A violation of trust.
All Trainees should be given a wallet-size card, laminated, on day ONE that reads: NO TRAINEE, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES IS REQUIRED TO YIELD SEXUALLY TO ANY OF THE TRAINING INSTRUCTORS. EVEN A SUGGESTION OF SEX BY ANY INSTRUCTOR TO ANY TRAINEE IS TO BE REPORTED BY THE TRAINEE TO HER COMMANDER IMMEDIATELY. ANY CONSENSUAL SEX BETWEEN A TRAINEE AND AN INSTRUCTOR WILL RESULT IN SEVERE DICIPLINARY ACTION FOR BOTH ~ a comment at mysantonio.com
For background, read the article here.
In summary. Two Air Force female trainees at Lackland AFB were flirting with their instructors via text messages, and were later “ordered” by their male superiors to appear in a darkened supply room in the early hours of the morning. This was a clear violation of training rules, of which the women later admitted they were well aware of. In the supply room, they engaged in sex with Staff Sgts. Kwinton Estacio and Craig LeBlanc. Estacio and LeBlanc are now facing charges and possible court martials.
The women now claim rape/sexual assault, even though no complaints were filed at the time. To me — given the information as reported — it seems pretty reasonable to surmise that the sex was consensual.
In order to prevent this type of thing in the future, the Air Force is reportedly now mulling the option of using only women to train female recruits, yet, unbelievably, some pretend to see no benefit in that solution:
“Benefits?” asked Gen. Edward Rice, head of the service’s Air Education and Training Command of the possibility of female cadets in basic training having only other women as instructors. “I”m not sure there is one.” He said, however, that this step is currently under serious consideration.
Currently 11% of instructors are female. It’s a no brainer. Throwing young men and women together under such intense situations, in close quarters for hours on end, and then expecting them to act like pre-programmed asexual robots is an assault on common sense. The fact that our top brass wants to wear blinders in order to appease the politically correct is another problem.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Let me first say that I respect the military, what it stands for, the lives that are sacrificed fighting for our freedom. I have military people in my own family whom I greatly respect for their service to our country. Criticism here doesn’t negate that.
Just because someone joins the military doesn’t all of a sudden make them a person of stellar character. Similary, just because a person joins the ministry doesn’t make them a person of stellar character. Most ministers are people of high moral standards, but we’ve read the stories of fallen ministers, and so it is a reality that the same thing can happen in certain circumstances in the military. As it happens in business, as it happens everywhere.
Just because a man (or woman) dons a uniform does not automatically make up for a lack of morality. What the military does is build a great work ethic and discipline – but you can have both of those things and still have bad morals. This will even become more apparent if the disturbing trend is true, as recent news stories reveal, that the military (namely the Air Force) is becoming increasingly hostile towards religion. It’s hard to expect moral behavior in amoral environments.
Those who stormed the beaches at Normandy, or who put their lives on the line in combat overseas, deserve our utmost respect for their sacrifices. But a uniform doesn’t automatically endow heroic properties. It means someone has joined the military, for various reasons, hopefully good ones, and has made it through basic training. What servicemen and women do with that training can vary. Some serve in offices in non-combat zones looking forward to the day when they can use their free educations and VA benefits. Others lie awake in the caves of Afghanistan wondering what horrors the next day will bring. When given the opportunity to re-enlist, many freedom fighters still do, because they honor their country and believe that their country is the best country on earth. I think there’s a difference between someone who is doing a job for personal reasons, and someone who serves an idea higher than himself.
Something happened recently that only reinforced my thinking about this.
A couple of months ago my husband and I were residing in a suite type hotel frequented by military members in fatigues. (San Antonio being the home of several bases). I worked out in the hotel’s exercise facility that also housed the laundry facilities. One day, while I was plodding along on a treadmill, I watched via a mirror on the wall angled to capture a view through the doorway, a military man attempt to steal my laundry detergent to wash his fatigues. He was unaware that I could see him, as the room was separated by a solid wall.
“Excuse me,” I surprised him by saying, loudly, “but that is not yours.”
He quickly put the detergent back from where he took it, after looking around—- saying nothing, not apologizing.
A small and insignificant thing - yes, it was. But, it was obvious that this man knew the container hidden underneath the clothes in my basket was not his to use. His actions, and his demeanor after being caught, reinforced my belief that heroes are not born when they put on a uniform, or a badge. They are made, by acting like a hero, especially when they believe nobody is watching. Later the serviceman appeared uncomfortable as we caught each other’s eyes; I walked by as he was sitting in a meeting with other military members in the common room of the hotel.
Which brings me back to the sex scandal at Lackland.
Neither the men, nor the women involved are heroes, and none of them deserve – deserve being emphasized – to be in our military. And, what we should recognize from this is that men and women in uniform are are not non-hormonal superhuman, “superhero” creatures with hearts and veins of steel and bionic body parts.
There IS a benefit to having women train female recruits – similar to that which comes from having male trainers train male recruits. To pretend otherwise is doing us all a disservice.