that indeed others did know. Some of them acted as if it was no big deal.
The patrol finally ended and I couldn’t wait to get home.
Only one of the men received NJP or Captain’s Mast. He was a third class petty officer and he was going to make second (E-5) but the NJP punishment prevented it. He received a suspended bust to E-3 and of course he blamed me as if it was my fault. The other two men didn’t receive any punishment whatsoever. I am not only upset with my attackers but also the rest of the crew of the sub who just stood by.