Naivete, thy name is Kate Hoit

| December 19, 2009 | 43 Comments

I read this article last night in the Stars and Stripes, thought about commenting, then changed my mind. Until this morning when I saw that Kate Hoit, one of the newest bloggers at Vote Vets decided to write about it. Basically, the article and the policy are very simple – women in combat shouldn’t get pregnant and Major General Anthony Cucolo, the commander of Multi-National Division-North, Iraq, decided to make it a command policy and threatened his command with court martials for violating that policy.

gi-kate2

Ms. Hoit writes;

Should soldiers be wise when partaking in sexual activities? Of course. Use a condom. Get on birth control. Emergency contraception should be readily available (which it seems we are fighting for now). I learned about sex education in 6th grade. If I don’t want a bundle of joy I’m not going to have sex, or I’m going to use a condom, or I’m going to take a pill everyday at 12:30pm. If I’m serving in Iraq or Afghanistan I’m going to put my mission first. I’m going to do everything possible to not get pregnant. Maj. Gen. Cucolo III is naive for thinking he can solve the pregnancy problem by banning it. What soldiers need is a shot of common sense.

Um, common sense like engaging in the practice of abstention? Condoms fail, but abstention works every time it’s tried. I know VoteVets’ official policy is that gays can’t be expected to control themselves in this new world in which everybody is screwing everyone else at every opportunity – but this is war, for Pete’s sake.

I’m not so naive that I think sex doesn’t happen in war, but making pregnancy a crime seems a good way to prevent a practice that is costly for the military, and unhealthy for it’s participants (I don’t think I would have wanted have sex with any woman who wanted sex with unkept, unbathed me when I was in Iraq).

Ms. Hoit acts like there’s no choice in sexual activity. Although, I’ll admit that there are probably instances in which the woman has no choice, however, I suspect that’s not the case in most instances. If there are as many rapes in the military as many claim, this policy should increase the reporting rates, shouldn’t it? And that’s good, right?

Somehow, mentioning that this is the 21st century and insinuating that casual sex was invented in Ms. Hoit’s lifetime seems to be the height of naivete. Calling a military policy which is aimed at the health and readiness of military members naive is just ignorant.

And, oh, Kayla Williams, since I know you keep an eye on this blog for the mention of your name, if I hadn’t made a promise to one of our mutual friends, I’d be tearing you up, too. That promise is wearing thin.

Category: Military issues, Terror War, VoteVets

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  1. Matt says:

    Pregnancy=Self-Inflicted wound. Pregnant Soldier is out of the fight as effectively if they had been wounded by an IED or RPG. A pregnant Soldier must be medically evac’d within 14 days upon discovery of the pregnancy. Now the unit must complete the mission short-handed or train up a newbie. Way to go Fobbitts.

  2. Ben says:

    Okay, VoteVets is stupid, but this is really stupid:

    “Maj. Gen. Cucolo III is naive for thinking he can solve the pregnancy problem by banning it. What soldiers need is a shot of common sense.”

    Uh, yeah…DUH! Of course they need a shot of common sense! But how do we give it to them?

    Pregnancy in the military was an EPEDEMIC when I was in, and most of my time in the military was pre-Iraq War. Now that we are in Iraq, the number of women trying to get themselves out of the combat zone by getting pregnant must be even higher.

    This further illustrates why women in the military is an incredibly bad idea. Was pregnancy in the military a problem prior to the Carter years? Nope. The fact that women are biologigically capable of carrying children is a major distinction between the sexes and one of the major reasons that they are not interchangeable in the military sense.

    By the way, DNA tests should be done to court martial the father, too.

  3. Kate Hoit says:

    “Um, common sense like engaging in the practice of abstention?”

    I completely agree with this statement. However, we all know preaching abstinence doesn’t always work. Who are you? Sarah Palin? So, now you’re going to start throwing people in jail? Give me a break. It’s like a Band-Aid over a bullet wound. You can’t go from point A to Z without adjusting other rules and regulations. You want to throw people in jail for getting pregnant then why are married soldiers allowed to room together? You want to make sure soldiers never partake in sexual activity? Well, I guess you must just put female soldiers on one side of camp and male soldiers on the other. Maybe when soldiers enter theater they can start pinky swearing never to have sex.

    “I’m not so naive that I think sex doesn’t happen in war, but making pregnancy a crime seems a good way to prevent a practice that is costly for the military, and unhealthy for it’s participants (I don’t think I would have wanted have sex with any woman who wanted sex with unkept, unbathed me when I was in Iraq).”

    AGAIN. My point. Making pregnancy a crime is not going to change anything. Will it scare a few people? Yes. Will it make a few people practice abstinence? Sure. If you want to keep your soldiers healthy it needs to start with regulations that can be enforced, strong leadership, access to resources that can prevent pregnancy (condoms, emergency contraceptives), and acknowledging that adults in a war zone could potentially have sex. What’s next? Female soldiers being issued chastity belts?

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      Everyone comes to TAH.

      Yeah, I’m Sarah Palin, or at least my mind was programmed at the same GOP clinic where we all get programmed to think the same way for a cash award and a Ronald Reagan Bobblehead.

      I’ll bet there have been times, however rare, that you abstained from sex. Who are you? Sarah Palin?

      The Army is in the habit of regulating behavior, usually it’s for the benefit of the whole, rather than the individual. At this point in time, all of the benefits of being pregnant accrue to the pregnant soldier, while the whole suffers as a result of her irresponsibility.

      I suppose the good general could just call a formation and give them an order to not be pregnant in theater and then court martial those who do get pregnant on another charge. Would that suit you?

  4. las says:

    I am a Vietnam era WAC (Womens Army Corps). When I was active duty the policy was WAC were discharged once they became pregnant. It didn’t make any difference if they were married or not.

    Justification I heard was, women had to be deployable.

    Looks like the pregnancy policy should be reversed.

    At the time there was a way to get around that. After giving birth put baby up for adoption or have a friend or relative adopt the baby, then reenlist.

    The pregnancy issue will become cannon fodder for people who believe women shouldn’t be in the military. They ought to be belong in the kitchen!

    I can think of a number of reasons why men are not deployable.

    Drug abuse, alcohol addiction, court martials or subject to trial by court-martial, injuries connected to playing sports, while off duty involved in a fight causing injuries, as well as in the process or the conclusion accusations of domestic violence.

    Last but not least. It is a shame some military women become pregnant just to get out of being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, or once there they are in the family way. Makes it look bad for the rest of the military women who are not like that.

  5. Sporkmaster says:

    Why not treat this the same way as alcohol is in a combat zone. You know people will still try to drink, but if you get caught you have to pay up.

    Also I a hard time feeling symptomatic about not having sex for a year outside of mid tour leave. Also to make things interesting was the fact that one top all the different reasons why cheating is a wrong and bad idea, they go out of their way to block us from watching porn. Not to mention that anytime a Iraqi shows you his phone there is porn on it. Or begin asked for Viagra several times by the same people.

    So why should they not get UCMJ for getting pregnant in a combat zone?

  6. BooRadley says:

    ok, surprising myself, I think I’m ok with the UCMJ for pregnancy in the combat zone.
    That said, Ben is a moron, because I don’t think that removing WOMEN all together, and lumping them all as trying to get preg to get out of Iraq is very intelligent.

    I would hope that the MALE would get office hours as well. (a dna profile couldn’t hurt.)
    anyway.
    Hmmm.
    A

  7. Skye says:

    However, we all know preaching abstinence doesn’t always work.

    You can say the same about IUD’s, Condoms, Pill, Patch, Implants, Spermicides etc. How many times did your partner fail to use a condom? How many times did you forget to take the pill?

    Interesting to note, the CDC state – “Continuous abstinence—This method means not having vaginal intercourse at any time. It is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy.”

    You can read the entire review here:

    http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/UnintendedPregnancy/Contraception.htm

  8. Matt says:

    There are few simple rules for Fobbits in combat.

    1- Don’t take more than two beverages from the DFAC at a time.
    2- Don’t have a negligent discharge.
    3- Don’t get pregnant.

    The argument that married couples live together in combat is a strawman at best. What does that have to do with pregnancies? The CG is not outlawing sex. He is outlawing irresponsible behavior, i.e., failure to use protection, pull-out, swallow, etc, that is detrimental to his troops.

    Pregnancy=Self-Inflicted Wound.

  9. streetsweeper says:

    I can think of a couple of dozen stitch’s why I wouldn’t want a pregnant female (MP) soldier serving beside me. Not a one of ‘em would make you feel good.

    There is nothing worse than having a patrol partner standing by,watching several perp’s turn you any which way but loose.

    Because my partner was PG, she was useless. It took more than a few minutes for back-up to arrive while the living hell was kicked and cut out of me.

    Thank God for seeing to it that the U.S. Army had issued me a Colt .45 ACP for a sidearm because my pregnant patrol partner was worthless as hell that night.

  10. Bill R. says:

    The way I see it, the rule is pretty simple. Don’t get pregnant! The way you don’t get pregnant is up to you but it is mandatory and you will abide by it or there will be consequences. Nuff said.

  11. OldTrooper says:

    Kate; you make some good points, however, I need to know wtf Sarah Palin has to do with the discussion? Did she blow in the General’s ear to get him to make this rule? Or, could it possibly have soemthing to do wih the fact that you are a member of VoteVets and you,as a member and by rule, have to say something deogatory about Sarah Palin whenever you respond to anything?

    I was in your corner, as far as your argument, but that ship sailed the second you mentioned her name, since she has nothing to do with this conversation. Now, I’m going to view you as a partisan hack who has to menion party politics in something that has nothing to do with politics. If you want to rail on a military man that is working political angles, talk to Gen. Casey.

  12. Marine 83 says:

    Old Trooper you are 100% right on. But to the topic at hand, I suspect MG Anthony Cucolo has seen his last star because of this order. Far to politically incorect to be allowed to advance any farther. Good on him for having the leaderhsip ability to do what is right.

  13. justplainjason says:

    I don’t like to personally attack people, but Ben you are an idiot. I am not going to waste anymore time explaining why I think that you can figure it out.

  14. UpNorth says:

    Right on, Old Trooper. Seems that some folks out on the nets just can’t help themselves, they have to make personal attacks part of their whole persona. Once they do, whatever they may have said that approaches a legitimate argument is lost.
    So, Kate may have just as well been whistling a tune, or shouting “La La La”, because her arguments became worthless.
    But, I’m sure dicksmith is totally proud of his minion.

  15. dutch508 says:

    Hey. You’re pretty hot. What say after dinner in teh mess hall we go out to a bunker and **** like bunnies.

    I swear I’ll pull out!

  16. I have to agree with Kate on this one.

  17. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    Since when does a general order equate to preaching? Generals give orders, and soldiers obey them. If they fail to obey they need to accept the concequences.

    I’m not stupid. I know soldiers were getting their groove on in country. I also know soldier were getting their drink on in country too, even though there was a general order against that as well. Both orders were in place for the good order and dicipline of the unit. The fact that soldier will try to circumvent regulations is not an excuse to ignore them.

  18. Jesse says:

    Wow. She says something about Sarah Palin and that makes her initial argument worthless? That makes no sense. And is the TAH peanut gallery really going to chastise someone for a “personal attack?” I wish a had a nickel for every time someone personally attacked me on this site.

    “Calling a military policy which is aimed at the health and readiness of military members naive is just ignorant.” Really, Jonn? http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=12561

  19. TSO says:

    You don’t think there is a difference Jesse between a policy that would take someone out of theater immediately, and one which takes years to minifest?

    I personally like the policy, if only because Joe has to at least be semi-discreet. You are there to hurt bad guys, not play with Jill. On top of that, the issues revolving what happens when one Joe gets Jill, and another does not certainly creates tension.

    If the First Sergeant is having sex with the E4, does no one not see the possible problems with this?

  20. Joe says:

    The 1SG has been having sex with the SPC for 8 years now. The only true way to “ban” this is to separate males from females on the FOB, which I’ve seen work.

    There are no tension issues with one Jill for many Joes, just multiple “you are an idiot”‘s for Joes that low crawl to the female areas of the FOB to get some.

  21. OldTrooper says:

    Well, Jesse, since you are brain dead, I’m not going to waste my time to try and explain it to you. Suffice it to say, even if I would explain it to you; you still wouldn’t understand.

  22. Anon says:

    Watching Specialist Hoit try to defend her argument is laughable.

  23. Nixon says:

    I’m in between Kate and Jonn on this one. I agree getting knocked up on deployment is not a good thing for combat readiness. But the policy set forth by the General seems a bit unfair to female soldiers, since it takes two to make a baby. Maybe they could get rid of that silly rule about not allowing pornography into Iraq. I understand not offending the local Muslim culture, but on a FOB that’s going to be gone in a few years, who cares. Then AFN could run some cheeky ad campaign like “Spankin’ not Bangin’!” or something and people could pleasure themselves.

  24. Carl Webb says:

    Did you say “VoteVets’ official policy is that gays can’t be expected to control themselves in this new world in which everybody is screwing everyone else at every opportunity?

  25. Sporkmaster says:

    Joe

    What Fob was that? I mean good luck trying to separate them and have a working FOB.

    My unit was mixed with males and females all the way down to the Squad level. So your idea would not work for us.

  26. Matt says:

    I am an AH64D Pilot. During my previous tour- OIF 06-08, Oct 06-Jan 08, we had numerous incidents of sexual misconduct. For example-

    1- FARP personnel pulling a train on a lone PFC, the incident was discovered, rape was declared because she was married. The video submitted to exonerate the accused showed a willing participant, along with alcohol and cannabis consumption. Results- 3 courts-martials with prison time, 3 FG UCMJ w/ associated extra duty, etc, and an entire support BN getting piss-tested on a regular basis. No loss of combat effectiveness there. (Sarcastic comment)

    2- BN CSM caught shagging his SPC driver. Investigation turns up evidence of malfeasance by 2x BN CDRs and several other SNCOs. Illicit “strip bars” w/ alcohol and “love shacks” are rumored to be involved. CSM is courts-martialed, busted to SPC, and imprisoned, both BCs are “asked” to retire, and time/energy/resources are wasted on investigation. BN CDRs BDE CDR keep their jobs as would be serious PR issue for Army (CSM McKinney type “blackeye” for Army). No loss of combat effectiveness there- (Sarcasm alert again).

    3- BN S4 is at 70% strength upon deployment. 1xCPT(RIP CPT Mark Resh, KIA, 28 Jan 07, An Najaf), 1xSSG(F), 1xSGT, 1xSPC, and 1x PFC(F). 4 months into tour, SGT is promoted and moved to another BN due to critical shortage due to pre-deployment pregnancies. BN S4 section now at less than 40%. PFC gets married on midtour, returns to Iraq, shacks up with hubby, gets pregnant within 2 months of return. PFC redeploys and joins Rear-D for outprocess on pregnancy chapter. BN S4 now down to 30% of required personnel with 6 months left on tour. No loss of combat effectiveness there- (sarcasm still on).

    What do all of these incidents have in common? Failure to exercise personal responsibility and a blatant disregard for the needs of their fellow Soldiers. What about the waste of resources required to process all of these discharges and investigations when the primary goal should be killing jib-jabs.

    Are thousands of Soldiers having sex everyday in theater? Of course they are. And thousands of Soldiers are using proper precautions to avoid pregnancies. The only thing the general is asking for is that Soldiers practice some personal responsibility and demonstrate faithfulness to their fellow Soldiers. Pregnancy and misconduct are self-inflicted wounds that only hurt the unit as a whole.

  27. Joe says:

    It was our FOB. We were an infantry company running convoy escort everyday with some supply BN doing supply things on their side of the base. The only interaction we had was when we needed Class 1. We worked nights, they did whatever it is supply people do and never interacted. We lived in JP Medium tents on the far side of the base and they lived in CHUs by the chow hall so it was quite obvious when you were going somewhere you weren’t supposed to.

  28. I like Matt’s examples, I know of a truckload of misconduct. But any new rule only will apply in it’s harshest form for a certain rank and below. They sold condoms at my last FOBs tiny little PX, and I don’t see what was wrong with that. Putting a ban on sex will not stop it from happening. It all boils down to personal responsibility. No disrespect to Ms. Hoit, but I can never figure out why women want to join the Army to begin with.

  29. fm2176 says:

    I saw Kayla Williams’ name on here and thought I’d share an old war story.

    Anyway, no sh*t, there I was: a Rakkasan 11B finally at the brigade rear on Tallafar getting to eat genuine KBR chow. The chow tent was packed, and there was one open table, with a young, attractive female peacefully reading a book with her dinner. My fireteam sat down with her and engaged in a rather enlightening debate about the finer points of FOB chow versus MREs, and of burning the remnants of those MREs versus watching the honeywagon come around to the portajohns. She tried to ignore us with the exception of casual greetings. SPC Boyle and myself couldn’t let that happen, both coming from blue collar backgrounds and having two “college kids” (then-SPC Williams, though she was promoted very soon after, and our team leader). So, we proceeded to loudly discuss the deserted island scenario, and how much better suited we were with our trades than they were with their education. Dumb, I know, but having a captive female listener for the duration of her dinner inspired us to be particularly assclownish that evening. As an aside it also prevented any chance of anyone on my team getting intimate with any female within earshot, much less getting them pregnant. She closed the book, ate more expeditiously, and left the AO. I kept my eyes peeled for her the rest of the deployment, but our battalion was isolated from all the support units. While the brigade slice elements (including the “Intel” guys) got to live it up in the newfangled trailers, we Iron Rakkasan Infantrymen were happy with our GP Large tent complete with broken heater. At least we didn’t have to shovel crap out of that. We were among the first on Tallafar in May 2003, shoveled goat crap out of the hangars, then the brass moved in and kicked us out. A little later we had the joy of shoveling human crap out of an old fort with crude pornography on the walls. All this time the brigade were roughing it in nice clean tents at Tallafar.

    Flash forward. No more crap to shovel as I am a young Sergeant in The Old Guard. I go to Fort Myer to see if John Laurence has published his book on our exploits in Iraq yet (for a good read about my platoon’s trials and tribulations, check out this article: http://www.esquire.com/features/the-essay/ESQ0803-AUG_WAR) when I see an eye catching book title and a remotely familiar face. I buy the book solely because I recognize her, we were both in the same general location at the same general time and because I don’t know what it’s like to be young and female in the US Army. The book gets halfway read, ADD kicks in when a new Guns magazine is placed on top of it, and it is subsequently buried under a pile of other books and magazines. The book wasn’t that bad, it was actually somewhat interesting, and I realized that I should have taken more non-homoerotic pictures and kept a journal so I could one day be an author. Or not…. One thing I was disappointed about with the book was that there was no mention of a couple of ignorant misogynistic Infantry guys annoying her peaceful dinner.

    Now, onto this pregnancy issue. My unit took no losses due to pregnancy. Okay, that’s a moot point since we were all male (I think) and were disowned by brigade most of the deployment. Even when we were finally reclaimed by brigade, though, we had no issues with Iron Rakkasans impregnating permanent FOB dwellers. I equate this to a number of things. Discipline and good leadership are chief among those. It had been months since I last spoke to an American female when we sat down with SPC Williams. Still, the last thing on my mind was “Let’s play Rico Suave and try to get some trailer time.” Even if I had been dumb enough to try to find a willing young lady over there, my chain of command would have busted my balls. We were always accounted for, rarely left the battalion area without our fireteam, and there were few private areas for us to hook up at. Well, the portajohns, but that’s what the portable DVD player and video CDs were for. We prided ourselves on our isolation, and the closest anyone I knew came to getting intimate was when a couple of squad leaders befriended a attractive Lieutenants and started sitting with them for chow.

    I have a family, and I know many other Soldiers, both male and female, who do. There is a time and a place for conceiving a child, and during or just before a deployment is not one of them. As much as the Army stresses its Values and Warrior Ethos, there sure do seem to be a lot of Soldiers who don’t live by them.

  30. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    There’s no place for having sex downrange. Seriously, there’s usually no physical place for it. Although, I do remember some crude instructional drawings inside one of the porta-potties. During my time in Kuwait we had two sexual misconduct related incidents with our unit. The first involved an E-5 and a KBR contractor. Since they weren’t able to find any privacy and he had access to a POV, he snuck her off the reservation and parked behind a non-descript buiding to do the dirty. Unfortunately the Kuwaiti police happened upon them. Also unfortunately, the non-descript building turned out to be a mosque for the local workers. So one couple trying to get some action almost became an international incident. The second incident involved a married E-5 and an E-4. Our unit was housed in GP mediums (or whatever they call the modern equivilent), eight soldiers per tent. Most of the soldier tried to section off their private space with hanging blankets, lockers, plywood or whatever. Still there really wasn’t any privacy. Of course that didn’t stop these two. Almost nightly, the female would sneak into the tent for a booty call. After what must have been many sleepless nights, one of the roommates interrupted them by snapping a few pictures and then threatening to expose the affair to the E-5s wife. The naked (and from what I hear still aroused) E-5 then charged at our hapless photog and beat him senseless, then grabbed the camera and deleted the photos.

  31. PDizzle says:

    Perhaps I’m just so used to not getting laid that it no longer matters, but what is so difficult about keeping one’s ACU pants on? My MP BN had three or four girls get knocked up, only one of whom actually ever did any work, so while it was a net loss of personel, it didn’t really hurt us mission wise. That said, the effect on morale when you’re watching crappy porn while the guy in the room next to you is doing the real deal is not cool. Kate, do you think our soldiers are so weak that they cannot go without sex for one whole year? Folks, stop wasting tax dollars getting pregnant.

  32. Matt says:

    Casey,

    You missed the point. The CG does not say don;t have sex. He says don’t get pregnant.

  33. I need to read up on this a bit more. I hate to say this, but on both of my deployments I saw a truckload of females both times get knocked up right before a deployment. Most, it would have been their first time going. I understand being in the Army and not liking it, and they are not getting pregnant because they feel the wars are wrong, they are just doing it to get out of their deployment.

  34. tankerbabe says:

    Kudos to Maj. Gen. Cucolo.

  35. Jon P says:

    Quote from the article
    “The policy, which went into effect Nov. 4, makes it possible to face punishment, including a court-martial and jail time, for becoming pregnant or impregnating a servicemember, according to the wording of the policy and confirmations from Army officials.”

    LT Nixon, Please note that it DOES mention both particpants in the act as eligible for court martial.

  36. Junior AG says:

    Young G.I.s are hormone propelled sex machines. Put that one-eyed Ranger into MOPP level 4 before conducting any deep penetration recons and this shite is a non-issue….

    Deployment has been an “Orgy of One”* for me, am very married…

    *For you youngsters,a song about beating the bishop by a wholesome band called “The Meatmen” fronted by Tesco Vee.

  37. justplainjason says:

    It took me a second to figure out the “Orgy of One”…thats f’ing hilarious.

  38. LL says:

    The most interesting point I read in the CNN version of this story is this part:

    “In one case, a male soldier received the “most severe punishment,” according to the explanation sent to those serving in northern Iraq. Cucolo does not give any other details about the case except to say the soldier “committed adultery as well.”"

    I’m with the General all the way on this issue. Both parties are held accountable, they are disobeying General Order #1 to begin with, and their teammates who have to stay are the ones who bear the brunt of their bad decision making. I get the feeling the GEN is just solidifying his options when he catches people being stupid this way. More power to him!!

  39. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    Just a note, adultery is still considered a crime under UCMJ.

  40. LL says:

    I’m still following this story in online articles and I’m confused. This article by Reuters says US Central Command is saying there is no prohibition of sex between consenting single adults and any policies are at local command level. WTF?

    You want to know what offends me the most? The fact that NOW and feminist-type Senators are complaining about this as if they haven’t fought tooth and nail for “equal treatment” and yet when women are held to the same standards of men in making sure they are deployment ready, they piss and moan. The double standard BS aggravates me to no end.

  41. Bret says:

    Has anybody noticed that Hoit is a Specialist (an E-4) criticizing a Major General (O-8).

    Given the comparative levels of accomplishment, I am inclined to go with the general officer over the loudmouthed lower enlisted person.

    Seriously, I have taken craps that outrank and have more time in uniform that Hoit.

    What a douche!

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