Posted on Nov 28, 2013
SSG Aircraft Powertrain Repairer
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The media continually addresses issues of sexual harassment.  For those of you out there serving more than 10yrs can see even most recent developments cast a cloud on hard working subordinates by portraying or sending a message that as SERVICEMEMBERS regardless of rank we have serious problems with EO and SHARP violations. Is it hypocritical to punish a Soldier and send him to Leavenworth for maximum punishment time and UCMJ.  While Senior NCO's/Officers and Generals forcibly retire quietly in some corner of the U.S. or otherwise without even a possibility of sex offender registration?  Enjoy and Discuss please....
Posted in these groups: Officers logo OfficersEnlisted logo EnlistedE1688309 SHARPEo logo EO
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Responses: 8
COL John Hudson
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The problem with issues of this nature fall into one category..."perception." I have met and known individuals of both genders who will believe they're being harassed if someone they don't like simply said, "Good morning." Each and every case, regardless of what an allegation or charge may be, is instantly judged in the court of public opinion rather than the sanctity of a formal courtroom. Basing on its individual merits is a factor that conveniently gets overlooked...especially when others rush to judgment in a moment of strong passion against the supposed transgressor.

I've learned long ago that a) I wasn't personally there to see what happened; b) I read a redacted report and/or overheard hearsay; c) as a human I tend to take the alleged victim's (underdog) side. I've also learned that the best way for me to fight against such ingrained human behavior is to NOT take the initial spot report at face value.

In formation at end of day, a female soldier filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against a Lieutenant Colonel, claiming he inappropriately touched her derriere. Word spread throughout the unit painting him as quite the "scumbag." The Commander's 15-6 Informal Investigation disclosed three witnesses who saw the LTC knock a very poisonous insect from her before she was stung.

No two cases are exactly alike, regardless of how some may wish them to be. "Oh, they fried Msgt. Strack for that same thing so I hope that worthless Major Muscle gets his," won't fly, regardless of how similar pending charges may appear.

And one last thought. The so-called "Media" is a monster that feeds and profits on the misery of humanity, eager to throw responsibility to the winds if a juicy tidbit of misinformation or obfuscation can fire up readers to buy their product and/or max out their 'likes' on social media (the higher the rank the better). Look for the true story "behind the headline" before making an informed decision. "Perception is reality" often backfires when the alleged transgressor is found not guilty, but fatal damage may have been done to both reputation and career. Too many fine service members have suffered the taint of false accusation and take many years to recover or leave the service as a result.
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CPL Sharon Fahey
CPL Sharon Fahey
11 mo
With all due respect Sir, perception is the key. If someone feels threatened by someone saying "good morning" then I can guarantee there was another exchange at some point before that, that was not so innocent. A lot goes on that most male soldiers shrug off, even some of the most offensive comments that if said to their spouse or girlfriend would end the other guy up in the ER. We have an ethos, a standard that looks good on a poster in a recruiters office, a tv commercial or during a ceremony, but is hard to find among the ranks. Some soldiers think they're real slick and many female soldiers won't put up with it so we are quick to shut it down real fast. If you give some guys just a polite smile they think that's an invitation. Sorry, but as a female soldier you have to work hard to prove yourself and to gain respect and the trust of our male counterparts, especially in the infantry. I love my country, dreamed of serving since I was 9 years old. I looked up to people who served our country and during one fire watch it was shattered. Still loved serving my country and the men and women who showed me the true heart of serving in the military.
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COL John Hudson
COL John Hudson
6 mo
CPL Sharon Fahey - CPL Fahey - My first response to you...it's unfortunate you or anyone like you has to encounter situations as you have disclosed. Your comment "guarantee there was another exchange" is a personal opinion and not fact. If you were to bring such to my attention as an Inspector General, my first question to you would be, "Have you brought this to the attention of your Chain of Command?" Too many service members, fearing retribution, fail to do so while choosing to suffer in silence. Your glowing commentary about "Ethos" and "Standards" is commendable, but I learned long ago that "perfection" exists only in the eyes of children... while as adults we must deal with the foibles of gender relations. I can assure you I have personally witnessed a GREAT deal of improvement in the interactions between male and female service members since I enlisted in 1966 (you would have joined and been segregated in the Women's Army Corp - WAC, still in operation...in my opinion an organization that had far outlived its WWII usefulness in a modern military at that time). Just one example: As the IG for the 1st Calvary in Bosnia, I fielded five (5) pregnancies during that tour, proving that boys and girls continue to pursue human emotion regardless of regulation or assignment. I could exhaust this forum with examples of adverse interaction during my 30 years of Army service, but the bottom line to all of it is a locked-in-military-stone understanding that a Chain of Command exists for a reason; our modern military has recognized and does in fact deal with harassment of any type or category without retribution; BUT - it's the responsibility of the service member (both genders) to seek assistance there immediately when such everts occur.
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SMSgt Operations Superintendent
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Officers and enlisted have always been held to a different standard. In my humble experience, I have found that officers can get away with many more things then enlisted, especially junior enlisted. At least, that was my experience while I was in the Army. In the AF, since we are officer heavy (compared to the Army), I have known many officers get in their share of trouble. I have not seen the same amount of disparity among ranks that I saw in the Army.
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Capt Christian D. Orr
Capt Christian D. Orr
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Speaking myself as someone who served on both the "E" and "O" side of the Air Force (proverbial) fence, I can vouch that while an enlisted troop's career can survive a Letter of Reprimand, an LOR is a career kiss of death for an ossifer.
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SGT(P) Photographer/Owner
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100% yes. I've recently shared 2 articles from the different service times websites and both evolved officers getting basic slaps on the wrist compared to what an enlisted would have.
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