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“You’re one damn stubborn little lady”
“Yes I know”
Faith Annalise Jamison wasn’t going to let her counselor get under her skin. Six weeks. Six weeks ago she had submitted a Special Request Chit to her command.
Six weeks ago she had been trying to contact her counselor and chief petty officer about her submission.
Faith was trying to see if she could get into training to become a Navy SEAL
It was mainly both her counselor and chief petty officer holding her back; Naval Special Warfare Command was not responsible for determining her eligibility these two people were.
“I remember the summer of ’67 when I joined the Navy for the Vietnam War” her counselor sixty-five year old Officer Ronald Ferry said “I was only seventeen that summer mind you back in those days there weren’t any women or just hardly any men of color serving in the Navy”
“Now we have women such as yourself SN Jamison in the Navy” Ferry went on to say “but for the liberals and progressive people today that’s not enough and quite frankly the idea of allowing women to train to become SEALS doesn’t sit well with me”
“How old are you Jamison?”
“Twenty-four in January” Faith replied “right in time for when training starts”
Ferry chuckled at her “You’re still very young and not much more than a kid in terms of knowing how cruel this world can be”
“A woman’s place used to be in the home my wife was about your age now when she had our first son”
“Though I think these liberals and progressive folks are ready for so called female Navy Seals; I think a female Navy Seal who happens to be African American will be a tough pill for them to swallow”
Well they were going to have to swallow it then; Faith wasn’t going to back down from this opportunity because of some upper-class conservative white men like Ferry wanting their way of life and society to remain in the 1950s and 60s.
When Faith heard the news that the U.S. Navy was going to begin allowing women to join in the ranks of becoming a SEAL this past summer she jumped right into the process.
Admiral Jon Greenert’s words inspired her
“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these standards be accepted? And the answer is there is no reason”
“So we’re on a track to say ‘Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL”
However Faith should have known that people like Officer Ronald Ferry would remind her that not only was she a woman but also black. Two strikes against her. A double minority.
Perhaps Admiral Greenert’s words were only meant for white women to hear but Faith didn’t see why she wasn’t eligible as well she had started her Navy career almost six years ago at eighteen as an E-1 Seaman Recruit.
Within those six years she had inched her way up to becoming an E-3 Seaman. While many in her ranking were trying to at least become a third class petty officer; Faith was shooting for the stars and she wasn’t about to let her gender and race stop that.
It was why Faith was sitting in Ferry’s office on this muggy August afternoon with no air conditioner; to get it through his thick skull that she was eligible.
“Chief Petty Officer Orwell seems to think you have potential,” Ferry said
“I know I have potential in fact I have even more than that” Faith said stubbornly
“Well I know one thing if you’re going to be in training to be a SEAL that mouth of yours is going to have to take a back seat”
Faith nodded but still believed whole heartily in what she said
“Besides you’re going to have to have to pass the PST before you can even think of going on to Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School”
As much as Faith hated to admit it Ferry was right the Physical Screening Test was no joke but she was more than willing to take the challenge.
“Officer Ferry I know I can do this” Faith said “can you please fill out the NC worksheet for me?”
“You know I’m taking a chance on you Jamison” Ferry said “you’re one of the best damn E-3 Seamen we have”
“So you’ll fill it out for me then?”
“I’ll email it off today but I’m warning you now Jamison that it’s not a guarantee”
“I know” he replied, “thank you Officer Ferry”
First Class Petty Officer Conrad Mitchell Ramsey was at a high point in his life right now. Everything seemed to be going perfectly he just celebrated his twenty-seventh birthday. Brought a new house with his fiancée Heather who was pregnant with their first child and had recently made the decision to go apply for training to become a Navy SEAL
Conrad felt that with nine years under his belt in the Navy he was more than qualified to be a SEAL; he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps just like anybody else who enters the Navy as a hot headed seventeen or eighteen year old.
He had always wanted to be a SEAL it was in his blood his father and grandfather and even great grandfather were SEALS; with his growing little family Conrad felt the need to provide for them encouraged him to go forward with his decision.
So on this day Conrad was making his way to his counselor Ferry’s office to have him fill out his NC sheet to put in a good word for him. Just as Conrad was getting ready to enter the office Seaman Faith Jamison ran right into him.
“What are you in such a hurry for Jamison?”
“Sorry Ramsey I didn’t see you---“
“That’s Officer Ramsey to you Jamison” Conrad reprimanded her quickly
“Yes Officer” Faith said “it was an accident how was I supposed to know you’d be standing there?”
“Don’t you have work to do Jamison?” Conrad asked, “like mopping the deck that you were assigned to mop this morning? Not to mention the paint that needs to be chipped on the overhead”
Faith frowned at him and then went past him to go to her work
“I’m going to be checking to see if it’s actually clean too”
Conrad shook his head although Faith seemed to be an excellent seaman and did what she was told; she had zero to little respect for her higher up officers. Her attitude and ego was just as testosterone driven as any other male seaman or officer and there were times when his patience was tested with as well as some of the other officers.
All Conrad knew was Faith had better of had a pretty damn good reason for not doing her assignments right now.
“Officer Ramsey” Ferry greeted him upon walking in the door “good to see you”
“Afternoon Officer Ferry” Conrad replied giving his counselor a handshake
“What can I help you with today son?”
“Well I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think I’m at a point now in my life now that I’m ready” Conrad said “I just sent out my Special Request Chit to Command and I was hoping you could fill out my NC sheet”
Ferry chuckled and said “You too eh? Ready to be a SEAL?”
“I sure am” Conrad replied and frowned “have you had other requests lately?”
“Ramsey you’re actually the fifteenth one to make a request this past week” Ferry said “and Jamison who you ran into outside my door was the fourteenth”
“Jamison?!?” Conrad asked surprised “she made a request?!?”
“Sure as hell did” Ferry chuckled
“Why?” Conrad was curious to know “Jamison is a stubborn and rude and too headstrong for her own good the SEAL training recruits will eat her alive”
“True” Ferry agreed “but you have to admit she’s a good seaman”
“How did she manage to make a request anyway? Since when are women allowed to train to become SEALS? That’s always been a no”
“You haven’t heard Ramsey?” Ferry asked “that damn Admiral Greenert has convinced the command to consider allowing women to train for the SEALS as early as January of next year”
Conrad rolled his eyes at that nonsense it was the equivalent of allowing women to play in the NFL; he was so damn tired of all of these politically correct and feminist folks going around and men especially white men like himself that he was privileged.
Conrad didn’t see himself as privileged and he felt that everything he has in life is because he worked hard to get it not because it was handed to him. Also in his opinion basic biology was fact there are certain things only men can do that women can’t do.
The SEALS job was very rigorous and dangerous and demanding; sure women were allowed in the Navy but SEALS positions were strictly off limits.
“They aren’t serious about it though?” Conrad asked, “I mean I honestly thought it was just all talk”
“I thought that too” Ferry replied “but they seem to be pretty damn serious”
“Officer Ferry you aren’t serious considering filling out a NC sheet for Jamison are you?”
“Yes I am” Ferry replied “as a matter of fact I have it pulled up on my screen right now”
Ferry chuckled “Don’t worry I’ll fills yours out afterwards and besides Ramsey I highly doubt you find Jamison to be tough competition”
“Of course not but even if she were a man which she’s not; she’s no where near ready she’s still a seaman” Conrad pointed out “no seaman has the experience or even the set of balls to try applying for the SEALS”
“Ironically she does” Ferry said “look Ramsey as old and conservative as I am in my views times are changing; hell if gays are now allowed to legally get married in all fifty states then we should have seen this coming”
“Some things don’t need to change though” Conrad said “anyway I don’t see any competition with Jamison; some of my fellow petty officers yes but I doubt she’ll even pass the PST”
“Well we have another month to find out don’t we?” Ferry said, “only time will tell that one”
“You’re really asking for it Faith” her best friend and fellow cabin mate Leah Rios told her “you know Sergeant Ramsey is going to really get in your ass for not doing your assignments when you were supposed to actually get them done”
Faith rolled her eyes “Ramsey knows I get things done and I do a good job” she said “besides I had to go ask Ferry to fill out my NC sheet”
“You’re really serious about this SEAL thing huh?” Leah said “don’t you think as a seaman under qualified?”
“I’m one rank from being a third class petty officer Leah” Faith pointed out “it’s not like I’m completely at the bottom of the barrel”
“I know but most people wait until they are at least petty officers before applying” she said “that’s pretty ballsy of you all the petty officers including Sergeant Ramsey are going to think you’re arrogant”
“The majority of them are arrogant anyway,” Faith said
“True but they are higher up the chain than you” Leah reminded her “they didn’t earn the title of petty officer for no reason”
“And that’s exactly why I applied” Faith said “women are allowed into the SEALS now and I want a chance up that ladder too”
“I can’t believe that Officer Ferry actually agreed to fill out your NC sheet”
“Girl it wasn’t easy” Faith said “I had to practically pull it out from him you know his conservative right wing self is still stuck in the past”
“Well to be fair Faith I think the world is more ready for white women to be SEALS,” Leah said, “you’d be a stick of dynamite as far as they’re concerned”
“Yeah well I’m not backing down” Faith said getting her supplies together “if I get approved I won’t ever have chip paint, mop the deck or maintain lines again”
“Jamison may I have a word with you?”
It was late and everyone was heading back to their cabins after dinner for bed. Faith looked at Conrad for a minute wondering if he was serious she was dead tired.
“In my office in five Jamison” he said firmly “and don’t be late”
Once Conrad turned the corner Faith sighed what the hell was that man pissed off about this time?
“Jamison you in hot water again?” some of the other seamen teased her as they went off to their cabins for the night.
Leah gave her a look between I told you so and good luck.
Faith made her way down to Conrad’s office hoping that it would be quick and simple meeting; knowing him though he’d probably make the situation more difficult than it had to be.
God he was such an arrogant prick.
“Come in Jamison and shut the door behind you”
Faith walked into the tiny office to find Conrad sitting behind his desk. His office was rather modest for a petty officer with cream white walls a plant in the corner and neat organized desk.
On his desk near his computer was a picture of his strawberry blonde fiancée soon to be wife Heather Kuhn in what looked like a stereotypical white girl 'it’s fall' photograph straight of a Macy’s catalog.
“Is there a problem Ramsey---“
“Officer” Conrad said firmly
“Officer Ramsey is there a problem?” Faith said a little annoyed that he kept correcting her over something so little and stupid in her opinion.
Just because she didn’t call him Sergeant every single time didn’t make him any less of a petty officer because he still was.
For being so high up in society white men sure as hell had very fragile egos. After what happened to Sandra Bland this past summer Faith knew that for a fact.
“Three things Jamison” Conrad started “one stellar job on the deck and the overhead today and the lines look great as usual”
“Thank you Sergeant”
“That being said your attitude is another story” Conrad said “it doesn’t make sense that since you do such a good job on these things that you can’t just do them when you’re told”
“It’s not that I don’t want to do them I’m told to do them I’m usually busy doing other things”
“When you’re given an assignment you do them when asked no excuses Jamison”
Faith bit her bottom lip before she could say anything more to further push Conrad’s buttons.
“Your work ethic is literally the only reason why you’re still even here you know that right?” Conrad told her “you would have been shipped home a long time ago—“
“This is my home” Faith said firmly
Conrad thought that was an odd statement for her to make. Most of the crew couldn’t wait to be off duty for a little bit and go back home to catch up with family and friends.
“Officer Ferry mentioned that you sent in a request for training to become a SEAL” Conrad continued “is that true?”
“That’s a pretty damn bold move of you Jamison; you’re only a seaman not to mention a female”
“And your point is Officer?” Faith asked “I’m also black that’s another strike against me or should I be barefoot and pregnant having all the babies a man can fertilize me with?”
“My point is I don’t think you’re anywhere even close to ready to become a SEAL” Conrad said “you think I’m hard on you those SEALS trainees will chew you up and spit right back out; and just because they’re allowing women to apply doesn’t mean they’re lowering the standards”
“I’m aware of that” Faith said “and I don’t want them to I can handle it”
Conrad looked Faith up and down and she was a petite little thing probably no more than five feet and three inches and at the most weighed one thirty.
Sure Faith was strong and able as an ox by a woman’s standard but the men she would be training with like Conrad were about six feet and weighed close to two hundred pounds.
Conrad was sure that her statement about being able to handle it was just her spirit talking and not her body.
“I’m just letting you know Jamison wouldn’t want your feelings getting hurt if you can’t keep up with full grown able bodied men”
“I won’t” she firmly “is there anything else that needs to be addressed Officer?”
Even though Conrad wished Faith would drop her stubborn attitude out of respect a part of him still admired it. It was definitely a trait that seemed to be working well in her favor as far as work ethic. In his opinion she just needed to learn how to channel it more productively
“You’re dismissed” Conrad said finally “and tomorrow you better get your assignments done when you’re told”
“Yes Officer Ramsey”
Heather sat down to get ready to Skype her fiancée before he went to bed. Where she was at she was getting ready to start her day and it was early morning.
The baby kicked as if he knew that they were getting ready to talk to his father.
“Dada hopefully will remember to pick up tonight”
Heather’s face lit up when the small icon that showed Conrad’s face popped up and she maximized her window so that he could see a full view of their beautiful kitchen that she was still unpacking.
“Hey sweetie” she greeted
“Hey yourself beautiful” Conrad chuckled “I miss you”
“I miss you too”
“How’s Junior doing?”
“Conrad just because the baby is a boy doesn’t mean that he automatically has to be named after you besides I like the name Aidan anyway”
“Typical” Conrad smirked “the boy is already going to have an Irish last name we don’t need to push it besides Aidan is so popular right now there’s bound to be five or six of them in his kindergarten class alone”
“We have to pick a name soon Conrad he’ll be here in less than two months”
“I know and I can’t wait for the little guy to get here too” he replied “speaking of which I turned in my NC sheet for SEAL training”
“You did?” Heather asked surprised “I thought you were still thinking about it”
“I was and I decided to just do it” Conrad said “if I get through training I will be on duty more but I’ll be able to financially take care of you and our son”
“I know” Heather said sadly “I just wish you weren’t away so much”
“I’ll be off duty in time for his birth” Conrad said cheering her up “and maybe we can actually get married before they ship me off to the preparatory program”
“Yes that would be nice” Heather said, “I should have the house unpacked by then hopefully”
“It’s looking good so far and I can’t wait until I can come home” Conrad said “I hate to cut this short but I got to get some shut eye long day today and a long day tomorrow too”
“I know” Heather replied “I love you sweetie”
“Love you too beautiful”
As the Skype call ended Heather was forced to remind herself that her due date was in fact getting closer.
Heather loved her baby and she knew Conrad loved them both but would that love go away if he ever found out that the baby she was carrying wasn’t in fact his baby at all?
SO THAT WAS WHAT THAT PRETTY MUCH WAS. I THINK THIS IS THE FIRST STORY THAT I'M TRYING TO PUT IN MODERN DAY. I GOT THE IDEA FROM NEWS SAYING THAT THE U.S. NAVY IS GOING TO START LETTING WOMEN INTO THE NAVAL ACADEMY TO BECOME SEALS SOMETIME IN 2016.
I MAY TAP INTO OTHER MODERN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL TOPICS LIKE I DID WITH SANDRA BLAND TOO. I'LL HAVE TO OF COURSE DO MORE RESEARCH ON HOW THE NAVY AND SEAL PROGRAMS AND RANKINGS WORK BUT I THINK I HAVE THE BASICS FOR NOW.
SO OF COURSE JUST LIKE HOW SOME CONSERVATIVES GOT UPSET THIS PAST SUMMER ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE BEING LEGALIZED IN ALL 50 STATES I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT THEY'RE THINKING NOW. SOME PEOPLE STILL DON'T LIKE WOMEN IN ANY KIND OF COMBAT.
AS YOU CAN SEE FROM FAITH'S CHARACHTER SHE DOSEN'T CARE WHAT THEY THINK HER MIND IS SET. I'LL GO INTO FURTHER DETAIL ABOUT WHAT HER DEFINITION OF HOME IS BECAUSE IT'S NOT APRETTY ONE.