Sexual misconduct results from the military’s unchanging policies.
The US Military has an epidemic of sexual misconduct against servicemen/women. It is caused by the military’s promiscuous recruitment strategy and the skewed “moral atmosphere” senior personnel create for new recruits.
News sources that have discussed this issue, like the New York Times, the Denver Post, and the Center for Security Policy.org, miss those two underlying reasons for the widespread sexual harassment.
There was also an epidemic of sexual misconduct in the military during the 1990’s. I remember career soldiers telling my class of recruits to avoid sexual harassment of fellow soldiers so that we can break the trend of sexual harassment that was plaguing the military. Well, nothing has changed between then and now: sexual harassment continues at an all-time high. So let’s examine how the above-mentioned causes help foster long-term sexual misconduct.
First, the recruitment strategy. Military recruiters recruit anyone and everyone before basic training starts. Military recruiters only make sure that a recruit has no current warrants out for their arrest and no pending incarceration or court appearances. Otherwise, the military recruits everyone without regard to their criminal background. That is why the “former” gang-member sits alongside the law-abiding citizen, why the drug dealer sits next to the proper Christian girl and why even the suicidal person sits next to the mentally healthy recruit. The military recruits people from all walks of life without deliberately excluding criminals. So many corrupt people get recruited to begin with. Of course, not every soldier is a criminal and some are honest citizens. But too many recruits are corrupt and go on later in their career to sexually harass other servicemen/women.
Furthermore, the military’s senior personnel talk to recruits with the foreknowledge that a lot of them are “former” criminals. So, when I sat with other recruits listening to servicemen speak, I noticed that they talked to us as if we were all drug dealers, gang-members and other criminals. This not only proves the above point but also leads us to the second—and prime—cause of the sexual misconduct: the moral atmosphere that the career servicemen foster for new recruits.