In a recent investigative study, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported a significant increase of inappropriate conduct by military recruiters. From 2004 to 2005, incidents of recruiter misconduct increased by 50 percent, and criminal violations – including sexual harassment – increased by over 200 percent, Reuters reports.
According to the Associated Press, more than 100 women in the past year received unwanted sexual attention from a military recruiter. Eighty military recruiters have been disciplined in the past year for sexual misconduct, and some victims are coming forward to press charges. Barry Vogel, a lawyer representing a young woman who is suing the Marines, told CBS about his client’s case: “[The recruiter] said to her, outright, if you want to join the Marines, you have to have sex with meÉ She was a virgin. She was 17 years old.”
Allegations range from rape to inappropriate touching to consensual romantic relationships, but many agree that any non-professional relationship between recruiters and recruits is inappropriate. Former Marine Corps recruiter Ethan Walker told CBS: “Any recruiter that would try to claim that, ÔOh, it’s consensual,’ they are lyingÉ The recruiter has all the power in these situations.”