I woke from a dream last night on sexual assault. It was an unpleasant experience, and I’m not going to talk about it here… that’s a story for a different blog post. Suffice to say that it was an uncomfortable night, and I’ll have a great deal to talk about in therapy today.
Instead, I’m going to talk about the US Army, and EOD School.
I was selected in BOLC – Basic Officer Leadership Course – as a candidate for EOD – Explosive Ordnance Disposal – training. It was an honor; only the best of the best are selected. I was the only female officer chosen. When I arrived at training, I was one of three women, out of a class of about thirty. As we progressed, the others failed out, and I was the only one left.
Then, I made my mistake. One of the instructors asked me out. I didn’t report it. Instead, I told one of my friends about it, and asked his advice. I was afraid of what would happen should I report it, and I didn’t know what to do. He told his friends – and before I knew it, the rest of the class stopped talking to me. Rumors flew – I was sleeping with the instructor for my spot, and more along those lines. I won’t bother to repeat them, because they were disgusting. The rest of the class stopped talking to me completely. I continued to work, as hard as I could… but eventually, I failed out.
Looking back, I know that instructor was in the wrong – this is a pervasive problem that affects the U.S. Army. I was sexually assaulted (in the U.S. Army), sexually harassed (in the U.S. Army), and know many other women, and men, who experienced the same (men are most definitely victims as well). Do I regret my service? Absolutely not. But the U.S. Army needs to change. Most definitely, and without question.