Monday, March 26, 2007

A test case for the Army

Many of you may have already seen reports concerning Sgt. Marcia Ramode, a US Army recruiter. Sgt Ramode contacted Corey Andrew, someone she considered a likely candidate to recruit. Upon learning that he is gay, she engaged in a 3-day-long email exchange with him which included some fairly nasty homophobic statements on her part -- emails sent from her Army email account.

Evidently, at least one conservative blogger has tried to minimize her statements by asserting "In typical feckless Liberal fashion, [Mr. Andrew] started a silly flame war and now he wants to turn it around and be some whinny victim hounded by gay oppression."

Unlike Mr. Riehl, I would expect an NCO in our Army to have enough self-control to not be provoked into a flame war.

So, Terry, now that you've had hours back from your trip, could you (in your copious free time) describe the process set forth in the Army's rules and regulations to handle such situations?

(On the other hand, if you are madly catching up from time off, feel free to take a pass on this!)

Update from Terry: How this will actually be handled is anyone's guess, but I'd bet that the very first thing that will happen is Ramode will be immediately removed from recruiting duty and be stuck shuffling papers until she can be discharged or put back in her primary field of service.

If I were her supervisor, however, I'd recommend Non-Judicial Punishment with the intent of knocking her down to a specialist at the very least. She's given up her right to be a leader when she makes these sorts of comments, since she's failed to comply with the very basic list in the Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks (Skill Level 2) that demand leaders not make "racial or sexual comments and/or gestures...national origin or religious comments/jokes/slurs...(or) assumptions about their cultural background, race, religion, or beliefs." I'd also want to start checking into her previous dealings with military members of different races by interviewing the soldiers with whom she had worked before, to see if there's a pattern here.

And you've hit the nail exactly on the head, Jim. If one of my sergeants couldn't handle being baited in e-mail by someone who is (in my view, justifiably) pissed about governmental policies, then how could I trust that person in a truly nerve-wracking position--like sitting shotgun in a humvee in a war zone?

There are options for counseling, but a commander might simply suggest she's damaged any possibility for becoming a true leader and boot her. If her record's exemplary, who knows? There are about a million ways the Uniform Code of Military Justice could be used to kick her out, though (Article 92 is particularly applicable), because her comments do not lend themselves to creating an atmosphere of "good order and discipline."



Anonymous Happenstance said...

*reads linked article*
WOW. I'm not sure which is more depressing:
1. That DU got itself worked up into a tizzy over a Snicker commercial when they should've been saving it up;
2. Ramode's gross bigotry;
3. Ramode's gross abuse of the English language.

1:46 PM  

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