Friday, February 24, 2012

Reforming a Recalcitrant Military

Reforming a Recalcitrant Military: " At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they [the Armed Forces] exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together ... When you put on that uniform, it doesn't matter if you're black or white; Asian, Latino, Native American; conservative, liberal; rich, poor; gay, straight. When you're marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails ... you know that there's someone behind you, watching your back.
-President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 24, 2012.

During my first few months in Iraq, my sergeant assaulted and harassed me so much I couldn't take it any more. So I decided to report him. But when I turned him in, they said, "The one common factor in all these problems is you. Don't see this as a punishment, but we're going to have you transferred." Then that same sergeant was promoted right away. I didn't get my promotion for six months ... Everybody's supposed to have a battle buddy in the army, and females are supposed to have one to go to the latrines with, or to the showers - that's so you don't get raped by one of the men on your own side. But because I was the only female there, I didn't have a battle buddy. My battle buddy was my gun and my knife.
-Army Specialist Chantelle Henneberry, 172 Stryker Brigade

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