“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” comes to ROTC

| April 21, 2015

Temple ROTC1

So, I guess this happened at Temple University on April 1st where ROTC cadets were urged to wear red high heels to do something or other in support of someone who was the victim of something. Somehow wearing red high heels in ACUs will prevent something.

From the Temple University ROTC unit’s Facebook page;

Cadets and cadre put on their favorite pair of high heels and marched in Temple’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to raise awareness of sexual assault against women.

Temple ROTC cadre

Temple ROTC

Temple ROTC2

Thanks, I wasn’t aware of sexual assault against women until I saw a bunch of cross-dressing future and current Army officers.

Category: Military issues

Comments (79)

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  1. Green Thumb says:

    And the Army fucks it up again.

  2. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    This is bulshit.

    The rumor on facebook was that some one posted this “might” happen and said the PMS told the cadet corps if they didn’t show up they would get counseling statements in the packet that would go to determine thier branch selections (a big deal for cadets).

    As a former Army officer and cadet….that would be one counseling statement I’d be proud to take. because your performance is what really matters and even then not really. Branch selection is far more complex then most probably realize (well…I hope because it seemed pretty damn arbitrary when I went through it).

    Any way…this was a great day for the Army image.

    • Steadfast&Loyal says:

      and then again once you are in plenty of oppurtunities a wait you if you are a performer.

      I was offered a chance to rebranch a couple times. Work hard…that’s what does it.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Hell, I’d display that Counseling Statement on my “I Love Me Wall”!

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        I’d matte it and frame it.

      • CAS6 says:

        If I got one of those counseling statements, I would also frame it and put it on the wall next to the negative counseling statement I got for peeing in the woods during a field exercise. No joke, I “created an uncomfortable training environment for female soldiers” for getting out of the crowded Skookum line, running 100m into the woods, taking a knee, and taking care of business behind a tree.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          Sounds like you had one diehard PC-head of a CO, I once had one like that, life in that unit sucked until she left.

  3. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Nothing to see here really, bunch of college age guys doing something that some hot chicks support to score some points is my guess.

    Who is actually for sexual violence against women anyway besides criminals?

    This is no more stupid and no less stupid than walking in pink shoes to make people aware that women get breast cancer and die far too young from the disease.

    “Raising Awareness” is a nice term for doing something where you can’t actually do something about the root cause of the problem.

    I’m not a cancer researcher so I can wear pink cleats and raise some money so those researchers can have a few more resources to work with.

    I’m not a rapist, but if wearing some red high heels for a mile raises some money for the protection of women on campus who’s been harmed here?

    • Steadfast&Loyal says:

      word on the internets was that is was the PMS’ decision.

    • James Schardt says:

      These future leaders are being ORDERED to put on non-reg footwear that looks ridiculous with their uniform and participate in a political activity. This violates Army regulations and possibly the Hatch Act. It would be fine if this were voluntary but it isn’t. The worst part is that it is teaching these future officers that it is okay to do this when they are in charge.

      • James Schardt says:

        I should add: it would be fine if it were in civilian clothes and were voluntary.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          Ditto that, the 0ssifer(s) that ordered them to do it in uniform need to be relieved ASAP. All that’s gonna teach potential future Officers is how to force political correctness down peoples’ throats for their own political gain, and that was one main reason I ETS’ed in the early nineties!

        • SFC D says:

          Concur. I support the program and the ROTC should participate. Just not in uniform.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Being ordered is far different than being allowed to participate to present an Army presence as a community service…

        I stand corrected and agree this sucks under that circumstance. And probably violates some uniform rules as well.

    • 10th Crusader says:

      “Who is actually for sexual violence against women anyway besides criminals?

      No one, jackass. The point isn’t to turn men fighters into drag queens for even one minute, even if that’s something you get a tiny chubbie over.

      “This is no more stupid and no less stupid than walking in pink shoes to make people aware that women get breast cancer and die far too young from the disease.”

      YEah and mor men die from prostate cancer so when are yo ufoing to wear sh*t brown to “raise consciousness” of how they go up our rectums to deal with it.

      Or does that give you balsa wood as well.

  4. Hondo says:

    I agree that this is bullsh!t.

    As far as I know, Army uniform regulations are pretty damn specific about what type of footwear is authorized with the ACU. Red high heels aren’t on the list. Period.

    DoD policy is also pretty damn specific regarding the wear of the uniform while taking part in political rallies, protests, etc . . . . Not a good idea.

    If the reports concerning that PMS are correct, he/she should be relieved of duty and their career ended, with stated cause: terminal stupidity.

    You wanna protest, fine – go protest. Just don’t freaking do it in uniform. Do it in civvies.

    • MikeD says:

      Oops! Accidentally reported Hondo’s comment when I meant to reply (sorry admins!). Anyhow here’s what I had to say:

      Army Regulations section 3-7 Required or prohibited wearing of the Army uniform, subsection k:
      k. Wearing Army uniforms is prohibited in the following situations:
      (1) In connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interests, or when engaged in off-duty civilian
      (2) When participating in public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies, or public demonstrations, except
      as authorized by the first O–5 in the chain of command.

      (3) When attending any meeting or event that is a function of, or is sponsored by, an extremist organization.
      (4) When wearing the uniform would bring discredit upon the Army, as determined by the commander.
      (5) When specifically prohibited by Army regulations.

      Now, unless a LTC authorized the soldiers to wear their uniforms in this march, then it clearly falls afoul of 3-7 k (2) which, it should be noted, is a punitive article violation of UCMJ to breach. And even then, it only authorizes the wear of the uniform, it does NOT authorize the commander to materially change AR 670-1, and the order to do so falls afoul of 3-7 e:
      e. Wearing a combination of civilian and military clothing is prohibited, unless prescribed in this regulation or
      directed by the Secretary of the Army.

      Now, you are free to look through the regulation to your heart’s content for anywhere authorizing the wear of high heels with any Army Combat Uniform, but I can assure you, there is no such authorization. Nor do I believe for a hot second that the commander of this ROTC detachment sought permission from the Secretary of the Army for an exception to that.

      And leave aside the absolute abuse of authority the ROTC commander performed by requiring his cadets to volunteer upon threat of hurting their careers, the commander is in material breach of AR 670-1 and should be punished. I think the more serious charge is the abuse of his position to compel participation from his cadets in what is essentially a political activity, which ought to result in the dismissal of this office from service. But I’ll lay pretty heavy odds you’ll not even hear of an Article 15 or negative counselling coming out of this.

      • MikeD says:

        And I forgot to close my bloody href. Sorry admins.

      • Arby says:

        From the photos I have seen, the event also touts the “1 in 4” myth along with some other dubious numbers and “facts,” which in my book makes it a political rally…

    • D says:

      Concur wholeheartedly. My wife was a SHARP Victim Advocate, so obviously our family is against sexual assault. And who isn’t, really? However, if what is being said is true about the PMS making threats, he or she has to go. The uniform issues are bad enough, but threatening careers cannot be tolerated.

  5. rb325th says:

    Ordering Cadets to do this was wrong, actually doing it (regardless of the motives or cause) is wrong.
    Parading around in uniform wearing red shoes will not change squat, and when are we going to stop pretending that the issue of sexual asault and harrasment is not exclusive to females being the victims?

  6. Flagwaver says:

    1) It violated AR 670-1.
    2) The cadets were told to purchase their own footwear for this event.
    3) The cadets were no reimbursed for the purchase.
    4) SHARP is now telling cadets that only female’s can be sexually harassed.
    5) There were 3 reported injuries during the event.

    Because of the highly visible nature of this (I first read about it on U.S. Army WTF! Moments), if someone isn’t relieved/fired, then there are BIG problems.

    • C B Senior says:

      Sounds and looks like Hazing to me.
      Did anybody do an ORM and where the HELL are the REFLECTIVE BLETS.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Three reported injuries? I wonder if whoever ordered those K-dots to do that did a proper Risk Assessment? I wonder if they did an AAR afterward as well?

      • Planet Ord says:

        I’m guessing that one of them had to write an OpOrder and do a sand table exercise prior to movement. Cadets can’t sneeze or go to the bathroom without a damn OpOrder and sand table. Maybe things have changed, though. After all, whenever there was a walk for this or that on campus we just rucked it with a guidon and called it a day. Nothing silly like this.

  7. OWB says:

    Evidently this was just one more instance of using the military uniform for purposes for which it was never intended, but people who enjoy rubbing our noses in what they can make us do just because they want it.

    Yeah, all sorts of things wrong with this mess. Heads should roll, but probably won’t.

  8. B Woodman says:

    Soooo. . . . . somehow, emasculating MEN is supposed to help them protect WOMEN against future “maybe’s”.
    (shakes head, walks away. . . )

  9. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:


    Quitely slipping off his heels and hiding them under the desk!

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      And people give the Navy shit?

      Of course, had NROTC done this, anyone who showed up would immediately be detailed to aviation.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

        I thought it was an immediate assignment to the Sub Service?

        “150 men go down, 75 couples come back up”


  10. sj says:

    Wasn’t there an adult in the room when the Good Idea Fairy put this in the PMS’s ear? Geeze.

    • Hondo says:

      Sadly, sj – by design, the PMS is the one that’s supposed to be the “adult in the room” in college ROTC units.

      Here, they were a NO GO at that station.

      • Silentium Est Aureum says:

        James E. Winbush, LTC
        410 Ritter Hall Annex
        (215) 204-xxxx

        That’s the POC I found from Temple’s website.

      • H1 says:

        Supposedly it was initiated at CC level.
        Some schools chose to participate.
        ASU might have stepped on the Exercise.

  11. MikeB says:

    This event has been pushed by the Army for years, I spent from 2011 to 2014 in Germany and it was an annual event on post, sponsored by ACS.

    I kind of laughed at the notion because the profile of a male serial rapist is a man who usually is deprived of power in his day to day life and has been emasculated for a good part of his life….so the event is doing exactly what psychiatry has determined gives rapists their supposed justification for their crimes.

    The event should not be mandatory, it should be done in civilian clothes, and the heels should only be worn by people who have legs for it.

    • JohnE says:

      Where were you at? I was in Stuttgart…same time…don’t remember anything of the sort being pushed by the garrison there. But I also was locked in a SCIF so I may have missed a few things.

  12. ArmyDad says:

    According to CdrSalamander, this happened at Arizona State as well. Entirely different part of the country suggests this is either coming from higher up or ROTC units are being broadly targeted by the organizers.

  13. GDContractor says:

    I heard an interesting oral history of the high heel shoe the other day (via podcast). Here’s the short version:
    1.) High heels gave horsemen an advantage.
    2.) Adopted by the aristocracy. (men only)
    3.) First appeared on women in pornography.
    4.) All the GI’s returning from WWII had pinup art in which the women were depicted wearing high heels.
    5.) Said GI’s expected their women to look like their pin-up girls.
    ~~~ Therefore, it is the military’s fault. The end.
    //don’t shoot messenger

  14. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    WOW… just freaking unbelievable. Well, my guess is that the PMS knows that he/she will be out or retiring at the end of this assignment and decided to throw Army and DoD regs out the door with this stunt. And, if it came from higher authority (CG of CC), them I would think that the Army Chief of Staff would be having a long, one sided “discussion” about her lack of common sense… and asking for her retirement papers at the end of the “discussion”.

  15. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Has anyone notified the TRADOC CG yet? Maybe that Cadre CO thought he could get himself an ARCOM in a Moerk-like fashion? He needs to be relieved.

  16. Carlton G. Long says:

    Some serious beta power-bottom white knighting going on.

  17. Pinto Nag says:

    This is just another spot on the leopard. The ROTC cadets at the campus I attended back in the 80’s were used for valets, waiters, and ‘atmosphere’ at formal and informal functions on campus, and yes, they were in uniform. It was a liberal arts college, many of the professors were hostile or indifferent, and the ROTC program came within a hair’s breadth of being booted off the campus several times. To maintain their presence on campus, the ROTC department allowed it’s cadets to be used so they were at least seen as useful. It was politics, pure and simple. This doesn’t appear to be any different.

    • Once a cadet says:

      I was a cadet at UMBC, and I hated all of the in-house formal stuff (Dining-in, etc) with the exception of color guard. I can’t imagine how those cadets took that.

      “Sorry sir, I have classes and term papers. No sir, I’m afraid I can’t play butler tonight.”

  18. CadetSF says:

    You can sound off to the public affairs office about this listed as (502) 624-5706 on ROTC’s command website.

  19. Ex-PH2 says:

    Lest you guys think that an elevated heel on shoes or boots is only women’s wear, you know nothing about the history of footwear. From the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century, men wore shoes and boots with high heels, sometimes up to 6 inches in height.

    Part of it was the fashion of the day in the royal courts. An elevated heel will give the calf of the leg a club shape, which is physically appealing, and since men were wearing hose and knee garters at court, and women wore long dresses, having good-looking legs was paramount. It was common for men with catstick legs (skinny calves) to pad them under their tights.

    A high-heeled boot gave any rider an advantage over a rider with a low heel. The cavalry, fusiliers and musketeers not only wore over-the-knee boots, they also had an elevated heel on the boot to keep their feet from slipping through the stirrups in warfare.

    This carried over into the American West and cattle ranching. There are two kinds of bootheels on cowboy boots: the walking heel, which is 2 inches or less, and the dogging heel, which is at least 2.5 inches and is worn by anyone who ropes calves, cuts cattle or engages in rodeo sports like bulldogging, barrel racing, and calf or steer roping.

    I would hardly use a pejorative on any of the guys who wear the higher heeled boots.

    Do any of you catstick-calved dudes have any questions?

    • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

      The only dud in the WORLD that can get away with wearin’ 6 inch heels is da ORIGINAL PIMP OF DA YEAR, FLY GUY!!!

    • Ahab says:

      Nobody’s talking about heeled boots you stupid piece of shit. Take another look at those goddamn photos up top. Those men are wearing WOMEN’S SHOES. You too thick to understand the difference between cowboy boots and red high heels? Stupid fuck. These men are being forced to cross dress in uniform and you want to show off your useless and pointless knowledge about footwear?

  20. beretverde says:

    I’m cramping with laughter.

  21. EODMAN says:

    Happened at more than one university. I’ve read that this was a FRAGO from Cadet Command at Ft. Knox, directing all ROTC detachments to participate. CG for Cadet Command is MG Peggy Coombs.

  22. Herbert J Messkit says:

    I can remember when the word “Congressional” would strike fear into the hearts of commanders. Of course this congress doesn’t scare anyone

  23. Semper Idem says:

    I’m of two minds on this.

    On the one hand, sexual harassment / assault is never to be tolerated. Never. Not one little bit. I agree that we need more attention paid to this issue. No argument; we need to come in hot on those who assault / harass women.

    That said, this is not the way to do it. Making people look stupid and do stupid things is not the way to get the message out. Having victims of sexual assault / harassment tell their stories, as well as having strong men who respect women put the fear of God into the hearts of every man who would assault women would go a long way toward solving this problem.

  24. Bobo says:

    For those of you wondering where the adult in the room was, from the article in IJReview: “Its a Cadet Command wide thing, pretty much every battalion in Cadet Command has had to, or will have to do it. GEN Combs has picked it up as a CC initiative.”


    • RunPatRun says:

      No march here, but a 5k race (with some walkers) on Thursday. If ROTC runs in heels I’ll be shocked and awed, but will be sure to get pics for the Army WTF page (evil grin)

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      Sounds like she’s trying to make political points, in which case, she shouldn’t be an officer, let alone a flag officer.

      Or she’s woefully ignorant of uniform and service regs, in which case, she shouldn’t be an officer, let alone a flag officer.


      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        If I’m correct, she’s an LTC which is Field grade rank in the Army. Pity she wasn’t RIF’ed as an O1 or O2!

        • Eric says:

          I might be confused, but the commander of Cadet Command is a two star. MG Coombs. I believe I saw somewhere else on this page that the PMS at the university is an O-5 though.

          I would also add that I read her bio summary. She’s a Chem officer, which means she’s spent most of her career doing USR….

  25. FatCircles0311 says:

    And they say Abu Ghraib photos are the best recruitment photos for Islamists to use. I think our military just knowingly and voluntarily surpassed that milestone with these.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Not just them, I’m sure those pics will make their rounds on Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and North Korean media as well!

  26. Sparks says:

    If this were a given “order” to me, to not only participate in this but to purchase the footwear at my own expense to comply, then I would have refused this as an unlawful order and taken my stand at a CM, regardless of outcome. Screw any Article 15! No wonder Putin and the rest of the world’s military units, facepalm and laugh at the antics being pulled by the U. S. Military. This is an utter shame to behold and I would have taken it as a personal and regulatory affront to my beliefs in proper uniform wear compliance, as well as my personal beliefs about refusing to “cross dress” in any way, shape or form. Just would not happen to me.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      Yeah, except it would never come to that.

      This is college ROTC where getting (or keeping) that scholarship is based on currying favor with the cadre.

      So when the cadre will undoubtedly say (actually, HAS said, if you believe US Army WTF moments on FB) “nobody was required to participate” they will be correct in the strictest sense of the term. No, nobody is “required” to be a part of this, but they will damn sure remember those who don’t.

      It’s kind of like the old Army days when soldiers would get paid in cash and right next to the pay officer was the 1SG collecting for Army Emergency Relief, Association of the US Army, etc. No, you weren’t “required” to donate, but right next to the donation box was that DA-6 (duty roster.) “You are under no obligation to donate to these funds, Private. You may completely ignore the fact that I am working on the duty roster to see who will pull ASP (Ammunition Supply Point) guard duty over the Christmas Holidays.”

  27. H1 says:

    Cadets getting their first introduction to “good initiative, poor judgment”.
    A worthy concept driven into the ground by challenged leadership.
    We have CSM’s for a reason.
    The E7 Cadre SNCO doesn’t have that kind of HP.

  28. dnice says:


    Simply could have worn civies. That is some major doo-doo.

  29. dnice says:

    Just like sexual harassment chopping off Christians heads is not a good thing either. When the frig are they marching around campus for that.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Time was that the association of women and red meant sex for sale. Red heels, red lights, a lot of red lipstick, red mini, red meant hot, as in hot to trot. I guess times have changed in that regard. By the word, two of those males in uniform walked way too well in the heels. Way too well.

  30. JohnE says:

    …and if some Cadet had twisted an ankle and been disqualified from the program…then what?

  31. Trent says:

    Why is anyone even questioning this exercise of command? The red pumps go well with a yellow reflective belt. Just wait until these walks will be done in combat zones.

  32. Mr. Blue says:

    But wait, there’s more awareness to be had! Maybe to increase awareness of the plight of other minorities, the cadets could march a mile in blackface. Or, to show solidarity with immigrants, they could march a mile in sombreros & serapes.

  33. Hack Stone says:

    I suggest that we all walk a mile in spandex to show solidarity with those unjustly harassed on the Internet.

  34. Guard Bum says:

    As a former 1SG I am disturbed by this, I see no PT belt at all.

  35. H1 says:

    The “State Press”, ASU’s parody paper posted a blurb. PT in high heals kind of thing, not their best work.
    The embedded video is interesting.
    Cadets in ROTC T-shirts but no ACU’s (and looking like ducks out of water). Looks like a couple cadre, but in proper uniform.
    USAWTF posted a graphic detailing the event and proscribed uniform was ACU’s.
    The PMI pushed back to WTF indicating a uniform change FRAGO had been released prior to the event and wanting the name of the informer.
    Good luck with that.

  36. David says:

    Unlawful order. Period. Also, since when is there a “cadet OER”?

  37. Eddie says:

    This tradition was good, but may have outlived it’s usefulness.
    Don’t women in the military wear the same footwear as the men?(on a day to day, not talking about dress uniforms) Walking a mile in ‘Her” shoes would still put you in the same boots you normally wear?
    It also does not address the men who experience sexual assault either. We talk so much about equality, doesn’t this mean then just walking a mile in “Their” shoes in honor and support of sexual assault awaerness?