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Command Post What is this?
Posted on Aug 14, 2014
SSG V. Michelle Woods
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SFC MLRS/HIMARS Crewmember
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SSG V. Michelle Woods,

I think your final question "Is it too much to ask for Soldiers to stand up for Soldiers, regardless of gender?" best sheds light on the issue and our failure as an organization to foster the proper mentality. Look at how we speak- "female soldiers, male soldiers, etc." Remove the adjective from the daily lexicon, and begin to remove it as a way to differentiate soldiers. We don't say "black soldier" as a means to differentiate, why should we say "female soldier"?

Soldier is the proper noun, let's begin to use it for everyone the same a way Marine refers to another Marine.

Thank you for bringing this up. Now that we have welcomed females into the artillery world I can help lead by example in my unit and help foster a positive environment.
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CW2 Ems Helicopter Pilot
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I think part of the issue at hand is that units I have observed to have the most issues, whether sexual in nature or otherwise suffer from a severe lack of discipline. Not that this is accurate across the board, but in my time serving in joint missions with Marines, they displayed a much greater overall unit discipline than many Army units. One of the things I have always admired in female Marines is the pride they place in their appearance vs. some Army units. I have yet to see a female Marine with hair out of regulations. What I have observed in some Army units is that female Soldiers are often given a pass from the regulations when the men are not. This goes a long way towards breaking apart unit cohesion. I place part of the blame on the Soldiers themselves but also on their leadership. When I was in a leadership position, I did my best to understand the complicated female dress code as well as I understood the males and to hold them to it. Initially there were females who took offense to a male officer telling them to get a regulation haircut or get the dye out of their hair, but eventually they came around. While I have no way of knowing if this really made a difference, it seemed to me to knock down some barriers between males and females.
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CW3 Future Operations Officer
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5 y
Males get raped in the military too. This has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with exerting unjust and unlawful restraint and dominance over another person. Exactly right when noted above "we don't say Black Soldiers, nor should we say Female Soldiers." This is the dual-standard writ large, and EXACTLY why there should be one, and only one standard. One PT standard, one marksmanship standard, one eff-ing standard. You wanna Soldier, then shut up and Soldier. The Major who unloads round after round into the clearing barrel should have been restrained and court-martialed on the spot for deadly negligence. The Jumpmaster who put jumpers out of a Blackhawk backwards should have been restrained and court-martialed on the spot, same reason. Why do you suppose these things DON'T happen? All this crap is connected in the big picture.
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SSG Psychological Operations Specialist
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I think your statement is the perfect example of "one team one fight." I hope that more leaders, through all the branches, pick up on this mentality. I know that is how I treat all my soldiers and any other service member I interact with. It doesn't matter if you are different gender or ethnicity. I would hold a door open or protect any one of them.
Glad to see other strong competent leaders in the Army.
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SSG Mark Ives
SSG Mark Ives
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SSG Taylor, for the record, we had female soldiers who were in Field Artillery as Pershing Missile Crewmen in 1978. Just a historic side note!
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SSG V. Michelle Woods
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. The reason this may come across as one-sided in favor of the Marines is because it is my story, which stemmed from a conversation I had with one Marine female. She told me her story and this was my reaction due to my own personal experiences with several chains of commands and several soldiers. Of course it's one-sided. It's my story.

It doesn't mean there are no bad Marines. It doesn't mean there are no good soldiers.
It does however, represent the mindset I believe we should all share: we have to look out for one another with a level of loyalty that has the power to stomp out these slackass service members infecting our ranks.
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SGT Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Operations Specialist
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She said, "No. Never," despite the fact that a Marine from her unit snuck into her barracks room with the intent to assault her?
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SSG V. Michelle Woods
SSG V. Michelle Woods
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That's what you got out of this SGT (Join to see)?
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SGT Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Operations Specialist
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No, I was just looking for clarification.
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SFC Retired
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We are all soldiers, regardless of rank, race, gender, religion or whatever. We all decided to raise our right hands in defense of our nation and ask for nothing in return. We have all learned that no matter how much discipline a unit has, there is always going to be one or two who cant differentiate between the streets and the military. Those who make it that far, bring with the them the criminalistics ideals that they can get away with whatever they want. It is bad enough we have to look out for each other down range, but if you cant trust that soldier in garrison, there is no way in hell I would trust that person in combat.
As mentioned in the comments, the words female or male Soldier, Marine or whatever, needs to be removed from the picture completely. We are all one team and fight for the same genuine purpose. We shouldn't have to worry about whether or not Pvt. Numbnutz is going to rape or sexually assault someone. The military, as well as the civilian world, is full of potential predators who are looking for victims. As long as we all care enough about our brothers and sisters, we can do our best to ensure that the idiot doesn't strike.
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1LT Nick Kidwell
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FWIW, I would suggest that the title of this thread should be "The Marines defend each other."

Because really, those Marines were just defending one of their own, not simply reacting because she was female. As a Marine, she was statistically more capable of defending herself than the average American civilian victim of sexual assault, but she still needed help, and her comrades stepped up.

This should happen not only in the Marine Corps, but in ALL branches of the military. Heck, ANY person in the USA should be able shout for help and have everyone within earshot come running to help.

Make it happen, America!
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SGT Team Leader
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Absolutely, 1LT Nick Kidwell! So many of these insightful, empathetic comments come from vets. From a purely sociological and/or psychological aspect...why is that? Did you feel that way when serving? I'm not being patronizing, just wondering why it's that way...
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1LT Nick Kidwell
1LT Nick Kidwell
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Well, I can only speak for myself, but I don't think I have a great deal of insight or empathy...I'm just trying to be a decent human being. My civilian work background may have something to do with it, I might be better able to see the forest for the trees as compared to when I was in, and I don't have any fear of bending the noses of higher ranking persons because...well, rank matters not to a vet. :)
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Cpl Brett Wagner
Cpl Brett Wagner
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1LT Nick Kidwell awesome post could not have been said any better.
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PO2 Molly Burton
PO2 Molly Burton
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Raised in the 60's or not PO2 Terry Proctor, I agree with you that there is no room for people who commit these acts, and I set that standard to those who harm males and females. I understand there will always be someone bigger and badder than you...as I have been told, but that is why more people that know the right thing to do it too stand up against it. Not be create an environment where it is joked about and taken for granted. Marines have a culture and expectation that I think is taken more seriously than almost any other branch of the military. I wish that could be easily said for the other branches.
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