Extend and Cut– Services Don’t Agree

The United States Navy has issued a new directive that triples the amount of time a sailor, giving birth, will be allowed to remain with her child before being sent on another deployment while the Marine Corps has cut the time in half. A sailor now will be given twelve months to remain with her child while a member of the Marine Corps will see the time reduced from twelve to six months. According to a Marine Corps spokesperson: “it was determined six-month deferment provided the best balance between ensuring the health of the mother and child and the needs and requirements of the Marine Corps.”

Living in America during the Bush era one gets a sense of complete confusion in any component of government for which he is responsible. A baby needs a mother’s breast and some babies need that breast for a longer period of time. Ask any pediatrician. One doubts if that many Marine Corps women are giving birth at any single moment, surely there presence is not that critical to success of the famous “surge.” Mr. President, how about a “surge” in concern for the needs of mothers and babies?