wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Sex and the single (we hope) soldier

So it looks like getting yourself pregnant in a war zone could get you a court-martial instead of an early DEROS*, at least if you're serving in TF Marne over in Northern Iraq. And Daddy may well end up on charges along with the prospective mama, since the orders in Iraq are to keep your camies buttoned and not be fucking your fellow soldiers.

By way of background, when I was born in 1959 that was the end of my mother's Air Force career. No ifs, ands, or buts: that's the way these things were handled back in the day when women were in separate parts of the military. Jump forward twenty years, and things had changed. Female soldiers who got pregnant had the option of getting out, or staying in with the kid if they were married and could find child care. Now I guess anything goes; they'll even let single parents enlist these days, which used to be an automatic bar to enlistment. Which I can understand; there is a war on, after all, and it's hard to find in-shape folks without criminal records who also have high school diplomas that actually mean something. Oh, yeah, they have to be in moderately decent physical condition, too.

Now, call me an asshole if you want, but I'm totally in favor of this policy. You knew what the orders were when you got sent to Iraq, you swore to obey those orders, and then you went and fucked somebody anyway, and then you got pregnant. Deliberate or not, who cares at this point? Now you have to be sent back to CONUSstan and some other poor bastard has to be shipped in to do your job; as a secondary consideration, the Army is now on the hook to pay for pre-natal care, birthing the kid, and fiddling your pay so that you now collect separate rations and/or quarters allowance, assuming you stay in and don't opt to check out early on your enlistment. Which winds up screwing somebody else, since the Army now has to find someone to replace you not just for your tour in Iraq, but for the rest of your enlistment. That sucks ass.

I remember seeing all the useless pregnant women in the 331st ASA Company** who were awaiting out-processing and being pissed off because we we short of bodies already (the Army has always been short of linguists) and they were drawing the same pay I was for doing...nothing. Once you were on pregnancy profile you couldn't work in the motorpool, you couldn't go to the field on exercises, you couldn't do much of anything. The smart thing to do would have been to send these women to field stations so they could at least get some use out of them before they became civilians again, but the Army wasn't that flexible. It probably still isn't. It's not like you can call Robert Half and have them send up a truck mechanic/med tech/whatever you happen to be short on because Specialist M.J. Rottencrotch was off the Pill when she was banging Specialist J.D. Dumbshit and is now expecting a blessed event. Or even move them from one unit to another in the way civilian companies shuffle people between offices.

I dunno that a court-martial is the right answer, or the whole answer. I'd prefer to see thoughtless assholes like this involuntarily extended so that whatever time lost to pregnancy is just nailed on to the end of the enlistment, for Mom and Dad both. Hey, he helped cause the problem, he should help fix it, amirite? And just because I'm a vindictive fuck, the extension would have to be served in the war zone. Taste some hot sweaty justice in the Sandbox, losers. Nobody's been crazy enough to make me Secretary of the Army, much less Defense, though, so we probably won't see that policy any time soon. But I can dream, can't I?

* DEROS: Date of Estimated Return from Overseas Station.
** This was my permanent duty station in Germany after I got bounced from the 340th ASA/11th Armored Cav.
Tags: culture w/o politics, military stuff
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