News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 4, 2013

RONN MOTT: Sexual assaults in the military

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — The news reports about sexual assault of women in uniform have got to be sickening to those parents who have said goodbye and wished their daughters well in the military. For things that are supposed to be equal based on abilities, we’re finding that doesn’t seem to be the true story. From the academies where officers are trained to the lowest grunt in the Army, women are not being treated as equals and it’s quite obvious they’re being treated as sex symbols in uniform. It is not a good thing.

You can pass orders, in fact you can even put rape on the list of a death penalty if you commit it, and it is not going to stop it. 

I’m always surprised, and as old as I am I should not be, but doesn’t the American military look around and see what is happening in other armies, navies, and other air forces. Let me go down the line. In the IDF (the Israeli Defense Forces), no female serves in a line unit where she will face combat, yet all women of a certain age serve at least two years in the military. They do not serve in the parachute battalions, the armored battalions, and in the infantry. But they serve in roles that take men to be replaced by females so the men can serve in these front line units. This idea of equality in death is really stupid.

The top, hard-core, well-trained fighting units do not have women in them. The British SAS do not have women in their units. The French Foreign Legion, one of the best military units in the world, does not have women in their units. I could go on, but I think you get my drift. I believe women want to serve, and there are plenty of places they can serve and be rewarded in rank rather than being in a hole somewhere in Afghanistan about to get raped.

Now, everyone from the President to the Secretary of Defense is saying this cannot be tolerated. It certainly should not be tolerated, but biological urges in the dark of the night, in position of authority, where a woman is vulnerable, are going to get the results we are trying desperately to stop.

The words “military intelligence” is an oxymoron when it comes to mixing males and females together. Expecting decorum, morality and almost everything else someone thinks about when they’re facing death. No, it isn’t often thought about during a war … rather, I may be dead in half an hour.

That does not excuse the rapes occurring, but the President, Secretary of Defense, generals and admirals, and well-written orders are not going to stop this. 

These women are there to serve their country and, perhaps, even become somebody while they wear their uniform. But this is like throwing a bunch of chickens in a fox’s den and screaming at the top of your voice, “Don’t carry off the chickens!”

These young women, eager to serve, deserve the best of all treatment.

May God bless this country with better intelligence and remember what a soldier, both male and female, are there to do.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.