Keeping Women in the Ranks

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Vincent White)

By Diana Danis

Service: Women Who Serve Military Women’s Coalition, Sexual Violence Policy Chair

The year 2020 has rained down fire, fear, floods, as well as freaky behavior and that’s just on the military installations. The down fall also includes child pornography, human trafficking rings, and a bunch of murders and missing troops.

High unemployment, transition from the military into an unsteady and unstable job market with no sure medical care and COVID-19 are the statuses of the day.

Going into the service is a big decision and for many poorer Americans, especially women, it is a decision to create a legacy. Women are very much minorities in the U.S. military, and being African-American, Hispanic, Native-American, Asian, LGBTQ and/or a member of one of the religious minorities compounds their status.

The Joint Chiefs are handwringing when chastised, at least in public, proclaiming the absolute unequivocal necessity to increase women so they can eventually take their rightful seats at the big table in the Pentagon.

Except they are shy on diversity in a bunch of ways and are just starting to realize that higher promotions for and opportunities for women and minorities are limited.

There aren’t a ton of minority or women Marines, even though the most senior folks say they can’t do the job without them and are absolutely putting women and men together for boot camp. Back in the barracks the men are screaming foul – and a bunch of other things – like someone took their favorite toy.

Space Force is shaping up to be really divergent and its intent to outdo everyone else by not messing that up right from the beginning. Now, if they can figure out their rank structure, they might have a real shot at leading this diversity issue.

The Army has really lost its way. Ft. Hood is apparently the 7th level of hell and has competition from the Navy.

The continuing revelations of outrageous numbers of bizarre behaviors being tolerated among senior NCOs and Officers across all the services and throughout the military are stunning. It makes clear why there is so much retaliation.

The military rank and evaluation structures allow it to happen. If “Bob” or “Sue” are super good at their jobs and step out of line here and again, well, no harm, no foul. Except, there IS harm. It IS a foul.

Nobody will write them up or correct their behavior. Troops are learning their toxic leadership style. They move up with unblemished records and now nobody wants to take a shot at them. Toxic, out of control leadership. We wonder why our folks are either leaving the service or committing suicide.

We want the bad gone and the bright and highly trained women and minorities to stay. This will show the world how good we truly are at making great things happen, protecting and defending our nation well. This will set good examples for the world as leaders. A generation of young people others look up to and want to follow.

Diana D. Danis September 18, 2020 Copyright

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