Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Sexual favors can move mountains. Women today are using what they have to get what they want. They are being aided and abetted by politically correct and chivalrous news articles portraying them simultaneously as liberated women and defenseless little creatures. Helen Gurley Brown claimed that women could have it all, ‘love, sex, and money’. Due to her advocacy, the liberated single woman was often referred to generically as the ‘Cosmo Girl’. Her work played a part in what is often called the sexual revolution. Brown said that good girls go to Heaven, but bad girls go everywhere. Brown exhorted ambition and assertiveness over men, on dates or on the job. She repeatedly linked careers to single-woman prowess, and both monetary and emotional stability: A single woman is known by what she does rather than whom she belongs to, she writes in Sex and the Single Girl. Strategies to get ahead include flirting with the management and tips on how to ‘mouseburger’ your way to the top. Tactics range from impressing the boss to marrying him. So who's in power -- the exec who seduces, or the men who deliver? Why do women work -- to meet men or outfox them? A man likes to sleep with a brainy girl, she said.

Sadly, today women are finding that they cannot have it all, nor can they have it both ways. They have to be equal and pull their own weight or they have to be ladies in the traditional sense and conform to the Emily Post’s rules of etiquette. They cannot be ladies by day and sluts by night. For many years girls have measured themselves by the standards of debutants. But as the sexual revolution begot working rights for women, the measurements changed. Sexual rites of passage changed, too. Today there are a sizeable percentage of teenage mothers at the high school proms. It is not uncommon today to meet 30 year old grandmothers. That is not a laughing matter, as we've learned to our sorrow and to society's financial pain. Teenage pregnancy is a financial drain on society. Poor women, particularly single mothers, suffer most when such society’s mores change.

Once it was said that the stock market rises and falls with a woman’s hem line. Today women proudly exhibit their navels and lower backs. Fashion reflects the times, and modesty and femininity are anachronisms in a world in which slut is no longer a slur. The New York Times reports that it has become a term of endearment between women friends, a fun word for ladies who lunch. These are the young women who read The Vagina Monologues to each other, reveling in the celebration of their body parts. Helen Gurley Brown calls them flirts. The flirt reacts. She laughs at the jokes, clucks at the sad parts, applauds bravery. I really think it gets easier to flirt as you get older because you learn to listen to any man, employing the same charm and rapt attention you once reserved for seven-year-olds.

Teenage flirts lie a lot about sex. Their bodies, subject to swift hormonal changes, are further manipulated by pop cultural expectations not always of their own making. As society pushes young women to grow up faster, teenagers become more and more sexually active.

Sex has become a useful weapon of choice. Flirts use sex as a weapon. Teenagers trying to enlist in the military use sex as a weapon. Wives use sex as a weapon. Girlfriends, dates, college students, aspiring actresses use sex as a weapon. Radical feminists use sex as a weapon. Waitresses use sex as a weapon. Gays and homosexuals use sex as a weapon. Sorority pledges use sex as a weapon. College co-eds use sex as a weapon. Female graduate school students use sex as a weapon. Cub-reporters looking for a scoop use sex as a weapon. Female private detectives use sex as a weapon. High school girls trying to enlist in the military use sex as a weapon. Underclass cadets use sex as a weapon. Female recruits in boot camp use sex as a weapon.

Military recruiters have increasingly resorted to overly aggressive tactics and even criminal activity to attract young men and women to the battlefield. Grueling combat conditions in Iraq, a decent commercial job market and tough monthly recruiting goals have made recruiters' jobs more difficult. This has probably prompted more recruiters to resort to questionable tactics. There are some 22,000 personnel working for the military's recruiting program, which cost more than $1.5 billion this year. A staff of some 14,000 frontline recruiters must enlist two applicants per month. Given the large numbers of service members Department Of Defense must recruit every year, there is ample opportunity for recruiter irregularities to occur.

More than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. Women were raped on recruiting office couches, assaulted in government cars and groped en route to entrance exams.
A six-month Associated Press investigation found that more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees. The cases occurred across all branches of the military and in all regions of the country.
At least 35 Army recruiters, 18 Marine Corps recruiters, 18 Navy recruiters and 12 Air Force recruiters were disciplined for sexual misconduct or other inappropriate behavior with potential enlistees in 2005, according to records obtained by the AP under dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests.
The AP also found:
-The Army, which accounts for almost half of the military, has had 722 recruiters accused of rape and sexual misconduct since 1996.
-Across all services, one out of 200 frontline recruiters - the ones who deal directly with young people - was disciplined for sexual misconduct last year.
-Some cases of improper behavior involved romantic relationships, and sometimes those relationships were initiated by the women.
-Most recruiters found guilty of sexual misconduct are disciplined administratively, facing a reduction in rank or forfeiture of pay; military and civilian prosecutions are rare.
The Pentagon has committed more than $1.5 billion to recruiting efforts this year. Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke insisted that each of the services takes the issue of sexual misconduct by recruiters "very seriously and has processes in place to identify and deal with those members who act inappropriately."
The Associated Press generally does not name victims in sexual assault cases. For this story, the AP interviewed victims in their homes and perpetrators in jail, read police and court accounts of assaults and in one case portions of a victim's journal.
A pattern emerged. The sexual misconduct almost always takes place in recruiting stations, recruiter’s apartments or government vehicles. The victims are typically between 16 and 18 years old, and they usually are thinking about enlisting. They usually meet the recruiters at their high schools, but sometimes at malls or recruiting offices.
"We had been drinking, yes. And we went to the recruiting station at about midnight," begins one girl's story.
Tall and slim, her long hair sweeping down her back, this 18-year-old from Ukiah, Calif., hides her face in her hands as she describes the night when Marine Corps recruiter Sgt. Brian Fukushima climbed into her sleeping bag on the floor of the station and took off her pants. Two other recruiters were having sex with two of her friends in the same room.
"I don't like to talk about it. I don't like to think about it," she says, her voice muffled and breaking. "He got into my sleeping bag, unbuttoned my pants, and he started, well ..."
Her voice trails off, and she is quiet for a moment. "I had a freak-out session and just passed out. When I woke up I was sick and ashamed. My clothes were all over the floor."
Fukushima was convicted of misconduct in a military court after other young women reported similar assaults. He left the service with a less than honorable discharge last fall.
His military attorney, Capt. James Weirick, said Fukushima is "sorry that he let his family down and the Marine Corps down. It was a lapse in judgment."
Shedrick Hamilton uses the same phrase to describe his own actions that landed him in Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York for 15 months for having sex with a 16-year-old high school student he met while working as a Marine Corps recruiter.
Hamilton said the victim had dropped her pants in his office as a prank a few weeks earlier, and that on this day she reached over and caressed his groin while he was driving her to a recruiting event.
"I pulled over and asked her to climb into the back seat," he said. "I should have pushed her away. I was the adult in the situation. I should have put my foot down, called her parents."
As a result, he was convicted of third-degree rape, and left the service with an other-than-honorable discharge. He wipes the collar of his prison jumpsuit across his cheek, smearing tears that won't stop.
"I literally kick myself ... every day. It hurts. It hurts a lot. As much as I pray, as much as I work on it in counseling, I still can't repair the pain that I caused a girl, her family, my family, my kids. It's very hard to deal with," he says, dropping his head. "It's very, very hard to deal with."
In Gainesville, Fla., a 20-year-old woman told this story: Walking into an Army recruiting station last summer, she was greeted by Sgt. George Kirkman, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound Soldier. Kirkman is 41.
He was friendly and encouraging, but told her she might be a bit too heavy. He asked if she wanted to go to the gym with him. She agreed, and he drove her to his apartment complex.
There, he walked her to his apartment, pulled out a laptop, and suggested she take a basic recruiting aptitude test. Afterward, Kirkman said he needed to measure her. Twice. He said she had to take her pants off. And he attacked her.
Kirkman, who did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, pleaded no contest to sexual battery in January and is on probation and a registered sexual offender. He's still in the military, working now as a clerk in the Jacksonville, Fla., Army recruiting office.

Not all of the victims are young women. Former Navy recruiter Joseph Sampy, 27, of Jeanerette, La., is serving a 12-year sentence for molesting three male recruits.
"He did something wrong, something terrible to people who were the most vulnerable," State District Judge Lori Landry said before handing down the sentence in July, 2005. "He took advantage of his authority."
One of Sampy's victims is suing him and the Navy for $1.25 million. The trial is scheduled for next spring.
Sometimes these incidents are indisputable, forcible rapes.
"He did whatever he pleased," said one victim who was 17 at the time. "... People in uniform used to make me feel safe. Now they make me feel nervous."
Other sexual misconduct is more nuanced. Recruiters insist the victims were interested in them, and sometimes the victims agree. Sometimes they even dated.
"I was persuaded into doing something that I didn't necessarily want to do, but I did it willingly," said Kelly Chase, now a Marine Corps combat photographer, whose testimony helped convict a recruiter of sexual misconduct last year.
Former Navy recruiter Paul Sistrunk, a plant supervisor in Conehatta, Miss., who had an affair with a potential recruit in 1995, says their relationship was entirely consensual.
She was 18, an adult; he was 26 and married.
"Things happen, you know?" says Sistrunk, who opted for an other-than-honorable discharge rather than face court-martial. "Morally, what I did was wrong, but legally, I don't think so."
A nine-year veteran of the Navy, Sistrunk lost his pension and health benefits. His victim, who discovered during a medical exam at boot camp that she had contracted herpes, unsuccessfully tried to sue the federal government.
"In my case," said Sistrunk, "I was flirted with, and flirting, well, that's something I hadn't seen a lot of until I became a recruiter. I had no power over her. I really didn't."
Kimberly Lonsway, an expert in sexual assault and workplace discrimination in San Luis Obispo, Calif., said "even if there isn't overt violence, the reality is that these recruiters really do hold the keys to the future for these women, and a 17-year-old girl often has a very different understanding of the situation than a 23-year-old recruiter."
"There's a power dynamic here that's obviously very sensitive," agreed Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a group that studies military policy.
"Let's face it, these guys are handsome in their uniform, they're mature, they give a lot of attention to these girls, and as recruiters they do a lot of the same things that guys do when they want to appeal to girls. There's a very fine line there, and it can be very hard to maintain a professional approach."
Weirick, the Marine Corps defense attorney who has represented several recruiters on rape and sexual misconduct charges, said it's a problem that will probably never entirely go away.
"It's difficult because of the nature of nature," he said. "It's hard to put it in another way, you know? It's usually a consensual relationship or dating type of thing."
When asked if victims feel this way, he said, "It's really a victimless crime other than the institution of the Marine Corps. Its institutional integrity we're protecting, by not allowing this to happen."
Anita Sanchez, director of communications at the Miles Foundation, a national advocacy group for victims of violence in the military, bristles at the idea that the enlistees, even if they flirt or ask to date recruiters, are willingly having sex with them.
"You have a recruiter who can enable you to join the service or not join the service. That has life-changing implications for you as a high school student or college student," she said. "If she does not do this her life will be seriously impacted. Instead of getting training and an education, she might end up a dishwasher."
Ethan Walker, who spent eight years in the Marine Corps including a stint as a recruiter from 1998 to 2000, said he was warned.
"They told us at recruiter school that girls, 15, 16, are going to come up to you, they're going to flirt with you, they're going to do everything in their power to get you in bed. But if you do it you're breaking the law," he said.
Even so, he said he was initially taken aback when he set up a table at a high school and had girls telling him he looked sexy and handing him their telephone numbers.
"All that is, you have to remind yourself, is that there's jail bait, a quick way to get in trouble, a quick way to dishonor the service," he said.
All of the recruiters the AP spoke with, including Walker, said they were routinely alone in their offices and cars with girls. Walker said he heard about sleepovers at other recruiting stations, and there was no rule against it. There didn't need to be a rule, he said. The lines were clear: Recruiters do not sleep with enlistees.
"Any recruiter that would try to claim that, 'Oh, it's consensual,' they are lying, they are lying through their teeth," he said. "The recruiter has all the power in these situations."
Although the Uniform Code of Military Justice bars recruiters from having sex with potential recruits, it also states that age 16 is the legal age of consent. This means that if a recruiter is caught having sex with a 16-year-old, and he can prove it was consensual, he will likely only face an administrative reprimand.
But not under new rules set by the Indiana Army National Guard.
There, a much stricter policy, apparently the first of its kind in the country, was instituted last year after seven victims came forward to charge National Guard recruiter Sgt. Eric Vetesy with rape and assault.
"We didn't just sit on our hands and say, 'Well, these things happen, they're wrong, and we'll try to prevent it.' That's a bunch of bull," said Lt. Col. Ivan Denton, commander of the Indiana Guard's recruiting battalion.
Now, the 164 Army National Guard recruiters in Indiana follow a "No One Alone" policy. Male recruiters cannot be alone in offices, cars, or anywhere else with a female enlistee. If they are, they risk immediate disciplinary action. Recruiters also face discipline if they hear of another recruiter's misconduct and don't report it.
At their first meeting, National Guard applicants, their parents and school officials are given wallet-sized "Guard Cards" advising them of the rules. It includes a telephone number to call if they experience anything unsafe or improper.
Denton said the policy does more than protect enlistees.
"It's protecting our recruiters as well," he said.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

The recall of 2,500 inactive reservists stirs fears among military experts. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are forcing the Marine Corps to take extraordinary measures to bolster manpower and equipment. This is the first such recall since 2003 when the U.S. invaded Iraq. This is a sign that the military is having difficulty maintaining combat readiness. The authorization allowing the IRR's activation is open-ended, so from now on as many as 2,500 recent former Marines a year can expect to be called back to active duty in the Centcom area of operation, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan.

The move is to make up for a shortfall of volunteers from the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve who have been serving in hard-to-fill positions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tours of duty will likely last an average of 12 to 18 months as they train with their new units, deploy and return home.

Service members who decide to leave active duty or retire automatically become members of the Individual Ready Reserve, or IRR, for varying lengths of time.

Unlike Marine Corps Reservists who regularly train with their units, the only requirement of IRR Marines is that they present themselves once a year to update their contact information. There are currently 59,000 former Marines serving in the Individual Ready Reserve.

Col. Guy Stratton of the Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Office said the decision to activate the IRR is "judicious and prudent ... at a time of war and national emergency."

IRR Marines can still volunteer, but the Marine Corps will now supplement the number of volunteers by involuntarily activating as many as 2,500 former Marines.

Positions that need to be filled include communications, intelligence, engineers, truck drivers and military police. It is likely, however, that the majority of the positions will be in the infantry.

Military enlistments are for a total of eight years of combined service in both active duty and the Individual Ready Reserve. When a service member leaves active duty, it is with the understanding that the possibility exists that he or she could be recalled to active duty as part of the Individual Ready Reserve for the remainder of the enlistment contract.

Activations of the Individual Ready Reserve are fairly rare, so most servicemen think it unlikely they'll be called back. The first notifications will be mailed in coming months, and the first IRR Marines should begin reporting for duty in the spring and summer of 2007.

They'll have five months from when they receive their notification to get their affairs in order before reporting to duty. They can also use that time to apply for an exemption, get a deferment or seek a delay of the recall order.

In an effort to prevent the recall of former Marines who have recently served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marine Corps will exempt Individual Ready Reservists who are in their first or last of year of IRR status, as well as those who returned to active duty since Sept. 11, 2001. That means those recalled to duty will come from the 35,000 Individual Ready Reservists who don't meet that criteria. In early 2004, the Army was authorized to call up as many as 6,500 service members from the Individual Ready Reserve. Since then, 10,000 have returned to duty and 5,000 are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are currently about 175,000 Marines on active duty, and of the approximately 24,000 who serve in the Centcom area of responsibility, 2,600 of those are Marine Reservists.

The Marine Corps currently has 1,366 Individual Ready Reservists on active duty..

Source: AP

12:18 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?
News of an involuntary call-up of Marine Corps reservists and a Defense Department budget so out-of-control that even the Republican Senate Budget Committee chair speaks of Congress' failure of oversight, is music to my ears.
Not because I'm some fan of a draft or because I want to see America bankrupted. But an increasing failure of the military to attract young men and women to serve and an overwhelming public rejection of the Iraq war just might finally provoke Americans to demand some real change.
The "shortfall" the Marines are facing results from an increased hesitancy by reservists to volunteer to go to Iraq. They're now more interested in their own homeland security.
The Army has shown no compunction in calling up individual reservists to serve in Iraq, but the Marines are supposed to have more patriotic, more driven members and a surplus of volunteers. I guess the Marines have also been recruiting smarter people.
By coincidence, Emilio Gonzales, the director of the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, writes in today's San Diego Union-Tribune that record numbers of Hispanics are enlisting in the armed forces to gain citizenship. More than 40,000 "immigrants" serve in the armed forces today, doing the "job" in which others Americans seem uninterested
No one, Republican or Democrat, is arguing that there shouldn't be more troops.
In fact, in the ways of bipartisan Washington, unless there is more money, there isn't enough social support and housing for troops and their families; there isn't good enough equipment and fast enough "modernization" for the soldiers, sailors and airmen, which harms enlistment, which then means the need for more money to "attract" the … umm … patriots for duty, honor, country.
The way I see it, America must recognize that neither Republicans nor Democrats have a clue on national security.
(This is an EARLY WARNING by William M. Arkin)

10:01 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

America's youth must serve their country, one way or another
By Edward Bernard Glick

PORTLAND, ORE. – The United States military has a very big problem: Too many global conflicts and commitments - and too few soldiers.
That's why it's time to reinstate the draft. A draft would do more than just harness the energy and idealism of the nation's youth to meet the military's unmet personnel needs. It would also tap more of the resources of the nation's women, heeding their demands for more gender equality by making their obligations more consonant with their rights.
It would give the federal government more flexibility in dealing with conscientious objectors. And it would be fairer to African-Americans and other minorities, who might stop viewing military service as just another job choice.
While it is true that all males living in the US are required by law to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday, many of them don't - and no one has been drafted into the armed forces since 1973.

America must revisit the wisdom and morality of placing the responsibility for defending - and sometimes having to die for - this country only on volunteers.

The Vietnam War and America's history and philosophy have led us to opposite conclusions: A universal draft is not sacred. And our democracy demands an all-volunteer military.

Given this sentiment, involuntary service will be accepted by the nation's youth only if they perceive it as service that is objectively derived and equally applied - and only if it balances military against nonmilitary alternatives. Such service will appeal to all of our citizens, save those who selfishly believe that they owe nothing to the nation except what they alone choose to give it.

Like all policy proposals, this one is based on assumptions: The first assumption is that it is proper for America to ask its youth for a period of service. And the second assumption is that it was right for President John F. Kennedy to declare, in his 1961 inaugural address, "And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

• Edward Bernard Glick is professor emeritus at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he specialized in civil-military relations. He is the author of "Soldiers, Scholars, and Society: The Social Impact of the American Military," and "Israel and Her Army: The Influence of the Soldier on the State."

6:19 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Menage-a-tois. Female Airman charged for Threesome.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — A Spangdahlem-based airman was sentenced Monday to four months confinement for her part in a sexual act with two other airmen.

Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Rains pleaded guilty at a court-martial to two indecent acts charges.

She had faced rape and sodomy charges but admitted to the lesser charges as part of a plea deal.

Judge (Col.) Gordon Hammock also sentenced Rains, 22, an aircrew life support specialist with the 22nd Fighter Squadron, to reduction to the lowest pay grade.

She faced a maximum sentence that included as many as 10 years in a military prison, but Air Force prosecutors argued for a lighter sentence of two years.

The alcohol-induced menage a trois on Sept. 24 in Bitburg included a male airman and a female staff sergeant.

But both prosecution and defense lawyers debated whether it was consensual among the three.

Rains and Airman Christopher D. Hicks are the only airmen charged in the incident because the Air Force lawyers said the staff sergeant was too drunk to give consent.

Air Force prosecutor Capt. Mike Felsen said the staff sergeant “appeared drunk” and slipped “in and out of consciousness” while Rains and Hicks performed sexual acts with her.

Felsen argued the staff sergeant, who did not testify during the trial, was vulnerable and Rains and Hicks took advantage of her.

But Rains’ defense attorney, Capt. Matthew King, called the incident a situation involving three consenting adults with “various degrees of intoxication.”

King argued that Rains shouldn’t go to jail for what amounts to a drunken threesome.

“Does she really have to go to jail for this?” he asked.

The Air Force had charged Rains with rape and sodomy, but prosecutors could not prove the more serious charges, King added, therefore, the question of consent isn’t relevant in Rains’ case.

Rains said she was embarrassed by the episode.

“I’ve learned from this mistake,” she said during a statement she read at the trial.

9:22 PM  

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