Outside The Wire

Don’t show “pretty” female soldiers, Army colonel says

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This photo of Cpl. Kristine Tejeda prompted an Army colonel to say that the service should not use pictures of “pretty women” and instead use “average looking” women in its campaign to integrate women into combat jobs.

Would male soldiers and the American public be more likely to accept women in combat jobs if the women were ugly?

That’s the assumption one Army colonel seems to be making, according to a report by Politico. The colonel sent an email to a Training and Doctrine Command public affairs spokesman, writing  that “In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead.”

Politico reported that Col. Lynette Arnhart, the woman leading the Army’s study on the impact the integration of women into combat arms would have on unit readiness and morale, advised against using “pretty” women for its communications.

“It might behoove us to select more average looking women,” the email said, according to Politico.

To illustrate her point, Arnhart cited a photo used with an article by Gen. Robert W. Cone in Army Magazine. Cone, the TRADOC commanding general, wrote about Soldier 2020, the Army’s effort to open up all Army jobs to women. But it seems that Arnhart thinks the point of the article was lost because of the photo of an attractive female soldier that was used with the article.

“For example, the attached article shows a pretty woman, wearing make-up while on deployed duty. Such photos undermine the rest of the message (and may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty),” Arnhart wrote, according to Politico.

The email was forwarded to other spokespeople at TRADOC. According to Politico, the forwarded message included a comment asking the public affairs officials to avoid using photos that “glamorize” women and instead  “use ‘real’ photos that are typical, not exceptional.”

Cpl. Kristine Tejeda

This is the original photo of Cpl. Kristine Tejeda used in Army Magazine. In the Army Magazine photo, Tejeda appears to be wearing bright pink lipstick.

It’s interesting to note that the photo of the “pretty woman” used in the article cited by Arnhart seems to have been slightly altered. In the original photo, the soldier’s lips are a neutral shade, while in the photo used in the magazine, the female soldier seems to have brighter pink lipstick.  Maybe it’s the print job?  Take a look at the two photos yourself.

Meanwhile, we want to hear your take. Are the folks at TRADOC undermining their efforts to integrate women into combat by focusing on the looks of female soldiers? Is Arnhart perpetuating a stereotype by writing that “ugly women are perceived as competent” but “pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead”? Or do you think TRADOC is sending the right message by wanting to only use “average looking” women?  Leave your comments below.

UPDATE: Col. Christian Kubik, the TRADOC PAO,  responded to a request for comment from Army Times. Kubik is the PAO who forwarded Arnhart’s email to other TRADOC spokespersons.

“The intent of the message was to help ensure that images depict professional female soldiers as they are, and to ensure they are recognized based on their hard-earned achievements as members of the profession of arms,” Kubik said. He said that the email in question “was an internal discussion” and that it did not reflect Army policy.

Comments

  1. Jen Chadbourne Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Female Soldiers are going to be accused of using their looks or their bodies to get what they want regardless of what they look like. It makes me very sad to see a female officer so worn out and defeated that she would buy into that nonsense herself, she should apologize and consider stepping down.

  2. juan jose Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    we all know that females will not be able to make it into combat arms mos, most of them just use the female excuse to get out of details or if they are pretty to get ribbons and promotions

  3. L. Mitchell Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    What a useless statement. Sound like we could use some cut-backs at the higher rank level. Obviously we have too many 06’s and above with nothing better to do. Who cares…she just happen to be the one selected for the photo op. We need to get over this touchy-feely (my feeling hurt) society we’ve created. America is becoming the new paper tiger; get over it and get on with “your” life. If the lady looked like King Kong I’m sure someone would have something to say about that too!!!!

  4. Amanda Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Seriously!? Men and women need to get over this! So what if women are “pretty”. Don’t be jealous and learn to deal with it. We shouldn’t have to ugly ourselves to prove we are just as good as others.

  5. Crystal Fay Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Colonel Arnhart is making the transition harder for women to move to combat arms. With a female saying that “ugly” women are perceived more competent than “pretty” women leads to more trouble. These statements put women in the military at a higher risk. The women, who are left in garrison, are being setup to be sexually harassed and raped. The women who are allowed to join combat arms are being told that they are not pretty enough, and will lead to higher suicide rates. Both of these situations lead to failure of the mission. I would like to think, that I am judged by my competency and not by how well I attract men. My recruiter told me when I joined that “Women are only allowed in the army to boost morale for the men.” Is the army ready to let go of these fifties ideals?

  6. Stephanie R. Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I find the stereotype of women to be insulting in general. Yes, there are some who use their looks to “intimidate or flatter” those of the opposite sex, but the majority of women regardless of rank are working hard to prove otherwise. If men are letting themselves be “fooled” by those women who use their appearances to their benefit they are also in the wrong… and as a female, I would like to point out that men do the same thing and have seen it many times. The issue is the military in general is a male-dominated society and thus, instead of looking at themselves they point the finger at the minority- women. Get over it. If someone does not deserve the position or job or award, don’t give it to them… regardless if they are male or female. The hype that is built up stems from men who refuse to accept women regardless of how they look. I don’t know who many times I’ve heard rumors spread about females because men were jealous, not because they were founded on any truth. It is sad that a COL is only perpetrating a weakness in thought, which undermines the female population in our military.

  7. Vincent Davis Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:29 am

    until pointed out in the second photo I had not paid any attention to her “pink” lipstick… she does not seem to be pretty to me, all i see is a soldier who happens to be female…

  8. anthony Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:31 am

    i seriously thought this might be a duffelblog article but nope, it’s definitely army times

  9. DMN Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Some guys in the Army (military) are real DOGS—it doesn’t matter what the female looks like–she is “fresh meat”, until SHE PROVES otherwise. The Colonels statement is very ignorant. I was in (Army) every female new to our unit…smh. Yes, me too when I was new to the unit. ITS CALLED BEING A PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER-MARINE…Whatever. Good Grief!
    (Now that gay marriage is accepted…’Make sure the male personnel are ‘ugly’ too”) FOR REAL.??

  10. Brigid Ryan Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    this was offensive to me, I find it repugnant that she would encourage the idea that women who are attractive used their feminine wiles to get ahead. say use no photo shop and candid pictures of our female soldiers. and I don’t see her complaining about the gq models they have on male army recruiting posters

  11. Soffee Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Do your looks have anything to do w/ ur competence? Every other magazine in America uses a glorified/ prettier version of the average. It makes sense that they did this. I personally am not offended nor do I feel it hinders our sex. America’s version of a male soldier is Tom Cruise. Since Tejeda’s real I think she is a prime example.
    As far as women getting by soley on their looks I don’t think so; that sounds like a sexist col. I believe men and women alike try to use their appearance to enhance their careers. Shined boots, pressed uniforms, etc. Those ones that take it too far are punished eventually. As a Col. If that person believes other wise is happening its their responsibility to tighten the slack or reprimand the offenders.

  12. Dan Cooper Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 11:30 am

    “Army girls, one plane ride away from being ugly again.”

  13. Elizabeth S. Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t consider being pretty or ugly to have anything to do with competence. However, I do wish there were more restrictions on wearing make-up on duty. If all the females were restricted from wearing make-up, we would all be on the same playing field. Being pretty has no place in the Army, so if they don’t like it, they can find a new profession. I choose not to wear make-up because I want to be taken seriously. I want everyone to know that my success has nothing to do with how I look.

  14. Sam Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Are we honestly going to say they don’t choose attractive people for stock photos? Male or female? Why do we punish people for speaking the truth that everyone is thinking?

  15. Dic Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    That would be a problem for the Air Force, because all Air Force women are pretty.

  16. Tom Jackson Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    If you notice the lighting effects were altered from the original photo to the print. This doesn’t mean that the editor used a pick shade on her lips, it just means that changing the saturation tends to affect the colors so her lips appear pinker. Whether this was done intentionally is irrelevant. The comment that Col Arnhart made was unnecessary and certainly doesn’t help the cause of female soldiers trying to gain access to combat arms. For my part, I don’t think the transition will be very successful, but comments like this aren’t helping to allay the military’s extreme sexual taboos. It’s attitudes like this from senior leadership that allow an environment of sexual assault to persist.

  17. Bonnie Taylor Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    What’s wrong with being pretty and competent? Yes, makeup should be applied appropriately. I did have a class on that in WAC Basic Training (Nov 1976). The conclusion he draws “In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead.” is a sexist conclusion that has no place in the military. This officer needs remedial SHARP training at a minimum.

  18. Bob Allen Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Cut the B.S. Thats the problem the women who look pretty are a slap in the face of every woman in the military. Today their role is diffentent, they are not restricted to a few jobs in the Army. The same comments I read are for the most part the same as in the Army. Women join for the same reasons med do, education, job skill, career, get away from home. they are not looking for a husband, if it happens while they are on AD so what. Get with the program, stop trying to put a round peg in a square hole. judge them on their ability to accoplish their jobs.

  19. Stefani Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    This is just stupid! Who cares what you look like? If you’re doing something you want to do, it shouldn’t matter about your looks! Good job COL Arnhart, you are judging people based off their looks. Could you be any more earthly and inaccurate, or how about just plain immature?! Last time I checked, people judged people on their looks in high school..did you forget where you are? Way to be a good leader…once again leadership showcasing their lack of logic.

  20. Stefani Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    And let me say something else. To make sure my comment is understood. I am not endorsing female soldiers in combat positions, I won’t even get into that reason. But solely judging a humans ability based off their exterior looks is just wrong.

  21. Dennis Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Use photos of battle proven women, regardless of how they look. SGT Leigh Ann Hester earned a Silver Star for valor for her actions in Iraq. Someone like SGT Hester should be the ‘poster girl’ for combat arms female Soldiers.

  22. Johnny Mac Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Women will not be equal till there held to the same standard as Men
    They need to meet the same gromming standards PT standards etc
    We as a armed force need to spend more time doing Battle drills and less time with this SHARP stuff !

  23. Al Vogel Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I dunno. Please run a photo of Col. Lynette Arnhart as well. If she’s ugly we’ll take her seriously.
    If she’s really hideous, then we need to get all over this issue and adopt an Army Regulation.
    If the colonel is attractive, then we can disregard her comment, right?
    I just hope this controversy doesn’t result in yet another online training course concerning “AACP Limitations (Attractively Average or Challenged People).”
    For the record, I’m not attractive. I’m a 58-year-old DoD civilian with too much paunch and too little hair — so heed me with great seriousness.

  24. ANTHONY Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    How much of our tax payers hard earned money is going to waste on such ridiculous research and time? You have a female Colonel pointing out the looks of a female soldier, is she jealous or what? If the woman can conduct her duties as prescribed and do a good job at it what difference does it make what her features look like? A soldier is a soldier, period!

  25. Michael Robinson Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I’m retired now. But, I remember back in the mid-70s when females were integrated into the combat support and combat service support units. It was quite a novelty at first. Things gradually settled down and we found our new fellow Soldiers to be enthusiastic to perform our mission and quite capable of doing so. Col. Lynette Arnhart’s remarks are unfortunate. Our female Soldiers deserve better.

  26. Joe Broderick Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I am the Art Director at ARMY Magazine. Other than some basic color correction (standard procedure when converting an RGB photo to CMYK for printing) I did not in any way alter the color of CPL Tejeda to make it appear as though she was wearing bright pink lipstick. If you look at a copy of the article as printed in the magazine, you will see that the color is not nearly as saturated as it appears in the example above.

  27. Joe Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    The Army has pretty female soldiers now? Where were they when I was in?

  28. Bo Ramsey (USA MSG retired) Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    This Colonel is an idiot.

  29. NJ Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    This article is why SHARP training has gone from once or twice a year to every month.

  30. Jackie H Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I have an idea why don’t we look at all the other countries where women serve in combat? Hmmm… They do JUST FINE!

  31. Ashlee Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Ugly or pretty, should really not be part of the job or how we as women are “accepted” into the armed forces. But it does send a message negative and positive. Negative could be as such the Colonel stated, or positive meaning that even pretty girls can do combat related job. It all honestly depends on the work ethics of our female soldiers, how we as women present ourselves and how we are perceived in all professionalism.

  32. tom Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    The young cpl does look pretty good – just sayin..

  33. Dane Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    ohhh… Why is the Army coming to this…

  34. Sgt Snuffy (US ARMY) Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Look he’s not bashing women or anything like that, what he is saying is the army is not about glamour, they should not show women in combat arms with makeup and spotless skin, it’s basically false advertisement. Doesn’t it make you mad when you see your favorite fatty food on the menu and it looks delicious and juicy then you open you bag and it looks like crap? false advertisement right? an actual photo of a woman is combat arms looks alot like men. dirty, stressed the hell out, stone eyed, most likely not smiling. If women look at ads of combat arms with women with make up and not a speck of dirt, they will think that is what they are signing up for. no. they are signing up to be sitting in the suck with the guys smelling like fish and dirt and thats not a sexist comment because the men will be smelling like balls and dirt. America stop being so politically correct and grow a pair of ovaries or balls…. pick one.

  35. tiredofpc Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    While so many of you are wrapping yourselves around the axle of whether or not it’s photoshopped, pink lipstick added, etc, the bottom line is that there are many, many “pretty women” in combat, directly in the line of fire at this moment.
    COL Arnhart, with all due respect, take your head out.

  36. Marcus Crushhammer Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I guarantee this was taken out of context. Furthermore, got news for most of you out there, the caliber of women fit enough to pass required fitness evolutions to enter combat units – very rarely enter military service.
    Scream for equal rights, be offended, whatever gets you through the night, but all armed forces fit tests are gender sensitive (female scores are significantly easier). Let’s equalize those first.

  37. Faceit Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Michael Robinson, love your comment. So true. Oh, and I was in the first group of women to train with men in basic training in the seventies. 2 platoons of females and 2 platoons of males. First group of women to be called soldiers. Women and men have come a long way together.

  38. John Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 12:35 am

    The girl in the picture is pretty?

  39. Varina Suellen Plonski Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Hello, Col. Idiot! If you look at a Bell Curve, you will see that the majority of people fit in the middle, that’s the point. If your parameter runs from UGLY on one side to BEAUTIFUL on the other, the AVERAGE will be what – oh, hello! PRETTY! Average women ARE pretty, that’s the average on the Bell Curve!
    Now get over your fool self and do your damn job!

  40. Donald E. Zlotnik Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 5:41 am

    A few lesbians on hormone treatment MIGHT make it as combat arms soldiers, but it will be just enough to make the ladies feel good about THEMSELVES and destroy the combat readiness of the unit.

    I think it is time we hold these hair-brained members of Congress accountable for their actions destroying our military by making THEM join the troops in combat. We should make it law that 20 Senators/50 Congresspersons (randomly selected) MUST live with the troops in Afghanistan–with FEMALE security guards. :-)

  41. John Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Standard feminist bunk.

  42. Militarygolfer23 Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 8:59 am

    1st, I would never allow any female soldier of mine to wear lipstick in the field or on deployment. In this photo, you see many male soldiers standing with no gear on just their rifle strapped on their back. What is wrong with this picture, she posed for it and it is not real.
    This Captain should receive a general letter of reprimand for dis obeying an order of regulations (670-1) and general orders for wearing lipstick during combat operations. Clearly this is a misrepresentation of our female soldiers. I’ve served over 27 years as a Military Policeman with female soldiers in Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq. Never seen any of my soldiers looking pretty with makeup downrange. MP female soldiers have always fought next to their male counterparts in real combat missions. Many other MOS female soldiers do also.
    We need to get this right.

  43. Sarah K Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 10:03 am

    The email chain doesn’t surprise me at all, what surprises me is that the public got a glimpse of it. I think we have a much deeper underlying issue here, that is the fact that one’s looks (regardless of profession or industry) aid in a person’s success or achievement. This isn’t a military problem, this is a social problem. Obviously this COL has struggled with similar challenges, the idea that her looks or the looks of her colleagues have helped her/them reach the top. Her opinions are just that, opinions. Her remarks about “ugly” women being more competent and “pretty” women being less competent are emotionally loaded. They’re also incredibly relative, what is pretty to me may not be pretty to you.

    Having served as a woman in the military I can say that I was respected for my hard work, not for my pretty face. I like to think everyone else has the same satisfaction, and is respected accordingly. I’m not naive to the fact that some men and women use their looks to move upward, but it’s not solely a military problem. It’s a culture problem.

    Some of the those who made comments suggested that COL Arnhart step down. It’s almost as though you’re suggesting the very same idea that she is, remove the black sheep (the woman, pretty or ugly, in the room). So, she probably won’t be reprimanded, demoted, or removed from her position for her ill culturally skewed views of women. Instead, she will sit comfortably in the current position that she holds…is it because she’s a women (I hope not) or are they willing to overlook her gender and see that her work ethic and dedication have a greater benefit to the organization than her face? I hope the latter.

  44. Matt Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Really is nobody seeing that she cant even wear the uniform right? Chinstrap to the side and the antenna just hanging out in the open. Makes anybody man or woman in uniform look bad when they show people in jacked up uniforms doing an obvious photoshoot. Nobody in the background has their kit on and they are at a range. Whether she looks pretty or ugly is irrelevant when she can’t wear a uniform properly. That is what needs to addressed before her beauty or lack there of.

  45. Eric Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Outside of all the soft-side social reforming liberal dramatics, there are some women that could pull off combat arms. Hell, there are only a select few men that can pull it off. So it’s illogical to utilize a socialist majority rules standpoint. We’re talking about lives here, and having women in the fighting units would absolutely prove to be a distraction in combat. I’m 100% for equality, but this is an absurd way to prove some ridiculous psychobabble. The basic psychology backing this, is the fundamental difference of men to women. It is a trait which most have not evolved past, and that is: Men will go out of their way to protect women and children. This would prove an absolute nightmare on the battlefield as it is a calculated risk that would cost many lives. It may help our countries women realize the hardships of the men and help develop equality (oppressed becomes the oppressor), but it truly should NOT be a proving ground for some foolish equality agenda. It’s not worth the blood that will be on you hands in the end! So my conclusion is….. if you’re not in the military (especially if you never have been) and currently thinking about combat arms as woman yourself. Please take a seat and let those individuals evaluate the risks and voice their opinion on their decisions. Too many spectators using this as some ridiculous stunt to support their “Oppressed become the Oppressor” mentality.

  46. J. Smith Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    The colonel stated to use more average looking women and not Photoshop makeup onto the photos. This article odds putting words into her mouth and misleading. If the email said these things exactly, it should be published with this article. Average does not translate to ugly.

  47. Cam Garcia Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    It seems that the Colonel does have a point, and he is welcomed to his comments; however I find that the overabundance of photos of very beautiful women does pose a hurdle. Why not show regular photos of women from all MOS’s in the recruitment pictures? Could there be a balanced approach to the issue of what women should look like?

    If it were me; I’d go back to WWII; when women were required to “LOOK” like women. Not some off the shelf male version in a skirt. WWII was when military standards were relaxed for women. They could wear makeup that accented their beauty. From custom fitted uniforms, and not the typical male designed uniforms we now see the women wear.

    Let’s let women be women, and let’s show both sides of the coin…

  48. Ted OConnor Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Everyone drop and give me 20. Then get back to work.

  49. Lisa Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I am uncomfortable with the notion because a woman is pretty this somehow means that she is unfit for combat duty. You can not tell by looking at her, or any woman’s picture, how well she shoots or what her PT score is. And I highly doubt that any woman concerned about breaking a nail would even be in the Army. These are unfair assumptions. Are attractive men held to the same standard?

  50. Marne Express Cup Owner Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This idea will not work due to the fact that women “look up” to other women who they believe are better than them, either it be facial looks, body composition, perceived wealth, job position, and social status. Women look up to Oprah because of her success in the male driven world of television media, Michelle Obama because of her “success” and she has a fit body, and Hillary Clinton because of her “success” and she has done well in the male driven world of politics. But in the same token most women look down on Sarah Palin, because she entered the picture trying to be an everyday women, a hockey mom, and a person who understands the plight a everyday.

    As a former male Army soldier, most pretty looking females who are looking to join the military looks towards the Air Force first, Navy second, Coast Guards third, then maybe a reserve or national guard component forth. The one’s who join the Army are the ones who could not score well enough to into the first 3 branches, but wanted or needed to enlist.

    And lastly: beauty and prettiness is all in the eyes of the beholder. I’ve met or seen some very attractive women during my 15 years in the Army. I just think putting “average” looking women in Army advertisements will just drive MORE women to the other branches of service. This Col. Lynette Arnhart is a typical career officer who is only bright by the standards of the needs of the Army. The only reason people listen to her is because of her rank. Their knowledge spectrum outside of their day to day duties are very limited.

    Her rank is giving her the privilege to make such a dumb and ill-informed statement and request.

  51. SPC Adams Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    She has a point in some way, but, the perception, not the reality, is that “pretty women” use their looks to get ahead. If a woman believes that she can do that, it’s because someone has given her the impression that she can. It’s because someone in her Chain of Command or leadership is not doing their jobs as leaders to make sure that everyone and everything is equal. We could argue that COL Lynette Arnhart is doing the same for her more attractive male soldiers, but what difference does that make for them? It only makes a difference because males do it to females? Everyone of the infantrymen, attractive or not, are treated the same. What happened to EO? Can’t someone make a complaint on her? While she is entitled to her opinion, COL Arnhart is still a soldier in the US Army. If she, as a COL, as a leader, is not showing that type of stigma because her opinion is that “pretty women” use their looks to get ahead, what is everyone else going to think? Now there will be a certain view placed against attractive women in the military and because of this Colonel, “pretty women” will be treated differently. Which can cause a lot of EO complaints. Furthermore, why does she think this? Is that how she made it to where she is? Because she used her looks? She should be able to be in charge and treat everyone the same, male, female, attractive or not. Now I do agree that some women TRY to use what they have to get ahead, and if it works, the blame should not be placed on them, it should be placed on her male leadership that is giving her special treatment. Their leader’s need to be reevaluated and NCOERs rewritten if that’s truly the case. This Colonel is blaming women, blame your leaders ma’am. A person will not pursue anything they know that can’t get away with.

  52. fred Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I am guessing here but the Col may have meant to use real soldiers instead of models like the Marine Corps has done.

  53. D-Reau Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I just wish I was ugly enough to be competent. A few more weathering years on this face, and I will totally make it to five-star.

  54. Alexandra D Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    As a female in the United States Army, I am completely outraged at this news. There is no doubt that women use their looks to get ahead in all walks of life, but to discriminate against attractive females is ridiculous. A soldier is a soldier, no matter how ugly, smart, pretty or strong he or she is. Comments like what the Colonel made are what form prejudices and bias in military society.

    When will all soldiers be accepting of each other?

    The only people who are to blame here are the ones who allow the attractive females to advance. I feel that preference based off of presence is intolerable, but it is the superiors who allow it to happen. And it is equally intolerable that a female will accept this behavior and will act on it.

    I have never commented on something like this, but this is so outlandish that it seemed absolutely necessary.

    I believe in an Army of One. Not an Army of males and females.

  55. Rob L Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    “They say that in the Army the women are mighty fine…” Army women have had a negative stigma since forever. This is ridiculous! We need to change that! I’m a combat medic in the Army and I can tell you that it has been my experience that the women in the Army that are worth a dang are in shape, hard working, dedicated, hard as nails, able to pull their own weight and guess what! 90% of women who fit that description are dang good looking. If anything, it’s the less attractive I don’t want to use the phrase “fat bodies”, but the less diligent less able to pass an PT test, less willing to get their hands dirty women that tend to sit back and let everyone else pull their weight. I’ve yet to see a “good looking” Army woman be outperformed by what this COL might term an “ugly woman”. It’s the pretty women who have the self discipline and motivation to keep themselves in shape to begin with! It’s a known fact that self conscious women hate pretty women. That’s all this is. I believe if we advertise pretty women while recruiting, maybe we’ll get rid of this stigma from WWII era and actually get more competent women in the Army.

  56. Mimi Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I admire Colonel Aamhart for telling the ugly truth despite being branded a stereo typecaster. Generally women became pretty because of their focus on their looks more than their capabilities. The not so pretty women tend to focus on their capabilities so they tend to not bring so much attention on their looks. Moreover, not so pretty or very simple women are low maintenance,so they won’t ask or fret much when the field environment is not conducive to maintaining a beautiful visage.This is based on what I observed as a military officer in the Philippines. The army should hire people men or women on what they can do and not on what they look like.

  57. Jonathan Rico Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I think Col Aamhart has a point… The woman Cpl Tejada, however, who’s featured here is considered not stunning here in the Philippines… She’s rather a typical-looking asian girl who, i think, is an ideal feature person… I don’t see any problem here… If you featured a blond bombshell or even Scarlett Johannson here then that would be a problem…

  58. Felichia McCormick Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    The original photo was altered, so part of the problem is the print. There are many professional women serving and who have served capable of all kinds of jobs in the military. The fact that the majority of these women are beautiful, and some strikingly so, should in no way be a factor in their capabilities to perform their duties. Such judgements of natural appearance are the problem of the person making a judgement. Why should any soldier down play their looks to.be taken seriously when performing a task, male or female. Is it a problem to photograph a handsome male soldier doing their job? Would he be considered too good looking to be working in the military?

  59. sharon ODonnell Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Do your job of taking care of veterans and winning Wars. What a waste of time,you self hating cow. As a former woman Marine I think this is ridiculous.a waste of time and attention you dumb bitch. too much time on your hands if your pondering the looks of female troops .grrr.Clean up the red tape.

  60. Felicia Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Whether a female is pretty or ugly does not generally let you know her competence level. Though, in battle dress uniform, you are not allowed to wear make up. In dress uniform, you are allowed to wear natural toned make up. So they should not have altered the photo. In my opinion, it didn’t need to be altered in the first place. They usually do pick the prettier ones to do certain tasks (i.e., flag detail, honor guard, coin distribution when a CSM or General comes by, and photo-ops). Not all, but a lot of females do turn tricks to get out of details. One of the most annoying phrases females I worked with used was “I need a man’s muscles” [they only wanted to find a cute male to flirt with instead of accomplishing whatever task or mission needed to get done. I am one of those females that do not believe that females should be in combat. They are needed as combat medics and military police, and both those MOS’s perform as a combat function. But as far as infantry and armor, I say heck no, … not worth it, too much drama. I do remember the problems certain females caused in 2000 at Fort Sill when they decided to let females into their training. I had thought that they went back to all males, but now I am not so sure. I hope that they were smart and did, because the training for the males that were training with females were too easy. It is not being mean, but females lower standards because they are made smaller. Females are strong, but usually more in emotional strength. Males are generally stronger in physical strength.

  61. Travis Mann Says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Every man knows an ugly woman will kick your butt quicker than a pretty woman will, nothing new here.

  62. Gary R. Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Pick your battles carefully. The future of our society and
    country are at stake.

    FYI: Hear is a rare situation that is a real battle!

    My son has always wanted to join the military. He has never been arrested and convicted of any crime ever committed during his adult life.

    However, he currently faces eight years in prison at age 26, a second strike and he would need a Colonel to step forward to save him if, possible from a destroyed life in prison by the judicial system. This is about saving our children and helping protect our country at the same time.

    This is a call for help by a father. The son of a decorated WW11 Veteran. My son is not violent or, a bad person. But, he is all heart and, it was always his dream to be in the military.

    He could be a heroe if given the chance. But, time is running out for him.

    Hopefully someone who has the power will read this, see the person, not the crime, review the situation and see the miscarriage of justice.

    The court date is Dec. 4th 2013 in Van Nuys, Ca. and, it would be his dream come true to be accepted into the military.

    I believe the courts would consider this seriously!

    Sincerely,
    Dad

  63. rose Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 2:14 am

    the comment is stupid. yes. but the comment made by juan jose (# 2) is worse. women are in and have been in combat roles throughout this war and in every other war in our history. maybe you should read a book or two before making bigoted comments.

  64. Rich Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 2:45 am

    I just find it funny how the photo in the article looks like she may be marching down the streets of Iraq (Outside the Wire) in a DEPLOYED/HAZARDOUS environment like the article focuses on and then the actual photo looks like she just came off a ALT-C qualification range with obviously no threat in the actual photos background hence Soldiers hanging out with no gear. I know there are plenty of photos with females outside of the wire that would prob show a tired or cautious female on patrol. Photoshop… Changed the world.

  65. Tai Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 4:19 am

    Well I am a member of the armed forces and I would say that I am an attractive female and I have gotten the comment several times that I don’t look like I’m in the military. It used to offend me but I think every woman wants to be a woman at some point. I don’t think that being pretty disqualifies me from being able to wear combat boots and knowing how to shoot a moving target. But I like the idea that people can’t look at me and know that I’m a veteran. It means they have to get to know me and that leaves us note to talk about.

  66. Sgt. Lilly Withers Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Some women don’t need to be attractive to be noticed or published. Maybe our accomplishments make us what we are,

  67. Army O-6: Don’t show ‘pretty’ female GIs — OFFduty+ Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 10:16 am

    […] Read more. […]

  68. Army Female Officer Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I’ve come across this article a few times and have thought of commenting, but as I go through these comments, I feel that I have to respond. One of my biggest sources of frustration in the Army (I am a female officer) is the impression that if a female wants to look like a female that she is only trying to impress the males, and cares more about her looks than her job, and that seems to be the same mindset that this COL is using. I can tell you that I know plenty of beautiful women in uniform who are excellent at their jobs, even if they like makeup. All of my closest friends are considered very attractive – not just for “Army girls,” and nearly all of them could out run any guy, and are also likely to out work any male they work with.

    I am one of those women who actually wears makeup in uniform (yes, it IS allowed as long as it is neutral, despite what people keep saying), and it takes me all of three minutes… It does not affect my ability to do my job, and I do not use it to get ahead. As several others have stated, if a male supervisor lets a woman get ahead because of her looks, there is something wrong with that supervisor. I would think we are past the point where if you are in the Army, you have to be an unattractive female to actually do your job well. I think this stigma needs to dissapear already… The only difference between an attractive male in the military and an attractive female in the military is most likely size, not competence. On a side note… I agree with some of the other comments that nobody complains about the men… my non-military friends mention “hot men in uniform,” but they don’t all exactly look like the advertisements either.

  69. Candace Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 7:43 am

    The info’ by the ~ # 68. Army Female Officer :
    November 22nd, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    the referenced comment # 68 states it all…………….If male or female or gay can do the job, that ‘person’ is the one who should serve. It’s the ability to do the job is the point.

  70. Male Navy Vet Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    As long as any woman is held to the same exact standards, let them fill any job, then succeed or fail based upon performance. (The colonel must be very competent.)

  71. Alyse D. Says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I’m considered a “pretty” girl and wear no makeup. I also have the highest PT Score, am an EOD tech (which is one of the hardest MOS in the military), have a graduate degree and can out preform most males in my brigade. Just because I have been blessed with beauty and intellect should not make me feel guilty; should I PRETEND TO BE INCOMPETENT to meet your requirements? And just because a female is “average” doesn’t mean she is capable or more capable than a pretty girl. In fact, I’ve found usually, the more attractive you are, the more confidence you have and therefore preform better at your job.

  72. Are ugly women better warriors? | News Of Interest Says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 6:46 am

    […] is a comment in the  blog Military Times: “In the original photo, the soldier’s lips are a neutral shade, while in the photo used in the […]

  73. Rosalee Says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Poor ole Lynette, won’t dignify her by using her rank as she is undeserving, no doubt ever had a man tell her she is attractive.
    Poor soul
    ((((snorts)))
    Finally, I guess our class at OCS (Navy) should have all resigned, or maybe never been recruited by male officers?

  74. sherri Says:
    November 27th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I think that COL Arnhart needs to come from behind her desk and move back into the trenches. She has no idea what shes saying. Possibly time to retire…

  75. average looking gal Says:
    December 4th, 2013 at 11:19 am

    kubik is the most arrogant, and boisterous colonels I have ever worked for. his wife happens to look like the female that he was commenting on –on the magazine cover. (the cover girl is about 20 years younger though) tradoc needs to do some serious house cleaning……the good ol’ boys are out-of-control in that headquarters. he will retire and simply “go away” this summer.

  76. Cathy Says:
    December 8th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I am so sick of reading and hearing about this. If you read the original messages from this Colonel and the context – this is SO blown out of proportion. Does the Army have nothing better to focus upon? Sign…

  77. Matt Says:
    December 13th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Why does everyone feel that the COL believes that ugly women are more competent? Never once did she say that. She merely stated that average women are perceived as more competent. She is simply speaking toward an advertising technique. How upset would people be if the Victoria Secret Fashion show was full of perceived “average” looking women? No one said it was right. COL Arnhart is simply telling it like it is. I feel she is advocating for women to be placed in Combat Arms positions and she feels that’s best accomplished (in today’s society) by placing “average” women in photos. Reality isn’t always right but it’s the world we live in.

  78. Looney Says:
    December 13th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    This poor Soldier, I hope this is not her actual name. How is she supposed to go back to work and do her job.
    Anyone who has done SHARPS knows that it is not the looks or way a person dresses, it is about power. I hope her unit is back briefed so they can put this BS in perspective and move on.

    Not ugly but I chose not to draw attention, I come in early, leave late and still have to prove myself, but it is worth it to contribute to something bigger.

    Maybe prettier women are joining because they have to rely on themselves to provide a living, a result of our new society.