Army Recruiter Sends Anti-Gay Emails

An Army recruiter engaged in a vulgar, ranting email exchange with a gay activist, according to a report in the Jersey Journal.

Using a military email address, U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. Marcia Ramode fired off an email in capital letters that ” IF YOU ARE GAY WE DON’T TAKE YOU. YOU ARE CONSIDERED UNQUALIFIED.”

After more prodding from Andrew on the Army’s recruitment policy, the messages escalated into a bigoted tirade. For example, Ramode told Andrew that “being gay is disgusting and immoral.”

In a separate email, Ramode wrote, “You must be a total idiot and so stupid to presume that you do not know what gender you are.” Ramode added that Andrew should be more grateful to the military for defending his freedoms, but that as a gay man “he should leave the United States.”

The insults were not only flying one way, as Andrew criticized her vocabulary and poor spelling and, after finding out she was a Native American, wrote: “So take that to your next rain dance.”

Andrew, who is black, criticized Ramode’s word choices and poor spelling. In response, the apparently enraged sergeant said in graphic language that Andrew should “GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED THERE.”

The U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Staff Judge Advocate has referred the email exchange to Ramode’s commander for “review, investigation and appropriate action,” Sgt. Douglas Smith, a public affairs officer based Fort Knox, Texas, said in a statement.

Under the Department of Defense’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, recruiters do not ask applicants any questions about their sexual orientation. “If an applicant makes a statement that he or she is homosexual, the recruiter must inform the applicant in a professional manner that they are not eligible for enlistment,” the statement said.

Andrew, who is also a singer-songwriter and has worked for New York’s advertising giant Young & Rubicam, said he thinks the Army contacted him because the Iraq war has made it harder to recruit.

Steve Ralls, a director of communications for the Service Members Legal Defense Network, which helps victims of discrimination under the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, says Ramode should be fired. “The recruiter’s remarks were outrageous and offensive in almost every way,” Ralls said. “Anti-gay harassment throughout the military is well documented but this is particularly egregious because the recruiter’s language is so homophobic and racist.”

Ralls is relieved the Army appears to be taking the email exchange seriously. “The command expects its recruiters to conduct themselves in a professional manner in all dealings with potential applicants and members of the public,” said Smith of the Army. “We are ambassadors for America’s Army.”

SLDN has more details of the alleged email exchange on their Frontlines blog.

While I take Dan Riehl‘s point that Andrew was clearly trying to provoke an angry response here, it really doesn’t matter. If this exchange is legitimate, Ramode should certainly be not only relieved of her duties but court-martialed for conduct unbecoming a non-commissioned officer. While it worked for Marion Berry, “the bitch set me up” has never struck me as a meaningful defense.

Pam Spaulding, who has a PDF of the alleged emails, wonders whether this is “the General Peter Pace policy at work.” It’s not. I defended Pace’s right to express his personal beliefs, consistent with official policy, that homosexual conduct is immoral. That’s a far cry from engaging in vulgar diatribes as a representative of the United States government.

Spaulding remarks that “it blows your mind to see the calibre of people now being allowed to recruit.” So far as I’m aware, this is one recruiter who is alleged to have engaged in wildly inappropriate conduct. Immediately after being made aware of the allegations, her superiors launched an investigation.

Dave Weigel says that, if these emails are real, “Sgt. Marcia Ramode might be the worst military recruiter of all time.” Not much doubt about that. While Andrew was indeed “not qualified” to enlist after volunteering his homosexuality to a recruiter, she’s hardly an ambassador for what joining the Army can do for you.

via Memeorandum, which will likely have more blogger reactions shortly

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Ugh says:

    Spaulding remarks that “it blows your mind to see the calibre of people now being allowed to recruit.” So far as I’m aware, this is one recruiter who is alleged to have engaged in wildly inappropriate conduct.

    I didn’t read her full comments, but perhaps she’s referencing the other recruiters caught on tape (on ABCNews, IIRC) not exactly being truthful or forthcoming with potential recruits?

  2. Perhaps we should apply Spaulding’s remarks about the calibre of people now being allowed to recruit to all anti-war people by considering the case of the guy who defecated on a burning US flag. Shouldn’t this be a clear sign that the calibre of people protesting the war is that of uncouth, unpatriotic and generally disgusting morons?

    The actions are being treated by the Army in the way they deserve. Which is an indication that the system, while not perfect, is working.

  3. Triumph says:

    “Sgt. Marcia Ramode might be the worst military recruiter of all time.” Not much doubt about that.

    The funny thing about this is that the recruiter allegedly contacted the guy through the website, careerbuilder, where he had his resume posted.

    It doesn’t strike me as the best use of time to recruit via professional-oriented websites.

    People who have resumes are probably not candidates for the Army. The typical work documentation is likely a letter from their parole officer and the phone number for the Assistant Manager at the Hardees they were recently fired from!

  4. Boyd says:

    Wow, Triumph. Just…wow!

    And even if this is just another example of your “dry” humor, still…wow!

  5. Jim Henley says:

    Perhaps we should apply Spaulding’s remarks about the calibre of people now being allowed to recruit to all anti-war people by considering the case of the guy who defecated on a burning US flag.

    That sounds . . . dangerous.

    Do you have a video link? Photos? Because I’d hate to think you were just making up, er, inflammatory shit. As it were.