Her article, posted with a pen name on John Q. Public, was outstanding. It goes to show the doublespeak of "equality" so often found in the military, and the kid-gloves-high-school-monitor approach applied to warriors like Kayce who signed up to brave circumstances most Americans cannot fathom. I particularly enjoyed her depiction of the Tyranny of the Offense Takers that has taken hold, at least in my experience, within office environments in non-combat units much moreso than I have ever seen before:
You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended.
As a Gunship guy with eight deployments during actual no-kidding shooting war, the stuff I see from non-combatants in our service today from those who seem to think they work at IBM (if it were genetically crossed with a day care) staggers me. I feel like a stranger in a strange land. I remember conducting combat operations, with a thirteen "man" gunship crew that included, of course, females. We all lived and slept in the same tent, crew integrity, with poncho liners put up as dividers for our cots. Now if I bring up a war story about a mission I conducted, in front of young military officers that I'm supposed to train for combat aviation, eyes get wide and mouths drop like I farted in church. This illustration from one student years ago captures it perfectly.
But those missions included females, and not just our intelligence officer who I later married. Our Gunship Gals were not protected and isolated and treated like children. They were military professionals and experts in the art of war. They didn't need protection, but you can be sure their male crew members would provide it just as the females would do the same for their male counterparts. It was a tight knit, highly effective combat organization. It was not a bunch of tough guys taking care of the fragile girls forced into the unit. In the real profession of arms, nobody needs protection because they have met the standard expected of all, they are equals, and they will protect themselves. They kill the enemy and they save American lives by superior performance, grit, and dedication. They don't need protection from men, and they also don't need it from politicians. And you cannot form an effective combat outfit when you isolate and treat some of its members differently.
I can sense this disgust at the patronization felt by Airman Kayce in her article. We're in the profession of arms, right? So why do we now feel like we're at a Chuck E. Cheese with mandatory nap time and arts and crafts?
Not all communities are created equal. Not all standards are the same. But on the whole, our service really needs to grow up instead of attempting to grow down. It's losing focus on its purpose.
Good on Hagen for effectively communicating what so many of us are thinking, while we try to deal with a minority of insecure people, supported by a good chunk of politicians in uniform, who feel empowered by the latest (and I don't care what the slide says) political correctness crusade.
Sexual assault is a problem and it needs to be dealt with. But not in the thin skinned pseudo-intellectual manner that has characterized some of the approach so far. It's not all bad, and good on the service for trying to tackle a once historically off limits topic. But that last batch of an attempt left some marks on self imposed foreheads.
And good on Hagen for plugging Sir Mix. Seatown represent.