As a mom, I try to focus on what's important and not so much on the silly stuff. Some have had it harder. What is up with these generals? Richardson , U. What do you think about women in the military? I stay because I believe I can have an impact on an organization that has changed tremendously since I first raised my right hand and swore to serve my country. My reasons for staying, however, are not the same as my reasons for joining.
I've made lieutenant mistakes that I did not expect to make because I was senior enlisted, but I try to learn from them and grow. When Bataan and Corregidor fell to the Japanese in , 66 army nurses and 11 Navy nurses and 1 nurse-anesthetist were captured and imprisoned in and around Manila. Military families are frequently uprooted, and deployments can separate spouses by thousands of miles, year after year. Not a lot — and though such risk-aversion may reduce any appearance of impropriety, it will also reduce the odds that women will get the crucial mentoring that is provided so freely to their male colleagues. In every unit I have served in, I have been part of the team because I have gone into situations believing I can be part of the team and knowing that I had to work harder to prove myself because of the breasts I carry beneath my uniform. I am who I am today because I joined and because I stayed. Even retired military personnel are subject to the UCMJ, though the military rarely takes the trouble to go after retired service members. No one bats an eye when the male boss goes out running or drinking with his male subordinates, but post-Petraeus, how many male senior officers will do the same with female subordinates? My posts here are my experiences and my opinions. Of course, a wide range of other conduct can also be prejudicial to good order and discipline or likely to "bring discredit" upon the armed forces, and the UCMJ offers fairly wide latitude to commanders who believe that their subordinates have been up to no good, regardless of the form taken by the no-goodness. The higher they are, the harder they fall. Service members sure expect better of them. In serving around the world, in Germany, Fort Hood, Korea and then Iraq, I learned about myself as a soldier first, as a woman second. That would test any marriage. Jessica Scott center with her parents on the day she joined the army. Who told Kelley it was fine to declare herself the "social liaison" to Centcom? They were my lessons to be learned as a soldier. I worry about the long-term impact of our absences from their lives, but I can't dwell on it. Most soldiers I know do their best to live up to the Army values: Why should a retired four-star get away with conduct that could lead to a demotion, separation, or reduction in pay for a junior officer or enlisted soldier? Being in Iraq showed me just how short life really is. The military remains plagued by allegations of sexual harassment and assault , and a number of studies by the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs have concluded that women in the military face higher rates of sexual assault than do civilian women. A friend of mine once said that there are female soldiers, and then there are females who happen to be soldiers. A recent Rand Corp. Consider David and Holly Petraeus, who reportedly moved 23 times over the course of their marriage and were frequently separated by lengthy training periods and deployments. Some have had it harder.
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