Your Opinion: Disgusted by sexist military

Dear Editor:

It was with disgust that I heard the recent news stories of the Department of Defense’s continued failure to address the issue of sexual assault in the military.

Over 30 years ago, I left the USAR primarily because of the pervasive sexist culture I experienced as an enlisted medical professional. The military culture regarded distaff soldiers as either sluts or dykes.

Confronting that culture significantly decreased the pride I had felt in serving in my country. I considered myself lucky as I never had to deal with a sexual assault. At that time, I figured it was because I was in a medical unit which was not that much of a warrior brotherhood and, because it was a reserve unit, I did not have to face the culture 24/7.

A court case in which victims sued the DOD was dismissed because “sexual assault is an occupational hazard.” This reasoning led me to think perhaps OSHA should investigate sexual assaults in the Armed Forces. It certainly could not do any worse than the present resolution of cases under the UCMJ and might be more feared by the chain of command.

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