New aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, debuted this month with one change: no urinals. The U.S. Navy has decided on a new form of berth control.
The USS Gerald R. Ford — the newest U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, and the first in its class of ships — is ditching urinals, introducing “gender neutral” bathrooms.
Each sleeping quarter — what the Navy calls a berthing area — will have traditional porcelain bowls in the heads (or bathrooms) of the newly designed aircraft carrier, which can hold 5,000+ sailors.
With universal bathrooms, switching the room assignments for each berth between the genders will be much easier.
“This is designed to give the ship flexibility because there aren’t any berthing areas that are dedicated to one sex or the other,” Operations Specialist 1st Class Kaylea Motsenbocker told Navy Times recently. President Donald Trump touring the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier earlier this year. However, most bathroom specialists think traditional restrooms are way less efficient. Bathroom experts told the Navy Times that urinals cost less, take up less space, and are more sanitary (fewer men miss their target with a urinal).
The Ford is the first new class of aircraft carriers designed in 40 years, making urinal-free ships the wave of the future, meeting the increasing number of women joining the Navy. In fact, it was under actual President Ford in 1976 that women were first allowed to join the Naval Academy. 81 of the 1,300 inductees that year were women — just 6%. 2016’s class, on the other hand, had 24% , just above the average 18% female population of the Navy overall.
With these numbers, it looks like urinal-free heads are here to stay, so brush up on your target practice, gentlemen sailors.