Have you seen the dust-up around this? Does anyone know why this is a problem? I’m thinking that people who have never served might not get it, that sex, in and of itself, is really frowned upon in the military either between officers and enlisted personnel or even within the officers’ corps or enlisted corps UNLESS they’re married.
Given the gigantic emotional stress of being in actual combat, I’m not surprised that the number of suicides in the military is way up or that the number of reported cases of sexual assaults is up… but outraged that these numbers are up? Sure, no sexual assault should ever happen and perhaps we’re just that naive to think or believe that the discipline of the service exempts servicemen and women from this thing that plagues all of society.
Hell, if you’re even aware of what being in any branch of the service entails, the number of sexual assaults, unreported or otherwise, just might be appalling in that it’s not supposed to happen under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice)… but doesn’t change the fact that it does because, duh, when people are horribly stressed out – and being in the military can be damned stressful even in peacetime – wanting to get laid can take care of that stress and, really, just taking it is obviously not out of the question in the ranks because it is happening.
The UCMJ, as a body of ‘laws’, is no joke and is twice as serious as a heart attack. Take a gander at Article 120 of the UCMJ (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/a/art120new.htm), which talks about rape and sexual assault in particular as well as the penalties one can face if found in violation of any part of Article 120. So it’s not as if our military doesn’t have rules in place about this because it always has… but a lack of sex – or a great need for sex – can make someone quite stupid. They might not think they’re violating Article 120 in any way but, as you can see, it doesn’t take a whole lot to cause such a violation and especially if you look at what the military considers to be consent and what it doesn’t.
Outraged? Well, does it make sense to be outraged about something that has probably been going on since women (in particular) were allowed to serve? Should we be outraged because the number of reported incidents is up… or should we really be outraged that military decorum actually sets the stage for these assaults to happen despite what the UCMJ says?
For this, I give you Article 134 of the UCMJ (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm13423.htm) as well as Article 80 (http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/mcm/bl80.htm) and 92 (http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/mcm/bl92.htm). Given that these articles and many more prohibit certain behaviors (and they should to maintain uniformity and all that), should we be outraged that violations of these articles have been taking place for God knows how long?
Seriously, if you tell people they shouldn’t really be doing this with each other, what do you think is going to happen? I’m thinking exactly what the media’s reporting. It’s sad that these things happen and it doesn’t speak well of the mental state of some of our service people… but should we be outraged as the woman in the article says we should be? And, if we are so outraged, um, just what the hell is going to be done about it? How do we make said outrage go away?