Navy's new gender-neutral carriers won't have urinals
This is a Navy illustration of the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the first of the Ford class of carriers.
July 11th, 2012
01:47 PM ET

Navy's new gender-neutral carriers won't have urinals

[Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET] The U.S. Navy's new class of carriers will be the first to go without urinals, a decision made in part to give the service flexibility in accommodating female sailors, the Navy says.

The change heralded by the Gerald R. Ford class of carriers - starting with the namesake carrier due in late 2015 - is one of a number of new features meant to improve sailors' quality of life and reduce maintenance costs, Capt. Chris Meyer said Wednesday.

Omitting urinals lets the Navy easily switch the designation of any restroom - or head, in naval parlance - from male to female, or vice versa, helping the ship adapt to changing crew compositions over time, Meyer said.

The Navy could designate a urinal-fitted area to women, of course, but the urinals would be a waste of space. Making the areas more gender-neutral is a relatively new consideration for the service, with most of its current carriers commissioned before it began deploying women on combat ships in 1994.

But it wasn't the only reason for the move.

Urinal drain pipes clog more than toilets and therefore can be smellier and costlier to maintain, Meyer said.

"There's a lot more at play in the design objectives than (making the toilet areas) gender-neutral. We're saving money in maintenance costs, and we’re improving quality of life," said Meyer, manager of the Future Aircraft Carriers Program for the Naval Sea Systems Command.

Other quality-of-life updates, according to Meyer:

- Sleeping areas, or berthings, generally will be smaller, designed for fewer people per room. On current carriers, some berthings have more than 100 sailors each. On the Ford carriers, the number will be closer to 30 to 50 each.

- Heads will be attached to berthing compartments. Currently, many sailors have to traverse a passageway between a berthing and a head, meaning sailors who’ve just woken up have to dress up more for a trip to the head than they would if it were adjacent.

The new Ford-class features were first reported by the Navy Times.

Some sailors said that they're happy to lose the urinals because they're hard to clean and maintain, the Navy Times reported this week.

The Ford class is the future replacement for the Nimitz class. The Ford carriers are designed to allow more aircraft sorties, but with about 660 fewer crew members, according to the Navy.

The first three Ford carriers are scheduled to debut between 2015 and 2027, at a total projected cost of $37 billion. That cost includes non-recurring engineering expenses and research and development costs for the first carrier, the Navy says.

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Filed under: Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (1,012 Responses)
  1. ascpgh

    Here's what happens when single mothers get to power. They took their liitle boys to the women's bathrooms until they were old enough to vote and don't recognize what an urinal is or why it is an improvement. Those products of female only socialization now go to the big boys bathroom, walk past rows of urinals, lock into the stalls, undress from the shoulders down to pee and slash or spray all over everything then waste a gallon point six to remove it from sight.

    Recent notable grown men raised this way are Anthony Weiner and Barack Obama. What a joke these namby pambies are making of us globally.

    July 17, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. cowboy1957

    If you sprinkle when you tinkle be a sweetie and lift the seatie.

    July 17, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Berzrkr Gonzalez

    This is downright silly. Why not keep both? Are women offended at the mere sight of a urinal? Whoever suggested this stupid idea needs to be sentenced to six months of "Head" duty for even bringing this up because he/she obviously has way too much time on his/her hands...

    July 17, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fran Kuzmich

    Sounds like a good idea for Congress too since most of them don't have balls anyway

    July 17, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Keep Honkin I'm Reloding

    So now when you go through Navy or Marine boot camp and the DI asks "do you squat to pee ?!" you can answer, why yes...yes I do.

    July 17, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenneth

      They are called RDCs in the Navy but I wouldn't expect you to know that.

      July 17, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Beatriz

      I can't wait to see the new required uniform of the day....SKORTS.

      July 17, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. RW Vincent USMC Ret

    Make sure You have a lot of Drain Snakes and Air Freshners now that Cotten and Cardboard Ares the Navy's new enemy.. Just who Makes these Decisions? Martha Stewart?

    July 17, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. olemandan95

    The Navy will likely change the uniform pants, so everyone will have to drop trousers... It's how the libs and Navy Brass reason. I didn't say THINK, because it's obvious that in our PC world the only things that matter seem to be gender neutral. (Or is it 'Neutered'...)
    They didn't call it a 'Standing Army' for nothing...

    July 17, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. sandiego1969

    Actually this is just another example of intentional excess in government spending. Everyone knows toilet seats cost $20,000 a piece, now we will need to buy that many more just for the Navy. Does Nancy Pelosi's family sell plumbing supplies?

    July 17, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. BigAl

    geez, unbelievable, welcome to the new navy

    July 17, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dabbo

    This shouldn't be a problem....I thought all squids sat down to pee anyway.

    July 17, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Toxic

    I feel bad for the E-1 – E-3 who are assigned to clean the bathroom. The "splash" from peeing in the toilet (a long with your pee "splitting") will mean there will be a lot of urine to clean off the bathroom floor daily (far more than usually happens at a urinal).

    July 17, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. DB

    How long will we put up with this nonsense? Liberal insanity has all but destroyed this country and we have let it. Speak out about this stuff because what is funny, quirky and ridiculous today, soon becomes life and death dangerous tomorrow.

    July 17, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew

    Who has a urinal in their own personal bathroom? Yeah next to no one.

    July 17, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. waitforflash

    Now they can accomodate Obama... That dickless moron squats to pee.

    July 17, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. James

    How do urinal drain pipes clog? All you do is pee in them!

    July 17, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
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