Bill Cosby: Navy life prepared me for my 'amazing experience' in prison

Entertainment
Honorary Chief Petty Officer Bill Cosby, hospital corpsman, delivers remarks during his pinning ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2011. (U.S. Navy/ Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin O'Brien)

Bill Cosby is apparently having no trouble adjusting to his life in prison thanks to his service in the U.S. Navy.


The legendary comedian and convicted sexual predator is having an "amazing experience" at the SCI Phoenix maximum-security prison thanks in part to his time serving in the military in the 1950s, his spokesman Andrew Wyatt told the New York Daily News.

"He was in the Navy for four years, and this is no different than being in the Navy," Wyatt said. "People have rooms. People are over you. They're just doing their jobs, and you have to follow rules. That's how he operates every day."

"He gets up at 3:30. He works out," Wyatt added. "The food is packed with a lot of sodium, so in order to prevent himself from getting sick, he puts his food in a cup, goes to the sink and rinses it off three times."

Cosby joined the Navy in 1956, serving for four years as an enlisted hospital corpsman at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia and the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, the Washington Post reported in 2014. He was honorably discharged in 1960 as a 3rd Class Petty Officer.

In 2011, Cosby was presented with the title of honorary Chief Petty Officer. In 2015, then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens announced that the Navy had revoked Cosby's honorary title.

The Navy has undergone some significant changes in the decades since Cosby's service, but the comparison of enlisted life to incarceration hasn't disappeared. In October 2017, a Navy Times reported that several command climate surveys conducted aboard the cruiser USS Shiloh revealed that sailors saw the vessel as a "floating prison."

The Navy declined to respond to Cosby spokesman Wyatt's comments.

SEE ALSO: It's A 'Floating Prison': USS Shiloh Sailor Surveys Reveal A Totally Demoralized Crew

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Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.

Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.

Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.

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