‘Hot-bunking’ May Get Women into Submarines

Until I read this article yesterday, I wasn’t aware that women weren’t allowed to work on US submarines but apparently that is the case. In the modern world, not letting women on submarines seems rather old-fashioned to me.

There were some interesting words and phrases in this article, too. The first is in the title, where it is mentioned that the military may ‘lift the ban‘. To ‘lift a ban‘ is a collocation we use meaning to stop that ban from existing or to remove it.

The next interesting word is in the first paragraph where the author mentions women ‘serving‘ in the armed forces. We use the word ‘serve‘ more often than ‘work’ when talking about the military so while you would ‘work for‘ a company, you ‘serve in‘ the armed forces.

There is another interesting expression in the third paragraph where Admiral Mike Mullen is quoted as saying:

I believe we should continue to broaden opportunities for women. One policy I would like to see changed is the one barring (women’s) service aboard submarines,

To ‘broaden opportunities‘ means to make a wider of opportunities available. Another related expression is to ‘broaden your horizons‘ which means to make more options and knowledge available to yourself.

He uses another interesting expression slightly later when he mentions ‘moving out‘ on an issue. In this case ‘moving out‘ means starting action or beginning to implement a plan.

There is another great expression later on where ‘hot-bunking‘ is suggested as a possible solution to the problem. ‘Hot-bunking‘ (sometimes called ‘hot-racking‘) is when sailors on different shifts sleep in the same bed but at different time. Another more common related expression is ‘hot-desking‘ when people share a desk by working there at different times.

There were a few more interesting expressions in the final paragraph of the article, too:

Women are still barred from traditional frontline combat roles in the U.S. military. But female soldiers often run the same risks as men in Iraq and Afghanistan, where bombings and other insurgent attacks can happen almost anywhere and target any U.S. unit.

In this context, ‘frontline‘ means the soldiers who are actually physically fighting the enemy and the ‘frontline‘ is the area where the battle is at its most intense. The next expression ‘run a risk‘ means to be at risk from something.