Updated: Jun 23, 2018
Jayne experienced sexual harassment throughout her military career. She was even molested by a Congressman in front of her superior. Her stories are common in the military, and like many others she will not see any justice. Jayne is speaking out for those who didn't experience the trauma associated with MST, but acknowledges experiencing the misogyny and sexual harassment that is so prevalent in the military community.
Read Jayne's story in her own words below.
Throughout my 20 years of service I experienced a plethora of sexual harassment, some would say one sexual assault, and a series of molestation.
In 1989 I joined the Regular Army right after high school. Throughout my 20 years of service I experienced a plethora of sexual harassment, some would say one sexual assault, and a series of molestation. The most flagrant molestation incident happened stateside while I was performing an additional duty during 71D reclass school at Fort Jackson, SC. I was apart of the funeral detail during this time and we were the honor guard for a prominent Colonel that had past. We performed our duty and were carted off to the reception, where the widow insisted we attend. During the ride to the house, the drill sergeant in charge intensely warned us to not embarrass him, the unit nor the Army. There were very influential politicians from the surrounding Charleston area in attendance. One in particular came up to me and began asking about the ribbons on my uniform. At the time I had a little more ribbons than most because I was in transition shortly after my deployment from Desert Storm. As I stood there stiff as a board he progressively touched everyone of my ribbons on my chest as such, to the extent that he made me uncomfortable and confused. As he increasingly touched my boob I looked with despair to the Drill Sergeant for help, but he just brow beat me with a look of “don’t even move.” So I stood there and let this politician grope my boob as I explained what each award meant and how I got them. Later, I was never so shocked as when I recently found out that government politicians were not held to the same standard as the military in regards to sexual harassment and assault. It is a regulation that anyone in uniform must asked permission to touch another soldiers uniform, so the feeling of being violated was lasting, but nothing life changing for me (or so I thought). Later during my service I endured several men groping my chest via way of “uniform inspection.” I did nothing then either because after a while, sadly, I thought nothing of it. It did make me angry and in the end I got even in my own way...maybe not the right way but enough that I never really thought or spoke about it till now.
Rewind a few months prior during this same PCS from my unit on Fort Carson, CO. Where they held a “hail and farewell” for me. The usual drinking and good times were going on and once the night ended I was escorted home by a person in my unit and her male friend. The three of us went back to her home. I was so intoxicated that when we got to the house I threw up outside the home. My friend’s friend held my hair back as I was chucking and then helped me to bed where we ended up having sex. I was on the edge of a complete black out, but I remember some parts. One thing I do remember was thinking that the guy was my husband and I do remember calling him by my husband’s name. I know he knew he did wrong, but so did I. I shouldn’t have been heavily drinking with strangers around; this was one of my golden rules but I didn’t think anything about this stranger because it was my friend’s friend and I trusted her implicitly. Did I feel violated? Yes, but more shame than anything about my actions that allowed this situation. I didn’t report it because it happened during a transition and I had to be at my reclass school on a certain date or I would lose my seat. Additionally, I don’t claim to have been assaulted nor do I claim MST mainly because the guy was just as intoxicated as I and I was willing to have sex with my husband. I just confused him for my husband. I feel strongly that I was just as responsible for the incident as he and it was a mistake I never made again…. I share this testimony out of support for ending MST and by the strong urge from my fellow comrades who were most violently assaulted during their service… this is for you!