Dating air force academy
Indeed, officials seemed to be dragging their feet, or worse, when an investigation led by the air-force general counsel concluded in June that there was "no systemic acceptance of sexual assault at the Academy [or] institutional avoidance of responsibility." But by September, 61 academy women had told Colorado senator Wayne Allard's office they had been raped or assaulted, four top academy administrators had been replaced, dozens of rules and regulations had been changed, and the Pentagon had launched three investigations, which in turn were being closely scrutinized by Congress.
As revelations mushroomed, the Air Force Academy's problems began to make Tailhook— the 1991 navy pilots' and Marine Corps aviators' convention in Las Vegas where 83 women were groped—look like a case of mere high jinks. Over the past 10 years there have been 142 formal allegations of sexual assault at the academy.
But the problems at the Air Force Academy go deeper than just an administration that has been ineffective at best: interviews with current and former cadets paint a portrait of an institutional culture steeped in hostility toward women, a hostility made even more dangerous by the school's sometimes brutal hazing of new cadets.
And as students in the academy's newly entered class of 2007 finish their first semester of courses amid shifting rules and with their behavior being observed in microscopic detail, another question hangs over their heads: Will the military ever fully integrate women?
By the end of the private two-hour testimony, every member of the audience had tears in his or her eyes. It was a moment of cataclysm for me."Bunting knows military academies. with his mission accomplished, Bunting was a particularly astute choice to serve on Rumsfeld's panel, which was headed by former Republican congresswoman Tillie Fowler.
"It was just devastating," retired lieutenant general Josiah Bunting III said later. As the former superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, Bunting opposed allowing women to attend that school, which had been a southern male bastion since 1839. But even the reports Bunting had read on the academy scandal in the newspapers, and his own experience with the macho rigors of V. I.'s infamous "rat line," a hazing ritual, did not prepare him for what he heard in Colorado Springs on July 10.
Women make up roughly 16 percent of the Air Force Academy's cadet wing (as the student body is referred to).Bunting's realization that life for them was nearly intolerable came six months after the first news of trouble exploded onto the nation's airwaves and front pages.It all started in January when a handful of female cadets broke the code of silence and began telling their stories to the media and a few members of Congress.Four young women dressed in civilian clothes entered an office conference room in Colorado Springs on July 10, 2003.They sat down and one by one told their stories of how, while attending the nearby United States Air Force Academy, they had been raped by fellow cadets and subsequently punished by the academy's administrators. They spoke instead to seven people: a former congresswoman, two retired generals, a retired colonel, a military sociologist, a rape-victim advocate, and a psychiatrist, all of whom had been handpicked by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to investigate the burgeoning scandal at the academy.