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Boeing Communications Senior VP Resigns Over 1987 Article About Women Serving In Combat

(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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Boeing’s senior vice president of communications Niel Golightly resigned Thursday after an employee complained about an article he wrote in 1987 arguing against women serving in combat.

Golightly reportedly served in the position for only six months. Boeing is now looking to fill the position for the fourth time in under three years, according to the NY Post. Golightly expressed embarrassment over the article and said although it does not reflect his current views, he was stepping down from his position at Boeing.

“My article was a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time,” Golightly said in a statement reported by the NY Post. “The dialogue that followed its publication 33 years ago quickly opened my eyes, indelibly changed my mind, and shaped the principles of fairness, inclusion, respect and diversity that have guided my professional life since.”

Boeing said the company does not agree with Golightly’s views expressed in the article written three decades ago, reports the Post. The company also said it has begun a search for a new communications chief.

A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands near grounded 737 MAX planes following Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. (JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

A Boeing 737 MAX jet lands near grounded 737 MAX planes following Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on June 29, 2020. (JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

“At issue is not whether women can fire M-60s, dogfight MiGs, or drive tanks,” Golightly, who was a U.S. Navy lieutenant at the time of the post, wrote in 1987. “Introducing women into combat would destroy the exclusively male intangibles of war fighting and the feminine images of what men fight for — peace, home, family.”

The article in question was published by a U.S. Naval Institute magazine. Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun spoke with Golightly before he stepped down regarding the article, according to the NY Post. He said in a statement that he respected Golightly “for stepping down in the interest of the company.”

Golightly’s resignation comes as Boeing has been trying to get its 737 MAX airplanes back off the ground following two crashes in 2019. (RELATED: Do The Deadly 737 MAX Crashes Point To A Tech Problem That Could Affect Multiple Industries?)