Fighting Sexual Harassment…and Suicides


“I’m under a lot of pressure to have sex,” explained the young Hispanic Army sergeant. She then named the company’s senior non-commissioned officer, an Army master sergeant, as the culprit who was sexually harassing her. “He’s always pressuring me for it.”

The female sergeant and I were talking about her problem in a quiet spot in the small coffee shop on the Texas State University campus in Houston in late February 2009. We had just finished manning a recruiting booth in the school’s small student union.

Maybe she felt I was the only one she could confide in. I could see the enormous strain on her face and in her world-weary mannerisms. I could feel her pain… but then she made clear she wasn’t alone:

“Everyone in the battalion is getting pressured by the other enlisted recruiters for sex.”

I had not expected this problem.

The Army had hired…

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