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CMR Sitrep
Monday, November 24, 2008
Co-ed Basic Training Sexual Abuses on the Rise

An article in the November 23, 2008 St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes an alarming rise in instances of sexual misconduct at Fort Leonard Wood, a gender-integrated Army training installation in Missouri. The report by Philip O'Connor, titled "New Sex Scandals at Fort Leonard Wood," notes that "at least 14 drill sergeants or other trainers have faced courts-martial for having improper relationships with Soldiers undergoing initial-entry training at the [base]."

The article also recounts an earlier congressional investigation of Fort Leonard Wood in 1996, two years after gender-integrated training began at the base. Seventeeen drill instructors were either convicted, pleaded guilty or received discharges in lieu of courts-martial. At about the same time, a sensational sex scandal exploded at Aberdeen Proving Ground, shortly after the re-election of then-President Bill Clinton.

According to the Post-Dispatch, "since 2005, sexual misconduct allegations against drill sergeants increased each year. In 2007, 68 percent of all trainee abuse allegations involved drill sergeant sexual misconduct, far ahead of complaints about physical or verbal abuse." The paper deserves credit for publishing a disturbing story, but where were the rest of the media been on this story during the past two years?

Harvey Perritt, spokesman for the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), declares the Army's vigilance on the issue, promising to "prosecute to the fullest extent we can if allegations are investigated and found to be valid." Unfortunately, the primary source of the problem is the Pentagon itself. CMR compiled an analysis of Army Gender-Integrated Basic Training (GIBT) in 2003. Its findings are available here. The failure of TRADOC and officials of the Army to acknowledge evidence that co-ed basic training undermines discipline and morale has led to the myriad problems now emerging.

CMR has more data and analysis on this issue available at its page on co-ed basic training. We challenge the media to do more investigation on this story, with questioning minds open enough to consider the effect of gender integrated training on sexual misconduct in the ranks.

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Interested readers, including members of the military, are invited to comment through the "Confidential Contact" site on this website, Nothing in the CMR SITREP Blog is intended to aid or hinder elections or the passage of legislation before Congress.
posted by CMR Editor @ 11/24/2008 07:13:00 PM

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Obama's "Universal Service" Threatens National Security

In a July 20, 2008 American Thinker article titled "Obama's Civilian National Security Force," Lee Cary described the elaborate plans of Barack Obama to transform America "into one, giant, community organizer's sandbox at enormous cost to taxpayers."

Mr. Cary, who has personal experience in volunteer community organizing, noted the expansiveness of Obama's "Plan for Universal Voluntary Public Service." Starting on page 59, in small print, the plan amounts to mandated, universal volunteerism-a contradiction in terms. The ultimate purpose is to convert Americans' current volunteer spirit and efforts into what Cary described as "cogs in a gigantic government machine grinding out [Obama's] social re-engineering agenda."

Essentially, Obama would co-opt Americans' present volunteerism and coerce additional "service." Not only would this mean dramatic increases in spending for new government-sponsored "volunteer" programs, it also would inculcate in its participants the notion that they owe volunteerism and service to the government, and the government likewise owes them something in return. The perpetuation of such a concept would actually erode and endanger true volunteerism and public service by tainting the motivation behind civic-mindedness. The expectation that service should result in some tangible reward weakens a sense of duty.

The tradition of "service as its own reward" is nowhere more important than in our military, which depends on volunteers who have a strong belief in country and freedom, and service to both before self.

The fiscal consequences of Obama's service program demand scrutiny, but Obama's plans extend further than simply adding new government programs. His inversion of the incentives that underpin our nation's institutions, especially the military's, threaten to redefine traditional notions of volunteerism and service. Regardless of who wins the election today, Americans need to soberly and seriously consider proposed plans for universal national service.

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Interested readers, including members of the military, are invited to comment through the "Confidential Contact" site on this website, Nothing in the CMR SITREP Blog is intended to aid or hinder elections or the passage of legislation before Congress.
posted by CMR Editor @ 11/04/2008 05:31:00 PM

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