ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 23rd, 2013 at 10:52 pm

USFK Report Discusses Korea’s Special Circumstances for Sexual Assault

» by in: USFK

For anyone that did not know, USFK does face some special circumstances in regards to sexual assault:

SEOUL – Failed leadership, easy access to alcohol and mixed messages about questionable off-post establishments have rendered the Army’s sexual assault prevention programs in South Korea largely ineffective, according to a military study.

Stars and Stripes obtained a copy of a 28-page draft report produced by a sexual assault task force formed in spring 2011 to study the problem. For nearly two years, Eighth Army officials have refused repeated requests from Stars and Stripes for the report, instead providing a one-page summary this month.

The draft report documented the Army’s inability to respond to what it described as “special circumstances” in South Korea that might contribute to sexual assaults, including widespread underage drinking. [Stars & Stripes]

You can read much more, but the challenges that USFK has in particular the 2nd Infantry Division is that there are so many people living in the barracks and then combine that with heavy drinking and it is a perfect environment for sexual assaults. Based on my own personal past experience in 2ID I would estimate that 90+% of the sexual assaults were in the barracks and involved alcohol.

According to the article commanders have a hard time determining what is a sexual assault which likely goes back to drunk people having sex in the barracks and then the next morning dealing with the he said she said scenario. Commanders cannot ban sex in the barracks, but do have a legal work around. This is why there is often a command policy that say that doors need to be open when members of the opposite sex are visiting other people’s rooms. Leadership has to be ruthless in regards to enforcing this and make it an automatic Article 15 if someone is caught violating it. This is even easier now to monitor since there is close circuit cameras in many barracks now. However, this takes leadership spending a lot of time in the barracks to enforce such a policy. If people rely on just the CQ to report violators they are mostly not going to rat on their buddies. Leadership has to be the ones walking the halls and now reviewing video from the cameras. I once had a commander buddy of mine who got a call one weekend night because the 2ID assistant division commander walked through his barracks and caught a female in the room of an NCO. It wasn’t a good night for him when that happened.

If still a he said, she said scenario happens in my opinion commanders need to immediately contact CID to investigate it and soldiers need to know this is what is going to happen. It will further make them think twice about having sex in the barracks. I used to tell soldiers if they want to have sex go to a cheap hotel off post do not do it in the barracks. If a he said, she said sexual assault accusation happens at a hotel there are cameras there that can help determine what happened prior to entering a room. For example was the accuser stumbling drunk and being dragged by the accused into the room? This helps provide evidence of the assault.

As far as underage drinking this is very hard to stop and really the only way to catch it is by leadership knowing who is underage and walking the barracks at night. If they catch someone underage drinking then they need to be breathalyzed by someone qualified to do it. My battalion commander gave out automatic Field Grade Article 15′s for underage drinking. I saw some good soldiers go down in flames because of this, but once again commanders have to be ruthless in regards to enforcing this policy if they want to stop underage drinking in the barracks. As I have pointed out before though, I would not be surprised though at some point alcohol is not banned completely in the barracks due to the recent attention to sexual assaults.

However, there is a side effect, this will drive the underage drinkers from the barracks and they will drink off post away from the camp where incidents involving Koreans can happen. So in the court martial results I post you often read about trespassing and altercations with Koreans; I would not be surprised if many of these incidents involve underage drinkers. It will be even worse if drinking is totally banned in the barracks. So people need to realize there is going to be a trade off. However this can be mitigated if weekends are approached like how commanders set training schedules for the week. There needs to be things scheduled for soldiers to do on the weekends that gives alternatives to going off post and drinking. The KATUSAs are a great resource to help with this if leaders would use them.

A lot of what I have discussed involves leader involvement, but that is the other special circumstance in Korea, leaders are always turning over and you have to get new ones trained up. Likewise you get soldiers educated on what the standards are, but they to turn over quickly and a new guy comes in expecting to come to Korea and work hard and play hard. These new young soldiers are the ones that have to really be monitored and make sure they understand what the standards of conduct are. This is not something that can be done with a few hours of PowerPoint slides. This takes weeks of socialization and leader involvement, but if a unit has a big turn over in leadership than they haven’t been socialized yet either.

So this all goes back to the special circumstances in Korea that makes serving in Korea different from any where else. That is what I think the Army report was probably trying to get at though Stars & Stripes did not publish the entire report to get the full context of what was discussed. However, the Stars and Stripes due to their anti-juicy girl advocacy spin in the article, I think muddled the issue some. I believe for now the juicy bars are a separate issue from military sexual assaults. However, it is something that I think can become a future issue linked to the sexual assault issue if one of these politicians decides to attack USFK by making the claim that juicy bars promote a sexual assault culture and USFK leadership in complicit in allowing this happen.

So what does other people who have served in USFK units think is the best way to promote a barracks culture that does not create an environment for sexual assaults to happen?

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  • Smokes
    9:39 pm on May 23rd, 2013 1

    GI, before I get into my reply I’d like to mention you might want to correct in your second paragraph where you mention there being “close captioned cameras” in the barracks. The 2nd ‘C’ in CCTV stands for “circuit”, while a camera that automatically provides closed captioning would be awesome. :)

    Ok… from the report:
    “Failed leadership, easy access to alcohol and mixed messages about questionable off-post establishments”

    How are any of these to be considered special to USFK only?
    Failed leadership!? Ha the Army’s overstrength in that by about 1000% world-wide but my belief is that the system isn’t designed for leaders to succeed anyway so you can’t put the blame entirely on the people.

    Easy access to alcohol? For those of age to drink it’s easy to get everywhere that’s not the Middle-east. Every base has a Class Six and numerous store right off-post you can buy it at.

    Questionable off-post establishments? While there certainly are much better and numerous places for someone to buy sex here how does access to these services increase sexual assaults? This is plain and simple a religious-based bulls**t claim. People need to stop trying to affiliate hookers with everything.

    A solution? Who the f knows, this is a big problem that’s part of a gihugic one… military life. Of course 0 incidents is a pipedream as there are just bad people out there with little to no respect for others. The military has long claimed it needs to restrict the freedoms of its servicemembers for blahh.. blahh.. insert bullsh**t excuse here…. but at the same time it ignored that you cannot just keep taking away from people without compensating them in some way and the miltary as a whole needs to do just that with increasing the standard of life for it’s people. That or give them their freedoms back and maybe less people will resort to doing things like this as a result of being treated like s**t.

  • someotherguy
    11:17 pm on May 23rd, 2013 2

    A better approach would be to put tracking anklets on every soldier and have automatic opening / closing bars instead of barracks doors. At 2100 the CQ could call lights out and at 2200 the rooms would auto-lock. Then they could just walk around and do bed check to ensure everyone was there. PT would be conducted in a special walled yard near the barracks.

    Sound familiar … sound like a place you would *volunteer* to spend your best years at?

    Less hand holding not more.

  • Leon LaPorte
    11:28 pm on May 23rd, 2013 3

    Special Circumstances – FTW!

    First, USFK needs to do what the military does (most) everywhere else. Service members should abide by local drinking age.

    Second, sexual assault is a serious issue. I could get military on military sexual assault numbers down close to “0″. Yep, bring back the WAC’s and segregate men and women. (girls and boys are different)

    One observation I’ve made over the years here is the “beauty queen for a year” syndrome. I’m sure others with any significant time on penn has noted. You’ll see a little young trailer queen honey bar hopping with 4-6 guys. They are all “buddies”. Nothing but the best of intentions. She’s been told she’s just like them. She’s EQUAL! So, she can go out and get FUBAR with the guys because, dammit, she’s a soldier too! …and EQUAL! Guess what happens? Solution? See #2. (and of course it doesn’t matter how she acts, what she wears, who she’s with, how much SHE drinks, or where she goes) She suddenly has no personal responsibility once alcohol touches her lips. She’s EQUAL dammit. They told her she was. See #2.

    I could go on, but feel I’m beating that same dead horse… No one is serious about stopping sexual assault. If there truly were, they’d see the logic of number 2 up there.

  • Liz
    4:30 am on May 24th, 2013 4

    From the article: “Lack of leadership presence in the barracks”. Hm. Anyone want to hang out with the leadership after hours in their domiciles? These are the people we trust to run around with loaded weapons, take lives, save lives….but they need a babysitter, after the lecture on how not to run with scissors.

  • Ole Tanker
    6:33 am on May 24th, 2013 5

    More Command Sponsored positions is the solution!

    Get the Warriors out of the barracks and home with the spouse and kids!

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:36 am on May 24th, 2013 6

    @1- Oops, good catch! :oops:

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:41 am on May 24th, 2013 7

    @4- Yes Liz in Korea leadership is expected to be babysitters in the barracks and even in the villes pulling CP. In the barracks it is for good reason because when you have all the drunks coming into the gate at the same time because of curfew this leads to problems in the barracks.

    @3- Male and females soldiers do not need to be separated into different units. Just having separate barracks for males and females with a CQ monitoring the entrance would greatly reduce sexual assaults. However, you would be called a sexist for trying to implement such an idea.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:54 am on May 24th, 2013 8

    @5- A side effect of more command sponsored positions is that the leadership is more likely to have families not the young soldiers living in the barracks where the sexual assaults mostly happen. This causes leaders after COB on Friday to quickly go home to their families instead of monitoring the barracks.

  • Glans
    7:07 am on May 24th, 2013 9

    What does “leadership” mean in this context? Commissioned officers? Senior NCOs? As a life-long civilian, I don’t always understand things that y’all take for granted.

    Perhaps, to avoid the charge of sexism, we could declare that forcing females to reside in the same barracks as males is a violation of their human rights.

  • JoeC
    7:51 am on May 24th, 2013 10

    Most of the time I was in, males and females were in separate dorms. If a unit didn’t have enough women to fill a dorms there would be female only wings in otherwise male dorms.

    If a person of the opposite sex entered the area it had to be announced loudly in the hallway; “MALE IN THE DORM” or “FEMALE IN THE DORM.” If a person of the opposite sex was in your room during visiting hours the room door had to remain open.

    There were very few sexual assault then … at least in the dorms … as far as we were aware.

    The only complaints I recall from females back then was the lesbian problem. Apparently, the dominant lesbians (is there a PC term for butch or dike?) set the rules in their wing. They ran the submissive females as their property and if a girl wasn’t willing to submit to them she’d better find someplace else to room.

  • Ole Tanker
    1:16 pm on May 24th, 2013 11

    #8 GI. So Korea can not be or will never be a “normal” duty station like we have in Germany, Italy, and Japan?

    Maybe if we moved away from that thought process, we could make it a “normal” duty station.

    But there is a strong Institutional prejudice against that!

    We need the have’s and have nots, those with more or less , it is human nature.

    We want that “terrible” duty station where we can punish people.

    “Here’s your orders Sarge! KOREA! And you CAN’T take your family with you!”

    Maybe things will get better after he move o “the Hump.” :cool:

  • 2ID Doc
    3:44 pm on May 24th, 2013 12

    Maybe it’s generational thing, but when I served in Korea (late 1980s) there was no curfew & no drinking age plus the off-post bars were populated with “working girls”. There were a stories of soldiers waking up in the same bed the next morning and not remembering how they got there, but the soldiers were adult enough to realize what happened and try not to let it happen again. I’m guilty of spending the night in the female barracks with the soldier I was dating and she did the same in my barracks. Granted the post I was assigned to was small under 300 troops but it seemed to work for us. The NCOs & Officers were not fools and knew what was going on, but unless someone was stupid, they generally had a hands off policy but lived on-post. My post is long closed (3rd Bde, 2ID) perhaps life was different @ Camp Casey, CRC, & Yongsan.

  • Flyingsword
    4:46 pm on May 24th, 2013 13

    Speaking of mixed messages….Told not to treat / look at women as a sex object but then bring the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders over to hop around in their skippy custom and tease the Soldiers….hmmm???

    Or that the curfew is all about readiness but we are having a hip-hop party till 0300 at the Enlisted Club on Yongsan.

    more hmmmm????

  • Hume's Bastard
    5:17 pm on May 24th, 2013 14

    It might be useful to compare and contrast the issue of sexual assault in barracks and the same issue in college dorms.

    http://www.invw.org/node/937

  • Fanwarrior
    5:18 pm on May 24th, 2013 15

    I would say that if the soldiers need “leaders” to tell them that it’s not okay to rape someone, you’ve got larger problems.

  • JoeC
    9:05 pm on May 24th, 2013 16

    #12

    There were a stories of soldiers waking up in the same bed the next morning and not remembering how they got there, but the soldiers were adult enough to realize what happened and try not to let it happen again.

    Yup. The ‘walk of shame’ used to be something both men and women were equally at risk of.

    /has any guy ever actually chewed his arm off?

  • G.I. Joe
    6:21 am on May 25th, 2013 17

    Since the legal drinking age is 19 in Korea, Soju is cheaper than water, most establishments don’t card you, too easy for a battle buddy to buy you drinks and we don’t want to be embarrassed by underage drinking problems in a foreign country, why not stop sending underage soldiers to Korea?

    The juicy bars are actually serve to relieve sexual tension. It’s the girls choice to allow it. It’s not like they are forced to do anything, but each has their own methods for earning money. Some will do anything and some won’t do more than talk. So to generalize the whole juicy-culture into one sex-slave category is erroneous.

  • TxL8R
    6:39 am on May 25th, 2013 18

    Wow, lot’s of comments that suggest higher authority be made to account for, prevent, monitor, and be responsible for just about every aspect of an individual soldier’s sexual behaviors and thoughts.

    It’s getting more and more obvious that the sexual naivete and immaturity of the U.S. Army is beyond control. Simple and common sense approaches that were sufficient to keep the soldiers focused on warfighting during their duty hours have been traded for capitulation to an oppressive climate of non-offensiveness and rampant over-sensitivity. It is also obvious that there are those who still believe that there are such significant differences in duty station location that they are willing to try and buffalo the Department of Defense in particular and the general public at large, into believing location is one of the primary reasons for ‘sexual assaults’.

    Agree with SMOKES #1 counter-claims to all three primary excuses cited in the draft report. However, I do not believe it is a matter of restricted freedom. The ‘lack of freedom’ is a smokescreen and double-talk – there is military discipline, and there is self-discipline, both of which are at the root of sexually-related misconduct, and the smokescreen of a ‘lack of freedom’ (to do what? go wherever you please for sexual gratification, go whenever you feel like it to get sexual gratification, approach and impose yourself on whoever you want to in order to get sexual gratification?) HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

    The report is a sham, and there is nothing so unique about an assignment in Korea, either command- or non-command sponsored that justifies undisciplined and irresponsible behavior.

    Barracks life, filled to capacity, raging male and female hormones, boredom, idle weekends…excuses, lame and pathetic excuses.

    Commanders should probably keep their soldiers more busy – train during weekends, train more at night, allow passes off post only on federal holidays, dump the ubiquitous ‘training holiday’ added to create 4-day weekends, reduce the morale and welfare footprint on all bases, and as the ultimate and final insult to ‘soldier freedom’, kill the command-sponsored tours. These circumstances, when looked at in a larger perspective, ALL contribute to the time, energy and motivation to act out sexually.

    Individual responsibility – either enforce it and re-establish the integrity of the force, or slowly rot from within by not enforcing it.

  • William
    7:26 pm on May 25th, 2013 19

    To reduce the problem of sexual assault,

    1. reduce the number of predators,

    2. reduce their opportunities to commit their crimes,

    3. reduce their perception or reality to getting away with the crimes they commit,

    4. increase involvement of bystanders who in many cases could have reasonably seen the predatory behavior. Not in all cases, but yes in many someone saw it coming

    5. get potential victims in a state to prevent and promptly report the assault

    The problem of Sexual Assault comes from having PREDATORS in our ranks – all ranks, even the most SENIOR ranks as shown by our recent scandals.

    These predators commit crimes when there is a will to commit crime as they already have, an opportunity to commit crime (many more chances in the last 10 years with remote duty and increased membership in military), and the perception or reality that they can get away with it. (Sexual assault is so under-reported they could do it 5 times before losing the game of Russian Roulette.

    I’ll give my opinions of what is happening and how to reduce for each of the 5 topics.

    1. We have allowed more and more predators into our ranks over the last ten years, it is a fact. We have also grown some more with our powerful vertical organizations and opportunity to abuse power. We have a moral problem that is impossible to greatly reduce with with classes or education. We cannot plug a USB cable into someone’s head right and expect positive results right away. Engaged leadership takes time, like YEARS, to get a Soldier to act in the way the Army wants. People change, but not drastically and right away, except only in special situations.

    We could do better to just not allow any ole joe or jane to enter the military, but then we would likely fail to recruit enough recruits to meet congressionally mandated troop levels over time. We were failing even though we let anyone in not so long ago.

    We could also enforce standards and separate those who make patterns of misconduct. This will not get every predator, but it will get some of them and when there is a climate of actually enforcing standards, they will have to calculate their chances a little more closely and that will have a positive effect.

    2. reducing their opportunities has a lot of payoff, but is a huge challenge. There are so many places and chances to commit this it is silly. An alleyway, a back room, the barracks, a friends house, the CDR office, the motor pool, the back woods, a hotel, you name it, it can happen anywhere, but many assaults happen in barracks.

    addressing the barracks, you have the closed door unsen aspect, and the weapon of alcohol aspect that disables the victim. we can increase use of CCTV, enforce the OPEN THE DOOR with an opposite sex person in room, and we can make checks of alcohol levels for under-aged drinkers. I like the term ruthless in checking for opposite sex in rooms with door closed. In many of these cases, both are consenting and want privacy, but often an assault starts that way and goes wrong. Frequent checks of the ENTIRE barracks, like random checks at the most high risk times (2300-0200) of the ENTIRE barracks by 1SG/CDR as part of a lawful search and ruthless Article 15 enforcement is a MUST. Is that taking away liberty of soldier? No, if soldier is playing by rules, he/she can thank 1SG/CDR for their concern and laugh their tails off when the bad ones get caught. That alone will stop a lot of the hanky panky and also catch Soldiers who are otherwise disobeying a stern lawful order. 1SG and CDR need to do this very frequently to give anyone an incentive to NOT bring a victim to their room or enter a victim’s room.

    3. Predators get away with assault because it is so under-reported. If more victims make it an unrestricted report promptly and collect physical evidence, then a predator will be more likely to get caught and brought to justice. There are too many reasons a victim does not promptly report an assault and we need to address them. Near top of list is a lack of faith in our justice system and leaders themselves caught as predators. Just look at the recent scandals involving senior leadership.

    4. increasing bystander intervention is a good way to reduce some assaults, but not every assault had a bystander with a chance to intervene, but in a LOT of cases, a bystander could have made a difference. This will take a lot more awareness training and commitment from everyone.

    5. getting the potential victims to act in a manner that will reduce their chances of becoming a victim has a lot of payoff. It is NEVER the fault of a victim that they got assaulted, but a potential victim can greatly reduce the chances of being assaulted. The number one thing a potential victim could do is to NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL. Alcohol has been used as a disabling agent time and time again and is willingly consumed by the victim. But let’s get real. How many times can we as leadership tell a Soldier to avoid alcohol when they inside really want to consume it and have many chances to do so? Just telling or advising is not really effective. That has to come from within and is directly related to a level of maturity and self-discipline that does not develop immediately as a result of a pep talk or a class.

  • William
    10:57 pm on May 25th, 2013 20

    @5- A side effect of more command sponsored positions is that the leadership is more likely to have families not the young soldiers living in the barracks where the sexual assaults mostly happen. This causes leaders after COB on Friday to quickly go home to their families instead of monitoring the barracks.

    So said GI Korea above.

    Whether the senior leaders in a unit are off post command sponsor or have their own superhooch near the barracks, big deal.

    A responsible leader, such as a company 1SG and CDR should as part of an authorized search be able to go through the barracks frequently to check the ENTIRE barracks building for violations of het fratinization policy as part of an authorized search with prior JAG consultation.

    This is not done frequently enough.

    Another thing is to have nightly checks by a senior NCO of every floor through a walkthrough inspection. The high risk times are from 2300 to 0200 according to available stats. When barracks residents know that it is likely a senior NCO walking the barracks can hear signs of a struggle, there will be another thing for a predator to consider and there will be that to consider for unlawful cohabitation.

    These are normally duties fro any CQ person, but obviously throughout the Army CQ is not so consistent in zeal or ability to execute these responsibilities. Why so? What do we expect when we assign a very young SPC or SGT who already worked a full day, is tired or not so motivated to spend the next 14 hours constantly walking up and down stairs checking the rooms of his/her buddies for violations? That can get tiresome and CQ can’t be everywhere. it is a LOSE/LOSE situation. If CQ is not at desk answering a phone when 1SG or staff duty calls, they think CQ is fluffing off on duty. if CQ is not constantly making checks and enforcing standards, the same staff duty or 1SG/CSM think CQ is not doing duties.

    Another low tech solution is to give the Soldier a Panic Button to place somewhere in there room that is linked to the CQ desk, like under the pillow or somewhere in reach, that when pressed, alerts the CQ with a huge loud-ass alarm indicating the room where it was pressed. we have done this with fire alarms for over a decade, why not apply this simple technology to the Soldier’s room as part of a preventive measure or security measure?

  • Bobby Ray
    3:36 am on May 26th, 2013 21

    William you done brought up a good point. As close as everybody is living together in the barracks, how come them gals aint all screaming their heads off if they was really getting assaulted? Seems to me there are a lot of heroes who would come running at the first sound of a lady in distress.

    Anybody got an answer for that?

  • Liz
    4:40 am on May 26th, 2013 22

    #21: “Anybody got an answer for that?”

    Raising hand, jumping up and down oh! Oh! OH!!!!

    Because the vast majority of cases aren’t “traditional” (attack victim) rapes. Those are so rare that when they get one it is really startling. Unlike the civilian world, it’s not necessary to establish mens rea for criminal sexual assault prosecution. Once the burden of establishing criminal intent is thrown out, it empowers coitus regretus charges after the fact.

    1) Guy and Gal get drunk. They go back to a barracks room and begin to mess around. They get to a point and the gal says no sex. The guy backs off. A few minutes later they mess around again and this time they start having sex. The gal says no and the guy stops and then leaves. A few days later the gal cries rape.

    2) Guy and gal get drunk. They have sex. Gal’s boyfriend/husband finds out and now she cries rape.

    3) Guy and gal go out. They get drunk. Guy begins to mess around with gal and she seems to be moving and does not protest. Gal does not remember consenting (probably gave no oral consent) because she was too drunk.

  • Liz
    4:49 am on May 26th, 2013 23

    I’m sure someone will point to something that states mens rea is still necessary. I say brava sierra to that. There is theory, and then there’s reality and only the second one (aka what is actually happening in the real world) matters.

  • Glans
    6:02 am on May 26th, 2013 24

    Liz? Brava sierra = brave saw. Not like, a brave saw them doing it. Like, that’s a courageous cutting tool.

  • Smokes
    6:11 am on May 26th, 2013 25

    #18: I see what you did there.. Smokes… Smokescreen. :cool:

    While I’d love to reply it’s the weekend, no arguing, everyone go out! I’m on one of my rare excursions into Itaewon right now. :o

  • Ole Tanker
    4:23 pm on May 26th, 2013 26

    For those of you who are objecting to my proposal that we have more Command Sponsored slots in Korea.

    You are closed minded, resistant to change, like the status quo, and base your opinions on emotion not common sense.
    Do you have any statistical data to support the argument?
    The barracks in Korea are full of NCO’s who are TDY (Temporarily Divorced for a Year), who get there and believe they can run wild!
    Most Sexual Assaults that come to light are those higher rank NCO’s/Officers who think they are are above the law. At places like Camp Casey the NCO can plan and execute the attack within the unit so that the victim is powerless to seek justice. Cowered into silence by the intimidating hurdles of believability and the situation that is purely of the “he said” v “she said” category, and the predator knows their rank, spotless record, and decorations will win the day for them.
    Why are there sexual assaults in the Army barracks in Korea? It is because folks who could go home to a family normally are stuck without one. Folks who are used to “getting some” on a regular basis, now have the excitement of hunting down a little “action.”
    From what I have seen it’s usually the NCO living in the barracks that does the dirtiest deeds.
    Why aren’t the rates as high in Germany, Italy, Japan, Air Force barracks, or stateside posts. In this case correlation indicates causation.

    The limited Command Sponsored Policy insures the Fish Tank of a barracks are full of predatory sharks
    surrounded by all those “tasty little fishies”, yum yum.

    :cool: :cool:

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins133991.html

    Let’s do something unthinkable! And different! Wow what a revelation!!! :cool:

  • Leon Laporte
    4:33 pm on May 26th, 2013 27

    I see there are many good suggestions on how to cut down on incidents. Every one of the requires more resources, more people on duty, etc. It all goes to illustrate my point that female military members are far from force multipliers; they are actually force dividers.

  • G.I. Joe
    7:28 pm on May 26th, 2013 28

    So we should have an all male military? That’s very equal opportunity. Also we got to remember rape happens between males too. It’s also less often reported because of shame and pride.

  • Leon Laporte
    8:02 pm on May 26th, 2013 29

    The feminist equal opportunity agenda has nothing to do with the military mission, especially if it distracts from it.

    All male military’s seems to have served their purpose for thousands of years. What we have now is not an improvement. Boys and girls are different. They are born that way and both have important roles to fill.

  • TxL8r
    8:12 pm on May 26th, 2013 30

    #26-
    Disagreement with command sponsored tours in Korea is not a matter of emotion or stubborness or wishing to keep things the way they are, as in status quo. Rather, disagreement rests with the number one factor – an armistice in place that has renewed combat potential at any minute. Rational and practional reasoning is what dictates a reduced and minimal family footprint in Korea. Your train of thought is certainly not along these lines.

    As for your “TDY” explanation for predatory sexual behavior being what, understandable? explainable? expected? AGAIN, and I have to keep calling out folks like you who seem to get stuck on excuses for inappropriate and illegal behavior – there is no more reason for geographic bachelors to become sexual predators than there is for single soldiers to behave the same way. Positions of higher rank, authority, stellar records, awards, etc. – these are NOT cloaks of concealment that enable sexual assault behavior. They are the window dressing that folks like you would believe that are the reasons why they can get away with their crimes. You have it completely backwards and upside down. AGAIN, it it self-discipline and a mature attitude or respect and responsibility that are lacking in these individuals that explains their behavior.

    There is plenty more in your post that rings of shallow deductive reasoning that claims the type of tour explains the behavior, “correlation indicates causation”, I believe. FALSE, and not to be believed as you describe it. Sexual assualts have been, and continue to be, occuring all over the geographically deployed force, in all DOD Services. Your suggestion that most sexual assualts coming to light are higher rank NCOs/officers is nonsense, a SWAG, and arrogantly condescending. Ask yourself, ‘do I have statistics to support this claim?’ The category of sexual assault behavior is not a rank, position, OR assignment label. It is an individual label – sexual agression by individuals. All the window dressing you rally behind is NOT justification.

  • Ole Tanker
    8:50 pm on May 26th, 2013 31

    # 30 Ain’t no war coming to S. Korea, no more than Dallas Ft Worth.

    YOU!! My friend are part of the problem!

    See link to definition of insanity! It ain’t workin!

  • Hume's Bastard
    9:59 pm on May 26th, 2013 32

    Could anyone provide a link to any DoD reports that break down sexual assault stats? The only one I can find concerns the service academies from 2010-11. That report did indicate that the USMA is the only service academy that wasn’t in full compliance with regulations on the issue. I’m wondering if the stats are uniformly bad across the services, and if not what makes the best performing one of the four perform better.

    http://www.defense.gov/home/pdf/High_GPO_RRC_tx.pdf

  • TXL8R
    11:03 pm on May 26th, 2013 33

    #31-
    Whether war is imminent or not, the same conditions do not exist in Japan, Italy, Germany, England. So, families are not as restricted.

    Again, what total nonsense you cling to.

    More families = less sexual assaults in the barracks?

    NO.

    More discipline = less sexual assaults

    More severe and consistent punishment – less sexual assaults

    More pipedream “new idea” guys like you bring nothing constructive to the discussion.

  • Liz
    4:56 am on May 27th, 2013 34

    #32: “Could anyone provide a link to any DoD reports that break down sexual assault stats?”

    GI Korea has written about the issue in the past, with links to DOD stats. Here is one:

    http://rokdrop.com/2012/08/14/new-youtube-series-on-military-sexual-assault-is-not-accurate/

    FWIW, I’ve known many people who went to the AF academy, including the time the sex scandals were a subject of headline news. This includes women (who knew the ostensible victims very well), and their observations did not support media claims.

  • Ole Tanker
    7:43 am on May 27th, 2013 35

    #33 My problem is I have experience living off post with my family while I was stationed in Korea. My unit had other guys too.

    Over the years I have known quite a few soldiers who had families with them.

    These types never caused a problem at all but made everyone’s life easier.

    A pressure valve for the unit and gave a slight glimmer of hope that life in Korea could be normal.

    Also the soldiers who get married over there start getting the bennies of married life automatically. We all know the type that get married in Korea(wink wink). They can bring a new set of problems.

    I’ve always been a supporter for more stabilized crews in the Tank Companies. This 1 year thing, new Privates, and KATUSA’s are a preparednous killer. Yeh, the Command can gloss it over with neat articles in S&S, Indianhead, and AFN spots, but some of us know the real deal. Especially now after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a high percentage of NCO’s haven’t been on a Tank in years, just don’t know what they are doing.

    As for NCO leadership in Korea, I’ve seen many types, and from what I’ve seen a most of the alcohol fueled barracks incident, happen when a senior NCO is in the area, doesn’t stop it at all.

    Some of the Senior NCO’s have a bad attitude anyway, it’s all about them. Heard this one before:

    “If I got to be here and miserable for a year, I’m going to make everyone else miserable too.”

    You have the Chapter Crazy NCO, who has taken it upon themselves to rid the Army of as many soldiers they can all by themselves. especially toxic unit when there are multiples of these types in the same unit.

    Most of the problems I have heard of a sexual nature involve NCO’s.

    Most of the time covered up, to protect the career involved.

    Heard the story of 1st Tank a few years ago, where a video tape surfaced of a girl with multiple sex partners in the barracks involving Senior NCO’s, the tape was smashed in front of formation, Oops no evidence now.

    It all comes down to toxic leaders. (recent Army Times cover page)

    Now, for those of you who HATE the thought of Command Sponsored tours, I know the real reason

    The real reason.

    The real reason.

    The thought of more “Battle Cattle” cluttering up your precious PX and Commissary isles, and longer lines at the Hospital.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:

  • Hume's Bastard
    2:45 pm on May 27th, 2013 36

    @#34:

    Thank you. I want raw stats preferably compiled by an independent organization or the DoD. That McClatchy report is third-hand.

  • TxL8r
    6:52 pm on May 27th, 2013 37

    OK, we get it now. Your experience in 1 Tank has a strong influence over your judgment of senior NCO’s. But that’s pretty limited, your experience that is, and is not enough to justify blanket statements of stereotyping them.

    I will agree with you that toxic leaders set a tone of reckless indulgence, especially in Korea, where, as you say, time is limited and the appearance of minimizing the crime is blatantly assumed by many. But these are leadership and command influences that are not consistent, and thankfully, are the exception rather than the norm.

    Sexual assault does not occur because sexual activity has been denied or curtailed. Barracks soldiers are not denied their private time and/or whatever place they need to achieve some form of sexual release THAT IS NOT ASSAULTIVE. Sexual urges are not so extremely overpowering that an adult man or woman MUST act upon them. The overwhelming majority of Service members act in accordance with respect, restraint, self control and discretion. There are appropriate outlets for sexual urges, and there does not need to be any special prostitution or party atmosphere in order to facilitate it. Claiming that barracks soldiers, especially under drinking-age soldiers, will move downrange to prowl, as if they are somehow forced to do this as a result of command regulations restricting alcohol, is more excuse-making. Also,a soldier does not need a spouse in order to maintain his/her self-discipline. There must be an immediate and severe punishment for soldiers who abuse their limited freedom, and their limited freedom is the price they pay to serve in the Armed Forces. Their service is NOT a holiday, and NOT a party with occasional military work thrown in from time to time.

    There are a few posters to this blog who are perpetually inclined to deride the lack of ‘freedom’ that soldiers in general, and those assigned to USFK in particular, and those in Area I and 2ID specifically, appear to suffer from. These assignments are not intended to mirror the CONUS assignments as far as living arrangements and off-duty time. Regardless of whether the peninsula is and has been, reasonably stable and the threat of war has been kept at a low rumble, these assignments should not be the family come-along that you describe in order to quell sexual assaults.

  • someotherguy
    7:01 pm on May 27th, 2013 38

    @16,
    I was tempted once. Woke up next to a female I would NEVER of messed around with had I been sober. That was when I was younger and would do stupid things.

    OT is correct. SK needs tour normalization, soldiers need to be able to bring their families and units need to stop treating soldiers so badly.

    Leadership needs a reality check. Take off the rose tinted glass’s of political correctness and realize that what they have in South Korea is a bunch of college aged soldiers on their first duty assignment. They will do the same thing that college ages homo-sapiens do all over the world, act irresponsible and do dumb sh!t. In the past there was adult supervision in the form of a squad leader or platoon sergeant being present somewhere nearby who was able to step in if things got too far gone. Now that we’ve pushed so hard to force NCO’s to “be good Christians” in public what happens is NCO’s all go to different places and the soldiers are left to the own devices. And when an NCO is in the same place they tend to keep a low profile anyway, don’t want to have their name dropped if someone does do something stupid.

    It goes deeper but generally we have a situation created by the command that sends mixed messages to soldiers (your responsible and not responsible) all wrapped in a bunch of politically correct bull sh!t that soldiers can see through instantly.

    If people really want to reduce sexual assaults in South Korea, they need to get real and dump all the PC bull shit. Liz was dead on with her statement, attacker vs victim is really rare and when it does happen is persecuted harshly. Most of what’s reported is post-coitus rape, she gave her consent then retracted if after sex was finished. The rules are setup in a such a way that it’s easy and accepted for her to do that.

    No amount of restrictions, policing or lock-downs will change the situation. Anyone who thinks this is deluding themselves. Nothing short of turning the base’s and barracks into jail cells will have an effect. The no male female in same room is f*cking hilarious and shows how out of touch people are. As if that will ever work, no amount of political implementations have been able to defeat 1,000,000+ years of evolution.

  • TxL8r
    8:05 pm on May 27th, 2013 39

    #38-
    This comment is pretty telling of how the Army has de-volved. With comments like this, it’s obvious we are no longer supporting a force of soldiers, we are supporting a family of international travellers.

    “SK needs tour normalization, soldiers need to be able to bring their families and units need to stop treating soldiers so badly.”

    Really? Just exactly what is ‘normalization’? A: ????
    Really? Just exactly what is ‘treating soldiers so badly’? A: ?????

    I cannot tell you how strongly I disagree with you, or how disappointing it is to read that you expect adults, and specifically U.S. Army soldiers, a free pass to “act irresponsible and do dumb sh!t”. Really? So, what’s the atmosphere you would cultivate in these units, in these bases?

    I am not suggesting that the Army ignore human nature. And I am not recommending blanket restrictions, policing (?), lock-downs or jail cells. YES, male and female do, and WILL, interact and engage in sexual activity. And YES, there are some manipulators who manage to game the system. But by and large, soldiers can get it on with whoever they want to. There is no restriction against consensual sexual behavior, at least not that I am aware of. So, soldiers can have a jolly old time in the ROK.

  • Ole Tanker
    8:24 pm on May 27th, 2013 40

    #37 Ok, I get it.
    My premise is. If we had a normal duty station in South Korea, the number of Sexual Assaults would be reduced, and Combat Readiness would be improved.
    Now, try to follow my rational!
    Families can’t go with you to 3rd world countries like Afghanistan. Donkey trails, mud paths, no infrastructure etc.
    Got it! understand.
    Families can’t go into dangerous areas, where conflict is possible. Got it! understand.
    But! South Korea, has modern housing, and good public transportation. Great hospitals and infrastructure! Not like way back when the policy was made. (see above Afghanistan)
    Also waay back in the cold war, troops and their families were in Germany, next to the border where the Red Army was massed to attack.
    So, the war reason doesn’t cut it.
    So why may I ask? Will we tell a soldier who has multiple tours in Iraq or Afghanistan that he/she can’t bring their families to South Korea?
    They land at Inchon. They see modern transportation, and skyscrapers. On top of that we let the Air Force guys have their families here. Oh don’t forget the Enlisted guy with the drinky Girl wife and they live off post.
    So the Soldier has to think, naturally, WTF!
    All comes down to money and what Uncle Sam won’t put up for the troops. :cool:

  • William
    8:30 pm on May 27th, 2013 41

    I have to agree with a lot of TxL8r’s arguements in his last post #38.

    We have to get real, but in a manner that is fair to al parties and does not discourage timely reporting.

    Our issues are both simple and complicated and as another poster said, a lot of trhe real effective solutions require much additional resource and people/$$$.

    I outlined a number of things to do and agree it won’t be easy, but there are some thing leaders can do right now, like make total 100% Commander room check during high risk hours randomly and VERY frequently. Too many potential issues can be solved by VERY frequent senior leader sweeps.

    That gives Soldiers the message that they will very likely get caught breaking rules in barracks and will stop a lot of the behavior, once it is know it is 100% certain MAX Article 15 for barracks misconduct.

    Right now, senior leaders are either too afraid of legal department or IG complaints to implement these 100% room checks at high risk hours. So friggin’ what if the CDR uses master key to walk in a Soldier’s room during a lawful search and sees Soldier doing something wrong? Soldier should not have been doing something wrong and should not worry if they are right.

    As it stands right now, a Soldier can get away with all manner of mischief in the barracks as there is no real way to detect anything illegal unless they make noises of earthquake proportions.

    So friggin’ what if Soldiers feel their friggin civil rights are violated if a CDR correctly exercises his aut. What? A Soldier thinks he/she can get away with a barracks policy violation just because CDR did not call legal first? yes, that authority to conduct a lawful search is not legal if the search is NOT done in an illegal manner per AR 27-10 with prior authorization.

    We need to seriously change the ability of the CDR to search barracks for misconduct to strike a balance between rights and preventing assualts and illegal activity. In an era if high assault rates, perhaps there should be more frequent 100% searches. if done professionally and as courtious as possible both goals are met.

  • Ole Tanker
    8:36 pm on May 27th, 2013 42

    # 41
    I was working in Korea when the 2 am bedcheck was imposed around 2003.
    It was a travesty of human dignity.

    Have you ever lived in the barracks?

    If so. What checks did you endure?

    I bet not this, or otherwise you’d be whining like a baby.

  • William
    8:52 pm on May 27th, 2013 43

    #26 shows a bit of the mindset of a predator. Predators continue as they know or reasonably calculate they can continue to get away with being a predator. Most NCOs in barracks are not predators, very few, but very few is way too many.

    The majority of assualts in barracks are commited by an NCO vs a junior Soldier, not all, but the largest demographic, at least so was said in our last brief by BDE CSM who targetd an audience of NCOs to brief this to.

    I agree these Soldiers and NCOs get too wild in the head and feel they can get away with crime – that is the mentality of a predator and criminal.

    I disagree with a blanket call that barracks are filled with these kind of NCO predators and the reason of a lack of spouse.

    I say a predator is a predator is a predator, but changes actions based on opportunity and ability/perception of getting away with crime. Agree an NCO in a barracks with little oversight and heavy use of alcohol can wreck some serious havoc.

  • Ole Tanker
    9:01 pm on May 27th, 2013 44

    #43 Not a predator.

    Just an NCO who saw other NCO’s dong things he didn’t agree with. Morally or Professionally. Kind of goes together.

    I believe In human dignity and the Golden Rule as taught by Jesus Christ.

  • Bobby Ray
    9:16 pm on May 27th, 2013 45

    I reckon if they told them gals that alcohol consumption was no excuse for irresponsible behavior and any allegations of sexual assault would be taken just as seriously as any other drunk talk, why them claims of sexual assault would go down right quick and gals would start looking out for themselves.

    A lot of you all get mighty worked up over them Koreans getting off light for crime when they claim they is drunk but you all don’t notice that half the American population can avoid responsibility for their actions by claiming they had a drink. That would be the gals I’m speaking of.

    If you all want to stop this nonsense you got to go to the source. Unless it is one of them rare real forced rapes, most of these gals bring whatever may or may not happen on themselves. If you go and drive drunk you aint no victim. If you go to some fellow’s room drunk and start kissing on him after sexing him up all night you aint no victim either.

    These same little snowflakes who don’t have no control of themselves after a drink and aint responsible for nothing and aint got the sense to look out for their own safety or aint got no situational awareness or are too dumb to know how folks operate are the same ones everybody is clamoring to have rushed into some of that real world combat.

    You all are kidding me.

  • someotherguy
    10:28 pm on May 27th, 2013 46

    @OT

    You can’t reason with them. Their absolutely set in their beliefs that soldiers are not human and shouldn’t be treated with dignity and respect nor be held accountable for their own actions. What the recommend basically turns barracks and posts into jails and treats soldiers like inmates, they’ll just make the problem worse.

    Dealing with humans is like holding fine sand in your hand. If you attempt the iron grip method it’ll just squeeze out of control faster. Instead you must use fine manipulation and soft coercion to make the sand do what you want it to do.

    IE: Treat the root cause instead of trying to suppress the visible symptoms.

  • Liz
    4:04 am on May 28th, 2013 47

    #39: ” But by and large, soldiers can get it on with whoever they want to. There is no restriction against consensual sexual behavior, at least not that I am aware of.”

    A question: Do you consider having sex with a woman who has had any alcohol consentual? Not inebriated to the point of being incapacitated or incoherent, just having a couple of glasses of wine.

    If you answer yes to the first, you are a potential rapist. If you’ve ever had sex with a woman who has had any alcohol you are a rapist by military standards. Not civilian standard, military standard. The moment a soldier has sex with a woman who has been drinking (even if they’ve had lots of sex before), he is guilty of criminal intent and can be prosecuted for rape.

  • TXL8R
    4:52 am on May 28th, 2013 48

    #47-
    Answer: Yes

    OK, I have rape potential – I’ll give you that. I probably do not need to belabor the point of potential versus commital – I take your knowledge to be considerate enough to respect the point made.
    Now, please provide these standards in more specific form, that is to say, where might I find chapter and verse to help me confirm your statement. It is news to me that this is the case. If so, then I have been laboring under false understanding of how alcohol is a source of guilt under the UCMJ. I do not wish to confuse or blur the distinction of civil from military law. I wish to place responsibility upon the shoulders of those who would flaunt criminal behavior in our military ranks. It would appear, according to your description of military rape definitions, that women (men also might be alchol-rape victims – Y/N?) certainly are prejudiced towards innocence in cases of sexual behavior if they have managed to have some alcohol. And that would conversely make men prejudiced towards guilt in the same reasoning.

    I ask you: Do you consider your self to have been raped if you are having sex with a man AND you have had any, any alcohol at all (even if you’ve had lots of sex before)?

    If you answer yes, you are a potential rape victim.

    And where does that leave us in this polite discourse? Perhaps those who have contemplated these issues prior to us have established the current standards as a result of good judgement and maintainence of good order and discipline in the ranks. Whatever these standards and rules may be, I am not against human nature, but I would not indulge in sexual behavior with a woman soldier if she has been drinking. Why? Because, apparently, that is the regulation. Plain and simple.

    And I would not feel like an inmate or a prisoner living in a jail. I would feel like a respectable and honorable man, and proud of self-control and good judgement.

  • Liz
    5:24 am on May 28th, 2013 49

    #48: “I probably do not need to belabor the point of potential versus commital – I take your knowledge to be considerate enough to respect the point made.
    Now, please provide these standards in more specific form, that is to say, where might I find chapter and verse to help me confirm your statement.”

    I can look for them, but my husband did sit on a Courts Martial board for a rape offender and this was the standard at trial. This during the nineties, when things were comparatively more lax for the “offender”. He also spoke with the SARC rep at this base just last week (he is the Operations Group Commander here), and that is the standard according to her, which confirms the observations and experience encountered at every base subsequent to that Court Martial board. You posted on another thread that there is “no disconnect” between military and civilian but case in point this is one really big one.

    “I ask you: Do you consider your self to have been raped if you are having sex with a man AND you have had any, any alcohol at all (even if you’ve had lots of sex before)?”

    Answer: NO. That’s sort of the point.

  • TXL8R
    6:22 am on May 28th, 2013 50

    #49-
    Legal standards must be quite clear and specific, as your husband must well know. Therefore, I cannot take your comments that speak to experience rather than documents as being sufficient to validate your earlier and consistent claim. Not that I do not believe you – actually I do not have an interest in proving you wrong, I would just rather have my knowledge based on written regs.

    So I take it that you believe that the regs are unjust and need to be updated. I take it that you believe soldier men who are accused and prosecuted for rape under the UCMJ regs you (ostensibly) quote, are not rapists. You yourself sort of made the point. You would sort of not really be a rape victim, would you? And that’s the point…the military prosecutes such consensual sex as rape, and it is in your opinion, wrong.

    As for civilian disconnect, I believe this aspect of legal military justice was not the category of discussion. And you seem to make a large leap to bridge the two – fail. Nice try, but I was referring to the broader social aspects of civilians being connected to the selfless service of our Service members, not whether they (soldiers) enjoyed the same set of laws as civilian courts. I disagree completely with the suggestion that there is not a connection in the legal field as well, because the two systems, while not entirely the same, still share the majority of basis for prosecution and defense. The military branches need modifications in their code of justice because the nature of and execution of the Nation’s defense is not simply a mirror of the Nation’s civil stability and safety. Even with regard to sexual assaults, the military finds itself in unique legal waters, and while you may refer to it as a disconnect, it might be more appropriate to call it a challenge worthy of our Nation’s best legal minds.

  • Liz
    6:59 am on May 28th, 2013 51

    I asked him and according to the UCMJ the standard is “substantial impairment”. In practical reality, there is no proof of substantial impairment available (breathalyzers aren’t at the bedside) beyond the accuser’s word, ergo if the accused witnessed the woman drinking that is essentially ipso facto evidence of criminal intent, even if consent was given. Bottom line, if she has been drinking, consent is not considered consent.

  • Ole Tanker
    11:33 am on May 28th, 2013 52

    The girl will get over bad sex. A soldier can never recover from the false conviction.

  • TxL8r
    3:20 pm on May 28th, 2013 53

    #51-
    And therefore, I agree with #52.

  • someotherguy
    6:33 pm on May 28th, 2013 54

    The disconnect has to do with burden of proof. Consent can not be given is the women is “substantially impaired”. The line is deliberately kept vague so that the prosecution doesn’t have to actually prove she was impaired. In a civilian trial the prosecution must prove that the victim was not conscious or capable of giving consent, in a military trial it’s assumed she wasn’t. This is why it’s too easy to convict male soldiers for “rape”. CID comes and says hi, asks there whereabouts on the night in question, ask about their relations to the girl in question, all without mentioning the rape charge. The male soldier admits to #1 having sex with the female and #2 been drinking with the female. That statement is pretty much all they need to get an instant conviction.

    Where things get sticky is in the sentencing phase. This is how you can tell if a rape conviction is bullsh!t or not. Jury members who honestly thought the soldier didn’t “rape” her will argue for a really low sentence, suspended six months / reduction in rank, that type of stuff. Jury members who thought the soldier did “rape” her will argue for a MUCH harsher sentence, 8~10+ years in prison. What you get is a compromise, if most of the jury members thought the guy’s being steamrolled then you’ll see “convicted rape gets reduction to E1 and six months suspended jail” or other light sentencing. If they think he no shit assaulted the girl, then you’ll see a hefty sentence recommended from the jury (which the commander may reduce due via credit from honorable service).

    The appeals courts were tossing out the convictions due to the instruction to the jurors that immediately made the guy guilty by a double burden of proof shift (he’s guilty unless he can prove himself innocent). The military’s been altering the wording of it’s instructions but keeping the same intent (he’s likely guilty unless he can prove otherwise).

    Also the Rules of Evidence prohibit character evidence from being introduced about the victim. If you had a recording of the “victim” saying she wanted to f*ck the brains out of the accused, it wouldn’t be admissible. If you had someone who the next morning drove her home and she told about wanting to screw the guy, that person wouldn’t be allowed to testify in court though her testimony would be available to the GCMA to review. *hint hint guess where that one is from*.

    Seriously the entire process is setup to steamroll any male who was stupid enough to sleep with a female. All she needs to say is these magic words “I don’t know what happened, I was drinking and I can’t remember, it’s kinda fuzzy”.

  • TXL8R
    8:53 pm on May 28th, 2013 55

    #54-
    I see your point. Well said.

 

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