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Subj: RE: INTRODUCTION: J. Michael Brower Date: 96-06-04 09:33:58 EDT From: BroweJM@hqda.army.mil (BroweJM) Oh, geez. I submitted the wrong version! I had a MUCH longer version that was cut, cut and cut again...this is about version #3. I wanted to give you version #1...that's a tragic mistake on my part (unless you cut it, then everything is fine.) ------------------ EDITORIAL NOTE: Please take a moment to review postings before you hit the send button. MINERVA does not edit material for the list except to exclude flames and irrelevant messages. LGDeP --------------------------- This is the version with my "Kernel of the Matter" statement that I wish had survived the cruelties of the top editor, a guy that honestly felt women should not be in the military. I told him that it is a question of epoches, of huge economic movements, of historical processes that he placed his antediluvian (<--I always thought that a fun wd ;-) views against, but he'd have none o' that. After a 45 minute fight, he gave me three lines on Tailhook, retired 3 months later and the bureaucrats destroyed his paper once he wasn't there to defend it. J. Michael Browser ================= The Tailhook Report: The Official Inquiry Into The Events Of Tailhook '91, by the Office of the OSD Inspector General, St. Martin's Press, N.Y., 1993, 250 pp., $10.95 (94-__) Reviewed by J. Michael Brower (Note: The Office of the Inspector General is the internal investigative arm of the Secretary of Defense. With authority over all the military services and other DoD agencies, the Inspector General conducts investigations, inspections, recommends action and reports on the internal affairs of the department.) "Within the Navy, obsolescent attitudes will collide with women's insistence on parity."--Jean Ebbert and Marie-Beth Hall Crossed Currents: Navy Women From WWI to Tailhook (1993) "I have become a lightning rod for Tailhook and the lighting keeps striking. It's time for me to go away and let the Navy have a new leader."--Admiral Kelso, Chief of Naval Operations "A woman is like a teabag. You don't know her strength until she is in hot water"--Nancy Reagan This report, the primary public source for details of the 1991 Tailhook Convention scandal, demands renewed attention. The work serves to reemphasize that a basic paradigm shift is required in the ethical superstructure of the Navy--this is expected under the new leadership of Secretary Dalton. While an attempt was made to write the report in a clinical style--the discretion displayed by the Inspector General's office is indeed noteworthy--the filthy language, wanton lascivious acts, and general atmosphere of cuckoldom that reigned supreme on the evenings of September 5 through September 8, 1991 in Las Vagas, defy euphemistic presentation. The report opens with a disarming letter from Derek J. Vander Schaaf, the Deputy Inspector General, (a darling of the Congress, too) to the Secretary of Defense. He provides some grim statistics: 90 victims of indecent assault, 50 officers made false statements to investigators, 140 officers were referred to the Acting Secretary of the Navy for "appropriate action," and 35 flag or general officers were condemned for "overall leadership failure." The report then discusses the scope and methodology of the investigating teams. Indecent assaults, exposure, conduct unbecoming an officer, leadership failure and false statements were uncovered through an intensive interview process. Ostensibly an opportunity for analysis of Navy aviation methods, successes and lesson learned--an exchange of ideas between contractors and the Naval aviation community--the daytime agenda of the 35th annual convention attended by over 4,000 people seemed innocuous enough. But the after-hours events are what made headlines and are still in the spotlight after two years. The evening events damaged the "primary venue" (the Las Vegas Hilton) to the tune of $23,000. A host of more import issues addressed actually do get answered, between libertine scenes, mainly through the interview process. The IG's praiseworthy anxiety to obtain more facts and finish the probe reveals an attempt at fair play. "Throughout our investigation, officers told us that Tailhook '91 was not significantly different from earlier conventions with respect to outrageous behavior," intones the report. Tailhook was conducted in an atmosphere of victorious celebration (Desert Storm) but the prospect of new, harsh military cut-backs, together with the suspicion that women would make new inroads in aviation under the new administration at the expense of the male elite, culminated in an atmosphere of resentment against females, the investigators theorized. Most of the interviews and photographs in the report, consequently, were submitted by females--they attended in unprecedented numbers. During sessions with IG staffers, the seriousness of the incidents was questioned by female apologists for the goings-on--why were unwilling women there in the first place, given the convention's reputation, they asked. The answer posed it the report was that this is "the convention to go to" if you want a career in Naval aviation, regardless of the concomitant chicanery. The greatest value of the book is that it exposes an underlying current of hostility towards the female aviator in large quarters of today's Navy. It also shows a defense community looking into itself, perhaps destructively, in the archetypical patten of a bloated military in a period of peace. There were signs of "contempt for women in naval aviation and, specifically the desire to maintain the combat exclusion with regard to women," the report observes. The book indicates that this is the kernel of the entire affair. To keep women from the highest ranks and the most important assignments, the patriarchal military establishment must exclude them from combat positions with one excuse or another. The book demonstrates that tokenism to female apologists for the status quo ante, women who have condemned women who have come forward about Tailhook, is the apparat's answer to reigning in the Paula Coughlins in the armed forces today. The exclusion principle is fully addressed by Dr. M.C. Devilbiss in her seminal work Women And Military Service (1991) and to a lesser extend in Women and the Use of Military Force (1993), edited by Ruth Howes. The events for which the 1991 Tailhook convention has become infamous were not assaults on a few military women--they were an affront to women in the armed forces. If we can conclude nothing else from the Tailhook report, it is that the traditions that permitted the Tailhook episode are as flat as decanted champagne today. We must sound the death knell of this imposed second-class citizenry for the female to eradicate reports like this, and solemnly declare, never again. (J. Michael Brower is an analyst in the Luevano Outstanding Scholar Program with the Office of the Secretary of the Army, HQDA Information Management Support Center, and a student in Georgetown University's National Security Studies Program.)