Nov 25, 2013
Associated Press| by John Milburn
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Pentagon officials said Friday that an Army colonel who wrote an internal email suggesting photos of attractive women should be avoided in promotional materials has stepped down from her duties involving a gender study.
Army spokesman George Wright said Col. Lynnette Arnhart had agreed to step aside, and Gen. Robert Cone, commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Va., had accepted the gender integration study's leadership change "in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing work on gender integration in the Army."
The content of the email was first reported by Politico this week. In the email, Arnhart stated that "average-looking women" should be used in Army materials used to attract women for combat roles, Politico reported.
In addition, Wright said that Col. Christian Kubik, a public affairs officer also with the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, was suspended for his involvement in the email pending an investigation.
According to the email chain obtained by Politico, Kubik forwarded Arnhart's email to other public affairs officers, cautioning the use of photos "that glamourize women" would undermine the Army's gender integration efforts.
Lynnette’s concern here seems pretty silly. Then again, most marketing strategies, short of Don Draper-levels of creativity sound pretty silly when you state their assumptions out loud. And nothing is quite as silly as the entire concept of women-in-combat . . . but we pretend to take it seriously anyway, because to do otherwise is to get fired.