An Immodest Proposal

Laura Cannon, a 2001 West Point graduate, is — with apologies to Pat Benatar — arguing for love on the battlefield.

General Order No. 1 prohibits sex (and alcohol consumption) on an Army deployment. Typical deployments last approximately one year, so if West Point graduates follow the academy’s rules, then they abstain for all four of their college years, plus the year-long deployment. Five years of abstinence is enough to make anyone crazy.

I was a part of the Iraq invasion in 2003. At the time, I was a naive, 24-year-old lieutenant and still a virgin (because of my former Jesus obsession and aversion to cadet marching). I assumed General Order No. 1 would have no impact on my life. I was wrong.

I had no idea that a combat zone would be such a sexually charged environment. Blame it on amped-up testosterone pouring out of aggressive, athletic men. Or blame it on combat stripping even the strongest of men and women down to their core, raw emotions. Combine that with forming special bonds with comrades who promise to do whatever it takes to ensure your safe return home, including sacrificing their life for yours. What do you think happens?

While I can’t claim to be a combat expert of course, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this strikes me as a bad idea. Just because something does happen doesn’t mean it should be legitimized or encouraged.

4 comments to An Immodest Proposal

  • Cadets go home on leave. When they graduate they don’t ship out immediately to a war zone there is duty stateside where GO #1 doesn’t apply. She exaggerates the situation to try and make a point in favor a raging hormones.

    I do think it rather strange that if Joe and Jill are going out, seeing each other, hooking up, knocking boots or whatever you wish to call it stateside the Army has no problem with it for the most part. But the second you deploy downrange you can’t even hold her hand in public anymore. It defies logic, they believe that people can turn this on and off like a light switch.

    On the other hand hooking up with someone downrange just to get your rocks off is a really, really, really bad idea. Take a stateside office romance and then make it into a situation where if you break up there is no escape from that person, for the rest of the year there they are, at dinner, at breakfast, lunch, work you name it. Then we have the problem of jealousy…why’s he/she getting it and I’m not.

    Infantry and Armor units don’t have women, but aviation does and I can tell you from first hand knowledge that we had women getting pregnant during every deployment I went on. When that happens that person goes home and you get nobody to replace her, but the job still has to get done…so now you are shorthanded.

    We had one young lady that didn’t show up to work one day in Iraq. They went to her trailer, she wasn’t there. Sent people out to look for her couldn’t find her. So they put a message on the post loudspeaker calling her telling her to return to her unit. No response. So they assumed she was missing and began to move assets to set up road blocks, and checkpoints they even began to move things that were up in space to search for her believing she had been kidnapped. Eventually her “boyfriend” found her in another unit’s AO in some guys bed.

    Another couple was busted having sex in the motor pool, the girl turned up pregnant and was sent home. The guy got an article 15 and was busted down a rank.

    The first time I was deployed the unit pretty much turned a blind eye to people shacking up and the pregnancy rate was actually lower that the next two times where the commanders actively hunted down the fornicators. We dubbed those activities “pussy patrols”. Sometimes these guys walked around in the dark with NVG’s trying to catch couples “doing it”…I actually think there was something wrong with people who had that much time on their hands in a war zone. But that’s my 2 cents on this.

    • Stephanie

      I won’t say it…I won’t say it..yes I will. Former Jesus Obsession? She sounds like a very sick, Paula Broadwell type of skankety skank skank skank skank. She discovered teh inner slut and decided to give in.

      And Outlaw you are right. There is something wrong with people who have that much time on their hands in a combat zone. She had no reason to go to the academy much less ever be in our military. There’s a time and place little girl…FALLUJAH AND JALLALABAD ARE NOT EITHER!

      • The vast majority of those deployed never go “outside the wire”. In my unit people who were in support jobs had a 12 hour shift that they worked, if you took out 8 hours to sleep that leaves 4 hours to get into trouble.

        Personally I was too tired doing my regular job to try and “get some”. There were however many with the energy to expend finding a willing partner. This is not unexpected when you are talking about the demographic of 18-25 year olds. The people who I was referring to who obviously had too much time on their hands, or had their priorities screwed up were the people sulking around in the dark with NVGs trying to catch kids doing the nasty.

  • Dr. Schplatt

    I’m not sure how different or similar it is, but I’ve been a part of various volunteer programs oversees that involved missions work, charity and the like. Most of those groups had rules regarding relationships developing between the people participating in the overseas project. The reasoning was that we were there to do a certain job, and romance just complicates things and causes more problems than it’s worth. Our projects were only 1 or 2 months, not a full deployment length, but I think the idea is still valid.

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