What were they thinking?

What were they thinking? Not bloody much.

Documents obtained via freedom of information show that an unnamed male officer at Army Headquarters ‘badgered’ a female officer on operations to write an article canvassing taxpayer-funded prostitutes, sex toys and masturbation rooms for Diggers on operations.

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And that they were surprised it became a media story.

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The article and the emails about it can be read here. The final version of the article is towards the end of the FOI.

The documents also show that the female officer wrote an email after the article was published, stating that she was misquoted and that she was:

…not in support of using sex workers in the ADF, never have been and never will be…

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However, in the article the female officer stated that she:

…initially considered whether the Army could contract Australian male and female sex workers to service troops in forward operational bases and air bases…

That does not sound like ‘never’ to me, although her article did go on to say that she:

…quickly realised there were too many moral, legal, practical, medical and logistical barriers for this concept to be entertained.

I’m not sure how much research is normally required before one arrives at the conclusion that they are not in support of the idea of taxpayer-funded prostitutes. But most people who hold that position don’t need research at all.

In contrast, this article was researched for almost two and a half months before the unidentified bright spark at Army Headquarters decided it should be published on the Army’s Landpower Forum website.

The article also added this:

Opinions on the subject will undoubtedly vary, but the conversation about sexual activism and regulation on deployment is worth having.

And this is the point: even if the author was always opposed to the idea of Army prostitutes, she was still throwing it out there for the Army to ‘discuss’, which – by its very nature – implies that there is some merit in it somewhere. And, worse, the Army published it on its website to generate that discussion.

The emails also show that after this article started a media frenzy, the author received numerous congratulations for showing moral courage.

Support was given by Army Headquarters, Joint Operations Command and the Australian Army Research Centre for the contribution to the ‘debate on the profession of arms’.

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That’s all well and good. But it is entirely hypocritical.

We all know the answer to these questions, but I will ask them anyway because they are the discussions that the Army should be having.

Will sexual tensions in infantry units as a result of the corps being opened to females affect morale and unit cohesion?

Should Defence be marching in uniform at a parade where other participants engage in explicit sexual embraces in various states of undress?

Ask those questions and no one will talk about moral courage. Instead you’ll be given a lecture about diversity and a notice to show cause.

So the Army only applauds moral courage when it involves discussing taxpayer-funded prostitutes, sex toys and masturbation rooms. Apparently that kind of moral courage builds the profession of arms.

There is one other point to make about this shenanigans.

When the topic was first raised, the only concern that the unidentified male officer in Army Headquarters had was that the initial draft of the article needed a better ‘balance of genders’.

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It’s good to see that gender diversity has taken such a hold on Defence thinking that when articles are written for Defence webpages about masturbation rooms, all Army HQ cares about is whether the sentiment demonstrates unconscious gender bias.

It’s about all the evidence you need to nuke the Army’s diversity program.

And I’ll leave this tip for young players: if you are going to write an article titled ‘Sex and War – a conversation the Army has to have’ to generate discussions about how taxpayers can fund sexual satisfaction for soldiers, expect it to end up on the front page of every newspaper in town.

That is exactly what happened.

And the fact that officers in Army Headquarters are surprised about this shows just how little thinking goes on in there…

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Despite purporting to be a seminal paper on the subject, “Sex & War” by Major Sally Williamson shows a complete lack of penetration. It’s clear that Williamson and her superiors know little of either topic. Soldiers unwilling to give up their sex lives on active service will be less likely to make the ultimate sacrifice.

    Williamson might think that supplying prostitutes and “sex toys” at taxpayers’ expense would make such a rape culture less likely. But the Japanese army’s use of “comfort women” did nothing to prevent the atrocity known as the Rape of Nanjing. Perhaps if the Australian Army had ever suffered a defeat on Australian soil, with consequent rape of civilians by the enemy, the Army Research Centre wouldn’t have such a damn fool attitude toward sex.

    Williamson’s paper implies that “consenting adults” having the right to sexual relations with whoever, wherever and whenever. Williamson fails to consider that professional soldiers are different from civilians. Soldiers have already sacrificed their power of consent to their superior officers in the chain of command. They have used their power of consent, to give up their power of consent.

    A tough, professional and disciplined fighting force always has abstinence from sexual relations as an unstated requirement while on active service. Of course, as others have pointed out, this isn’t always maintained, and those wishing to engage in sexual activity while on deployment will always find ways and means of doing so. I remember seeing an interview with Spike Milligan, of Goon Show fame, describing his experience in the British army in WWII, of being awoken by the sounds of a fellow soldier trying to find relief.

    A professional soldier’s sense of duty should allow him to forego sexual relations on deployment. This has been the case since ancient times. Uriah the Hittite served in King David’s army. While Uriah was away on deployment, David committed adultery with his wife. When she told David she was pregnant, he had Uriah brought back, and tried to get him drunk, so he’d go home and get friendly with his wife, to hide the fact the baby was David’s. But Uriah spent the night in the palace courtyard, telling David the next morning, “The army is camped in the open fields. How could I go home to eat and drink, and lie with my wife?” (David then had Uriah sent back to his regiment, and organised things so he would die in battle; but this is beyond the scope of this comment).

    Williamson’s superior says “sex toys and porn are everywhere in society”. Well, they might be in the society he keeps. This officer has clearly never known the complete and utter unity of mind, body and soul, that only a man a woman in genuine “one-flesh” marriage can experience. Of course, you can fool yourself that you’re getting what you want by taking it, but it is only by giving that one truly receives.

    The common element that brings success in both sex and war is self-sacrifice, rather than self-gratification. This is shown by the marital act itself, because you “sacrifice” the defining feature of your own body to become “one flesh” with your spouse. The self-sacrifice necessary in war is on display in the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, with the stone quoting Jesus Christ, “Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”

    The difference between self-sacrifice and self-gratification is ultimately the difference between civilisation and anarchy; democracy and tyranny; and reason and insanity.

    The ADF’s diversity policy and commitment to LGBTIQ inclusion will no doubt result in these facilities being furnished with state of the art rimming stools. Perhaps Williamson will conclude that because smoking is “everywhere in society”, the ADF should provide “smoking toys” like e-cigarettes, so that soldiers of diverse respiratory orientation can puff on their fags with pride.

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  2. I am sure wanking rooms and areas have been with us for a very long time by many names. Defence has merely hit on the bright idea of putting a sign on the door that designates the approved area as a ‘masturbation room’. This is a stupid idea and whoever is responsible for it should have to share his office space with the new wanking room.

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  3. Special mastabation rooms are not warranted. Russell Offices are full of wankers it seems.

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  4. The clowns that come up with all this social experimentation bullshit, need to be named. There are far too many of these faceless “experts” in hiding. I think a lot less would occur, if they were more visible to scrutiny.

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