Tags: Jim Webb | Naval Academy | Award | Declines

Jim Webb Declines Distinguished Naval Academy Grad Award After Women Complain

Image: Jim Webb Declines Distinguished Naval Academy Grad Award After Women Complain
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017 10:14 AM

Former Sen. Jim Webb will not accept an award for being a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy after a group of female alumni complained about his past remarks that women should not attend the academy or be allowed in combat, The Washington Post reported.

The Virginia Democrat, who had made an unsuccessful bid to be his party's presidential candidate, was to receive a Distinguished Graduate Award at a ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland, on Friday from the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation.

Webb is a highly decorated Marine veteran and 1968 academy graduate. But critics charge his selection was unacceptable because of his history or disrespecting women, the Post said.

They had launched a petition to overturn his selection and point to a 1979 article Webb wrote for Washingtonian magazine, according to the newspaper.

"But no benefit to anyone can come from women serving in combat," Webb wrote. "There is a place for women in our military, but not in combat. And their presence at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation.

"By attempting to sexually sterilize the Naval Academy environment in the name of equality, this country has sterilized the whole process of combat leadership training, and our military forces are doomed to suffer the consequences."

Webb announced his decision to decline the award on his website.

"Over the past few days, the decision by the Naval Academy Alumni Association to include me as a recipient of this year's Distinguished Graduate Award has been protested by a small but vociferous group of women graduates based on a magazine article that I wrote 38 years ago," he said.

"From conversations with the Alumni Association, including information passed down from top Navy leadership in the Pentagon, it is clear that those protesting my receipt of this award now threaten to disrupt the ceremonies surrounding its issuance.

"I am being told that my presence at the ceremony would likely mar the otherwise celebratory nature of that special day, and as a consequence I find it necessary to decline to accept the award."

Retired Navy Capt. Wendy Lawrence, who graduated from the academy in 1981, said Webb made the correct decision.

"Unless you were at the academy at the time, it is hard to understand how damaging this article was, and how lasting the impact was," she said. "Here it is 38 years later, and we are still talking about it."

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Former Sen. Jim Webb will not accept an award for being a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy after a group of female alumni complained about his past remarks that women should not attend the academy or be allowed in combat...
Jim Webb, Naval Academy, Award, Declines
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2017-14-29
Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017 10:14 AM
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