Making the general public aware about tough issues that need addressing is obviously a good thing. But there's a right way and a wrong way to go about doing it.
A Reddit post supposedly containing a message from the cellphone of a cadet has raised questions concerning an allegedly mandatory ROTC event.
In the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event, cadets were required to wear high heels and march to "raise awareness of sexual assault against women."
Comments on the Reddit discussion thread were overwhelmingly critical of the initiative:
"I just don't understand why Combs would court political controversy like this. Isn't the military supposed to avoid faddish political movement and religious issues.
Anyways cross dressing violates several of our nation's largest religions. That alone should have caused the Cadet Command to steer clear of this bullshit. Not to mention Army's own fucking policy."
"To quote from someone over on /r/TumblrInAction:
Under this administration, the military in general has been turned into a petri dish for social experimentation."
Other commenters chimed in, confirming the legitimacy of the cadet's experience:
"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."
"This is sadly legit. Did it at my school this semester, along with something called "Take Back the Night," both of which made me uncomfortable just being a man and being there, let alone in uniform. This is supposed to be Cadet Command's directive, that ROTC is to be involved in sexual harassment prevention on campus as part of SHARP stuff, but really none of these events are relevant or even well thought out. The "speeches" people give are either geared towards women or poorly constructed, and we are all sitting in uniform (men and women, both) listening and wondering how it is at all relevant.
I'm all for equality, but it is really poorly thought out to have us involved in this."
Another commenter posted a link to Temple University Army ROTC's Facebook page, which contained photos of an event in which cadets wore high heels in support of raising sexual assault awareness:
Many Facebook commenters were also critical:
"They were threatened with negative counselling statements and OERs if they didn't participate. It was pretty much 'do this or we'll kill your career before it even starts.'"
"Someone head to IG with this? Pretty sure this was a forced activity."
"Worthless ROTC commanders need to get booted for this incompetence.
As a combat vet this sickens me and is a setback for women in the military."